Two Sisters Relishing in Their Beach Glass Business - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Two Sisters Relishing in Their Beach Glass Business

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Located inside the blue building at 3835 West 12th St. in Millcreek is Relish Inc.  It's a beach glass jewelry studio and gallery.

Jennifer Reed started the business back in 1996, after her six-year-old son found a piece of glass on the beach.

"Spencer found a piece of beach glass.  I had a jewelry studio at my home and Spencer said, 'mom, can you make me a ring?'  Kind of like the shoemaker's son it took me a while to get there but I finally did make him a ring," said Reed. 

Soon after, she recruited her sister Terri to join and Relish was born.  And after all these years, to think, they actually still get along.

"It's great.  You know why, because business is tough and you don't always agree with your partner.  But she can't get rid of me, and I can't divorce her, so it's all good," said Jennifer. 

"When we go somewhere we seriously laugh harder about things than any two people laugh about things, so it's great," said Terri Reed.

It's a unique business venture and a unique process, too.  The sisters take pieces of glass they find at beaches around the country, or pieces they buy from collectors, and turn it into one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

The glass comes from old bottles, glassware and other glass objects that were at one time dumped or lost in water.  Over time the glass gets polished and rounded off before it washes ashore.

"This is recycling at its best.  This is recycled, man-made, glass objects, that eventually goes from trash to treasure," said Terri. 

They say the jewelry that they make is filled with history and mystery.  All this glass they use comes from all around the world, from all different origins.

For years business was sparkling, but the recession did them no favors.  In 2009 the Reeds had to reduce their staff from 16 down to five.

"When we had to lay off all those people it was tough and it was sad because we were a big family.  But you know what?  It really made Jennifer and I get down to brass tax and work harder and smarter," said Terri.

"I think we've weathered the storm.  We learned a lot.  We were artists going into business and now we're a bit more savvy on the business end and we know how to do things a little bit better," said Jennifer.

Now they're holding steady with hopes of a brighter future.  A journey they look forward to continue, but always looking back on what they've accomplished.

"It's rewarding I think. You pat yourself on the back when things are going good and go wow, I brought this up from nothing," said Jennifer. 

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