I am always excited when new stores open on Martha’s Vineyard, especially when it’s in Oak Bluffs, and even more so when it’s not a t-shirt shop.
So, you can imagine my joy when I heard about Driftwood Jewelry opening on Circuit Avenue in May.
Not only is the new space simply beautiful — light and airy, with wall colors reminiscent of a cloudy day searching for driftwood on an up-Island beach, but what it offers is so much more than just jewelry.
Owner Samantha Church, born and raised on the Vineyard, has been in the jewelry business for a long time.
Attending Savannah School of Art and Design, working at Claudia’s in Edgartown for over a decade, and having her own enamel jewelry line. Sam knows a lot about jewelry.
One thing that she has always thought the Island was missing was a place for local artisan jewelers to sell their creations. Last November, she and her boyfriend were talking about this need, and he told her she should open a place.
Come December, a lease was signed and Sam was the proud new owner of a future jewelry store in Oak Bluffs. Nestled in with Lazy Frog, Craftworks, and Sanctuary, Driftwood looks right at home.
In order to get the space ready, Sam’s whole family and a lot of her friends have been helping with the renovation. New floors, paint, getting fixtures, making fixtures — it has been a labor of love. Everyone is excited and supportive of Sam and what the store means to the community.
What I mean when I say that is, it’s so much more than jewelry, and it’s the fact that Driftwood is a beautiful place for local and small artists to sell their pieces year round, no matter what the weather.
The artists festivals on Martha’s Vineyard are wonderful, but this offers a whole new opportunity for many talented jewelry makers, who don’t have a store of their own. As a jewelry maker herself, Sam is really excited about this opportunity for fellow designers.
Currently Driftwood has about 20 different designers but that will most likely grow throughout the Summer. A lot of Island jewelry designers and a number who have ties to the Vineyard have been very busy making inventory for the store.
Some of the designers include Giles Welch and his wampum jewelry. His wampum jewelry is so lovely and simple, and has an unbelievably great price point, making it a perfect Vineyard souvenir.
You’ll also find Hawkhouse (which I need to write about) at Driftwood. This amazing “everyday gemstone jewelry inspired by nature” line has such gorgeous pieces, each that are one of a kind. You won’t believe how interesting these pieces are, that are made right here on-Island.
You’ll also find Squibby Rocks, yes this collection is made with rocks from the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, and Ivry Belle, whose feminine pieces with an edge make you smile. Who doesn’t love a little flower power with an attitude?
You’ll find an amazing assortment of Nettie Kent Jewelry, and one of Sam’s coworkers from Claudia’s, Brenda Benware’s gorgeous pieces with beads, gemstones and more.
It’s amazing, this mother of four, full-time employee has time to create beautiful, intricate handmade jewelry that takes your breath away! I can barely make dinner every night. Truly amazing.
At Driftwood you’ll also find pieces from Hannah Guerin who is based out Brooklyn and MV. This designer’s line might just might be my new 2015 obsession.
Her sea life inspired pieces are whimsical yet sophisticated at the same time. She makes wearing mussels or shark vertebrae look chic.
There are many more designers at Driftwood including Sam herself. Her enamel jewelry is colorful and fun, and unlike anything else you’ll find made on the Island.
Sam chose enamel as her focus because she loves color, and the sky is the limit when working with enamel.
Though not in store yet, be on the lookout for Noepe Designs which are handmade, hand drawn and hand-dyed fabric and leather goods — clutches, wallets and bags. I have not seen this collection yet but am curious.
When you walk into Driftwood, be prepared to want at least five things for yourself. Whether you’re a visitor here for a day or an Islander of 50 years, you will fall in love with something.
The jewelry is so unique and special, and the fact that it’s made by hand by designers makes the pieces even more amazing.
What might also be shocking is the pricing. Most items that Sam carries are under $100. Whew, that helps make you feel pretty good, because not only are you shopping local and supporting artists, but it’s also guilt free (almost)! There are some pricier pieces, but most are affordable. You can shop in bulk!
Driftwood is opening Friday, May 1st. The store will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for now, and then stay open until 9 p.m. during the Summer. Also, if you have any sea glass pieces that could be used for a piece of jewelry, you might want to bring it to Driftwood opening weekend.
This is one of those stores that you fall in love with a place filled with handmade, unique pieces that help local artists. A great idea and wonderful addition to Martha’s Vineyard, for Islanders and visitors alike.
Thanks for reading On Point. You can learn more about Driftwood Jewelry on Facebook and her Etsy page. And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, linkedin, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.