Writing about trends and fashion in jewelry is Ashley Davis’ day job—she’s National Jeweler’s longtime senior fashion editor. But over the years, the Miami-based journalist has also raised thousands of dollars to aid a small crew of volunteers in South Korea who rescue dogs from the country’s legal dog meat trade.
If you follow Davis on Instagram, you may have seen her harrowing real-time posts showing a dangerous middle-of-the-night rescue operation in 2020 that ultimately re-homed dozens of caged, frightened dogs internationally. It was impossible to look away from the squalor the dogs were living in, and many of her industry friends and contacts were moved to donate money to offset the group’s significant costs, which include flights for the dogs destined for shelters and homes. She says, “I was able to help raise over $50,000 for the rescue, which I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do, with so much help from the jewelry community.”
The rescue group has since organized into a formal (but still volunteer-based) organization called WEact. And Davis has also stepped up her fundraising efforts: This month she debuted Love Sandwich, an online boutique designed to funnel funds to the group. The site’s tagline, “Pretty things that benefit dog rescue,” reflects the fusing of two of Davis’ great loves—dogs and jewelry.
The site debuted this month with cute sweatshirts and coffee mugs emblazoned with the cheeky phrase “Flowers Die, Jewelry Lasts” that are part of the Radical Honesty collection, which is “a tribute to the jewelry community that’s supported the cause.” Davis adds, “The collection is meant to be very tongue-in-cheek, and a funny way to say blunt, silly things.”
And there’s more jewelry-themed fun coming soon. In the next few weeks Davis will debut the e-boutique’s core product: matching pearl dog necklaces and human bracelets that she charmingly refers to as “friendship jewelry.” She’s connected with a pearl stinger in Miami who is hand-making the necklace/bracelet pairs using freshwater pearls sourced from a supplier in New York City.
“I’m not a businessperson, but I’m going to learn as I go and see how far I can take this,” Davis says, adding that she hopes the project will also bring a little more balance to her life. “I’m hoping it will be a more sustainable way to be a socially conscious company so that I can work my day job and not be up all night! It could be a consistent funnel of funds for WEact. I don’t want to keep begging for money—I’m hoping this can be a better way going forward.”
And Davis is committed to keeping the merch light-hearted because, “We’re raising money for something serious that a lot of times is very sad before it becomes very happy, when dogs are rescued,” she says. “I want people to be able to support by buying something a little happy, a little silly.” —Emili Vesilind
Top photo: Davis’ dog Gemma, who was also rescued in 2020 by WEact, wearing a Love Sandwich freshwater pearl necklace on silk thread with a14-karat gold clasp (all photos courtesy of Ashley Davis)