Meet Heather, the mastermind behind the colorful gems and jewelry of My Girl Is Water. Inspired by the ocean around which she was raised, Heather crafts beautiful jewelry that captures the playfulness of coastal life and the depth of the seas. Heather says it perfectly when she says “nature is true and real, and I love the feeling of being connected to it in the form of wearable art.” Purchase Heather’s Jewelry on Etsy, Facebook or Instagram. Read her beautiful, inspiring story below!
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOU AND MY GIRL IS WATER? WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR LOVE FOR JEWELRY?
I never had a big love of jewelry in particular. My designs evolved from wanting to wear that which evoked my love of the ocean and life on the coast. I summered on an island growing up, and all of the daily experiences which came from living in a place surrounded by water was the inspiration for what I do. What started out as a simple talisman in the form of a seashell strung with leather and worn around my neck evolved into designs which blend organic shapes with elegant materials. Seaglass, shells, seaweed, flotsam and jetsom were some items that provided inspiration, and continue to as my designs constantly circle back to what I see in this environment. The first bracelet I ever made was a seven strand green peridot and pearl piece I designed to mimic a clump of seaweed with random shell bits stuck in it. Nature is true and real, and I love the feeling of being connected to it in the form of wearable art.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED AND GIVES YOU BLISS?
Being surrounded by other creatives keeps me inspired and gives me bliss! I opened a shop of handmade 2 years ago, and it’s the enthusiasm of the artists within which keeps me always imagining. I see how my customers shop, and dialogue with them about the things they like, and watch what they respond to. I brainstorm with my artists about how to develop their collections to best reach our customers. The collaborative nature of all this is wonderful! Together we are always trying to look at things from a fresh angle. I find this never-ending cycle of invention to be blissful. New, constantly evolving ideas, and complete freedom to think and design without constraints is pure bliss for me. The icing on the cake is to then share beautiful handmade merchandise with our customers and see them lose themselves among the shelves of unique wares which were made with such heart and soul by awesome artists!
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO SHARE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS?
When customers discover my jewelry and come back year after year, I know I’ve reached them. They “get” my design aesthetic. I’m always so honored when someone buys a piece of my jewelry, and hope that customer feels a kindred spirit created that item for them. We are stewards of our planet, and to wear a reminder of this as we go about our daily lives helps keep us connected to it, and helps us be mindful of our responsibility to Mother Earth!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TRAVEL AND/OR RETREAT MEMORY? WHAT WAS IT?
My favorite travel memory isn’t a pretty story, but an important one. I was on Eleuthera, and on a surf trip. After driving through some rugged, off-road terrain, we arrived upon of the best surf breaks on the island. As the jeep approached the opening in the trees to reveal the beautiful blue ocean and amazing waves, the beach itself became more in focus. I hopped out to walk onto the beach and it was literally covered with plastic in every form imaginable. So covered, you couldn’t walk around it. My heart sank. Here I was in paradise, and from one end of the beach to the other, discarded single-use plastic in varying conditions was everywhere. The tiniest specks were rolling around like sand at the shoreline. Plastic never decomposes, it just breaks into smaller and smaller bits and then it becomes small enough to be ingested by sea life. All this garbage was waiting for the high tide to move in and take it back out into the ocean for its continuing journey to another island somewhere. It changed my mood completely.
This vision never left me. Once I returned home I designed a necklace for our local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation to raise awareness about the health of our local beaches. It was a success and is now something I am contemplating re-releasing because it’s becoming abundantly clear this current administration doesn’t consider the protection of our oceans and beaches to be important. Awareness and action need to be paramount.