Textile Artist & Stylist, Ashley Helvey, invited me inside her beautiful home for a cup of tea. I photographed her fantastic shoe collection, discussed what brought her to the Pacific Northwest, and what she never leaves the house without.
What brought you to Seattle?
I moved here from San Francisco because my boyfriend was finishing his masters degree in computational linguistics at UW and I was excited to try living somewhere totally new.
You're a textile artist. What inspires your art? Where can we find it?
I'm inspired by processes- physically and spiritually. Felting and weaving are almost meditative in that way. I am working on an installation at Kaleidoscope Vision at the end of this month which includes some plant hangers, ceramics, and textiles that I'm really excited about.
Besides being a textile artist you also have an incredible style blog, Hunter Gatherer(er) and have styled shoots for Kinfolk Magazine. What was it like styling a dinner party in Seattle's Smith Tower?
To be honest, looking back I feel like it was a bit contrived. There is something about "styling" shoots that it takes away the authenticity of a place, which I think is what makes spaces actually interesting. I guess I prefer to see spaces in their unaltered states. Over-styling can almost seem dishonest in a way.
What have been some of your favorite styling projects? Why?
Probably working with Totokaelo. It's so rare to be able to work with any kind of decent merchandise in Seattle!
What's your current occupation?
I currently am an assistant stylist for Nordstrom Creative Marketing. It's always a challenge to find a balance between what you love to do and what pays your bills. I find styling to be a great outlet to meet amazing people, work with fashion, and collaborate on creative projects. Also, a few years ago I realized that making money from from my artwork totally changed the way I worked in a way that wasn't quite as pure or productive. Realizing that took a lot of pressure off and made my work more enjoyable.