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CREATIVE CRAFTERS
Makers to look out for at Long Island's fall craft fairs

Sea Schleps was interviewed by Joann Vaglica, an award-winning journalist, Web Producer, and Internet News Manager for Newsday. The interview was printed on November 8, 2021 issue (Volume 82, No. 67) 

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Decorated oyster shells created by Hayley Di Rico were sold at the crafts fair of the Deep Roots Farmers Market in Glen Cove. Credit: Linda Rosier

By Joann Vaglica

Joann.vaglica@newsday.com

Updated November 8, 2021 5:00 AM

Long Island crafters are emerging at a rapid pace these days. Many credit the pandemic for bringing forth extra downtime for them to rediscover their crafting hobbies. Others, who were already experimenting with handmade creations, used the time to rebrand or perfect their craft. One thing these makers all have in common: They’re DIY enthusiasts who've turned their creative sides into a profit.

Get to know four local artists who are making and selling their crafts across Long Island at upcoming street and craft fairs:

Hayley Di Rico: Sea Schleps

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Hayley Di Rico, of Sea Schleps, at the Deep Roots Farmers Market in Glen Cove. Credit: Linda Rosier

Hayley Di Rico's days of collecting sea glass date back to her childhood when "Uncle Eddie" would bring her and her cousins to the beach. It’s been a lifelong hobby that came to a halt when "life" took over: "I was busy with school, busy getting married, busy with a career, busy with my children," the 35-year-old mother of 6-year-old twins says. "But, the pandemic gave me a reset; it gave me an opportunity to go back and do the things that I used to love that I didn’t have the time before to do."

Di Rico, a graphic designer, spends a few hours a week at various North and South Shore beaches handpicking materials for her projects, from sea glass and pottery and oyster shells to rocks, pebbles and driftwood.

Her main creations are framed sea glass (starting at $35) and decorated oyster shells (starting at $12), the latter, which are decoupaged, set with amethyst or aventurine quartz or filled with resin. All are hand-painted. Di Rico has also added ornaments, coastal garlands and wine bottle charms, all featuring shells, to her offerings.

SHOP THE FAIR: Find Di Rico’s products at The Garden Farmers Market (67 Avery Ave., Patchogue) on Nov. 13 or at the Winter Wonderland Fair (1700 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh) on Nov. 27. Or, shop at seaschleps.com; Etsy: etsy.com/shop/SeaSchleps; Hitch in Babylon; and Hive Market and Maker's Space in Oyster Bay.

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