In March 2017 my roommate (Mike) and I went to Pismo Beach for vacation. On the way down we were talking in the car and I said that while I had never been much into collecting seashells on the beach, I had always wanted to find a sand dollar. Mike, a certified diver, said “fun fact, did you know sand dollars are purple when they are alive?” We spent much of the drive down to Pismo discussing sand dollars and other sea creatures– having no idea that Pismo Beach is actually known for sand dollars!!
We were only in Pismo for a few days, but in that short amount of time I fell in love with combing the beach for sand dollars!! I left the live ones that were partially buried alone. If I saw a live one that was high on the beach, I would take it back down by the water, hoping to save it. I bent down to look at all circular objects–I even accidentally tried to pick up bird poop!! I collected broken sand dollars and perfect ones. Big ones and small ones. I was so excited every time I came back up to the room!
The last day of the trip I said I was going to put all the sand dollars back on the beach. Mike was stunned! He asked me why and my very practical answer was “We have enough things sitting on shelves collecting dust” And then he said “Well you really like to make things for your friends. Jessica is watching your dog. Sam is retiring. Why don’t you use the sand dollars and make them gifts?”
I kept the sand dollars. I researched how to take care of / preserve them. I searched for ideas of gifts to make. I bounced a lot of ideas off Mike. And then I came up with a shadow box. One sand dollar in a very simple frame. Not too big and very eloquent. A perfect gift for my friends.
But that wasn’t enough. I still had sand dollars left over and a new passion in my heart. And Mike also loved combing the beach with me and had a fun time on vacation. It was he who encouraged me to keep the sand dollars in the first place. It was he who inspired me to create art. I had to make him something.
I was back online searching for the perfect idea. It took me awhile, but it finally hit me! I wanted to make him a clock. I asked him what colors he liked and asked him to pick out his favorite sand dollars. I searched and searched Etsy for the perfect clock face. I researched what adhesive to use on sand dollars. I wanted every. single. detail to be perfect. I wanted a perfect memento for our vacation. Once I finally had everything I needed, I very nervously got to work.
The blue striped clock was born. I presented it to Mike and he loved it!! And the first seed for my business was planted…
Since our vacation, Mike has moved back home. The original clock is hanging in his kitchen in Denver, CO.