Anne, David and Michael Joffe , are the driving forces behind the two She Sells Sea Shells stores on Sanibel, along with their friendly store personel and talented craft workers. What started as a simple Mom & Pop operation that originated in Louisville, Kentucky in 1973, is now a world-recognized, award-winning, business. It is open 365 days a year, a must-see stop for everyone who visits Sanibel.
Anne Joffe—Shell Expert, Shell Show Judge, Author, Shell Craft Designer
Anne Joffe’s love for shells dates back to her childhood when she hunted for clams near her Boston home and during summer trips to her grandparents’ beachfront havens on Nantasket and Cape Cod. She received a degree in microbiology from Mount Ida College in Boston, which explains her interest in the scientific study and collection of shells.
Anne is universally recognized as a top authority on shells and shell crafts. Along with writing Shellcrafting, Anne has collaborated on other publications with Harlan Wittkoff and Peter Dance, and she has contributed shelling and craft columns to local newspapers and magazines. Anne is frequently invited to judge scientific and artistic shell competitions, including the world- famous annual Sanibel Shell Show and Fair .. She gives shelling lectures, teaches shell craft workshops, and leads shelling expeditions around the world.
Anne Joffe is deeply involved in the local and national shelling scene. She is currently president of the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club and In 1978, started the Club’s annual Scholarship Award, which is still given. She is currently President Emeritus of the the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum’s board of directors. She is past president of the Conchologists of America, and is currently serving on their Board as the organization’s convention coordinator, and she is past treasurer of the American Malacological Society.
Anne is now, and has been the Chairperson for the Annual Sanibel Shell Fair and Show, for most of the past 33 years.Anne has won prizes for her craft creations and her personal shell exhibits. She Sells Sea Shells has also won many commercial craft exhibit awards.
According to Anne Joffe, “Sanibel is synonymous with shelling,” and she feels fortunate to have turned her favorite pastime into an internationally renowned enterprise. “My hobby became my business, my hobby actually became my life,” she said. “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve been able to turn what I like to do into a viable living and business.”
She Sells Sea Shells has been featured in many magazines and newspapers world wide:
Delta SkyDelta’s Sky Magazine’s feature story about souvenir shops highlighted Sanibel’s own She Sells Sea Shells. The writer happened on the shell boutique and left with a unique purchase, “Shell Man…a bug eyed character composed entirely of seashells sitting in a chair with a burger in one hand and a soda in the other.”
YankeeMagazine.com highlights She Sells Sea Shells on Sanibel as the “… place to pick up nearly any shell you want from a rare junonia to a lion’s paw.”
Southern Living makes a point of directing visitors to She Sells Sea Shells for “crafty souvenirs from Sanibel’s shores”. The fabulous southern lifestyles magazine suggests rewarding yourself with a junonia from the famous Sanibel shell shop.
According to Business Traveler Magazine, “If you don’t have any luck finding the perfect conch shell….She Sells Sea Shells has a vast array of pure, undamaged specimens….”
Voyageur Magazine writes that the owner of She Sell Sea Shells “wrote the book on shell craftmanship” and that her two stores are “well stocked with supplies and specimens.”
America West Magazine named She Sells Sea Shells as one of Sanibel’s Best Shell Shops.
She Sells Sea Shells
The eclectic inventory includes shells and exotic sea life, jewelry, books, craft supplies, clothing, handbags, relaxation CDs, and the most unique and extensive collection of handmade shell crafts and ornaments in the world, including Christmas decorations, novelties, animals and flowers. Look for pelicans, pigs, penguins, pirates, pianists and poker players among the dozens of cute and charming designs. Anne considers her’ shell crafts to be “original, whimsical, well-made and magical.” They are created locally and copied globally.
She Sells Sea Shells has been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Martha Stewart’s Living, Coastal Living, Yankee Magazine, Delta Sky Magazine, Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine, and What’s Hot (Cayman Islands).
Anne Joffe literally wrote the book on creating craft magic with cockles, coquinas, clams and other seashells with her 128-page detailed instructional guide called” Shellcrafting”. Beginners and experienced crafters alike can use this helpful book as a step-by-step approach to lead them through the fun and excitement of forming their own unique and special shell crafts, novelties, ornaments and flowers…everything from animals and airplanes to candy dishes and clowns. You’ll also learn how to make shell magnets and decorate recipe holders, scrap books, picture frames and flower pots. Whether you create them yourself or buy them from She Sells Sea Shells’ diverse craft selection, these delightful treasures make wonderful gifts and are considered to be collectibles.
The cat lover will adore a cute kitty fashioned from shells, while the sports fan will get a kick out of the golfers, skiers and tennis players, all made of shells and sea life. You can spruce up your Christmas tree with holiday starfish and sand dollars, a puffy sea urchin snowman or polar bear ornament, and top it off with a heavenly angel .
Shell flowers are always popular, and “Shellcrafting” shows you how to create an assortment of garden favorites, including bubble shell pussy willows, wentletrap daisies, jingle shell roses, and kitten’s paw carnations.