The first time a child lifts a sandy seashell to her ear and hears the ocean whisper back, she knows she has found something so profoundly enchanting that its true beauty transcends the physical realm. It’s soul-deep: a source of pure joy, connectedness, and harmony that puts a spring in her skip and a ripple of hope in every step. Her delight is simply contagious, and her smile says it all!
Many moons may have passed since we first heard the ocean beckon from inside that ancient shell, but at Moonrise Jewelry we know that little girl still lives inside each of us. We hear from her, time and again, because she is the reason we are in business, our true muse and most loyal customer. In every jewelry design and business consideration, we aim to recapture a sprinkling of that seashell magic, to instill the kind of true beauty that transcends the physical realm and uplifts the spirit. So wearing our jewelry not only looks good; it feels good! And we hope it inspires you to do good, too.
The sea kissed the bay and in its embrace the “Land of Pleasant Living” was born. Virginia’s Eastern Shore is home to the East Coast’s longest remaining stretch of coastal wilderness, a globally-important migratory bird stopover site, a U.N. International Man and Biosphere Reserve, and to Moonrise Jewelry!
The Eastern Shore of Virginia is comprised of two counties at the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, flanked on the west by the Chesapeake Bay and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Geographically separated from the rest of the state, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is just an hour’s drive from Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads metropolitan area via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
A luminous world of watercolor sunsets, secret islands, and miles of emerald green marshes, the Eastern Shore’s spectacular scenery provides unending inspiration for Moonrise Jewelry’s creations. Far from the strip mall sameness encroaching on the American landscape, this pastoral peninsula remains an authentic place of small seaside villages, family farms, and friendly faces. A rare blend of aquatic and earthly enchantments, the Eastern Shore and the gracious people who call it home are the heart and soul of Moonrise Jewelry.
At the age of eight, Moonrise Jewelry Founder and Designer Meredith Restein began her journey as an entrepreneur in her father's drugstore, selling “sculptures” made from seashells she collected near her home on Virginia's Eastern Shore. After studying in Chile and graduating from Tulane University with degrees in Spanish and Anthropology, Meredith returned to her roots on Cherrystone Inlet near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, her family's homeland for seven generations.
Inspired by a bright full moon rising over the nearby Barrier Islands, Meredith envisioned a way to turn her jewelry-making hobby into a stylish and sustainable enterprise that would bring new opportunities to women in her rural community and beyond. A self-taught designer, Meredith grew her company from the ground up– continually refining her style, providing personal service to her customers, and aspiring to make a positive impact through her business. Since Moonrise Jewelry's inception in 2002, she has trained local women to handcraft her designs, worked with suppliers worldwide to source innovative and eco-friendly components, and donated generously to a long list of charities using her jewelry as a fundraising tool.
In 2005 Meredith introduced the world’s first collection of Sterling Silver "Eco-Jewelry" with fair trade semi-precious gems and components, which Meryl Streep named a “Top Product Pick” in her Green Guide. Since then Moonrise Jewelry has grown in a grassroots fashion—from mother to daughter, sister to friend, and now to customers and stores around the U.S. and abroad.
Spanx ® Founder Sara Blakely, the youngest self-made woman on Forbes billionaires list and one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, recently awarded Meredith a Leg Up™ and personal endorsement as part of her mission to “empower women entrepreneurs.” As the May 2012 Leg Up™ winner, millions of Spanx ® fans were introduced to Moonrise Jewelry through the company’s consumer catalog, website, and social media channels.
“I’m proud to support Meredith who has managed to successfully fuse fun, exotic design with an admirable social enterprise. I love feminine, funky statement jewelry and plan to pair the Real Orchid Necklace and the Fish Leather Cuff all summer long!” said Blakely, admiring her favorite Moonrise Jewelry designs.
Moonrise Jewelry’s signature style has evolved into a colorful brand of wearable art inspired by the designer’s love of the world's most beautiful coasts, including the one she calls home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Committed to providing her customers with exceptional designs they won't find anywhere else, Designer Meredith Restein continues to seek out innovative new elements for her line, including Real Orchid Blossoms preserved in resin and "Reel" Fish Leather made from repurposed fish skins. Through the years, Meredith has remained dedicated to handcrafting exquisite “jewelry with heart” that reflects the inner and outer beauty of the women who wear it. Each piece of Moonrise Jewelry is still lovingly handcrafted in a small studio beside the Chesapeake Bay by Meredith and local women she has trained to reproduce her designs. By keeping production local, Meredith is able to maintain Moonrise Jewelry’s high-quality standards while offering custom design options and contributing to the economy of her rural community.