Jewelry holds a unique power in a wardrobe. It can complement an outfit or be the statement of the whole look. In chain stores like LOFT and Francesca’s, as well as small local clothing boutiques, there usually is a section dedicated to necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets.
Unlike the clothes section though, there is no range for jewelry sizes. It is typically a mix-match of different jewelry all labeled one-size-fits-all. Trying on jewelry at these stores is a gamble, leaving customers often dismayed at bracelets that won’t clasp around their wrists or rings that don’t fit.
Rebekka Asher and Heather Leavitt experienced this problem too many times. Friends since meeting in college at UCLA, Leavitt and Asher took it upon themselves to make jewelry that would be more inclusive to a range of body sizes.
“As two plus-size women,” Leavitt says. “We had trouble finding bracelets that fit. We both always loved being crafty so we decided to start making our own.”
The duo co-founded their virtual jewelry store based in Phoenix in 2019 and aptly named it Leavitt & Asher. At first on Etsy and later creating their own site, they sell earrings, bracelets and necklaces, with options for customers to make jewelry pieces that can be customized to desired measurements.
“Customers can contact us via our website or social media with their request,” Leavitt says. “Customers can request a specific stone or color. Then they choose a metal and they can look through our website or Instagram for a design that inspires them.
The jewelry is affordably priced too, with ring prices starting at $25, and most standard pieces they sell are under $100. Each Leavitt & Asher piece is uniquely handcrafted and created primarily with wire, beads and gemstones.
“Our wire-wrapped creations are different from anything we’ve seen locally,” Leavitt says.
Wirework was incorporated into their jewelry-making following their store launch. After learning how to work with it, wire is now one of their signature features to their pieces. Depending on the complexity and size of stones, each piece can take one to six hours to create.
“We try to source materials locally as much as possible,” Leavitt says about the process of making their pieces, and jokingly adds, “sometimes we say the stones choose us.”
When not creating jewelry and running a business, Leavitt and Asher are both full-time teachers. As their Instagram reads, “Teachers by day, Artists by night.” Their love to teach allowed Leavitt & Asher jewelry to expand to classes and events that teach people how to make jewelry.
Leavitt explains, “We believe jewelry making can be relaxing and therapeutic, so we want to share that with people.”
And while the pandemic did put their jewelry classes on hold for a time, Leavitt and Asher were able to reallocate their focus towards promoting their company.
“As teachers, we both ended up working from home for a while during the pandemic, which gave us some more time to make jewelry,” Leavitt says. “We also, of course, lost the ability to do in-person events so we started to focus on our social media and we launched our own website.”
Leavitt & Asher’s account now has over 13,000 followers on Instagram. They also ship their jewelry all over the U.S. — shipping is free for orders over $35 — and to multiple continents. In fact, one of their most memorable custom orders was from a man in Germany who requested a protection amulet.