“My Grandmother was the major inspiration for my business,” explains Ashley Schoenith. “I grew up with all things made-from-scratch – it’s all I knew. I was always cooking and baking with her and my mom.”Schoenith was looking for a way to spend more time with her Grandmother, who was a wonderful seamstress; they began sewing aprons together around her kitchen table. That business actually began 12 years ago as Ice Milk Aprons. In 2012 she rebranded to Heirloomed and expanded into more than just aprons. “The heart of my products have always been special details that help people to use them, love them and pass them down, becoming heirlooms in their own family.”
Born and raised in the South, this 8th generation Floridian, has deep roots here. “This region is truly a part of who I am. I’ve never lived anywhere else and this way of life is engrained in my soul,” she says. “You can certainly see the influence the South has had on it. I try to be so authentic in what we are putting out there and it’s just who I am.” She remembers her childhood in a very nostalgic way. History, old things and vintage pieces continue to inspire her work. From creating products like biscuit cutters, to the content and stories they tell on their website (the Southern Kitchen Bucket List series) history continues to play an important role.
Schoenith comes from a background in advertising and brand marketing so her approach to design is rooted in storytelling. “I love finding things or pieces that inspire me and then coming up with products, packaging or design elements that help to celebrate that little slice of history. I always carry a notebook with me to jot down ideas or draw sketches.”
Heirloomed style is very simple with its muted, neutral color palette. There’s something of a farmhouse simplicity but with a nod to vintage craftsman and nostalgic design. Schoenith loves mixing old with new so things don’t feel dated but instead like they have a story to tell.
With the success of Heirloomed, Schoenith reflects, “People seem to really relate to the nostalgia of our brand. I think folks connect to the simple days of the past and are trying to find ways to slow down and create memories for their own families, or to find a meaningful gift that someone will really appreciate. I think that is what really makes us special.”
The mission for Schoenith is to keep heirlooms around for another generation. “I like to think that this helps us to keep the story and history of things alive and thriving.”
With all that’s going on Schoenith contemplates, “I’m just really thankful to be doing what I love and have people connect with it. I think that is what is so great about this community, it is so supportive and there is so much going on here in the South that should be celebrated. I’m excited to witness to it all.”
Heirloomed is available through their website in addition to many independent shops and retailers across the country.