THE BEST SHELL ARTIST IN AMERICA

She has been called the #1 Sea Shell Artist in America, but Heather Kendall doesn't let ego get in the way of following her passion. Heather creates one-of-a- kind custom shell designs for clients who keep coming back for more. 

Heather started her company, Elegant Shells, over 14 years ago in Tampa, but her love of shells started at an early age. She grew up on the beach in Clearwater, FL where she spent most of her days in a boat or frolicking in the sand. 

I was raised on the North end of beautiful, and private, Clearwater Beach, Florida. I remember always being surrounded with friends and family. Sadly my little brother Joey was very sick, so my Mother had to travel to St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital often, and I was usually taken to my cousins home. My cousin Mary feels more like a big sister because she got the job of taking care of me. Thankfully Mary and her best friend Jonnie Swann loved the beach, especially sunsets and low tide. We would cartwheel our way through the tidal pools, snorkel out to the sandbars and collect wonderful Florida seashells as often as possible. This is the reason I fell in love with the beach and sea shells.
— Heather Kendall

Using shells sourced throughout the world, Heather creates custom designs including; shell chandeliers, shell mirrors, decorative items, and interior shell work. Clients from places all over the map hire Heather to transform their fireplaces and fountains into shelled works of art. Basically, anything you have ever dreamed of being decorated with shells...Heather can do it. 

WHY DO YOU THINK FLORIDA IS FAB?

Florida is fabulous mainly because of its location, wildlife and weather.  I adore exploring the water’s edge. I am at peace just walking and breathing in the salt air, listening to the calm Gulf or the roaring Atlantic.  I love boating, diving, fishing, surfing etc. Soooo, what more could a water girl ask for than to live on a giant peninsula? The storms are incredible, the sugar sand on my bare feet in the winter, the full moon over the water, the sounds of dolphins breathing, whippoorwills calling, and even the sounds barnacles living on the bottom of a boat, make me happy. 

FAVORITE FLORIDA SPOTS

My favorite places to visit are the Out Islands, Carlouel Beach, Boca Grande, the mid Atlantic (because it will always remind me of the many surf trips I enjoyed with my sons) and lately Parrish Florida where I now am blessed to ride horses and explore Florida "country"! 

FAVORITE FLORIDA PRODUCTS:

  • You can't beat an authentic all natural Florida key lime pie.  I like Mikes Pies! They are based in Tampa, but anyone can order online. I also like making my own key lime pie using limes picked from my friend’s tree.
  • I absolutely love lobster rolls from Newlin’s restaurant in Boca Grande, FL. The lobster is flown in from the North East, but you can only get these delicious rolls in Florida. 
  • My all time favorite Florida Jewelry designer is Meredith Haws. She is also a beach girl!

Heather’s favorite shells are the wentletrap and channeled whelk. For more information go to elegantshells.net and if you are interested in learning how to shell you may want to purchase her DIY seashell cross instructional video. Follow Heather on Instagram @HeatherKendall1.