Thu | Aug 22, 2019

Handmade books with Ashurii Designs

Published:Sunday | May 19, 2019 | 12:06 AM
Ashlee Douillard showcasing her books.
Ashlee Douillard
Ashlee Douillard
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

There are a few of us who embrace the part of life that requires hands-on experience and special attention to detail. These are the creators. They thrive on do-it-yourself projects and artistic interpretations to create innovative ways to improve a product. There is nothing new under the sun, but there are persons who continuously look for ways to tweak age-old creations to make them inviting again. Books are one of such inventions, and 26-year-old Ashlee Douillard decided to push the envelop with her creation of Ashurii Designs.

The journey of Ashurii Designs began in 2013, while Douillard was a student at the Caribbean School of Architecture. Her continuous need for quality sketch pads that were non-generic fuelled her desire to seek premium stationary brands that would be able to meet her standards. Her search for said products proved futile, which inspired her to create her own.

“Books were very hard to come by, and everyone pretty much had the same kind of book. One summer, I realised I also had a lot of books with a lot of paper in the back. So I just ripped out all the paper and made a smaller book from that. I posted it on Facebook and people loved it,” said Douillard. After taking her books to school for herself, persons started to inquire about them and wanted them for themselves. “I didn’t start committing to selling publicly until around 2017. My first pop-up shop was at TrueSelf Center of Being yoga studio. That went really well and people loved them. That is when I realised that this could work,” she continued

The young architect’s earliest creative memory took place at Mona Preparatory School, where she enjoyed being creative in art class.

“My aunt, who also lived with me at the time, she was also very creative and whenever I had projects to do, we would go all out. I remember making a journal out of fabric with a little scarecrow doll on it,” she said. While attending St Andrew High School for Girls. “I liked doing tie-dyes and stencils, and I also like to sew. All of those different things have tied into this.”

Ashurii Designs is different from other stationary brands because of its unique designs.

“Persons are able to relate to them because of the wide variety of types. I try to meet my customers demands in terms of size, book lines, etc. Customisation is a big thing for me. I also pay keen attention to details,” she explained.

Her line of books also showcase works of art from various up-and-coming artists. “I started with Javier Dayes, and that was a big success. I began incorporating artists because I have quite a few friends that are artistic. They find it hard to get their art sold and it is hard for them to get investors. This was my way of helping them out. Getting them not only money, but getting their artwork out there so people can see it and be able to recognise it, which has already started. Dan Tho, Tamarra Kirkpatrick. I have other artists coming on board as well,” she explained.

Douillard admitted that making books is a form of self-care and the initiative was a creative way for her to earn more money for school supplies and fund her masters degree. “I also play the violin and sing. It helps me to overcome my anxiety and depression,” she said. When persons purchase one of Douillard books they should be getting a custom-made book crafted with love and care. “My customers appreciate that the book will represent them. I think they also appreciate the work they put inside them as well a bit more,” said Douillard.

Ashurii Design handmade books include sketchbooks, journals that are either lined, dot or grid, bullet journals and planners, and daily planners. All products come in various sizes and can be customised.

For more information, contact (876) 481-9404, @ashuriidesigns on Facebook and Instagram, or email: ashuriidesigns@outlook.com.