Beach wear, beach ware & beach where -- Perfect Beach Finds both Vintage and New



Suzy sold seashells by the seashore. 

And the Guild Shop has all the inventory for Suzy to create a wonderful vignette of everything beach, ocean and fashion.  Summer is here and we are all dreaming of the beach!  We hope some of you also are going!  Beach ware, beachwear or beach where?

My dream would be to decorate a cottage on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean.  I can imagine it already!  Shells would be an important part of my cottage.  I love the needlepoint in the frame in the back of this vignette.  Someone took the time to make it, perhaps on a vacation.  The conch shell is so beautiful.  Many of the island nations of the West Indies claim the conch as their national symbol.  I’m partial to the queen conch and conch fritters! 

When I was a little girl, before India Hicks claimed Harbour Island as her home, my family claimed it as our wonderful vacation spot.  We arrived by boat and one of my favorite memories is eating conch fritters at Valentine’s, the best spot on the Island and at that time maybe the only spot.  We would hunt for these shells by day, deliver them to Valentine’s and eat them as dinner that night.  A perfect family memory!  To this day, I still have in my bathroom one of the shells we found there 40 years ago.  The pink shell is as beautiful now as it was then. 

I often wonder how this amazing shell became an important symbol in so many places around the world.  It makes it even more special that you can find a shell, an art piece, some jewelry and fashion at the Guild Shop.  You can own a piece of history, either from your own special memory or that of an entire people. 

Do you know the difference between a pearl and mother-of-pearl?  Mother-of-pearl is the nacre, the inner lining of the shell, which is also where pearls are formed.  As we used to say in Asia, same-same but different.  I learned a new word while writing this and I kind think it sounds funny–“nacreous.”  And this nacreous trade is governed by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, signed by 140 countries.  It was used mostly for decorative buttons in fashion for many centuries.  The original sequence bling. 

My absolute favorite piece that I have seen with this bling was at a Filipina friend who was a collector of textiles. She shared a jacket of the B’laan people.  Just WOW!

Maybe you won’t find a B’laan piece, but you often will find beautiful mother-of-pearl jewelry at the Guild Shop to start your own collection. The earrings and the necklace in this photo are great examples of what you might find if you come often and find your treasure.

As I was doing a little research on mother-of-pearl, I also learned about the Pearly Kings and Queens, started by Henry Croft.  It is the story of a streetsweeper in London who used to find mother-of-pearl buttons from market traders.  Croft used these buttons to decorate his suit and gain attention for the charities he wanted to highlight.

Suzy may be able to sell you a shell or two, or maybe you want to consign a pearl or mother-of-pearl piece at the Guild Shop!

May you find your treasure,



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