Have you seen the brand-new She’s the First cupcake necklaces on Etsy, inspired by last November’s Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off? The made-with-love necklaces are $20 and donate 75% back to girls’ sponsorships!
In addition to the cuteness and the cause, there’s also a fun story behind their creation that proves the power of the press. Read our interview with the designer, Ashley Osgood, and then tweet us (@shesthefirst) & her (@TheAshTree) pics of you wearing your necklace! Use it as a conversation starter to tell people about how a cupcake really can change the world.
STF: Tell us a little about yourself.
Ashley: I’m an artist and businesswoman. I graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Tufts University. I currently run an online and retail store that sells my handmade jewelry, and I also have a wedding calligraphy side business. Right now, I’m working hard in online marketing to pay off my education while living my life as creatively as possible!
STF: How did you learn about She’s the First?
Ashley: I take a train and a bus to work every day and read the Boston Metro on the way to work. I read an article featuring She’s the First, and was so inspired by their message and what they are trying to do. I looked them up when I got to work and, as I usually do with things move me, began sketching out design ideas.
STF: What drew you to She’s the First?
Ashley: I think the big sister in me (my little sister is now 16) was what responded to She’s the First. I thought, how great is this organization that cares about girls specifically, who are often denied the right to education because of their gender or living conditions. I’m a big believer also in education and the opportunities it brings.
STF: What made you decide to take action to help support She’s the First?
Ashley: After reading about She’s the First, it looked like they raised money primarily through bake sales in colleges or even middle, junior, and high schools. Being a college grad working full time without access to a school to help contribute at said bake sales, I thought I’d try something else that I could do and was good at: creative handmade jewelry.
STF: How did you come up with the idea for the cupcake necklace?
Ashley: I didn’t act on the idea right away. I found myself browsing Etsy to research and see what kind of cupcake jewelry was out there, and if there was already a design that I had a vision for. When nothing really struck me, I began to come up with my own design: a clay necklace with bright colors and fabulous rhinestone crystals. It took a few prototypes to nail the final design, but I’m so happy with how they’ve turned out!
STF: What is the process for making the cupcake necklace?
Ashley: Starting with the three clay colors — magenta, teal and white — I begin by creating the frosting and cups using silicone molds. I mix, but don’t blend, the magenta and teal to get the tie-dye look of the cupcake cup, then make a simple white “frosting” using a different mold. I press the two together, inserting a eye-loop to string the charm on a necklace. I then individually press in Swarovski rhinestones in assorted colors and shapes into the soft white “frosting.” After making a batch, I “bake” in the oven, then spray with a shiny finish to seal everything together. Then I string the cupcake on a simple silver chain necklace, and they are ready to go!
STF: How can people purchase the cupcake necklace?
Ashley: You can visit my etsy website, Ash Tree Creations, and in the “cupcake pendants” section, visit the She’s the First cupcake listing here. They are available in bulk orders, if you and your “cupcake team” all want to unite and support a cause. All cupcakes ship the same day, so you’ll be sure to get it right away!
STF: What have you learned from your involvement with She’s the First?
Ashley: Anything’s possible if you have passion and dedication. I care about this cause, as does She’s the First, and living in a world that is so connected (i.e., online and social media) makes it that much easier to connect with like-minded individuals and help make a difference.
STF: What are you the first in your family to do?
Ashley: Coming from a long family of artists, I was the first to go to Art school. My grandmother, an amazing painter, married when she was 17 and had five children. My father became a mechanic, and explored his creativity through customizing cars and motorcycles. I was the first to say, I love this and it’s what I’m passionate about — and I’m going to go for it.
STF: What advice do you have for other people that are looking to take action with She’s the First?
Ashley: She’s the First has great information about how to take action right on their website: Get a group of friends together and support one of the listings in their directory of locations. You’ll find you’ll learn a lot about each other and what you’re capable of when you’re dedicated to making a difference. I know that I did!
Interview by Rachel Molomut