How it all came to be...
After working at a local jewelry store for several years and running a home-based business on the side since 2003, I finally took the plunge in 2005 and opened up a small boutique. I sold mostly jewelry, some designed by others and some that I designed myself; along with a variety of whimsical accessories and gifts.
One day, a customer walked into my shop and presented me with a large mason jar filled with sea glass. The sea glass was collected by her grandmother during summers spent with her family at their beach house in Martha's Vineyard. She asked me to create several pieces of jewelry using the sea glass as gifts to her family members in light of her Grandmother's recent passing. When I showed her the necklaces I created, she was overcome with joy. I could see in her eyes that there was more to the jewelry then just the sterling silver and sea glass; there was a lifetime of memories. She gave me the remaining pieces of sea glass as a gift, and said that the jewelry I had created for her was so dear to her heart that she hoped it would inspire me as well. This jar of sea glass turned out to be a gift that changed my life and the course of my business forever. It was here that Lita Sea Glass Jewelry began to take shape.
I began the task of sifting through this jar of glass, matching colors and pairs for earrings, and sorting pendants. Soon, I was sketching designs using some of my favorite pieces. Within a few weeks, I had created a unique assortment of necklaces, pendants, earrings, and bracelets to add to the shop. I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought that, if anything, the new addition might just add an interesting new display area to my store. If I happened to sell a few pieces, that would be icing on the cake! A few hours into the business day, a member of my sales team came and found me in the office to ask if there was more of the sea glass jewelry. Yup, it had sold...all of it!
From that point on, the sea glass jewelry took over. Shoppers were coming in requesting custom orders for weddings and several calls came in from other shops asking if I sold wholesale. Within a few months, I had expanded my range of sea glass jewelry in the shop from one display case to a whole section. One day, a sales representative came in who worked for a line of bags that I carried. In conversation, my sea glass jewelry came up. She thought the idea was great, and happened to work with several "beach shops" and stores with a "coastal flair”. She knew that some of her accounts would be interested in carrying my new line.
Over the next few weeks, I put together an assortment of pieces to create a wholesale collection under the name Lita Sea Glass Jewelry (Lita is my nickname). Less than 24 hours after bringing her these samples, she called me with my first order. I was shocked! But it didn't stop there. By week’s end, I had several accounts and even re-orders from shops that had just received their jewelry.
So it came to be that I was running my boutique by day and making sea glass jewelry by night. The shop turned into a sea glass jewelry boutique filled with custom designs and, soon after, a collection of wedding jewelry. We offered custom bridal jewelry, engagement rings, wedding bands and cufflinks all tailored to the beach bride. My thoughts were consumed with new ideas and business plans to keep up with the growing popularity of my sea glass designs.
In 2008, I decided to close my shop and focus on sea glass full time. In January 2009, I opened Lita Sea Glass Jewelry's Online Boutique.
Today, Lita Sea Glass Jewelry is sold in over 40 shops and boutiques across the U.S.A. and Europe. We have been featured in Coastal Living Magazine and even have had the honor of being showcased at the Golden Globe Awards! The company has grown from just me, creating jewelry in the back of my shop, to a full-time team in our professional studio.
It has been a wonderful journey. I am thankful for every step of the way, because it led me to where I am today. I am constantly inspired by the feedback and love that my team and I receive from our loyal followers. For that, I am truly thankful and blessed!