We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Lowman-Hawney and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashley, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in San Diego, but moved to Portland, Oregon when I was about 9 years old. I lived there for about 10 years before moving back here permanently. I’m from a family of engineers and artists, so I’m creative but also a total perfectionist. It’s a blessing and a curse, I guess. I have a very large and complicated family tree. I’m the oldest child – I have two sisters and a brother. My brother is 14, so I’m basically just an old lady now, but my sisters and I are very close. We have been going through some very dark times recently, so we have an incredibly close relationship. They are my champions. My upbringing was pretty wild, so I have major depression and anxiety. I have a pretty good handle on it, thankfully, but it’s what helped my creative side flourish. I use crafting as a way to escape, and I’d say it worked out pretty well for me! My upbringing also taught me a lot of other things. I’m an empath, BIG TIME. I try to always be kind, I’m compassionate, I am a perfectionist, I have a dark and twisted sense of humor, I’m super sarcastic, I curse like crazy, but I am strong.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my little business because I hand-lettering helped soothe my anxiety. Since then, it has really bloomed into so many things. I do macrame and make jewelry. I can put lettering on almost anything under the sun, so I have some home decor items, I make a lot of glassware for bridal parties, I’ve recently started making “busy boards” for my son and other kids. I’m really open to trying anything. That’s why I called my business Ataraxia Handmade. The word “ataraxia” means a state of freedom from emotional disturbance or anxiety. I didn’t want to limit myself to one thing, so I stuck with “Handmade,” because, well… it’s all handmade. I make things because it makes me feel better. I want people to buy my stuff because I want them to feel the way I felt when I make it. Honestly, my favorite thing to do is make gifts. I LOVE when someone comes to me and says “I want to gift something to someone, can you help me?” It is such an honor, and for the record, I will ALWAYS want to help. I don’t even know where I am right now, professionally speaking. I am working on building my website so people can see everything I have. I have boxes of finished things in my closet, ready for homes! Starting is so scary, though. I’ve been off and on with Ataraxia for about 4 years now, and I’m just now getting to a place where I feel comfortable to take the plunge. Throughout the whole process, I’ve learned that I need to stop listening to the little voice in my head that says “who do you think you are acting like you can make money off your hobby?” Impostor Syndrome is REAL, friends, and she is a monster. I guess I just want people to know that I put my whole heart into this. Every time I make a custom order or package up a ready-made item, I am so full of gratitude. Every time someone orders something, I literally get emotional. I am so grateful for everyone who has shown an interest in Ataraxia Handmade, and I’m so excited to share it with everyone!

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Well, first, I would have to get coffee at Garden Coffee and go thrifting at Honest Thrift Studio. They’re both owned by a friend, and it is just the dreamiest little corner of Old Town. I would honestly live there if I could. The coffee and cookies are delicious, the shop is amazing, but the friendship is really what it’s about. I live in Carlsbad, so the beach and the Village would be a must-see. My husband and I love Park 101. Their food and drinks are awesome, but it’s really a great place for kids (pre-COVID, of course). I also love shopping at Liv3 in San Marcos. It’s a cute little family-owned boutique, and I get a lot of my clothes and home decor there. I’m kind of a homebody (I know, boring, but I’m trying to change!), so I don’t really have a bunch of fun places to go. I am always looking, though, so please let me know if there is somewhere I should check out!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My sisters Kelsey and Sabrina, for being my rocks. My friend Samantha, for being my mentor and biggest supporter. My husband Max, for sacrificing his “me time” so I can explore my creativity. My son Lincoln, for just being the coolest baby. Love you forever.

Website: www.ataraxiahandmade.com
Instagram: @ataraxiahandmade

Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.