"Is that a thing?" "HECK YES!:)"
You're seeing right! Each piece is made with ACTUAL Lionfish tail. I know that might sound a little weird and some might wonder why we hunt lionfish. They're invasive , we need to eradicate them and we figured what better way to do that than with art? Each pair is responsible for the removal of one or several invasive lionfish from our beloved Caribbean Sea.
I had always been fascinated by the unique beauty of lion fish but it wasn't until early 2013 when my friend Jen, a marine biologist schooled me about the havoc they were causing on our Barrier reef that I taught that they'd be cooler OUT of our waters. I decided to combat this invasive predator that was destroying our reef!
At first, the task was daunting. I had no idea how to find, handle, dry, and turn this fish into jewelry. I sought out local fishermen to ask about lion fish tails, but they taught I was koo koo. I went to different co-ops around Belize to look for lion fish, but no luck! All I could find was the fillet. Finally, I found a fisherman who was willing to get me the lion fish "parts". though he thought I was absurd for wanting lion fish parts. Anyway, I was stoked! I started experimenting right away. A lot. I experimented for weeks, days and months. I became obsessed. I had lionfish drying on my rooftop (so the cats wouldn't get them, but then the birds got them). I had lionfish tails on my porch, in the kitchen, on the lawn (boy! did the ants get them there). After making so many mistakes, and getting quite a few pricks, I finally perfected my own technique and launched my design
The response I got from my family, friends and customers was exhilarating! I was happy to receive big support after spending so many months developing my technique. We've been creating lion fish jewelry ever since and it remains our favorite material to create with because we know that not is the jewelry beautiful and unique but that each time we remove lion fish from the sea, we are contributing to the eradication efforts, helping local fishermen provide for their families AND creating employment for the women who are on our team, also providing for their families.