Pearls by Ash

Photo: Heather Yeomans

Meagan Greene

Making it’s way into the jewelry world at Georgia Southern University is a company solely based on raising money and awareness for the Make a Wish Foundation.

This business is called Pearls By Ash.

Every amount paid for a necklace is actually a donation that goes straight to the Make a Wish Foundation, a charity that raises money for children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions in America.

“I started Pearls By Ash and all the proceeds are going to make a wish for a fun day for the kids and also to help the kids’ wishes come true,” Ashley Strutletz, owner of Pearls by Ash, said.

This trade has been a hobby for Strutletz all her life, and through her experience she determined that Pearls by Ash is the best way for her to give back.

“I’ve always loved to give and always known how to make those necklaces, and before I would just make them for my friends. So I just made them for everyone, but then I decided to put my talents to use and do something for the greater good,” Struletz said.

The necklaces themselves are intricate creations made by hand. Struletz uses a leather cutting tool to get the right length of leather for the necklace and loops that keep the freshwater pearls and other colored beads attached.

Struletz said, “The materials come from a bead store downtown in Atlanta and also online. I use my own money to buy the supplies and the money I get from the orders goes into a big envelope for make a wish.”

Pearls By Ash has spread to colleges such as the University of Georgia, University of Alabama and Ole Miss. This company is now looking to develop a wider client basis at GSU.

Struletz said, “We try to get our name out there as much as possible in order for us to raise as much money as we can. We have not yet done something through Georgia Southern but a lot of Southern girls have ordered our pearls already. We plan on getting them in little stores to sell soon.”

A few Southern students are already displaying their Pearls By Ash around campus.

Erin Schwartzendeld, freshman special education major, said, “I have the two choker-looking necklaces, one has one pearl just in the middle, the other has three pearls in the middle and the third one is a longer necklace with pearls on the bottom and then there is a pearl that you can pull up and down.”

These necklaces are more than just a fashion statement. They mean something special to everyone who buys and wears them along with the children that the donations are reaching.

Schwartzendeld said, “Knowing that the money I am paying for these necklaces is going to a great cause makes me want to buy more and makes me feel like not only am I supporting my friend but I am also giving back the the community as well which is something I love doing.”