I don’t know about you, but the past few months have been rough. Listen, I love my family, but being with them 24/7 since mid-March has taken its toll on all of us. The good news is that the weather is finally (finally!) warming up and I can just feel our spirits rising with the promise of warm summer days, spent barefoot on the beach doing what we love most – looking for treasures.
Let me explain:My daughters and I own a shop in Essex CT called “You, Me & The Sea” and it’s filled with treasures we’ve collected at the beach near our home. We search for sea glass and shells and make them into jewelry, accessories, and more. And that’s where these beautiful oyster shells come in. Let me tell you, they are my latest obsession. I paint the inside of the oysters white and then do a decoupage process with a specific kind of tissue paper, then paint the edges with special gold leaf paint. The backs are left natural with just an edge of gold leaf trim. They can be used as ring dishes or decorative accessories around the house and are perfect for brightening up your home after a long, hard winter.
Ok, let me back up a little. My name is Joanna Reicher and I have ten-year-old identical twin daughters. The three of us have a nickname, The Three Mermaids, and we are always at the beach. In 2018, we started making sea glass jewelry from the sea glass we found on our family treasure hunts. We started a business called Three Mermaids Sea Glass Jewelry. We loved doing pop up events at shoreline boutiques so much that we decided to open our own shop in early 2020, called You, Me & The Sea. When we had to close the shop in March due to Covid-19, we had not even been open for two months, and I was devastated.I really had to make a decision if I was going to just close up for good or pivot and hustle through the challenge. We started making the oyster shells for fun a few weeks before Mother’s Day.
Immediately I had people asking how to purchase them. I added them to our website as individual ring dishes and as a set of two for salt and pepper cellars and was almost overwhelmed with orders. I then turned my dining room into what I now refer to as “the oyster shell room” and started making shells constantly. When I woke up in the middle of the night anxious, I would paint them. It kept my mind busy and kept my shop running.We are now selling the oyster shells wholesale to our favorite store in Newport, a shop in Kansas, and have requests from several other boutiques. These beautiful oyster shells turned out to literally save my shop – and my sanity – during this difficult time.
If you could use a little cheering up and color in your home this summer, check out these hand-painted oyster shells on our website www.youmeandtheseact.com.They were made with love by my daughters and me and trust me, they’re adorable.
Follow our journey @youmeandtheseaessex to see what we are up to next!