Wednesday, 20 June 2018 16:13

Inside look at Maine Shellware Featured

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BANGOR - You've seen Maine Shellware in your local boutiques and stores, but have you ever wondered how they're made and where they get their shells?

 

Ten years ago artisan Nicole Klam was a college student when she started making shellware. What's unique about this is that they get their shells from local restaurants and food processors.

 

"We get to interact with a lot of them and we also are recycling. We are getting like a thousands pounds of shells a year that would otherwise be going to landfill," said Klam.

 

She said she even finds shells on her own while walking on the beach, "There's always something I can use them in."

 

They sell everything from coffee mugs, lamps, magnets, and yes even jewelry.

 

She said they started as a home goods company and added jewelry four years ago. Artisan Amy Douglass said there's something about hand made crafts that attracts people.

 

"When people come to Maine they always want to take home a piece of Maine with them if they're tourist or just people who live here and they wanna send stuff back to their family, and I think a lot of people just enjoy your know being able to actually have that little piece of Maine with them," said Douglass.

 

She said they primarily sell wholesale up and down the coast, all of New England, and as far down as South Carolina, "I mean we've sent stuff to Dubai I just sent a pair of lamps the other day shell lamps to Nebraska."

 

All the shells are placed by hand and they even create custom jewelry.

 

"A lot of like logos embedded in things we'll have people bring in their own shells that they've gotten on vacation and in their travels and we'll turn it into jewelry," said Douglass.

 

It takes a lot of concentration and a steady hand, but these artisans wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

"If you have the perfect job you never work a day in your life, and I totally agree with that."

 

Shonna Narine

Reporter
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Shonna Narine joined the ABC7 and FOX22 team in August 2017. Originally from Long Island (although she hides her accent for TV) she's excited to see what Maine has to offer.

She graduated from Five Towns College in Dix Hills Long Island where she anchored for their TV Club, and had her own radio show called "All Access Entertainment."

She won an outstanding achievement award and graduated on the dean's list.

Prior to graduation Shonna interned at News12 Long Island.

Shonna comes from a big family. With three older sisters, her parents, and six nieces and nephews there's never a dull moment when she's around them. When she's not working she enjoys working out, dancing, spending time with her fiance, and planning her wedding! Shonna would love to hear if you have any story ideas. You can email her at [email protected].