Who are you? & can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Ashleigh Becker, the heart and hands behind Sela Designs. I have big dreams for changing the world and giving big. Most days you can find me hanging out with my husband + four kids and making jewelry during naptimes, a cup of coffee and cookie in hand. Some think I’m super mom but really, I’m just a regular girl who will use any excuse to not fold the laundry.
What exactly is Sela Designs?
Sela Designs in a non-profit jewelry company that donates 100% of profit to charity. We love caring for orphans, working to end modern day slavery and showing mercy to those in need of a fresh start. Every piece of jewelry is handmade using primarily tagua nuts (sustainably sourced from Ecuador), leather and metal accents.
What inspired you to start Sela Designs?
I wanted to be able to give generously to causes that are important to me, but living on one income and having young kids made that difficult. I decided to start selling jewelry that I enjoyed making to friends and family and it grew from there. I still work primarily during naptime and after my kids go to bed. How did you come up with the name?
How did you come up with the name?
There isn’t a great story behind the name – I wish there was. Haha. Sela is an old Hebrew word for stone. When I first started making jewelry I used a lot of cool stones.
You donate all profits to end slavery, care for orphans and show mercy, can you tell us about that?
I grew up in a very generous home. My parents gave their time, talents, money rather freely for things they believed in, plus our door was always open to people in need, so I come by it honestly.
Last holiday season we raised enough money to fully fund a rescue mission through International Justice Mission (IJM), which was like a dream come true. IJM later called me to say that they had rescued two girls who had been sold for sex for the past six months and local police arrested several traffickers. It was humbling to hear those words and know that I was able to contribute to those girls being rescued.
On a monthly basis we support 2 children’s homes in Africa, a local organization that offers housing and life skills training, plus a maternity home working to care for girls from the worst slum in Kenya. I hope to soon add IJM to our monthly giving as well.
Is there a favorite product?
There is actually a best selling necklace called “The Favorite Necklace” because it is the bestseller of all time. It’s a beautiful collection of tagua nuts that are irresistible. Truth be told, I’m an earrings girl myself and on most days lately I’m wearing The Delilah Leather Earrings and The Known Necklace (a minimal disc necklace with my kids initials).
What is your favorite part about running Sela Designs?
I love creating and designing, no doubt about it. Truly, my absolute favorite thing though, is building a community of like-minded people. It’s amazing to see this tribe of people coming together to wear jewelry that raises awareness and is changing the world. I love when I get to meet people in person at events and see their faces as they choose jewelry. It’s so amazing.
What is your least favorite part about running Sela Designs?
The hardest part for me is building stock. I love creating a piece and making it once or twice, but not after that. I’m working on training someone else to help with some of the making so I can focus on design and other tasks.
How do you spread the word about your company?
Social media has been amazing for me. As a full-time mom of 4, I don’t have the time to do a lot of in-person events. Sela Designs has really grown in the last 2-3 years largely because of social media, specifically Instagram.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Remember that even baby steps in the right direction will get you where you want to go. Don’t give up because you think things aren’t happening fast enough. Behind every successful brand or entrepreneur is years of hard work that no one saw. Success very rarely happens overnight. Look at the progress you have made and keep going!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? :)
“Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them towards acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.” Hebrews 10:24
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
If you have a dream or an idea, don’t be afraid to start small. Start where you are and with what you have. Do the best you can with what you have and then when you know to do better, do better.