About Me

My name is Ashley Megquier and I live in Belfast, Maine with my husband, daughter, cat, and four chickens. I have been doodling on notebook margins and hoarding away rocks, shells, sea glass, buttons and other treasures since I was about 5 years old. I like how these little tokens tucked into boxes or jars can immediately conjure a vivid memory upon rediscovery, which is why I find them inspiring to use in my jewelry. I've always had an innate need to create things and have a hard time focusing on just one medium, but right now jewelry making and illustration are my favorites. A few years ago I decided that working at something I truly enjoy was a high priority so I began selling my handmade creations.

I majored in Environmental Studies and Anthropology at Bowdoin College--but my favorite class that I took during my four years there was a drawing class. A few years after college when I found myself living in Madison, Wisconsin in an apartment with a view of a coal plant longing for the rocky shores and pine forests of home, I began drawing the aspects of nature that I missed. These drawings were the start of my notecard collection, available at www.naturespalettedesigns.com. Shortly after I began selling my notecards, I added jewelry to the mix. I love that jewelry is an art form that you can wear on your body and take with you wherever you go.

Over the past seven years in and amongst my regular job and other life events I've worked at building my art business on the side. It started out as Nature's Palette Designs but I have changed the name to Bowerbird Handmade to encompass my many artistic interests. Although nature continues to be a major inspiration, I am also inspired by travel and experiencing other cultures, details in architecture, memories from childhood, and a million other little things. For the time being my notecards can still be purchased through the Nature's Palette website, but I will gradually phase that site out and move everything over to Bowerbird Handmade in the near future. Given my deep affinity for nature I will continue to strive to make my business as eco-friendly as possible, recycling and upcycling materials whenever I am able. I also make sure that any materials I buy are produced in sustainable ways, whether that be carbon-neutral paper for my notecards, compostable packaging for cards and jewelry, or using a local family owned printing company for my print jobs.