Our Story | Chasing Dreams

Shell obsessed, salty mama of two mermaids + our 2 GSDs, married to my twin flame. We asked “why not?” and two years later made our dream to live by the beach a reality. But every happy ending needs a dreary beginning, right?

The Storm That Led to the Sunshine

All my life I’ve been a creator and a dreamer. So, when I joined the Navy my friends and family were shocked. Shoot, so was I! Always a trouble maker, the thought of conforming to military life was never an aspiration. I’m sure my family thought this was just the thing I needed to save me from myself. Honestly, it just happened as a way to get out of my sleepy beach town, where I had made a mess of things.

An incredibly hard 8 year journey began where I had the opportunity to work with my hands welding on U.S. Naval Ships. I grew the thickest skin and sharp wits learning to maneuver working in a man’s world.

I traveled the world. I gained experience, courage, and skills as a leader. I learned that there is so much more in this world than what you see right in front of your eyes. I learned that people are amazing, and cruel, and sad, and inspiring. I learned that culture is beautiful, and art is amazing. I found a love for color and textures while traveling overseas.

When my husband tragically died while we were stationed in Guam, I made the decision that it was time to leave the Navy. I wanted to focus on what was the most important thing in my life, my daughter. I was so scared to leave. How would I pay my bills, where would I live, how would I take care of my 3 year old alone? It was the most challenging period in my life to overcome; death, moving overseas, changing careers, single parenthood. I broke. Utterly and completely. Over and over again.

Looking into my daughter’s eyes, I knew that I had to be strong for her. So I did, and we moved forward with our lives the best we could.

After my daughter’s father died she began to have nightmares. I felt horrible that I couldn’t console her. Creating had always been a way for me to release my emotions, so we made her a dreamcatcher using vintage doilies and lace. We enjoyed it so much that we continued to make them for friends and family.

Some time later, I married the most amazing and supportive man that I could ever wish for. He loved my daughter like his own. He healed our broken hearts and taught me how to love myself. He challenged me to chase my dreams.

I wanted to open my own brick and mortar shop carrying only handmade items from local mothers. I read books, researched small businesses and reached out to local artist. I purchased $3000 worth of local handmade goods and vendor supplies as a trial run at craft events and farmer’s markets. It was a total failure.

Except for my dreamcatchers. And the experience.

My biggest fan, my husband, urged me to go off on my own and sell my dream catchers. With the help of my little 4 year old entrepreneur we began creating bohemian dreamcatchers to fill up my shop.

As my journey continued in the entrepreneurial world, and mother hood with my second child, I felt lost. I had not fully grounded myself from the years of pain from my past. I reconnected with my first love, the ocean, driving an hour to just to walk in her salty elegance. As I spent more time connecting with mama ocean I felt more like myself. That was the turning point when Salt Hippy was born.

At times I am soaring in pure bliss at how far we’ve come. Other times juggling two kids, pets, household duties and trying to run a small business from home can be overwhelming. But when my little girls tell me, “mama, I want to sell things when I grow up,” I know I am on the right track.

Our family has grown from two people to four, plus our two fur babies. From Guam, to California, and now with roots grounded in our dream home in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

Our little business continues to grow and transform into something I could have never dreamed of. We pride ourselves in ethically hand-collecting our shells, and drift wood with the help of my two girls, and my husband (who lets us fill his pockets with sea glass and shells, thanks babe :).

We collect only empty shells, every beach trip is an opportunity for a beach clean up and honoring this healing gift, the ocean. We hope to share our love for the ocean with you and spread the word of ways to help save her before she is too far gone. 

We thank you for coming on long with us on our journey and we hope that we can inspire others to follow theirs.

Live simply, so you can really live.

Love Sophie & The Fam

– Salt Hippy

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Slowing Down as We Warm Up | Monthly Wrap Up

This month we broke free from the everlasting grasp of winter. At the same time I’ve quieted my mine from the need to make everything all at once. Creatives, you know what I mean: when your mind is buzzing with ideas and you have a million projects going all at once. Creative chaos, everywhere – kitchen counters, dining table, living room floor, your office. Instead, I’ve slowed my pace and let my heart lead the way. Creating from a place of absolute silence. Silence in my surroundings and stillness in my mind. The stillness has been powerful. It has allowed me to channel my connection with each element in my work. It such a joyful peace to create from.

Have you ever heard that saying, “just let it be”? It’s something often I find hard to do when working on a project. Sometimes I try to perfect my work to the point of perfecting it to oblivion. I will literally adjust it until I break it.

It’s been very important to me to find the right balance between my artwork, the business aspect of Salt Hippy, and my family. I’ve noticed a direct connection to how much time I spend trying to run my business and my children’s happiness (& behavior). I’ve learned to accept that I can’t work a normal 40 hour structured work week like a normal job. Instead of becoming frustrated when my children interrupt me while I work I try to to be more available to them. Often I am told they will only be this age once, so I really do try to cherish these moments with them.

Its also so wonderful to talk to them about what I am doing. I like to show the reasons why I choose each piece. Then they can learn to see the beauty of the tiny things around us that make the large big picture.

So here are a few of my favorite creations from this month. I am utterly in love with the stormy dreamcatcher. Can you guess which one that is? Which piece is your favorite?

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Custom Drift Wood Dreamcatcher | Inside the Art

There is something so satisfying about creating from the soul. It’s a place where your body moves without the lead of the mind. It’s a flow that is channeled from past experiences. It’s a dance between soul and hand on the dance floor of your art.

So when a customer tells me that they “trust my judgment”, my soul does a little squeal and a happy dance. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a custom order where my clients like to be involved. Those carry a special place in my heart too. Working hand and hand with a client to create something from their mind into reality is really quite amazing. My heart fills with so much joy when they tell me “this was exactly what I was envisioning!”

My latest custom dreamcatcher is filled with everything that makes me feel at home with myself. You know that feeling when you’re happy with who you are and where you are in life? That’s how these drift wood vines dreamcatchers make me feel. A dear friend of mine gifted me these beautifully weathered drift wood vines from the coast of the Outer Banks. I was blown away by this precious gesture. These are drift wood vines, woven so that I could have the honor of making dreamcatchers! I know the words seem so simple, but who ever knew that such a beautiful gift from the sea existed. I held on to them for months. I knew they were special and had to be saved for when my soul was ready to tell their story.

 

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This past month, the transition from winter to spring brought so much inspiration after this incredibly long winter. Even though I’m a winter baby the cold is not my friend. I become sluggish and unmotivated, almost glued to the couch with my fuzzy warm blankets and endless cups of tea. Let’s face it, I’m at Cali girl, and island girl, we’re not made for these long stretches of cold. So when daylight hours extend and flowers bloom I can literally feel the energy of the world waking. That’s when I come to life!

“art combines slivers of your story into an emotional experience you can cherish in your home.”

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Past experiences leave an imprint on you. From the reason why you love a particular crystal, the way the ocean makes you feel; its all apart of your story. Putting these elements into a piece of art combines slivers of your story into an emotional experience you can cherish in your home. Thats why I love to ask my clients questions about their favorite elements. I want to incorporate pieces of their favorite stories into my work so that it inspires their soul.

This particular dream catcher contains amethyst and ammonite, which are favorite colors of crystals of my client. I also added amethyst and quartz both snug in a bed of moss to add a touch of woodsy vibes, which she also liked. Though the moss looks much like sea sponge it still has a wonderful feel and smell of the forest which won’t take away from the ocean theme of this piece.

Its been almost three years since I started Salt Hippy and I am still so honored to think that someone wants to hang my art in their home. The kindness from the people I have worked with makes this journey so incredibly rewarding. The way people trust to share their most precious experiences, the happy and the sad, with me. In those minutes we’re in the same story, the same moment, exchanging bits of our life, and that is such a precious gift.

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Live simply, so you can really live.

Love Sophie & The Fam

-Salt Hippy