Your Destination for Unique Gifts, Home Accents, and More
by Maggie Caldwell
You’re always greeted with a warm smile at Bumblebees By The Sea, a lush destination shop in Scotts Valley at 5167 Scotts Valley Dr. that carries a tempting selection of unique gifts, home accents, jewelry, and whimsical finds for life in the mountains or the sea. There are French baubles, metal sea life sculptures, shabby chic wooden picture frames, sleek slate cutting boards, wind chimes, ornate pewter spoons, iron finials, even soaps and candles . . . “There’s really something for everyone here,” owner Rena Riccabona points out. “It’s a great stop for a gift. You can even find a something really nice for under $10.00 if you needed to. And we offer complementary gift wrapping to make it convenient.”
Rena, who was born and raised in Santa Cruz, has long worked in home décor and brought a deep understanding to what kind of items appeal to area residents. One big draw of Bumblebees By The Sea is most of the merchandise can’t be found anywhere else in Santa Cruz County. “I tend to shop for things that are unique,” she explains. Rena finds these gems on the buying trips she makes several times per year, paying special attention to where and how her merchandise is made. “I carry a lot of made in the U.S.A. gifts,” Rena says. For example, she carries merchandise by Maurice Milleur, a New Orleans artist who makes wine glasses decorated with pewter medallions. And she researched the pure ingredients that go into the Hillhouse Naturals Home Fragrances, a small Kentucky company that’s been around for over twenty years.
Closer to home, there is the merchandise she finds from local artists and artisans. Woodworker Ted Driscoll creates the redwood hearts and small furniture pieces for sale. “Everything he makes is beautiful and so sturdy,” says Rena, pointing out a mushroom-shaped stool that doubles as a plant stand.
She also carries whimsical mermaid plaques from ceramic artist Marcella Evensen and bracelets from jewelry designer April Martin, made of reclaimed Carolina wood and embellished with unique pieces of quartz, suede, or recycled glass.
Bumblebees By The Sea also features a wide selection of French jewelry – baubles like silver and gold necklaces featuring circles, crosses, or hearts. One of the best-selling items are the Lizou wrap bracelets. Made in Paris, they are fashioned from unique colored beads woven tightly with leather strips and are designed to circle the arm five or more times. The brightly colored beaded cluster bracelets dripping with charms are also from Lizou.
Rena has several prized vintage pieces like iron birdcages and distressed tables that act as fixtures, where she artfully arranges things like zinc gift tags, metal wall hooks, lamps, wall plaques, baby and hostess gifts, and more. “I’m always changing it up,” she says. “Every month, it’s like a new store. I move everything around – all the fixtures, too – so that it looks fresh and new. And I get new merchandise in so often it’s fun to I love being able to incorporate it into displays.”
Bumblebees by the Sea, celebrating their first anniversary this month is conveniently located at 5167 Scotts Valley Drive in Scotts Valley! They offer complementary gift-wrap, and ample parking is available in front of the store. Tel #: 831-461-939, Website: www.bumblebeesbythesea.com.
Store hours are Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM, Saturday – Sunday from 10 AM – 5 PM. Follow their Facebook page for daily updates on new merchandise and monthly parties.