Autumn joined the AVD family in 2017, and brings a carefree but determined attitude to everything she does!
Ayla joined the AVD team in 2015 when she moved cross-country to Floyd from Washington state to apprentice with a local Floyd potter. She loves working in the “colorful, organized chaos” that is the AVD studio, as well as living in beautiful Floyd County: “my favorite thing is driving through the rolling green hills on the way to work or to my studio, and watching the clouds and the play of light across the landscape. It's a really beautiful and peaceful place to call home, and the moments when I stop to notice that make it all worthwhile.”
Ayla’s favorite AVD line to make is Gentle Breeze, and the soundtrack to her work day is either the Lord Huron Pandora station or her latest audiobook.
Cara has been with AVD since 2016, first as a maker and more recently as a photographer and social media whiz as well. A talented 2D artist in her own right, we are lucky to have Cara’s eye for image creation in this studio full of 3D thinkers.
Born and raised in Floyd County, Cara says “I love these beautiful mountains, and the genuinely caring community that calls Floyd home.” When not in the AVD studio, Cara can be found putzing in her garden, creating her own art, and spending time with her family.
At work, Cara’s favorite line to make is Rock Candy; “It has a mixture of skill sets, and the colors are so vibrant!” Her ideal work soundtrack involves something educational, like a book or podcast— “so I feel like I'm learning while working.” Cara’s favorite AVD line to wear is Harmony, and her favorite stone is Labradorite.
Elizabeth Simpson joined the AVD team in 2016, and has been making her warm, humorous presence felt in the studio ever since. Born and raised in Floyd and with a BFA in jewelry design from Radford University, no one can get the whole studio laughing with a one-liner like Elizabeth! Elizabeth says the sense of community in Floyd and here at AVD is what she loves the most: “No matter how unique you are you're welcome! I like working in this community atmosphere and feeling like myself.” She describes the AVD studio as “colorful, unique, and glowing.” We could say the same of her!
When not making jewelry, she gravitates to spending time with her dog, making her own artwork, and spending time outside and with friends. She usually wears a long AVD necklace from Moonstruck, and when asked to choose her favorite stone, she says: "Goldstone is a long time favorite, but ammonite makes my inner mermaid happy!"
Hona Knudsen is one of our first employees. When you ask her how long she’s worked for AVD, for many years now Hona has answered “Oh….around 8.” And after so many years, the three words Hona uses to describe the AVD studio are “bright, creative, and warm.” We hope she’ll be saying the same things for many years to come!
When Hona is not making perfect briolettes in Irish Blessing (her favorite AVD line to work in), you can find her working in her garden or in her home pottery studio, where she makes beautiful porcelain pottery. Hona loves living in such a friendly, beautiful area. Of working in Floyd, Hona says “I am so grateful not to have a long commute, instead I get a beautiful scenic drive to and from work.”
Hona’s favorite AVD line to wear is Integrity, and Labradorite and Rutilated Quartz are tied for the honor of being Hona’s favorite stone.
Kat joined us in 2016 after many transitory years working as a gem vendor at renaissance festivals. She is an encyclopedia of stones as well as incredible adventure stories, and if you’re looking to either go try out the local golf course or host a clothing swap, Kat is your girl for either adventure.
When not in the AVD studio, Kat can be found “at home taking care of boys, chickens, my garden, and an assortment of pets. However if it happens to be a really remarkable summer day, and all the chores are done then you'll find me swimming, or enjoying the beautiful views of Buffalo mountain from my hot tub. I like living in Floyd for so many reasons; not only is it a incredibly beautiful part of the nation here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but the people here also seem to share the idea that there is room for everyone's point of view. ”
In the studio, Kat loves making both Moonstruck and Circle the Sun, but begs us not to make her choose a favorite line to wear “as I love most of the pieces in every line!” She is an avid audio book listener, and describes the AVD studio as “A convent, creative and charmed.”