Combining her perpetual love for the ocean together with a collection of shells from around the world, Palm Beach native Sasha Lickle creates beautiful beach-themed jewelry for her line, Sasha Lickle Designs. I am proud to feature my cousin, Sasha’s business, as she has developed quite a name for herself out of a pastime of exploring the beach as a young child. Below, Sasha answers some questions about how she ended up in the jewelry business and what inspires her latest designs.
Her jewelry line, featuring semi-precious stones, coral, natural seashells and 18-karat gold is currently available at Blue Streak Gallery in Wilmington, DE now through February 29th. You may also find her jewelry at numerous stores along the East Coast (listed below) as well as online. Stop in to Blue Streak Gallery before the end of February to see Sasha’s gorgeous jewelry!
Questions for Sasha Lickle of Sasha Lickle Designs:
What inspired you to start designing shell and semiprecious stone jewelry?
From the time I could walk, I used to spend hours collecting shells on the beach with my mom and there was always something so rewarding about finding an almost perfect shell. I spent my summers diving, diving, snorkeling and wandering the beaches of the Bahamas and have always been captivated by the beauty of the ocean and everything that it inhabits. I just think nature can be so breathtaking at times and in a world where most of what we have been exposed to is manufactured, I wanted to remind people just how incredible nature can be all on it’s own. All of the stones and shells that I use are completely natural; none of them are synthetic or dyed.
Your collection has expanded greatly since you started. How long have you been making jewelry now?
I started making jewelry about 5 years ago when I was bed bound for 11 months due to a back injury, just to keep me occupied. I truly did not know I had a creative bone in my body. As I recovered, I started to wear all of the pieces I had made and began to get several requests from others to make them something. I started making pieces for others just for fun in spare time and out of that grew this business. I did not really start focusing on it full-time until about 2 1/2 years ago. Most of what I have learned has been self-taught through trial and error, so as I have progressed and figured out how to use different methods and techniques I have been able to expand my line.
What inspirations do you draw from to come up with new jewelry design concepts?
I do a lot of diving and fishing and frequently travel to the Bahamas and I am inspired by the different elements of nature that I come across while exploring those hobbies.
All of your designs are handmade, by you. How long does it typically take to complete a piece for you?
It depends on the complexity of the piece, but it can range anywhere from about 20 minutes to 3 or 4 hours to assemble. Some of the pieces, like the gold-dipped ones have processes that take about a week to complete.
Your images that are used to showcase your line are beautiful. Do you photograph them yourself?
I do, with the help of my mom. Most of them are taken in her backyard with various pieces of corals, shells, barnacles etc. that we have found together on various beaches around the world. I have also taken some of the photos down in the Bahamas.
We love that your line is reasonably priced. The majority of designer jewelry out there similar to yours is quite costly. How do you stay within these price points?
It is not easy!! When I originally started the line, I knew there was a hole in the market for lower price point, good quality jewelry because personally I had always had a difficult time finding accessories that I could afford that didn’t fall apart or turn funny colors after the first time you wore them. So my goal was to create a high quality product that was good looking and fun that any shopper could afford and purchase just because they liked it and it didn’t have to be a serious investment. It was a lot harder than I thought to find reliable good quality suppliers. I quickly discovered that unless you personally go hand pick each shell, stone, etc. you end being sent horrible quality/broken pieces. So, I spend hours digging through bins of shells and stones trying to find the most perfect pieces. I have also made great relationships with a few people that know what I am looking for that hold pieces for me when they come across them.
For the full interview, continue reading at the Dilwyne Designs blog.