As a young boy growing up in Maine, Aaron Ruff was fascinated with the idea of stumbling upon hidden treasures and unearthing ancient relics. Created in 2006, the “Digby & Iona” namesake stems from a trip to Nova Scotia, taken before the company had ever been established. Feeling a connection with the small province and wanting to maintain a level of anonymity, Ruff chose to name his company after the two quiet seaside towns in Nova Scotia.
The son of a craftsman, Ruff has grown up with a strong sense of artistry and construction. Working as both a carpenter and cabinetmaker, he enrolled at Parsons to study furniture design. But after taking a class in jewelry making, Ruff soon discovered his true craft. While enjoying the familiarity and technique of creating furniture, he found a more intimate connection with constructing objects that people could actually wear and behold. This connection is distinct in each one of his well-crafted pieces.
Ruff now works out of his Brooklyn studio, creating jewelry inspired by everything from history and literature, to the design of nature and tools of necessity. Ruff also draws from his childhood fantasies of exploration, which lends a playful quality to his work.
With six collections under his belt and retailers in over 20 cities world wide, Ruff has established a strong foundation from which to build upon. With each new collection, comes a new exploration of material, design, and focus. As the company evolves into broader landscapes, his roots remain planted in furthering the craftsmanship and adventurous nature, which speaks to the heart of the brand.
brought to life by: Abacus Design
photography: Malcolm Brown