Meet Jennifer Hillaby, an artist who uses beach treasures, to bring a beautiful splash of ocean into people’s homes.

We’re expanding the love to include our fellow beachlovers on the Gulf coast!


Where were you born, and where do you live now?

I was born in a tiny Northwestern Pennsylvania town: Franklin, PA. I now live on the Gulf Coast of Florida just 4 miles from the beach.

Where are your favourite waters?

  • North Shore, Hawaii
  • Any beach in Florida

Would you please share a favourite water memory or two?

The first time my toes touched the ocean I was 12 years old. My family was visiting Florida and our first beach stop was at Daytona Beach. I remember just standing with my feet in the water about ankle deep, watching the waves and listening to the thundering sound as each wave crashed onto the shore. It was a pretty magical moment and I knew that I needed to live near the ocean one day.

How do you incorporate nature in your life, and the way you make a living?

I find clarity and inspiration when I take long beach walks. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I do that several times a week. I also enjoy kayaking, bodyboarding and hiking.

My side business involves creating coastal beach decor with a rustic twist.

I use reclaimed wood and nautical elements such as rope and seashells and sometimes driftwood that I pick up on those long beach walks.

Memories of favourite holidays. Jennifer Hillaby. Sable Sol, for Ocean in a Drop California 2018.

Memories of favourite holidays. Jennifer Hillaby, Sable Sol. Amazing Water People, Ocean in a Drop California 2018.

Why do you do what you do?

Everyone that loves the beach doesn’t necessarily live by the beach. Most of my customers are landlocked, like I was growing up in Pennsylvania, and I love creating a piece of beach art that they can hang in their homes to remind them of a favorite trip to the shore.

What happens when you don’t have time for nature?

I get grumpy and a bit depressed. There are times my husband will actually tell me to go take a walk. And when I do, all is right with my world again.

Could you please share a time or experience where you felt lost in the crowd, like a tiny, insignificant drop?

When my family moved to Central Florida in the middle of my senior year of high school. I came from a very small town where everyone knew everyone and moved to an area that was considerably larger than my old hometown. It was hard to fit in at school and with only 5 months of school left before graduation I just sort of hung back in the shadows.

How did you turn that around, and how did you get back to feeling like you were a whole Ocean in a Drop?

I moved away and went to art school in Ft. Lauderdale. A place where I made lifelong friends (all of us beach lovers) and met my husband.

Is there anything bothering you about the whole eco /green/conservation thing at the moment?

As far as beach conservation goes, I think a lack of education and pure laziness on the part of some beach goers irks me the most. I think if people realized what the plastic bottles they leave on the beach do to marine life they might think twice about not cleaning up after themselves. We have beautiful beaches here in Florida but they are increasingly becoming littered with trash.
Who wants to sit on the beach with trash flying all over the place?

What do you find is working? And what change do you hope to see in this lifetime?

The community is very active in having more frequent beach cleanups.
A few hours of a community beach cleanup every month or so goes a long way.
I would love to see cleaner beaches and by that I mean, fewer community cleanups because individual beach goers respect the beach and environment enough to cleanup after themselves when they leave the beach. “Pack it in, pack it out – every time.”

Is there anything you would love to tell the you from ten years ago?

Don’t sweat the small stuff and take time out for yourself.

How can we find out more about your art pieces?

Instagram: @SableSol

Rustic coastal art: SableSol 

Blog: Sable Sol Blog


Jennifer Hillaby Splashing for Ocean in a Drop California x Blue Mind

28 May to 4 September 2018: #100DaysofBlue

Ocean in a Drop California x Blue Mind

Ocean in a Drop : A series of illustrations by Candace Loy, with each water drop shape filled with sea life and the life that water supports, of a country or state (e.g., California). The bigger vision is to use portions of profits from the sale of beautiful and unique merchandise, to contribute to local marine, freshwater education, research and conservation initiatives in the region depicted by the drop.

#BlueMind is a movement started by Dr Wallace J Nichols, who is also a successful turtle conservation researcher. He has done collaborations with many people including neuroscientists, to show the positive effects of being around water, on the brain.

Not only is there an increasing number of organizations supporting people in overcoming PTSD and other debilitating circumstances through water-based therapy like surfing and swimming; his message is to encourage as many people to reconnect and strengthen their bonds with water, and be inspired as a result to take care of waters across our blue planet.

Combining neuroscience, honouring emotions and using it to create more beneficial solutions for our planet and the life she supports. Here are some of his talks on neuroconservation.

Get a free copy of Ocean in a Drop California coloring sheet, share it with your students, colleagues, friends, and family. Be the one to add colour and creativity to their day 🙂

#OceaninaDrop + share your favourite water memory to inspire others, on Instagram and Facebook, and get featured xo