We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Huynh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, what’s your definition for success?
Success feels very personal; I don’t define it as seeing someone with a ton of awards or accomplishments or a lot of fame and acclaim. To me, success is being able to take pride and feel empowered in various parts of your life. Different areas of life inevitably experience ups and downs, and I feel that placing the idea of success on just one area of life (like work, family, etc.) will never feel completely fulfilling – there will always feel like there’s another goal to overcome to continuously top the idea of success in that area. However, to be able to take pride and feel joy towards different areas of life, and distribute efforts across different parts of life to form something that you are happy about generally – that seems like true success to me, and is something I aim for daily. The main parts of my life that I try to use to define success are how joyful and proud I feel towards my creative pursuits, how fulfilled I am from personal relationships, how much I feel like I can contribute and am valued at work, and how I feel towards myself.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I feel that what sets my business apart is how unique each piece is. They are all one-of-a-kind and handmade, so ordering a piece from us is like ordering your own unique, special piece of jewelry that will stay with you forever. I try to infuse this idea of creativity and originality into my brand – I believe that it’s important to be thoughtful and intentional, and I try to reflect that in every part of the business, from the products to the packaging to learning and listening quickly with customer feedback.
I am most proud of the rebrand my brand recently underwent – I did it all myself, coming up with a design system, logo, and designing new packaging that was more sustainable and durable. In celebration of the rebrand, I’ve been playing around with a lot of new techniques that are out of my comfort zone – acrylic paint marbling, gold flakes, and other random things I come across online. I’m so excited about it all, and I really encourage everyone to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the journey! I feel like there are so many great things to come and I’m truly so proud of my handmade products and how everything has been able to stay true to the original mission of offering one-of-a-kind pieces and how we’ve been able to grow and stay true to form.
I definitely got to where I am today business-wise with the support of friends and word-of-mouth. I’ve found that nothing has been more valuable than feedback and suggestions, the best of which I’ve gotten from those closest to me. I try to act quickly and intentionally on feedback, which isn’t always an easy combination to master, but with time, I’ve been able to gather good tools to act more quickly and also work on prioritization to incorporate feedback as soon as possible. I feel like it’s an art in itself to incorporate customer suggestions into your art, and it’s definitely a huge act of creativity to consider perspectives other than your own and incorporate it into future work.
I genuinely love making earrings. It’s meticulous and physical work, and I enjoy how gratifying it is to see a fully made earring and be able to try it on. I think the business was founded on the basis that I really love it, and even though it’s something that is offered through a store, I truly prioritize making what I love. That is what makes the business so special to me, and it’s what I hope makes it feel special to others as well.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Buford Highway 100% has my heart! Some of my favorites are White Windmill (amazing study spot), Sokongdong Tofu House, J’s Mini Hotpot, Tan-cha, and Nam Phuong.
I also love West Midtown – Eight Sushi is somewhere I go consistently to celebrate special events. I also really love The Painted Duck for a fun night of games and drinks.
Aside from those areas, some other random places I love are the Little Five Points neighborhood (especially Criminal Records, Aurora Coffee, and Rag-O-Rama), the restaurant Apres Diem in Old Fourth Ward, and the Iberian Pig in Buckhead (one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had there!)
I think a perfect day in Atlanta (and one I’d take my best friend out on) would be grabbing dim sum at Oriental Pearl, then heading to the Museum of Design and exploring exhibits. After that, we’d head over to Piedmont for a long walk, maybe walk down the Beltline and sightsee, and circle back to Piedmont to end with a late dinner and some drinks at Park Tavern. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There is a nearly endless list of people in my life that deserve shoutouts – I want to of course shout out my extremely supportive partner and my deeply loving friends. They are instrumental in my definition of success, and I feel genuinely lucky to be a part of all of their lives and to be able to be a recipient of their love. All of the art teachers I’ve ever had, all of the sociology professors I’ve been taught by – thank you for teaching me things that helped me expand my worldview, and consequently, my creativity.
I also want to give a huge shoutout to DIY (and specifically polymer clay earring) creators online – this is where I got the inspiration to make earrings, and without the resources that they selflessly share, it wouldn’t be possible for me to even know where to begin. Thank you so much for the time and energy you put in not only to making beautiful things, but helping others do the same!
Other: We’re on TikTok @sheheldthesuninerhands!