For those of you in search of creative beach jewelry, but don’t feel like waiting in Highway 1 traffic into Santa Cruz to get it, the newest destination is closer than you think.
Alyce Shepardson opened up the doors to the tongue twisting She Sells Seashells and More on Aug. 4 inside the Capitola Village Mercantile shopping center and she does indeed offer more than just flashy oceanic bling.
The first thing you notice in the small suite has a bright orange wall — a hypnotic feature.
Shepardson said that getting a chance to open up a shop in the Capitola Village was a can't-miss opportunity.
“This has always been my favorite place. I love Capitola,” she said. “It’s quaint, it’s fun and it’s a nice little beach community.”
Shepardson offers stylish necklaces and bracelets along with some of her personal photography pieces. Her love for the camera began when she was a kid — and what better place to take pictures than the picturesque backyard of Monterey Bay?
“I’ve always liked photography and never taken any lessons on it. I just take photos,” she said. “I have a good eye for it, people have told me that. I just do nature photography and really nothing else. You've got to be there to catch it.”
She Sells Seashells also has handmade wooden pens crafted by Cecil Hodges, aromatherapy oils made to sooth by Flower Essence Energy, exquisite glass by Ken Slobodian at Angry Dragon Glass and vivid stained glass pieces by Jackie Marr from Kiss My Glass.
Also inside She Sells Seashells are products from Little Sky Lavender Farm in Boulder Creek. And what makes this product so special is the fact that they use English Lavender, the only type that can be used for culinary purposes.
Unlike the French and Spanish lavender, which is used primarily in soaps and lotions, the English lavender can be a great way to add a different kind of flavor to classic goodies like brownie mix, lavender sugar cookie mix, and lavender salt and pepper.
“I put [lavender salt] in my salad dressing,” said Shepardson. “I haven’t tried it yet but I’m going to try it on my popcorn. I use coconut oil now on my popcorn, so if I put coconut oil and lavender sea salt...yum.”
She Sells Seashells also carries other Little Sky products such as eye pillows and bath salts that include Pacific and Epsom sea salt along with the lavender to throw in the tub after a long day at work.
Before Shepardson opened up shop in the Capitola Village, she spent a portion of her life in construction until she developed arthritis in the hip that prevented her from continuing in that work.
Now she spends her time behind a glass counter and uses her 15 years of experience making jewelry and in return has put out extraordinarily colorful body accessories.
“I was born in San Jose and we were always coming to the beach,” said Shepardson. “And so I’ve always liked the beach theme.”
After spending so much time on the beach on the hunt for things to use in her shop, Shepardson came across what appears to be a shark tooth. However, it’s not just from any ordinary shark.
According to Shepardson, it may be from a Megalodon and can be as old as 1–25 million years old. Who knows...this could be history in the making.
But in case it doesn’t turn out to be a long lost Megalodon tooth from the Cenozoic Era and the possibility of early retirement, she still has her shop and the new friends she has made along the way.
“I enjoy that I can be here and if I have some down time I can make jewelry, you know, be creative,” said Shepardson. “But I also like meeting the people. I enjoy people a lot. I did not get in this business to make a lot of money because I know that won’t happen, but I did it because of the interaction with people.”
Have you been to She Sells Seashells yet? Plan on going? Think Shepardson has an ancient tooth? Tell us in the comments!