Gallery: Seadrift Soul [6 Images] Click any image to expand.
by Anne Batty
On Calle Los Molinos in what is locally known as the Surfer’s Ghetto, hometown girl Dawn Termini-Sinacori has opened an artisanal boutique named Seadrift Soul. Not only a showcase for Dawn’s handiwork, this boho-chic, eco-friendly shop also features California made clothing, items created by local artists, and the handiwork of artisans from Mexico.
Following in the footsteps of many entrepreneurial women in this town, Dawn’s journey has evolved from giving away her creations to family and friends to finally offering them for sale in her own shop. It has been an interesting journey, but not one without its struggles and its triumphs.
From There to Here
Like so many strong, hard-working women, Dawn’s creative talent was in influenced and encouraged by a naturally artistic mother, and a father who taught her never to give up.
“For as long as I can remember my mom and I spent lots of time creating art together,” Dawn reminisced thoughtfully. “My mother has a God-given artist talent in all mediums. She has always encouraged me to tap into my creative side.”
Influenced not only by supportive parents, but by her love of the ocean, Dawn’s artistic focus first settled on photography, capturing family and friends, the sea, landscapes, and architectural scenes. Her captivating work was soon admired by many and she went from giving her artwork away to building a photography business and charging for her services.
“I spent many years traveling to, and living on, Maui, and I wanted to capture and keep the beauty I encountered there,” Dawn shared. “I did that with photography. But after I was married, when my husband Joey, a civil engineer, and I began traveling to Hawaii, Mexico and various other places on surfing adventures, we began creating art together, collecting driftwood to make crosses in various shapes and forms.”
For their wedding in Pines Park, the couple created a large cross made from a driftwood piece discovered at one of San Clemente’s local beaches. It was suspended from the trees in the park during their ceremony. After that family and friends began requesting similar innovations for their homes and yards. True to form, Dawn and Joey generously gave their creations away, and each of their nieces has received one of their specially created crosses for their First Holy Communions.
As the sea continued calling to Dawn, she began making jewelry from items collected along the beaches in their travels. Honing her skills and creating more and more pieces, her close friends and family finally intervened telling her it was time she began charging for her art. With this encouragement she finally got serious about her talent and with the help of her mom she built her website www.seadriftsoul.com
“I had that Aha Moment,” Dawn explained, “that moment my father-in-law Joe Sinacori and grandfather Rosario Termini always call ‘signs.’ I realized it was time to step out of my comfort zone and take a chance, and with the support of Joey and my family I took a deep breath and plunged right in.”
After making all the jewelry for her bridesmaids and flower girls and displaying the cross in their wedding, Dawn also started selling her wares in village/farmer’s markets. Between that, her website, and Etsy, things just took off.
The Signs Continue
Another sign pointing Dawn in her entrepreneurial direction was the opportunity to display her wares at a co-op artist’s show in a shipyard building in San Pedro. While participating there she made connections with artists from around the world and was eventually encouraged to apply to the renowned artisan’s show Unique LA. Out of the thousands of artisans who apply only about 300 are selected and Dawn was chosen and re-chosen to participate for three consecutive years.
Amazing things were happening and Dawn was riding high, gaining contracts and experiencing exciting opportunities. But in 2015 cancer entered the picture and for the next couple of years despite two surgeries and ongoing therapy, (chemo and radiation) Dawn persevered and held on. With the help and support of her husband, family, and friends she continued to display her photography, balance her art shows, manage her website and Etsy sales, and create and provide her artwork to three wholesale vendors.
During this time Jess Lea, a San Clemente resident, started the Market Place in the Surfer’s Ghetto at the north end of town. She established it as a place for local artisans to show their wares once monthly, and Dawn was invited to participate. As an addition to the Market Place, Jess also rented a storefront upfront where participating artists could display their works. She invited Dawn to share space there, and as things evolved Dawn finally took over the little shop, thankful to Jess for opening the door.
“While I was battling cancer, I had another sign,” Dawn explained. “I envisioned a space where artists, locally and worldwide could display their creations. I wanted it to host only those artists whose works were original and either created entirely by themselves or if manufactured were done so by workers paid fair wages. I had always talked about having a shop one day and taking over the space in the Surfer’s Ghetto has provided me with that opportunity.”
Dawn and Joey’s love of surf travel has led them to a small fishing village in Mexico. They have fallen in love with its ambiance, its people and its cobblestone streets, food, artwork, surf and good vibes.
“We both love the ocean, and Maui, and Sayulita in Mexico gives us the same feel that we have in those places,” Dawn explained. “This village is a lot like Laguna Beach and San Clemente were in our youth when we were both attending Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School. It is an artist’s colony and a great place for treasure hunting for our creations … and of course for surfing.”
Wares made from treasures collected in Mexico and all the destinations of Dawn and Joey’s travels are displayed and sold at Seadrift Soul, as well as items from the many artists Dawn has connected with over the years. All participating artisans are cottage industry artists. Visitors to the shop will find creations in photography, jewelry, clothing, dream-catchers, macramé, handbags and more.
Many of Dawn’s jewelry creations are made from stones collected in her travels and are accompanied with thought-provoking sentiments like: “Always be yourself unless you can be a mermaid … or … There’s something magic about moonstones.”
With hard work, determination and lots of help from her parents, her husband Joey, her sister, other family members and dear friends, Dawn Termini-Sinacori has not only defeated cancer, she is realizing her dream of having a shop of her own. As a cancer survivor, she is living what she believes to be a “meant to be divine plan,” and she is doing her best to make Seadrift Soul not only a place to purchase beautiful jewelry, clothing and artworks, but a place where one can encounter artists and their handiwork, hear their stories, and be touched.