Turn your attention to the sea – and those who draw inspiration from it

Everyone is an ocean inside. Khaled Hosseini
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One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I love shells. I’m scared beyond words to pick them up from the beach because it might have an inhabitant that pops out unexpectedly – and I don’t want to see that!

While we were down in Ballito we went to Sage for breakfast and as per usual I browsed the little shops while dad and the eldest kid were in the park. That’s when I saw the most amazing piece of jewellery ever…

There it was, a choker with cowrie shells in sterling silver – and a matching ring. I had to have the ring immediately, but with my thin fingers it looked like I was playing with an adult’s jewellery. I left without buying a piece but couldn’t stop thinking about that ring and a few hours later, I was stalking the maker Miss D Jewellery on Instagram.

I inboxed her and met her the next day at the Ballito Pro to buy a cowrie shell ring. I walked away from the pop-up shop and placed an order for a pair of custom cowrie shell earrings. The night before delivery I message her to add a necklace with single pendant.

She met me in Salt Rock with a beautiful parcel – and I couldn’t wait to wear my new pieces. As she drove away I had the necklace on. By the time she exited the shopping centre the earrings were on me too. I couldn’t stop touching them – and I’ve mostly worn these pieces out in the last month.

I own other cowrie shell jewellery bought on Zanzibar and the Maldives – but this, I don’t know… It’s a little more special because I now know who the maker is; I can go back and add to my little collection; or even ask for a custom piece.

I love showing it off – and if you ask me for her details I’ll give it to you, because I want local makers to make it. I want everybody else to buy local too.

There is something about shells…

Shells are little magical things from the sea that wash up on the beach. Some are broken, some look new – and yet you can never be sure just how old they are. I love holding smooth shiny shells or the “crinkle cut” shells and gently running them between my fingers. It’s quite therapeutic when you sit and stare out over the ocean.

Every time I slip into the ocean, it’s like going home.

Sylvia Earle

I think there is a reason I am drawn to the sea and anything connected to it. It’s probably a reason I won’t ever speak about. I’m just thankful that I can carry something from it with me wherever I am.

Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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