Entrepreneur Spotlight: Ashley Murphy of Mildred + Bernice
At age six, Ashley Murphy sat alongside her mother and learned how to sew. A purple satin dress with a matching headband later, and she was hooked. High school came along, and sure enough she took on the challenge of making her own prom dress. Taking her creativity to the next level, she earned a degree in textiles, clothing and design. Her passion for creation started small, and evolved as she progressed through life. Today, you can purchase her quality creations at her very own store, Mildred + Bernice.
Denver Style Magazine: How were you inspired to create your own jewelry, and how did you learn the creative process?
Ashley Murphy: “I began creating jewelry after searching long and hard for pieces I wanted to wear myself. I wasn't interested in big sparkly jewelry. I was mainly inspired by my travels and time spent living in New York where my love for street style blossomed into Mildred + Bernice. I first started making wood jewelry with a hacksaw in my Brooklyn apartment. Life then brought me to Denver where I learned traditional metalsmithing techniques which has opened many doors of creativity – and here we are today!”
Ashley pushes to make Mildred + Bernice a quality brand you can trust. Over the years, she has grown to appreciate quality over quantity. She values a timeless product that is to be cherished for generations. With today’s market of mass produced jewelry, quality can be hard to come by.
DSM: How has your business developed over the years?
AM: “M+B has grown up as I have grown up. As we grow older we become wiser. We begin to realize the importance of quality over quantity. We choose quality in our friends, our food and drink, our time, our clothes and even the jewelry we wear and gift. Am I right?! Becoming a metalsmith has brought my business to a new level. Now that most of the collection is made with 14-karat gold, the quality will last you a lifetime. It isn't the piece you buy, wear two times and forget about after three months. It is made with intention to be uncomplicated, effortless and timeless.”
DSM: What is the meaning behind the name you chose?
AM: “This question makes my heart smile. Mildred and Bernice were my grandmother's names. They were two women whom I admired greatly.”
A line taken directly from her website reads, “for those of you with a strong sense of style who want to feed that edgy vibe, while still maintaining sophistication, these are things you want.” After perusing Ashley’s look book, this defining statement makes perfect sense. Her designs have the ability to speak loudly with their elegance, while still giving off a vibrant sense of edge. They are made for a person with style, and class.
To wrap things up, here is a bit of inspiration from Ashley herself. From a woman who has found her calling, and can truly appreciate the natural beauty of life.
AM: “I love to love. I am so grateful for this I live and the people in it. Nothing makes my heart more full than looking back at each stage of my life appreciating where it has brought me. I love to love, and that is that!”