Designer creates unique beach glass jewelry

Beach Glass by Tracy, Ohio jewelry

Tracy Boyd started hunting for beach glass on Lake Erie years ago while on vacation with her family. Since then, she's turned the pieces of glass she's found into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, selling them locally in her line Beach Glass by Tracy. 

We asked Boyd how she got started, what inspires her and what her favorite design is - see what she had to say below: 

What made you decide to design with beach glass?

While vacationing on Lake Erie with my parents and young daughter, my mother remembered looking for glass when she was a child. We began speaking with locals and learned about beach glass hunting. We were hooked! We found ourselves making weekly trips to the beach to hunt. The following year, we booked a cottage with beach access so we could hunt all day. We soon had jars, vases, bottles and bins of glass everywhere.

My mother soon declared, “You need to do something with all of this!” I had seen jewelry in local shops along the shore and thought each piece was simply beautiful. A family friend taught me to drill beach glass, and I began to create jewelry pieces. Since the passing of my mother, everything about beach glass is a space of comfort.

Where do you draw inspiration?

I strive to keep each piece as simple and beautiful as I find it on the shores. This allows the natural beauty and formation process to be the focus of the item. I want each one to provoke a memory of another person’s time on the lake shores. It can be from boating, playing in the sand, watching sunsets or spending hours with loved ones hunting glass for themselves. Knowing that a simple item can connect someone with happiness motivates me. Also knowing that simply wearing beach glass can bring a person back to the lake, no matter where they are in the world.

Do you have a favorite design you've created, or one with a special significance?

Among beach glass hunters, finding a piece of red beach glass is the Holy Grail. Since few pieces of red glass find their way into the waters, the location of one is, on average, one in every 5,000 pieces found. As the ruby is the July birthstone, many people want items for family members. 

A fellow vendor at local farm markets lost a baby that was to be born in July. She became pregnant a few months later and had a healthy little girl. Without the devastation of losing the one, she would not have the little princess today. She asked me to make her something with red, light blue and green to represent all three of her babies. I located an old watch and removed the insides. I used the face as a locket and filled it with three pieces to represent her babies. She cried when I gave it to her.

What advice would you give someone starting a fashion-related business in Cleveland?

I would share with anyone thinking of starting a fashion-related business that it is important to find an area that makes you happy. It has to be something you are willing to work for. You need to do the research, network, try, fail, try again, fail again and be prepared for strangers to make comments and suggestions that can be personally hurtful.

Become the expert in your field. Have conversations with people doing the same kind of work as you; learn from their mistakes. Do your research. Frequent online resources including Pinterest, Instagram and Etsy. They will keep you on trend and keep your mind ready to create. At the end of the day, you have to find happiness in your passion and that will show in your presentation, quality and business mission.

Learn more about Beach Glass by Tracy on the company's Facebook page.

Friday, April 19, 2019