In 2011 I started this brand with a firmly entrenched idea about what it was to be a goldsmith/entrepreneur/designer and even more so about what it meant to wear all those hats. How wrong I was and how delighted I am in this learning over the last ten years. I began with the belief that being an artisan would mean a career working alone in a small studio, that there was something authentic about the solo artist, something romantic even.
I was young then, my sleeves had holes in them for my thumbs because that was how artists dressed, or at least that was how art school graduates dressed and that in my mind was the same thing (spoiler alert, it’s not).
But somewhere along the line (perhaps even just a few months in although I never noticed at the time) this little company grew beyond me, it took on a life far more compelling than anything I alone could bring to the table. It has grown and it has shrunk, it has morphed and shifted and wandered off in strange directions before finding its way back again. It is not mine; it never really was, it belongs to everyone who works in and alongside it. That is just how it should be and as our team grows the unsettled feeling of bearing my name, ‘ashley heather’, has grown too.
There is never a perfect time for a rebrand, it’s always scary. What if this, what if that, what if we lose everything we have built over the last ten years? But I’m not so worried about the last ten years anymore (nothing like a global pandemic for a bit of perspective). I’m far more interested in the next ten. So please welcome, AuTerra, the new Us for this new phase!
Au (pronounced just as what it is- ‘ore’), the atomic symbol for gold and Terra, Latin for earth, roughly translates to golden earth, well gold earth if you want to be pedantic but allow me a bit of poetic licence will you? This new name encapsulates everything we stand for, a deep love for this planet and our craft. It is a name that wedged itself into our imaginations and wouldn’t let go and so here we are, AuTerra Jewellery.
Our name has changed, our packaging has changed and we’ve had to order new signs but really everything else is very much the same. All our pieces are still lovingly handcrafted in gold and silver recycled from e-waste. We still believe in creating easy wearing heirlooms. We still believe process, sustainability and community matters. But we are now just a little bit less of a Me and a little more of a We.
I really hope you like the name and are as excited by this new chapter as I am.