Young jewelry designer overcomes mental health issues to build a formidable jewelry empire
Founder of A.MARIE Inc., Ashley Marie, reveals how she was able to overcome her battles with physical and mental health to create an empire in the jewelry market
Ashley Marie was not the best of students while in high school. She struggled with math but excelled in English, art, and other extracurricular activities. Ashley was always different even as a kid, as she loved to hang out with people that were way older than her. She started designing jewelry at the age of 8 and gradually built the business, with support coming from her mother who made her take a jewelry making class at their local craft store.
Ashley’s growth is particularly remarkable, considering the mental and physical challenges she had to go through growing up. She was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the age of 13. However, jewelry design worked amazingly well as a therapy for her. Going into college, Ashley was practically forced to stop her passion. Cramming her brain and energy into reading, a task constantly made her feel bad.
“I remember studying for hours for an exam and when I got it back with a huge F on it, I ran to the bathroom and called my mom crying saying I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Why can’t I do this? I didn’t just get a B or a C, I straight up FAILED the exam,” said Ashley Marie.
While Ashley dealt with several challenges, she constantly showed her determination to overcome every situation. “All I knew was that I KNEW no matter the situation I was in, I always got myself out of it and could take care of myself. Mental health issues and all. I ALWAYS found a way to do what I needed to get done. I have this fighter/ survivor inside of me. That was enough to know and to take that risk- I have always believed I have what it takes to ALWAYS make it,” Ashley said.
Ashley remained oblivious of her troubles until she visited a psychiatrist and a psychologist, thanks to the pressure from her university, CLU. It was discovered that Ashley was suffering from ADHD and “learning disabilities.” Apparently, her brain has been overwhelmed trying to accomplish what most people consider the simplest of tasks.
Thankfully, ADHD did not deter Ashley from designing jewelry as it was discovered that ADHD uses a completely different part of the brain.