Visitors to local surf shops in Carpinteria and Santa Barbara have likely noticed the small batch goods of Ocean Jewel, handmade jewelry by Janey Cinzori. Cinzori’s unique craft style is inspired by her coastal travels and experiences. “Much of my jewelry is inspired by the beach and nature,” said Cinzori. “I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, but ventured off to Maui in my early 20s for about six years, where I was greatly influenced by artists that I worked with and the beauty and aloha spirit of the island. I want my work to be unique, elegant and shine like the ocean.”

Ocean Jewel can be found at women’s boutiques, surf shops, gift shops, hair salons and other local stores in Santa Barbara, Solvang and Carpinteria. Cinzori’s jewelry has been sold at A-Frame Surf Shop for over 10 years and she is one of the many artists represented at the Seaside Makers Collective on Linden Avenue. “My dream is to have my jewels in many more beach towns, so I can visit them all on a regular basis,” Cinzori said. “Not a bad job, I think.”

Cinzori sources her materials from local bead shops, antique stores, gem fairs and vendors she can trust for quality items. She often scours the beach shore for sea glass and abalone pieces. Her eclectic style affords her versatility, allowing her to work with a variety of materials such as abalone, sea glass, turquoise, freshwater pearls and other gemstones. Her work is often rustic and elegant at the same time. “When I’m creating I’ll think of an image,” she explained. “I can see the design completed before I start. I never have a problem running out of ideas. When I start working, it’s as if I can see the colors and designs mixing in front of me already. It just develops. I don’t really have a plan for it, it just happens.”

Cinzori’s passion for gems, colors, textures and design began at an early age. “I’ve dabbled in arts and crafts my whole life,” she said. “My mom and great grandmother loved to sew, embroider and create beautiful works, so I must get some of my artsy genes from them. I’ve always been a kid that would pick up shells and rocks at the beach and make stuff from what I found.”

Cinzori studied graphic and interior design in college and old art for a period of time. She has dabbled in everything from tile design, photography and art consultation to furniture and interior design, graphics and jewelry. However, she received such positive feedback when she began making jewelry for her friends that she decided to take her talent to the next level. She started by selling jewelry at home parties and local art markets, eventually selling wholesale to local stores which allowed her to promote her collections and have more free time to design.

Cinzori also works with clients to co-create custom designs. “For my family, we took apart my great-grandmother’s long beaded necklace to make bracelets for all the girls in the family, so now we all have something special from Great Grandma Sylvia,” she said. “It is so special to me to design something that will be treasured for years to come.”

Ocean Jewel frequently donates jewelry to auctions for local causes. Cinzori has contributed to fundraisers for the SB Channel Keepers, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, local schools, Santa Barbara Zoo and YMCA. Cinzori values giving back to her community and is grateful for local support , especially during the pandemic. “Everybody has been coming together to support each other the best we can through social media and art venues,” she said. “It helps to have a community of artists that you can talk with, especially during these crazy times to help motivate each other and come up with different tactics to succeed during this pandemic.”

To shop, visit oceanjewelsb.com or stop by A-Frame Surf Shop, Seaside Makers Collective or the Feb. 6 pop-up makers market at Dirt Botanicals.  

 

 

Brenda Tan is a columnist and a freelance writer. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English, Writing and Literature, and Art History with an emphasis in Museum Studies at UCSB. She can be reached at brendatan321@gmail.com.

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