10 questions with Steward & James
Established in 2020 and right here in Baton Rouge, Steward & James arose in the darkest of times to bring a little extra beauty and light to the local jewelry scene. Founder Ashley Dodge has hit the ground running with her growing collection of earrings, necklaces and bracelets. From delicate staples to bold, empowering statements, Dodge has crafted her line with something for everyone.
Read on to learn more about Steward & James straight from Dodge herself:
1. What inspired you to start Steward & James?
Named after my grandfathers, Steward & James has always been a dream of mine. I have always been creative with a passion for jewelry. I believe jewelry is a statement. It is one of the most important types of art in the world today. You physically live your life in it! A pair of earrings not only transforms an outfit, it also elevates your confidence. Personally, when I put on a statement piece of jewelry like earrings or a necklace, I know I have my armor on for the day and I can do anything. I want Steward & James to empower you to feel the same way!
I am a Baton Rouge native. I graduated in 2015 from LSU with a major in apparel design and a minor in business. Previously I worked for The Royal Standard as the fashion and accessories designer for the product development team. There, I learned about the lifecycle of a product from sourcing to manufacturing to packaging.
3. What kind of materials do you favor for your designs?
Steward & James is made of 14- to 18-karat gold-plated stainless steel. This allows a good quality at an affordable price.
4. What is one piece you cannot live without?
I wear the Classic Leigh earrings almost everyday. I love a good hoop earring, and these are perfect. They look thin from the front but wide on the side and are very light weight for everyday wear.
The Raquel necklace is another favorite of mine. It is a double layered necklace that is easy to dress up or dress down. Layering is on trend right now and this necklace makes it easy.
6. What is one thing you would like people to know about Steward & James that they might not be aware of?
All of the names of the pieces are after someone. It may be a friend’s name/nickname/middle name/child’s name, etc. They all come from the people who mean the most to me.
7. Where can customers find your jewelry around town?
You can shop Steward & James not only on our website but also at Billy Heroman’s.
All of the hoop earrings and bracelets have been top sellers. Customers are really responding to pieces they can wear with items in their personal collection.
9. Where do you seek inspiration for your jewelry?
I seek inspiration from a little bit of everything. I look at what people around me are wearing. I design pieces that I want to wear. I get inspired by different shapes and textures that I want to incorporate into new designs. I also get inspired by nature—there are several floral designs in the collection.
10. Can you give us a hint of anything in progress at the moment?
We are very excited to announce that we are launching our new collection on February 1! It includes 25 never-before-seen pieces. I am most excited about introducing rings into the collection.
Learn more about Steward & James and shop online at stewardandjames.com.