My favorite studio visits are the ones when I walk in and immediately feel at home–and that’s exactly how I felt when sea glass jewelry artist Suzie Thomas opened her doors and welcomed me into her Santa Cruz, CA studio.
Her oasis is, no doubt, ocean-inspired: air plants dangling from inside sea urchin shells that mimic the shape of jellyfish, bright blue abstract art work–painted by Suzie herself–on display, and whales peeking from the corners of her desk and swimming along her walls. Suzie features local artists’ work within her studio, including her son’s “Mom” rainbow, a charming masterpiece.
With Santa Cruz’s gorgeous sea coast and redwoods as Suzie’s backyard playground, it’s no surprise her home and studio space are very much aligned with nature. But it was a surprise for Suzie when she realized she could turn sea glass into jewelry and eventually grow jewelry creation into a full-time business. “At first it was just something I did alongside my full-time marketing job,” said Suzie. “But then the orders continued to grow substantially. I crunched the numbers one day and decided to take the plunge, quit my job, and launch my business full time. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Read Suzie’s interview below to find out how she initially discovered the concept for her sea glass jewelry line, what happened when she got swept up by a wave while hunting for sea glass, and why Albert Einstein keeps her motivated every day.