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A woman has made a career out of bedazzling Stanley cups, which she sometimes sells for over $1,000 each

Ashley Kosko and one of her Stanley cups.
Ashley Kosko and one of her Stanley cups.Ashley Kosko
  • Ashley Kosko, 37, is a huge fan of Stanley cups. She currently owns at least 80 of them.

  • She also bedazzles the cups and sells them online for upwards of $400 each.

  • Kosko said she knows many people don't understand her hobby, but she still loves it.

Owning a single Stanley cup has become the ultimate cool-girl status symbol.

Ashley Kosko has a collection of at least 80.

The 37-year-old is a die-hard fan, collector, and bedazzler of the coveted, cult-favorite drinkware.

She got her first Stanley in 2022, covered it in rhinestones as a gift for a friend, and has been obsessed with decorating the cups ever since.

Kosko now sells her creations for upwards of $400 each, and she has a loyal customer base that regularly returns to have their trendy cups turned into sparkling, personalized accessories.

She's also grown her personal stash and uses the cups daily.

Speaking with Business Insider, the Tennessee local explained why she loves Stanleys so much, her thoughts on criticism aimed at fans, and how she feels about spending more than $30,000 on her hobby.

Some of Ashley Kosko's collection of Stanley cups.
Some of the Stanley cups owned by Ashley Kosko.Ashley Kosko

Love at first Stanley cup

In 2022, Kosko was bedridden, facing medical issues, and in need of a hobby. So she turned to YouTube and learned how to rhinestone.

She enjoyed the craft so much that she even opened an online storefront to sell bedazzled items and supplies for people to make their own.

But business was slow, and Kosko was ready to give up — until she began bedazzling Stanley cups and posting videos of the process on TikTok.

"It happened at midnight on New Year's Day, and the orders just started rolling in," she told BI. "It was insane. I had to start raising my prices because I couldn't keep up with the orders."

A Stanley cup bedazzled by Ashley Kosko.
A Stanley cup bedazzled by Ashley Kosko.Ashley Kosko

Kosko currently charges between $400 and $1,100 per cup, depending on which design her clients choose.

Those prices reflect the materials needed to rhinestone the cups and the time she spends crafting each one, which can take between eight and 50 hours.

Many of Kosko's orders are from repeat customers, she told BI, and she's even been approached by major companies to bedazzle Stanley cups for events like the Super Bowl.

Two Stanley cups bedazzled by Ashley Kosko.
Two Stanley cups bedazzled by Ashley Kosko.Ashley Kosko

A surplus of Stanleys

Naturally, Kosko's business of bedazzling Stanley cups has morphed into a personal affection for the drinkware.

"At one point, I had over 140 of them," she told BI. "But I've honed down which ones I really love, and I've sold some that I don't really care for. I mean, I still have 80-something — my collection isn't small."

She said she tries to buy the cups at retail prices, but has splurged on cups in limited-edition colors and designs that were only sold in other countries.

She recalls spending $180 on a cup from Thailand and $230 on another limited-edition design from overseas.

"It's basically a moving inventory," she said.

Ashley Kosko and one of her Stanley cups.
Ashley Kosko and one of her Stanley cups.Ashley Kosko

She said she prefers Stanley's 30-ounce cups while on the go but utilizes the larger 40-ounce style at home.

"I fill it with pineapple-cranberry juice and ice, which is actually a faux pas in the Stanley world," she said, noting that some fans are afraid of staining their cups and only drink water from them. "But it's my cup. I'm going to put juice."

A 30-ounce Stanley cup bedazzled by Ashley Kosko.
A 30-ounce Stanley cup bedazzled by Ashley Kosko.Ashley Kosko

And the hobby is an expensive one. While Kosko said she's made tens of thousands selling her rhinestone art, she's also spent more than $30,000 on Stanley cups between her business, gifts for friends, and her personal collection.

But she doesn't mind if people criticize the price tag that comes with collecting them.

"Do you get your nails done, lashes done, wear makeup, or get your hair done? Those things are incredibly expensive, and they last three weeks," she said. "A Stanley cup, it's going to last forever."

She also stands by her decision to own dozens of the cups — even when people say collectors are promoting overconsumption and waste.

"Does anybody have one glass cup in their cupboard, or do they have multiple?" she said. "I have five Stanley cups on my counter because I hate doing dishes. So I don't need only one; I need multiple. And I like to match my cup to my shoes or outfit. It's an accessory — not just a cup."

Community is another big part of what draws fans like Kosko to the cups.

"In my everyday life, people will stop me and say, 'Oh, I love your Stanley cup,'" she said. "We also have Stanley Facebook groups where we show our cups of the day. In a world that's become so disconnected, it's a way of connecting."

But most importantly to Kosko, she knows her hobby isn't that serious. And she loves it anyway.

"In all reality, it's just a cup," she told BI. "It's just fun. It's a hobby. It's not do-or-die craziness."

Read the original article on Business Insider