I am always so inspired by stories where people rise after falling, overcome adversity and have the strength to turn something negative into something positive. From tragedy to triumph, this is one of the most inspirational stories I have heard in a long time and it is very near and dear to my family’s heart.
When David and I were looking for a wedding venue several years ago, we looked and looked and nothing gave me the feeling of “omg THIS is it!”. That is until we came across a venue that was in the process of being built. It was called Loriana Ranch and it was love at first sight (even if it was mostly a construction site at the time). I knew what was to come would be spectacular and that it had to be the place where David and I said our vows.
I not only fell in love with the venue, but I fell in love with the family building it. To say the Gillespie’s are nice people would be a vast understatement. They are some of the most genuine, good-hearted people we’ve ever met. And incredibly hard workers at that. Although Loriana Ranch wasn’t quite open yet, they happily welcomed David and I to be the first official couple to get married there, and we were ecstatic!
The Gillespie family worked so hard to bring their vision to life just in time for our wedding day – September 7, 2013. The day was absolutely perfect. It was everything I had ever dreamed of and everyone was blown away at the how beautiful Loriana Ranch was. The family still had big plans for the venue to make it even better and would officially be open for business in 2015.
However, in April of 2015, there was a horrible fire that occured at Loriana Ranch. The family had worked tirelessly for four years and were two weeks away from being open.
Although it is still unknown who started the fire, they do know that it was a trespasser who snuck onto the property late one night and started a fire in the newly finished (and gorgeous) groom’s cabin. The fire burned down the entire groom’s cabin, all the men’s and women’s bathrooms, and destroyed almost two years’ worth of work. There was no fire insurance, and the Gillespie family was devastated, as were we.
There were a lot of gorgeous copper elements, which were used in the interior (sinks and a kitchen hood) and Danyelle Forbes (who has been dating Tyler Gillespie for several years) figured there had to be a way to use that material and turn this horrible occurrence into something positive, which is exactly what she did.
She started watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, and soon started creating a few simple pieces of jewelry made with the copper pieces found in the ashes. She appropriately named the jewelry line “From The Ashes Designs“.
The pieces incorporate copper metal, chrysocolla stones, quartz crystals, and most recently turquoise beads on the wire wrapped rings. And let me just say, they are gorgeous!!
Her initial goal was to raise money and donate it back to the venue. From May 2015-Dec 2015, the line made just over $5,000 profit …. a very impressive amount, but when looking at the cost of an entire building, $5k wouldn’t cover much. So instead, Danyelle and the Gillespie family decided the money would have a much bigger impact to charities. She split the profits in half and donated to Lifewater in SLO, and Life Impact International (a charity that works to save children from human trafficking in Thailand). Isn’t that amazing?! So inspiring.
I am SO in love with this jewerly, you guys. Not only because of the incredible story behind it, but because of the unique and authentic look. It truly is one-of-a-kind.
The pieces I am wearing are the small triangle necklace, which is a small copper triangle on a delicate copper-plated chain. She can also customize them. She customized mine with a small “D” and “L” for my girl’s names as well as a heart. Love love!
The longer piece is the chrysocolla necklace, which combines chrysocolla and malachite. The chain used is antiqued copper.
The line is continuing to grow, and you can buy pieces on her website (www.shopfromtheashes.com), or at Assets Studios (a barre fitness studio) in San Luis Obispo. You can also follow the line’s Instagram account @from.the.ashes.designs or find it on Facebook!
She has also graciously offered an exclusive PROMO CODE to all Mommamosa readers! If you decide to purchase one of her pieces, use the promo code “MOMMAMOSA” at checkout to receive a 15% discount!! *Valid until June 30th.
As great as it was to re-visit the ranch with my family, it was really hard to see the damage that had been done to such a beautiful place and to such an amazing family. However, I love that Danyelle has been such a shining light in all of this and that the family has stayed strong and is in the process of rebuilding the venue to be even better!