This founder wants jewelry to be the new self-expression, With apse’s Hayley Boyd.

Married couple and best friends Hayley and Jarod were originally getting their fine art degrees in sculpture and printmaking before turning to jewelry. They started apse as a way to help others portray their individuality through self-expression, and what does it better than jewelry made-to-order just for you?

We sat down with co-founder Hayley Boyd to delve deeper into the mission behind apse including their sustainable practices. But don’t worry, we also asked her about her and Jarod’s love story– the moment that started it all.

Q

Apse’s mission to use jewelry as a form of self-expression is so interesting. How do you see people using and wearing their apse pieces? 

A

I see our audience wearing their apse pieces and never taking them off, or rotating them periodically as if to mark different seasons in their life and phases of their becoming process. The thing about good jewelry is that it fills this artistic gap between fashion and tattooing; its relationship to the body is less permanent than a tattoo, but it’s often a more intimate and sentimental way to communicate your perspective than clothing is. The parts of oneself that I think are being expressed with our jewels are unique and fun-loving, but are deeper rooted and foundational pieces to one’s process. 

Q

How do sculpting and printmaking become jewelry design and creation?

A

Oh there are so many techniques and practices that carry over between them all. I personally hand-carve all of our designs first from wax, then using the lost wax casting process (an ancient technique used for metal sculpture), Jarod casts them. Printmaking also involves a lot of carving/engraving as well as occupies this middle space between 2 and 3-dimensional design, but it also requires a similar production style mentality to jewelry making via the editioning process (when you press multiples of the same print in a “production” run). Our backgrounds in these fields inform a lot of our production culture in that every piece that’s handcrafted in our studio is a little piece of art. 

Q

What I, and I think everyone, wants to know is how did you and Jarod meet? What’s the love story there?

A

We met in art school and have a bit of a tumultuous story, as two hopeless romantic artist type couples do I think. I saw a self portrait he did in a photo class displayed in the hallway about a year before meeting him and instantly fell in love, and it took him a little while longer to notice me (photo skills pay off…). We eventually “found” ourselves in the same friend group (I weaseled my way in tbh) and had a very complicated 2 year long friendship before dating, which in the end totally prepared us to be able to be married and run a business together. Jarod will tell you I was and am his favorite artist, and I would have to say the same about him.  

Q

When you founded apse, why did you decide to use recycled materials, rather than go the conventional way of others within the industry of using virgin materials?

A

Apse actually got its start using entirely repurposed materials from jewelry that I found at local thrift stores. It was a conceptual decision of mine because I wanted to create something that communicated to our customers that their story wasn’t over – life comes in chapters and you don’t need accolades or reach a certain level of healing to experience fullness or express yourself.  All my artwork at the time and for years prior surrounded the conversation of reclaimed materials (I was using materials from my childhood home renovations and furniture, abandoned neighboring homes, personal items my dog destroyed, my BFA thesis show was even titled Salvaged, etc.), so starting a new project founded on these principles and concepts made sense. I believe good design is sustainable design and products that have that extra element of consideration and care just have a much more meaningful storyline for me.

Q

How does apse relate to conscious consumerism, in your mind?

A

I would say apse has a few main touchpoints in the conscious consumerism conversation. Our pieces are designed to mark your process and encourage you to engage with your healing process, but furthermore, through most of our designs, your purchase gives back to organizations creating access to healing opportunities for marginalized communities via mental health resources, legal advocacy, and emergency care. We are entirely made-to-order, meaning every piece is handcrafted especially for you and only you, which not only cuts out any wasted product/resources, but encourages you to avoid the impulse buy and consider how much you really want the product. We want you to build a collection that is expressive, but also stands the test of time so that you can look back at the pieces you own and see a picture of how you’ve transformed. And in the case that you find a piece is not resonating with you, we have developed our production cycle to be circular, and through our swap program, we will take your old apse pieces back, recycle them into production and give you a little credit off your next apse addition.

More From Hayley Boyd

Something that got me where I am today...

Is finding the balance between what’s excellent and what’s attainable. Sustainability and creativity are about making the most with what you have, and perfectionism will get in the way of both those things.

I’m passionate about...

Being a good friend.

What I'm...

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