Galleries : Tag, You're It
Allyson Reed was walking into Anthony Holand's Metal Sculptor Shop in Vineyard Haven looking for scrap metal pieces to stamp out shapes, when she encountered a Vineyard-shaped weather vane. The idea struck her immediately: Vineyard-shaped pet tags.
Ms. Reed's innovative idea seems natural given her duel love for jewelry and animals. She began making jewelry and working part time for veterinarian Dr. Jazz soon after moving to the Vineyard year-round in 2001 with her family and six pets. Her "custom jewelry from the sea" is made with natural materials like pearls and abalone shells and is currently sold at Fielder & Fielder and through her website, mermaidscatch.com.
With the coaxing of her dog-walking friends, whom she meets on Lambert's Cove beach every morning, Ms. Reed began creating the pet tags last April, now available in the Nantucket shape as well. The Island-shaped pet tags are sterling silver and roughly 2 mm thick - about the width of a quarter. Though pet tags with the animal's I.D. and a phone number are most popular, Ms. Reed offers more decorative options as well. Fifteen different mini stamps are available and range from a flower or crown to a mini-Edgartown lighthouse. Wampum and beach stones are also options as attachable charms. "My favorite part of the project is seeing what people come up with and seeing how pleased people are with their tags," Ms. Reed says.
In the future, Ms. Reed hopes to create pet tags in the shape of other islands as well, although she acknowledges that the idea's reception on the Vineyard has been especially welcoming and supportive.
"From my neighbor who ordered a tag sight-unseen to other dog lovers who are so supportive of me, to someone on the beach who hears my idea and has a marketing tip...it's such a nice ebullient effect," says the artist. "There's a feeling here that people want to be able to fulfill your hopes and your dreams."
Island pet tags sell for $39.75, and Ms. Reed donates a portion the proceeds to the MSPCA shelters. The pet tags can be purchased and customized through the website islandpettags.com, or through Ms. Reed directly at email@example.com, or 508 685-0883.