Tini Courtney and Jason Masik
By Chadner Navarro
Age: 21 and 22. Provenance: New York City and Torrance, California, respectively.
For me, for you: Like most designers before them, Courtney and Masik’s adventure began with self-interest: “We just started developing creative ideas and making trinkets for ourselves,” Masik says. “Then one day Tini made a dreamcatcher, and we fell in love with the concept.” Storytelling: The couple, who met just over a year ago, feels a particularly strong connection to Native American culture and its philosophies regarding nature. “Native Americans used everything they had,” Masik explains. “That’s what we’re doing with our jewelry.” H.O.W.L.’s creations are composed of materials found from India to Hawaii to Tibet, including sterling silver and antique pieces discovered in junkyards. They’re adorned with stones such as turquoise, lapis, tigereye and amethyst, and are sold exclusively through handleonlywithlove.com and at The Webster boutique. Puppy love: Finding the appropriate name for a business is never an easy task, and the two admit to some assistance from a pet wolf puppy Jason rescued who loved to howl. Add in the Native American mysticism behind howling wolves (that’s how they communicate over long distances), and the rest fell right into place.
JUST THE FACTS
A necklace Jason made me for Valentine’s Day
Where you feel inspired: Under the sea
Vintage accessories: Night Owl at the 55th Street Station
Where you feel inspired: The airport
Talent you wish you had: Amazing math skills
Designer with whom you’d like to work: Taka Hayashi
PHOTOGRAPH BY GREG CLARK
AG Jeans design director Mark Wiesmayr and stylist Jeanann Williams on denim's cultural footprint.