Meet the Mermaids Who Make Jewelry for Mermaids
If you love the ocean, you'll love Sea Dipped — and their gold-dipped shell jewelry, all in support of endangered baby sea turtles.
Here, we chat with founder and designer Hattie and get to know the brand beyond business.
How did Sea Dipped begin?
I quit a full-time desk job and decided it was time to channel my inner mermaid. I have a love affair with the seas — but more importantly, with the creatures that are lucky enough to call them their home. Ever since I was a little girl, I've always collected treasures I found on various beaches around the world and created unique jewelry pieces out of them. After quitting my job, I took a trip to Mexico with friends from school. While walking down the beach looking for shells, I realized how beautiful each shell would be dipped in gold. When I returned from Mexico, I started Sea Dipped.
My first collection was a beaded collection. I created it in my little apartment, making each piece by hand and beading them one by one. A lot of my time was spent chasing beads around the floor. Once my first collection was complete, I couldn't stop, I enjoyed seeing the pieces come to life when people would wear them. I started incorporating chains and silk cords, which people really loved.
What inspired you to start this jewelry business?
I have always had a passion for traveling, design, fashion and philanthropy, so I put all four of those together and created Sea Dipped.
You give back a percentage of sales to sea turtles. Why is that important to you?
I grew up going to the beaches and would never get out of the ocean. It explains why I have always had a love affair with the ocean, it has always fascinated me and been an important part of my life. I give back because our oceans are in trouble, and it isn't too late to make a difference. I grew up going to a small beach in South Carolina with my family. Every year, we would walk down the beach and look at the sea turtles nest, and I would cross my fingers that a nest would hatch while I was there.
As I got older, I realized baby turtles weren't common — six of the seven species of sea turtles are threatened or endangered. Sadly, the fact is that they face many dangers as they travel the seas — including accidental capture and entanglement in fishing gear (also known as by-catch), the loss of nesting and feeding sites to coastal development, poaching, and ocean pollution, including plastic. I discovered an incredible organization, See Turtles, who have a mission to protect endangered turtles throughout Latin America and the world by supporting community-based conservation efforts through ecotourism, education, and Billion Baby Turtles. I partnered with them in June 2016, and each gold shell saves 10 baby turtles, which is absolutely incredible. My hope is to raise awareness alongside the amazing organizations that are fighting the same battle.
What is the design process?
It starts on a beach and ends in my apartment. I'm always on the hunt for cool, unique shells that would look even better dipped in gold. I collect a ton and then go through and hand select the ones I really love. I play around with different designs and materials and once I have a piece that I love, I wear it in front my friends and I wear them out and see what everyone's reaction is. If the reaction is good, I rush to shoot it and put it online!
Who would you love to see wearing your pieces?
Karlie Kloss! I'm borderline obsessed, and she's a huge advocate for the ocean, which I really love.
If you could describe Sea Dipped in three words, what would they be?
Unique, adventurous, salty.