ASH GROVE STUDIO
MAKER: ASHLEY CHINNI
Ashley's interest in woodworking began at an early age from her grandfather, but it wasn't until later in life she realized the profound impact it had on her. Chinni started Ash Grove Studio in 2016 where she creates one-of-a-kind pieces by hand that can last a lifetime. She's inspired by everyday life that's reflected in smooth, minimal Scandinavian lines and quirky shapes. "Functional + Heritage" are the two best words that she uses to encompass her design aesthetic.
Everything Ashley creates is meant to be used and enjoyed to the fullest, just like her inspiration. Contact her to order your custom wooden piece after the interview below!
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
My best customers are currently Austinites! They’re the ones helping my business grow and I get to see all of their beautiful faces when we connect in person.
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
My best inspirational moments come from the environment/mindset I put myself in and music is a MUST. Huge Ben Howard junkie. Ryan Adams is the man! I’m also a sucker for oldies. Ella Fitz, Frank, Dean, Muddy Waters, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Cash, and so many more really make my day!
GO TO MID-DAY SNACK or ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
Chips + Salsa/Guac hits the spot for those mid day snack cravings. Creative fuel is found from getting outdoors in any way possible, but the usual choice is hitting local trails on my mountain bike with the hubs.
MUST-SEE RECOMMENDATION FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO AUSTIN
Pretty much all of south congress is where it’s at. I’m all about food + drinks! There is a lot of talent and design that goes into this makeup of this city, just look around in almost every establishment you step foot in.
WHY DO YOU CALL AUSTIN HOME
Austin became home to follow a job for my husband. Not sure I can’t imagine living anywhere else in Texas now. We’re addicted.
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE or TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
COFFEE, black. FOR LIFE. end of story. ‘nuff said.
FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD TRUCK
Little Lucy’s because bite sized doughnuts and sugar!
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION
My faves for Instagram inspiration are usually Scandinavian/Nordic/Swedish designers both big and small. I also love moody food photographers, and seeing their perspective. Most of what I’m creating right now is for the kitchen so I like to see how my pieces could be incorporated with that vision.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR OF YOUR CRAFT
I think most woodworkers would tell you the most exciting moments in the craft are every single time you put the finishing oil on a piece and watch the wood grain come to life. This is especially the case on something you worked really hard on. It’s basically magical.
WHERE DO YOU CREATE BEST? EX: HOME, STUDIO, NATURE, ETC.
My teeny tiny home studio is my favorite creative space.
WHY DID YOU CHOSE TO BE A MAKER
Sometimes I think being a maker chose me. It’s in my makeup and I don’t think I could nor want to do anything else.
FAVORITE LOCAL CURATED BOUTIQUE
Probably not the first to say this, but Kettle & Brine. They’ve got a fantastic eye for design & interior aesthetic.
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
Creative influence, for me, stems from nature rather than a specific person. If I had to pick a place, it would be somewhere in the mountains.
AS A SMALL BUSINESS, HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT
Brands that stand out most are the ones that simply focus on the work. Let the hard work speak for itself. Being authentic in every sense of the word.
HOW HAS SOCIAL HELPED YOUR BUSINESS, IF ANY
The genuine support + connection from creatives this early in my work has been absolutely amazing! Instagram, specifically, is a seriously great platform for small business.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS HAVE YOU LOVED COLLABORATING WITH
Collaboration is awesome. Nothing is more enjoyable than when a bunch of likeminded creatives gather to make something cool. Currently, have several surprise projects in the works.
(I may have heard a little something about a collab with featured artist Settle Ceramics maker Samantha Heligman!
Check out her interview here.)
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT ASH GROVE
The work behind the pieces I design and create are what I’d like people to know most. You’d be surprised the amount of literal sweat equity that goes into what I make, especially in this Texas heat! The hard work involved in my process and the attention to detail is what I take most pride in.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SHOPPING LOCAL TO YOU
Shopping local is extremely important to me. It’s an opportunity to actually develop a relationship from the person you are buying. You get better customer service and often better product. Why have mass produced when you can have unique & one-of-a-kind! There’s something incredibly cool about holding something in your hands that was made by the hands of someone else. You can almost immediately feel the difference. I could go on and on! Lastly, its boosts local economy when you support local business. A good percentage of the money spent locally stays in the community, which is good for the city and in return it’s residents.