Welcome to The Salty Shell's Blog!
I'm so excited to start this blog and to share with you! Now for a proper introduction! My name is Beth- as you may know I'm originally from Rhode Island and moved to Florida 2 years ago. I am a full time senior floral designer for an amazing family owned business, and I manage one of their stores. When I was 18 I was looking for a part time job after Blockbuster closed - (I miss all of the free movies!) When filling out the application on a whim I checked that I would be interested in either being a cashier or working in the floral department. About a week later I began training as a novice floral designer. I continued working on the weekends while still persuing a degree in English. That is until I had that "ah-ha" moment and knew my true passion was floral design. I went to school in Florida to train, went back to New England, and then began working at one of New England's top event florists. I absolutley loved my time working there, and everyone I worked with. Then after a few years I started to feel that wanderlust. I knew there had to be more for me, and other oceans outside of my hometown. (Ironically enough I live right next to the same ocean, just 1,000 miles more south.) I put my resume out there and ended up flying down to Florida with my dad to meet my potential new coworkers. The rest is history! September 28th will be my 2 year work and Florida anniversary.
Now, where does owning a small jewelry business play into all of this?
Well, five years ago I started The Salty Shell. I was always looking for coastal jewelry that really celebrated my beach hometown, but could never find what I was looking for. I also have a nickel allergy, which makes it hard to find affordable earrings that don't make my ears itch. (All of The Salty Shell's earrings either come with sterling silver earwire, or the option for 14K gold plated earwire.) I decided to start making my own jewelry. At first it was just for myself. Then I'd have someone ask where I bought my earrings. Eventally people starting asking if they could buy my earrings! Another "ah-ha" moment happened. I had recently heard of Etsy and had a friend that ran her jewelry business through them. So, in November of 2012- right before the holiday rush- I opened my shop! I had an amazing first year- and by amazing I mean I had a few strangers buy from me! It was so exciting knowing people out in the world saw what I was making and liked it enough to buy it! (If you've had this happen you know exactly the euphoric feeling I mean!) It wasn't one of my mom's friends or someone I've known my entire life- an absolutle stranger loved what I was doing! But I was a complete novice. My business started to slow down in 2014- I didn't really have an understanding of SEO, or search engine optimization. As more sellers joined Etsy I became lost in the search pages. I started to feel so discouraged I actually shut my store down for a good portion - from late 2014 to late 2016. My life seemed a little lost at that moment- that was the beginning of when I decided to move. Then, coming down to Florida and being around so many beautiful beaches again I felt inspired. I restocked The Salty Shell, took all new photos, learned about SEO, and joined a few facebook groups for inspiration and help. Then late 2016 I heard my first "cha-ching!" (For those of you that are not Etsy sellers- your phone makes an old cash register sound every time you make a sale.) The fire inside of me rekindled, and I've worked almost every day since on improving my store.
There are 3 amazing Etsy stores run by amazing women that really helped me improve my store:
- Jupiter Street Designs- Erin helped me create the PERFECT logo for my store https://www.etsy.com/shop/JupiterStreetDesigns
- Just Add Jewelry- Jen helped me actually understand SEO, and begin getting sales again https://www.etsy.com/shop/JustAddJewelry
- Simply Lemonberry- Kim created the PERFECT necklace chart for my store https://www.etsy.com/shop/SimplyLemonberry
This weekend we are expecting to be hit by Hurricane Irma. There will most likely be some shipping delays unfortunately but I will do my best to get orders out in a timely manner. Tomorrow is another day of storm prep for me! We're good on food and water, now its just cleaning up around the house before Irma comes! I just threw some beef jerky in the oven- the first batch came out amazing! In case you want to replicate it I included the recipe at the bottom!
This blog post's feature shell is the black miter shell! I currently have 5 of them in stock : https://www.etsy.com/listing/555504069/shell-necklace-sea-shell-jewelry-mermaid?ref=shop_home_active_3
Fun Fact: Miter shells are most commonly found in or around coral reefs! They're native to the indo-pacific region, and come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
Well thank you so much for joining me on the first post! Hopefully Florida is not hit too hard by Hurricane Irma and everything will go back to normal again soon!
Simple Beef Jerky
3/4 cup worcestershire 3/4 cup soy sauce 2 full tablespoons garlic (I use the one bottle that's chopped)
2-3 tablespoons light brown sugar A pinch of dried chives A pinch of garlic powder A pinch of dried minced onion 2-3 packages of presliced top round beef
(Can you tell I'm not very good at measuring?) Anyway you combine the ingredients in a bowl and coat every piece of meat individually as you put them into the mixture. Then tightly Saran Wrap the top of the bowl and let them soak for at least 3 hours. Preheat your oven to 175* F. Take a baking sheet and place a metal rack on it. Dry off each each of the meat with paper towel before laying it on the rack. Now for the fun part! Arrange the beef like a giant puzzle- you'll want to fill the rack but not have any of the beef overlap. Bake for 3-4 hours low and slow and then enjoy! You can add cayenne, paprika, or liquid smoke - I'm just not particular to spicy/smokey! Store in an airtight container and enjoy!