Social media fascinates me. You post something, people like it, and next thing you know, you are insta-friends. That's how I met Joe and Mike from Facet Ski Company and worked with them to create the "Good Times" Shotski, as well as Brian and Mario from Ski Bum Podcast where I have become a regular on their show. It's not a very traditional way of making friends, but it certainly seems to work, especially since Instagram allows you to follow hashtags. Now it's even easier to find people with similar interests. By following hashtags, like #foodie, #craftbeer, #skiing and, most importantly, #apresski, I have connected with a whole slew of people that I probably would not have previously, most recently, Heather Mullins, from Après Ski Jewelry.
Relevant ReUSe is Making the Old Look New Again
If you have not seen what Heather and her team is doing, you must check it out. By combining her passion for creating eco-friendly, re purposed art with her love of skiing and the outdoors, she has given new life to objects that would have otherwise been discarded. Heather has been in the furniture business for quite some time now, having established her own art and furniture company, Relevant ReUse almost a decade ago. This is where she has put her Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Art Institute of Chicago to great use designing and creating custom furniture, accessories and even jewelry all from recycled materials. "I see a lot of value in everyday products, says Heather, both for their initial design function and for what they can become once they have lived that out. By seeing these in a different way, I can create something new and innovative out of something old and, in turn, can keep consumer waste from going into our ever-growing waste stream." I do love a good salvage project, and reclaimed everything is so hot right now. Yet, despite my obsession with all things DIY and HGTV it was our mutual passion for après ski that brought Heather and I together. Just not in the way that you would think the phrase après ski would.
Après Ski Jewelry Gives New Meaning to the Phrase
Après ski literally translates into "after skiing" and includes all the social activities that goes on after the lifts stop spinning. Now, as an avid skier, I am sure that Heather enjoys these post pow parties as much and the next person, but in the case of her company, Après Ski Jewelry, she has prompted patrons to look at it in a whole new light. By taking old, recycled skis, and hand crafting them into fine jewelry, Heather has given skis, that would've been tossed to the curb, a new life "after skiing." Heather explains, "I especially like the design qualities of skis; they are brightly colored, have awesome patterns and are constructed in a way with that each part of the ski makes for an exciting design element, especially the pattern of the wood in the core."
Heather has really stomped the landing here with her jewelry collection. The random color schemes of ski graphics when cut down to smaller sizes have produced products look, nothing short of, amazing. However, how they look online doesn't even compare to how incredible they look in person. When my wife and daughters received their's, they fell in love with the style instantly. Since then, they wear the necklaces and earrings regularly, always receiving a slew of compliments that continue to multiply when they tell someone that the jewelry is actually made of recycled skis. "No way! They're made out of skis? That's so cool!" is the most common reaction. We like to think so too and since we're All About Après, any interpretation of the phrase, après ski is fine by us, especially when your pumping out the sweet designs that Heather is at Après Ski Jewelry.