Women in Business Q&A: Trisha and Amy, ASH+AMES

ASH+AMES was born from the collaborative vision of two friends, Trisha and Amy, in their continued efforts to help women like themselves live better, more balanced and complete lives.

Together, Trisha & Amy wrote three best-selling books including "I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids." Their candid, empathetic voice hit a nerve among moms nationwide and led to them being featured on programs such as Oprah, The Today Show and 20/20.

On the heels of that success, the two found themselves asking a question familiar to all women and mothers, "What's my next chapter?" Their answer became ASH + AMES, a brand focused on inspiring women to balance their personal needs with the fulfillment of developing a business of their own, empowering female artisans around the globe and giving back to developing countries.

Tell us about ASH + AMES and the story behind its creation.
We've worked together for 10 years and have always been driven by the desire to empower women. We've co-authored three best-selling books (I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids, Dirty Little Secrets From Otherwise Perfect Moms and I'd Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper), and have Executive Produced a TV show for Lifetime (based on the books).

After that, we asked ourselves the question of 'what's our next chapter?' We weren't sure - and at the same time had started traveling to Haiti repeatedly to volunteer. We noticed that female Haitian artisans were creating these gorgeous cuffs out of discarded cow horn, and we bought them for our friends, who also loved them. That sparked an idea - what if we could launch a luxe jewelry brand that supports female artisans around the globe, while giving back to developing countries? That's how ASH + AMES was born.

How is ASH + AMES different to other brands?
We're the first brand to curate high end, special pieces from female artisans around the globe and offer them to our audience via next gen social retail (Ambassadors around the country who sell ASH + AMES via cocktail parties, pop up boutiques, 1:1 selling). Our model doesn't include brick and mortar for a reason; this way, we're able to better support our Ambassadors and artisans.

Tell us about the inspiration behind your designs and the creative process.
We get inspiration from a lot of different sources - traveling around the globe to spectacular places finding our artisans (from Sri Lanka to Paris to Haiti), living in two fantastic urban cities (Amy's in New York and Trisha's in Chicago), even our families. When we're together we share our thoughts and start to brainstorm what we want the next season to look like.

What tips can you offer those who are seeking to start a business with a friend?
We were warned not to partner with a good friend many times! For us, it's been an amazing journey of growth, learning, mutual respect and creativity. Our union works because we're open and honest with each other, and we understand what our strengths and weaknesses are. We're almost always instinctually on the same wavelength (most people can't tell us apart on the phone!) yet our skill sets differ in a truly complimentary way. It's a really good marriage.

Who would you love to see wearing one of your designs?
We're thrilled that Beyonce and Jessica Alba are coveting our pieces! We continue to get requests for our jewelry from inspirational women who love our mission, which is what makes us happy.

What are you hoping to achieve in 2015?
2015 for us is all about brand awareness - ensuring that women nationwide know who ASH + AMES is, so that we can grow our support of our female artisans and give substantially back to Haiti, our first developing country.

Describe ASH + AMES in three words.
Gorgeous. Global. Giving.