BERKELEY, Calif. — Ellia Fashion is a small shop founded by Ellia, her preferred job name. She’s been selling handmade jewelry for 20 years and says, “You can walk down the street, you’ll see nothing like this.” adding, they’re “one of a kind.”
This small street booth has earrings, necklaces and bracelets ranging from $5 to $125, depending on the products and the quality.
Ellia gets her supplies made in India and Macedonia.
When talking about her jewelry, Ellia is most proud of her new necklaces, which are made out of real shell and some stone.
One of her most preferred necklaces is made out of white shell with the word “Cal” carved on the bottom and with the Berkeley mascot in the middle. Another work she takes pride in is a delicately carvedbutterfly necklace with two different colored shells.
Ellia says, “People copy me because you need design. They are not as detailed as me.”
The process of making the shell designs on Ellia’s necklaces is a long and intricate.
“First you slice the shells then put them together. Afterwards, you put it in another shell and then you cut the design. It takes a long time to make because after each process, you have to wait for the shell to dry,” Ellia says.
“If you directly cut the design in the shells, the dust from the shells can give you cancer,” she said, and “that is why you must cut it in water.”
She uses abalone shells and mother-of-pearl shells for her necklaces.