John Eric and Ashlee met during college at the University of Colorado in Boulder. They quickly became best friends and a year later they were madly in love. After college, they moved to Washington, DC for a great job for John Eric. While in DC, Ashlee started teaching herself how to make jewelry during the evenings and weekends.
Ashlee started selling her handmade jewelry on Etsy on a whim in February of 2009 and had a lot of success. So much success that after seven months of doing it part-time, she quit her day job to focus solely on jewelry. Ashlee began stocking local boutiques with her jewelry and John Eric and Ashlee started selling the jewelry at local farmer’s markets and craft shows.
Soon after Ashlee became a self-employed jewelry maker, they moved from DC to Georgia in 2010 so John Eric could work on his Grandmother’s Mayoral Campaign and a year later start law school. John Eric also decided to go after a Master’s degree along with his law degree. Somehow despite his demanding studying schedule these past few years, John Eric moved from being Ashlee's biggest cheerleader to becoming a business partner. John Eric kept up with his intense grad school schedule, yet was putting in over 40-hour work weeks helping to grow J & A Wares to its current success. Through their determination and vision, they expanded beyond jewelry to keychains and coffee mugs.
In May of 2015, John Eric graduated from his final year of law school at Georgia State University along with his Master’s program in City and Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. He earned both his JD and MA in four years along with working full-time at J & A Wares.
Ashlee handles the jewelry making end of the business. John Eric takes the reins with all the metal-stamping, coffee mug making and bookkeeping. Together, they share the duties of raising their 9-month old son, Ryder Stone and coming up with hilarious things to slap on coffee mugs.
They currently live in Decatur, Georgia and have a work studio in East Atlanta Village. All items are made by hand, by them and as much as they try to get their 7-month old to pitch in, he continues to be their lazy employee.
They have two Etsy shops together, sell at craft shows throughout Georgia and have their products in 15 boutiques throughout the South. They have wholesale experience working with smaller boutiques and salons as well as larger wholesale experience dealing with the international chain, Anthropologie.