James Colgan repurposed a California hobby into a Kentucky business
James Colgan has found a way to repurpose his California hobbies into a jewelry-making business in Kentucky almost six years after living in three states across the country.
Colgan, a Fleming county native, lived in California for many years pursuing various interests. One hobby that maintained a stable presence in his life was collecting sea glass from a little beach on the San Francisco bay. He eventually collected over 10,000 pieces of sea glass from the six to eight months that he spent going to the beach.
“[The beach] didn’t have a name, and never had anybody on it, but my girlfriend at the time and I would go down to that beach, because when the tide would go out, it’d be covered with glass,” said Colgan. “It was part of our daily routine. I became fascinated with the idea of sea glass. We used to take it and wash it off and put it in jars because I thought it was pretty.”
Colgan said when he stepped into a shop in Florida that sold sea glass jewelry it opened a whole new realm of possibilities.
“I had all of this glass and I didn’t know you could do that. It had never occurred to me before,” said Colgan. “I bought this pair of earrings, took them home with me and studied them and reverse-engineered them.”
Colgan took on this new art form as a challenge and began his jewelry-making business. After learning how to create the style he had already found, he expanded his knowledge and skill base to create pendants and forged-style jewelry, which includes silversmithing work.
“I didn’t start out thinking that I was going to sell it. I started out doing it because it interested me,” said Colgan.
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