We Made it: Our new beginning on the Emerald Coast!

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Donny & Kids Grayton Beach 30A

 

 

Its been a while! Lets catch up.

A few months ago the last you heard about was us getting our business up & going with the dream of relocating to the sea. Well, guess what.. WE DID IT! (We actually… did it.)  We decided to sell most of our bigger ticket belongings, donate the rest and pack what was left of our life into countless boxes to hit the road to our favorite place. The gulf coast of Florida on the 30A panhandle. Donny had made the long (long, long, LONG… lol) drive first with our dog Bella, a moving truck and his best friend. Myself and our kids flew to meet him 5 days later. And it was a BIG reunion.

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Destin Florida Jetties at Sunset

 

If it can happen, it will…

We have been officially Floridians since October. With in our first 2 weeks we had been baptized by fire through car trouble, horrible red tide and then Hurricane Michael which was a catastrophic CAT4. We were spared – unfortunately our neighbors to the east were not. I am extremely proud to be apart of  a community who without hesitation helps their neighbor in the darkest of hours. Despite all of these immediate hardships we pushed through and are now sitting at present day. The time between has been filled with nightly exploring, photography, documenting our journey, chasing sunsets, going to the beach, spending time with friends, experiencing our first holidays alone and putting our heart and soul into our business, Preston Belle Designs.

 

The future of Preston Belle Designs

We have met incredible people! I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been to network, reach out and build partnerships with other artisans and jewelry shops here along the gulf coast. The people we have met are the nicest and most kind, caring and like minded individuals. Especially in our industry! The future of Preston Belle Designs relies on the business partnerships we have established in jewelry repair (and will continue to establish) and also in Donny’s very unique and one of a kind artistry of hand engravings and jewelry making! I have to say the future is looking bright! This is why we came here. To be among those who are just like us. The dreamers, the doers, the entrepreneurs,the risk takers, the artisans, the photographers, the writers and the creative souls who are the heart beat of the Emerald Coast. We are both very much looking forward to the future!

 

If you have any questions about our experience thus far don’t forget to reach out and give a shout!

With Love,

xoxo

 

Ashley

The Good, the Bad & All of the Struggles in Between: A Recap of the last three Months

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Donny Jenkins: Professional Bench Jeweler, Craftsman & Artisan

The last time you may have read our blog we had just came back from our first family trip to Gatlinburg TN! Since our return it has been nothing short of strictly business. When you decide to leave the corporate world of the 9-7 grind to pursue your own ambitions, dreams, goals and business ideas you are in a euphoric state of endless hopes and possibilities. Eventually — the very real hardness of what it is that you set out to do and accomplish becomes more like climbing a freezing mountain and less like an easy target. You enter a world of the good, the bad and all the struggles in between. You wake up every day and you trek that mountain. You brave the storms, the falling rocks and the exhaustion of fighting like hell to make all of your hard work come into fruition. Its a journey only a select few can understand. I really admire those who have climbed this Everest before us. Because with out you – my fellow entrepreneurs, dreamers and visionaries, this path would seem utterly impossible.

The Good: Over the past few months we have had the ability to connect with some really amazing customers and incredibly helpful & kind like minded people in the jewelry biz. Friends of ours have also helped to spread the “word” and send business our way (Thank you!)  And if it wasnt for the support of each other – pushing one another to give our all every single day and show up to pour our hearts into this business – I’m not really sure what.. Its no secret that we are beach people and have the dream and relentless drive to move our family to the sea. Two of the connections we have built over these past three months have been in the location we are going towards in the Gulf of Mexico along the beautiful Emerald Coast. We are people of faith and truly believe that those placed in our lives are not always just by a friendly coincidence – but rather for a very real purpose along our journey by the Man upstairs. OR… It really IS a coincidence and a hell of a good one! Either way, we feel so happy and blessed to have connected. With Donny as long time professional bench jeweler and artisan it is our goal to build lasting relationships to be able to serve other businesses through design and repair and people in our communities to the best of our ability. Jewelery after all – is not just a noun. It is a feeling, an emotion and a memory to cherish forever.

The Bad & All the Struggles In Between: Man. Oh man, the bad. “Sure! We are totally fine!” The lie we so easily catch ourselves saying to those around us more often then not. Or – perhaps its not a lie afterall and it’s our own way for us to cope through all of the financial strain, stress, pressures, fear and unexpected speed bumps along the way. No one said climbing this metaphorical entrepreneur mountain was going to be easy. We just have faith that when we reach a higher altitude, breathe that air and look down at how far we have fought to come it will be worth it. For Donny. For me. For our two children. For us all. It is hard to go from working a day job and still financially struggling ( you know.. making barely enough to survive yet too much to get help. The boat so many of us have been in or are currently living now) to still struggling but in more ways then before with even more on our plates. It takes a lot of grit, hustle, hope, faith and the DESIRE for more to survive this. And I know we will! You see – People like to mask the hard shit. The struggle. The ‘behind the scenes’ of a high light reel. You don’t often see the blood, the sweat and the tears. The sleepless nights full of worry or the bandaged hands behind the fight. It’s important to us to be raw and honest with you about our journey. From the beginning to the end. The good, the bad and all the struggles in between. And one day the view from the top of that mountain, our Everest.

 

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We have two of the best reasons in the world to never give up. And why you never will see us do so! Life is short. We have experienced many hardships together. And every day together is something that we are so grateful for. Then, now and always.

If you have made it this far reading our blog and have any questions please dont hesitate to ask!

With Love,

Ashley @PBD

Our First Shop Update of April!

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be”

Hello April! The first week of this month we kicked off our shops first natural turquoise collection. Hours upon hours of craftsmanship went into each individual unique one of a kind piece. Nothing was pre-fabricated and every detail was 100% HANDMADE. I think that is something really special, don’t you?! Feel free to take a closer look at our current shop listings here at prestonbelledesigns.bigcartel.com/  or here at Etsy on our second shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/PrestonBelleDesigns 

We are looking forward to our next shop update AND blog post about our recent trip to the mountains for a quick get away full of inspiration!

With Love,

Ashley @PBD

We’re Open! So, now what?

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“Sometimes there is no next time, no second chance, no time out. Sometimes it is now or never.”

We’re Open! So now what?…

The future of Preston Belle for us holds many things. From wax carvings, castings, metal work, Jewelry design, collaborations and stone cutting  – all the way to family travel – we are ready for whatever comes our way. Being a new up and coming business based out of Dayton, Ohio we are humbled to be surrounded by so many talented artists, shops and this booming – creative – mind – culture. A place where there is room for us all to create and celebrate each others artistry and abilities.

When you set your “We’re Open!” sign up you have NO idea what will actually happen. You just work like hell and hope for the best. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? That’s because it IS my friends, it is. You roll the dice and risk it all to run down and chase the dream. Your dream. There’s never going to be a right time. The time is now. “Sometimes there is no next time, no second chance, no time out. Sometimes it is now or never.”

Up in the shop currently we have several 925 pieces that will be showcased over the next few weeks. We are already planning our next additions and I see some really gorgeous stones in our near future. Here are a few of our items! Each piece is and will always be hand made and crafted with care… and badassery.

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Sterling Silver Octopus Ring
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Sterling Silver Buffalo Nickel Coin Ring
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1 toz Sterling Silver Skull Ring
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Sterling Silver Scroll & Skull Ring
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GANGS ALL HERE!

If you want to know more about the creating process let us know!

With Love,

Ashley @ PBD

 

Makin’ some noise.

Preston Belle
“Pursue some path, no matter how narrow or crooked, in which you can walk in love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau

Hey friends – Its me Ashley, wife and partner here at Preston Belle. We have been diligently busy makin’ some noise & tying up some lose ends before D-Day. In the last blog post you may have read what it’s really been like for us to quit the 9-5 grind and start our own bizzzz. From the ups and downs to unexpected bumps in the road – let me be the first one to tell you – that shit does NOT go away.  (Insert laugh here. Its okay, I am too. ) Its seems to be apart of the territory so I wanted to give you a quick update to let you know we are movin’- and- a – groovin’ forward! Slower than anticipated, but full steam ahead. Our first pieces are done and ready to go UP this weekend on our website, Instagram and more. Buffalo nickel coin rings, one of a kind skull rings made from original carved wax, nautical octopus rings and scroll work bands are up on the menu to start. All hand made, all Sterling Silver and all original works of art by Donny Jenkins.

The pieces that will come out of our shop will be unique and all will vary in style. But one thing that will always remain the same is the care, time, effort and love put into each item. If you arent already make sure to come say “hi” on the Gram’ at @PrestonBelleDesigns! Catch you soon!

With Love,

Ashley @PBD

 

What is it REALLY like to quit your day job and start your own business…?

 

What is it really like to quit your day job and start your own business? I’ll tell you…

Scary as hell. But worth it.

For years we had dreamed and fantasized about my husband leaving his job as an 18 year veteran Bench Jeweler to start his own business. He was amazing at what he did at the bench. And at home in what little free time he did have between the balancing act of a job, fatherhood and being a husband – he became a self-taught custom hand engraving artist, also. At first it was just a conversation in passing without much merit until the years passed and the stresses mounted. His life of being the “Great and Powerful Oz” behind the curtain began to take its toll. I could see his once clean pressed work shirt slowly evolve into a noose he wore around his neck day after day. A work horse, if you will, of building the dream of another instead of building his own. With intense pressures, work loads, mountains of stress and high company expectations a top producing jeweler faces inside of a major corporation – we knew our time was now or never to make the leap into freedom. Our freedom.

With two kids, himself and me to support – – we had some serious soul-searching to do. Could we even do this? Would we be able to earn an income? How would we financially back our business with only ourselves to lean on? Would our kids be okay? Would we fail? Would we succeed? How the hell do we do this? What would we tell our families!? – Did we even care and did that even matter anymore…

Our decision came after we realized all of those questions and concerns played second fiddle to the life we were currently living. We wanted a NEW beginning, a brighter future, adventure, travel, life by the sea and happiness. For that to happen we had to be brave enough to take our lives back into our own hands – so we did. We met with our CPA for guidance and probably a little “You can do this!” pat on the back before we jumped. The following day my husband quit his job – pulled out our retirement – and we hit the road running into the light chasing a better tomorrow. The rest is history. Sort of… We have a long ways to go!

Believe me, these decisions didn’t come without fear or apprehension. But we as a husband and wife – mother and father – knew that for our family this was our path and the direction we wanted to pour ourselves into. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali

There have been MANY bumps in our road so far. From illnesses, to insurance. From finances to vehicle break downs. From purchasing equipment to all the unsexy detail work of running a business with love –  we have experienced what seems like a lifetime of getting unexpected kinks worked out in just a few short months. I’m pretty sure this comes with the territory of entrepreneurialism and more will happen over time. But as for now we are heading into calmer waters and sailing off into our official launch this month! Exciting, amiright’?!

 

With love,

xoxo

Ashley

 

Is this thing on? *Tap Tap

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Hand engraved Skull Art Hobo Nickel by Donny Jenkins @ Preston Belle Designs

 

 

Hello there, I’m Donny Jenkins; Metalsmith, jewelry designer, custom engraving artist, husband, dad and owner of Preston Belle Designs.  This is my very first blog. Is this thing on? *Tap Tap. I was a bench jeweler & gold smith for 17 years working in the corporate box until November 17th, 2017. I made the decision with the support of my wife to leave the 9-7 grind to build my own business and life by design. I knew as an artist this was the direction I wanted to go in so I could creatively expand and produce one of a kind handcrafted pieces. Collectively as a family we knew we wanted to travel, live a fuller life together, construct our own vision and no longer be tied down to building someone else’s dreams – but rather put in the work to build our own.

My studio is home based where I create through castings, hand engraving, metal art, and jewelry making. I’m looking forward to sharing with you about my engravings, my jewelry pieces, castings and about our life in this new adventure and where it takes us!  Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog!