I love unique, locally made things. The stories behind the product. The passion and yes, even the blood sweat and tears the maker had to endure to get their goods out into the world inspires me.
Like with anything artistic, whether it be a writer, a jeweler, or a bag designer, their are hundreds and thousands of nos, amongst that single yes in order for their passion to be realized.
With websites like Etsy, it does makes it easier to buy a skirt from Bali, or a seaglass bracelet from Florida, without ever having visited. In recent years their has been more of an emphasis on small independently owned businesses instead of shopping at Walmart or department stores.
Growing up in a small town and one that has a huge outlet center, I was lucky to have not just commercial shops, but those small five and ten mom and pop owned stores. Where creativity, and artistry was and still is encouraged. I have taken that with me into my adult years. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nordstrom like the next fashionista. But I also love going into clothing shops in Maine where it isn’t just run by some employee, but by the creator.
They truly love what they are doing and it shows. Products, like Seabags where they are made out of recycled sails, Lighthouse Design Studio who make Bracelets out of lobster claws or Bait bags which are made out of Lobster traps, they aren’t just unique in the use of oceanic materials, their is an exuberance behind it. What is more, they are willing to work with you, to customize the products, so it really is uniquely your own.
I get lots of emails from a variety of stores, most of them I delete, but I love getting ones from a store called Sand Dune. Every email is an example of the excitement and passion they have for their jewelry creations. Every piece is filled not just with grains of sand from all over the world, but with a story.
That is what artists, especially those who create things from the sea, do, they share stories. They create them. It isn’t just a certain type of fashion, it is a memory sealed in time with a unique product.
Jewelry: Bracelet and ring Sand Dune from Pine Point Maine and Cape Elizabeth. Lobster claw bracelet Lighthouse Design Studio. Bags: Anchor tote and Lobster Envelope clutch, Sea Bags. Boat Wristlet Sea bags for Alex and Ani. Bait Bags: Custom blue and pink wallet. Black and gold wallet. Green and neon Green Envelope clutch.
They all have websites to gush and drool over these beautifully handcrafted items. Bait bag and Sea bags also have contracts through J-Crew where you can buy some of their best sellers. Happy Shopping!