We’re always on the lookout for individuals who are doing something they love to do – especially if it involves something tropical. That’s why we were thrilled when William Torrillo – the amazing photographer who we interviewed for our “Through the Eyes of a Tropical Soul” article told us about Elizabeth. William suggested that we check out Elizabeth’s sea glass jewelry and we’re glad we did! Elizabeth had long enjoyed collecting sea glass during walks on the beach with her daughters and recently began making jewelry from the glass they have found. We asked if we could interview her and this is what we found out:
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I have lived in Maryland all my life and I’m 32 years old. I’ve lived in Calvert County for about 22 years. We are a water oriented area, known for crabbing and our ginormous Rock Fish! We are surrounded by water here on 3 sides. The Chesapeake Bay to our East and the Patuxent River to West, The Patuxent spills into the Bay at the southern tip of the county. We are a family of Beach Bums for sure and at home in Maryland we lived about 5 blocks from the Bay and our Beach House is in the Outer Bank of North Carolina where we spend most of our summers.
2. What made you decide to start making your own jewelry? I am a stay-at-home Mom of 3 Daughters 10, 7 and 4. I’ve been home about 5 years and my collection of sea glass was getting out of hand. So, my Hubby suggested we try to wire wrap a few pieces and see what happens. 3. Why sea glass? 3 years ago I found my first piece of Cobalt which is not easy to find. I found it on a girls weekend trip to our beach house and you’d have thought I had found a million dollars!! I immediately took it to a bead shop and had it made into a necklace. Everywhere I go to this day I’m complimented on how gorgeous my necklace is… After years of finding tons of glass and a friend sharing her secret beach for amazing glass, we decided to give the jewelry making a try!
4. Where do you find your sea glass? The majority of my sea glass is from a place my girls and I call “Our Secret Beach”. We find gorgeous colors there, aquas, lavenders, and cobalts, as well as the more common colors like greens, browns and whites.
5. What are the challenges of using sea glass? What are the benefits? My only challenge so far has been the earrings. Finding two pieces that are somewhat similar in shape is not an easy task! The benefit is that I have plenty of glass!! HA!
6. Where do you sell your jewelry? We showed the pieces my Hubby and I created to some friends and got an overwhelming response so I decided to open a shop on Etsy.com. I chose the name Mermaids Jewelry Box because of the old folk lore that says that pieces of Sea Glass are Mermaid’s Tears. 7. Has this been a good career change, choice or path for you? I’m not really looking to make a career, my Hubby and I enjoy sitting together and wrapping the glass. It’s more of a passion that I wanted to share with others that may not have access to it like we do.
8. Is there anything else we should know about you or your business? I never use artificially made sea glass. I use pieces from my own collection. For some reason “Our Secret Beach” keeps us well stocked. I don’t have much luck finding glass in the Outer Banks, only random pieces here and there.
Oh, and I don’t know if I mentioned it or not but the little girl in the picture is my youngest daughter Haley. She’s a Sea Glass Mermaid also! She knows all about it… She’s my Sea Glass Buddy, we go hunt for glass when her older sisters are at school!
And yes, after checking out Elizabeth’s Etsy shop, I had to get a Mermaid Tear of my own (see pic above!) Be sure to check out the Mermaid’s Jewelry Box and see if there’s a piece calling your name too.
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Through the Eyes of a Tropical Soul – William Anthony Torrillo, Photographer
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