Tracy Prince of Coventry likes to go hunting for sea glass for her jewelry business, Sea Find Designs. She turns what she finds into beautiful, hand carved necklaces, bracelets, pendants, earrings, and keychains – even belly button rings – sometimes set with rhinestones or gems. In her Etsy shop and on her Facebook page, they sell out quickly. Each item is uniquely individual since every piece of glass, stone, or shell is one-of-a-kind.
Prince and her family regularly go out looking on the beach together, but they’re not just hunting for hidden treasures in the sand – they’re cleaning the beach. Though a decline in illegal dumping has made sea glass harder to find recently, Prince still makes it her mission to tidy the shoreline as she searches for interesting stones or shells.
Prince’s love of sea glass began when she was a child, visiting her grandmother in Puerto Rico. When her husband found a shard of green glass on a beach in Mexico 23 years ago, her obsession was reignited, and she began her collection anew. She was trying to find a creative way to use the sea glass she’d amassed, and when she saw her sister wearing a jade pendant wrapped in wire, she thought, “I can do that!” After selling some of her jewelry at a friend’s party, her business was born.
Prince’s most recent favorite design has been a paw print, which she carves by hand. She’ll get requests for commissions with personal notes attached, telling her why the piece is important to that customer.
“I had no idea how meaningful they’d become to me until people started sending me pictures of their fur babies, telling me how much they missed the ones they’ve lost, or how much they love the ones that are still part of their family,” Prince explains. “Each one is made custom to honor their pet, so they’re all named after their pup or kitty. It’s so fulfilling knowing exactly why they’re purchasing my pieces.”