VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - You will find lots of glass at Chesapeake Bay Distillery, but you will also find a different kind of glass - sea glass.
"Because of COVID, it was a really hard time," Ana Ferreira said, "and to take my mind off things, I would just go sea-glassing with my mom."
Ferreira is 12 years old and is turning the sea glass she finds on the beach into jewelry. The jewelry is sold from the distillery, and her goal is to raise money to help the Virginia Beach SPCA.
"Finding these pieces meant so much to me, and I knew that other people and animals were in such a great time of need," Ferreira explained.
From every sale, she will donate 25% of each piece to the SPCA. The jewelry consists of necklaces and rings.
"Why not take something that I love and make it into things that other people can love?" Ferreira explained.
Aside from the sea glass, Ferreira also gathers needed material -- such as string and wire -- and produces the necklaces herself. When she needed a platform to sell the jewelry, she approached Chesapeake Bay Distillery owner Chris Richeson.
"It’s an easy, 'yes,'" Richeson said.
Richeson said he is also a "dog guy," and gave Ferreira a table where she can sell her work.
"Her passion... obviously the artwork is great, but the story behind it is what really makes a unique item," Richeson said. "When we can bring Ana to assist in that mission, it’s a great win for everyone."
A handful of customers have purchased her jewelry, and Ferreira said she will not stop anytime soon.
"Knowing that it’s going to have a whole other life beyond mine," Ferreira said, "it really just makes your heart sort of like, explode."
If you would like to support her cause, her jewelry is on display and for sale at Chesapeake Bay Distillery, located at 437 Virginia Beach Blvd. in the city's ViBe District. You can also send a private message through either the distillery's Facebook page or Instagram page.