Custom Crafts In Akron With Sweet Peach Designs
BUSINESS: Sweet Peach Designs, LLC
MAKERS: Ashley Luke and Jessica Harvey
FOUNDATION OF FRIENDSHIP: Ashley Luke and Jessica Harvey have been friends for 11 years and counting.
“I met Jessie through my husband,” Luke explained. “They all grew up in the small town of Coshocton, and were in school together.” Through a traveling choir, the foursome met and became a secondary family unit.
Ashley Luke, Derrick Luke, Brad Harvey, Jessica Harvey [Ashley Luke]
“[Jessica] was with me during the toughest times in my life, and I was with her during the toughest times of her life,” Luke said.
Harvey echoes the sentiment. “Ashley means a lot to me,” she said. “We’ve known each other for so long, we’re practically sisters.”
BUILDING A BUSINESS: Both Luke and Harvey grew up in creative households, with mothers that encouraged them to be artistic.
Their first joint crafting venture happened in 2017 prior to Harvey’s wedding to her husband, Brad. Harvey decided she wanted to have flowers that would last forever, so the two friends decided to make paper flowers by hand.
Jessica Harvey's wedding bouquet. [Ashley Luke]
“Everyone at the wedding loved the bouquet,” Harvey said. “They couldn’t stop talking about it.”
With pressure from friends and family members to turn their new-found talents into a business, Sweet Peach Designs, LLC got its start in 2018.
FABULOUS FLOWERS: Luke handles the painstaking and intricately detailed job of making paper flowers.
“I look at pictures of flowers, draw the design for the template, upload it into my program, and turn paper into 3D objects,” Luke explained.
While she makes it sound easy, even one layer of petals can mean hours of work.
Each petal of Ashley Luke's flowers are hand-rolled to give texture. [Ashley Luke]
TERRIFIC TUMBLERS: “Ashley started with the flowers, and I was like, ‘What am I gonna do?’” Harvey said with a laugh.
Through her self-proclaimed lack of patience that’s required for the flower-making, she came up with the idea of creating customized tumblers.
“I can hand-paint them, I glitter them,” Harvey said. “Tumblers were a big thing when we started out. So if we could paint them, and make them customized to what people want, then it should be pretty popular.”
One of Harvey's hand-painted tumblers. [Ashley Luke]
KEEPING THE MOMENTUM: While Sweet Peach Designs, LLC is still a relatively new business, the growth both Luke and Harvey have seen in a short amount of time has been encouraging.
“We’ve seen steady, positive growth for the past two years,” Luke said. “And that means that we’ve done it together, and it’s been great.”
But it’s the friendship the two share that keeps the business strong.
“Without [Jessica] telling me we can do it, and without me telling her we can do it, we wouldn’t have done it,” Luke said.
Harvey and Luke at a summer craft show. [Ashley Luke]