Today we’re sharing a Tastemaker feature that originally appeared in our Fall 2016 issue. Megan Proctor of Sea + Stone Jewelry shared her story of how she dreams up and creates her Lowcountry-inspired designs in her then-Charleston-based studio. When we contacted Megan for an update, here’s what she had to say:
“I’m getting married next month, and my fiance is in the military, so I’ve moved myself and my studio to Southern Pines, NC to be closer to his job at Ft. Bragg. Now that Sea+Stone is all settled in our new home, it is back to business as usual! I’m excited to be able to maintain all of our current stockists throughout FL, GA, & SC. I’m eager to begin expanding and growing my business in North Carolina as well. We’re working on improving our new website for retail sales and are coming out with a new collection of semiprecious jewelry soon, too. Our new pieces are going to feature interchangeable pendants as well as more versatile wrap necklaces that can be worn long or short. Of course, I’m also looking forward to a splash of vibrant spring colors and some pieces designed with my new home in the Pines as their inspiration.”
We hope you enjoy the article!
Inspired by nature, Megan Proctor creates one-of-a-kind pieces in her semi-precious and fine jewelry line, Sea + Stone. Working with raw materials found in nature—ranging from oyster shells to antlers to dinosaur bone— Megan combines these organic objects with gemstones and beading for a fresh, high-end take on found object jewelry. Sea + Stone can now be found in nearly twenty retail locations—as well as in numerous jewelry collections—across the South.
A graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design and the Gemological Institute of America, Megan jumpstarted her career with an internship at Fossil, going on to immerse herself in the jewelry business and refine her skills at Coach and Alexis Bittar. Having grown up on a farm near the Georgia/Florida border and spending time on Florida’s Forgotten Coast, Megan was always inspired by and a collector of shells, she moved from New York to Charleston and started Sea + Stone in 2014.
Megan explains that the materials drive the pieces. She enjoys taking unexpected materials—scallops, petrified wood, fossilized coral—and making them into something beautiful. Family and friends help her collect materials, along with her beloved gemstones and beads, she keeps a stock of raw materials in her studio. Part of the beauty of Megan’s work comes from chance—what she makes depends upon what she can find, and the materials have their own stories. Megan explains that scallops, for example, can have different coloration according to their geographic origin—scallops from the Gulf Coast have muted greys and tans, while those from closer to Sanibel boast bright purples and oranges.
“Nature is the greatest artist,” Megan says.
When launching Sea + Stone, Megan jumped in with both feet. It was important to her to launch with consistent branding across social platforms as well as a self-sustained e-commerce site. Since that time, she has developed a steady volume of wholesale orders in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Arkansas, as well as expanding her fine jewelry line and doing custom pieces. She credits her entrepreneurial spirit to her parents who both inspired and encouraged her growing up.
Sea + Stone uses only natural materials, with no synthetics, a design philosophy reflected in the form the pieces take. With Sea + Stone, Megan attempts to capture the beauty inherent in nature and turn it into art in the form of jewelry.
Written by Bevin Valentine Jalbert / Photographed by Siobhan Egan
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of Paprika Southern, which also featured fall fashion inspired by the textures of nature, a cyanotype wedding, an interview with artist Marcus Kenney and more. Order your copy now.