Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Scarf Spotlight : ash & dans

This week, just when you need that perfect layering piece for Spring, we're thrilled to feature ash&dans, a line of darling embellished jersey scarves and accessories created by two fellow Wash. U. alums, Ashley Cook and Danielle Dankner. The pieces have been worn by everyone from Jessica Alba to Lena Dunham, and it's easy to see why: the scarves showcase feminine styling and details but feel like a favorite vintage tee. Below, some faves from the Spring 2013 line, as well as an interview with the designers. Enjoy!

All scarves featured can be found at http://ashanddans.com/

Celeste & Pearl: What inspires your designs?
ash&dans: Everything inspires our designs; we find inspiration in everything around us.  
Danielle: I always wonder what it would be like to live in Ashley’s brain. She comes up with the most amazing ideas; it’s fun to watch her in action browsing through colored jerseys and embellished trims.

Together, we collaborate on honing in on the best pieces that will make a cohesive collection. Ashley's style is definitely crazy, colorful and bold, whereas my style is much more muted and simple.  Everyone loves quoting our blurb from our website that pretty much sums it all up: "When Ash, the color-loving Coloradan, and Dans, the nothing-but-black-wearing New Yorker, married their distinct styles and personalities, ash&dans was born, the perfect blend of classic and cool."

We always seem to hit the trend right before we know it exists. Feathers in 2009, neons in 2012.  Whatever it is, we somehow see it or feel it before it's hot.  Perhaps it's just a sixth sartorial sense.

C & P: What is the hardest part about running your own business?
ash&dans: One of the biggest challenges was dealing with all of the haters and disbelievers in the beginning. A lot of people would smirk or question our legitimacy when we first told them we were starting a scarf company, but after all of our success, they’re not smirking anymore. I think people are genuinely impressed with how we’ve built up our company from scratch, with not outside help or investments, and garnered a celebrity following. It’s pretty amazing when we step back and look at what we’ve accomplished in just over four years.

C & P: What has been the most rewarding part of ash&dans? 
ash&dans: There are moments when it really hits us – hey, we actually started a business! When you have your own business, most days you just go about your day and don’t really think about how “cool” it is, but when you see your first celebrity wearing your product, or read your first mention or feature in the press, it really is an unbelievable feeling.
Leighton Meester was the first celebrity to be photographed wearing one of our scarves on the set of Gossip Girls. I think we jumped and screamed for at least an hour when we first saw her on our computer screen wearing our Niki navy jersey scarf with black lace trim. We didn’t even have our website built at the time; we were in beta mode, more or less. I think it was at that moment when we realized this is actually going to be something big, let’s do this!

Another awesome moment was our feature on the Today Show. Jill Martin offered our scarves on her Steals and Deals segment for a mother’s day special. We thought it was pretty cool to see our scarves on national television, but we had no idea what the response would be like. We sold 3,000 scarves in 24 hours from that segment. I think that was one of our best and worst moments. Best for obvious reasons, worst because we were suddenly catapulted into producing quantities we never imagined in such a short period of time. Our manufacturer in New York is unbelievable and she got it all done in time.

We can't wait to see what these ladies do next!  For more information or to purchase ash&dans, visit http://ashanddans.com/.

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