About the Ingram Family and Soul Shells
Our family has traveled around the world taking pictures and videos, and collecting shells and sea glass. We dive, surf, swim, boat, fish and just about anything else you can do on the water. We go where it’s warm and live life to the fullest.
My name is Barbara Ingram, and I am the product of a Dutch mother and American father, and grew up in Southeast Asia near the Gulf of Thailand. We spent weekends at an isolated beach and I can remember walking along the water’s edge with my mom, looking for shells. Since then, at every beach I have visited, I try to find at least a few unique shells to bring home with me. I remember walking on the beach in Belize once and finding a beautiful empty Queen Conch shell washing up on the beach. It was the most brilliant shade of fuchsia, I couldn’t believe it was made in nature.
My love of things given up by the sea, didn’t stop at nature. I developed a fondness for sea glass. Yep, trash that washes up on shore. The phrase, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has never been more apt. But in this case it’s a woman’s treasure.
My husband, Bob (ever patient and understanding of my obsession) and my Dutch cousin Fionna (shares my obsession), and I started traveling around Europe with the express purpose of finding sea glass to sell. Now I don’t necessarily recommend this, because quite often we are disappointed, and just have to make the best of it. But when we stumble upon a great beach strewn with treasures, we are elated! It makes all the planning worth while.
We have gotten relatively good at this, and now my habit supports my travel expenses. That is my goal, to have my sea glass business pay for travel all over the world…and make a little for spending money.
We now live near Cocoa Beach in Satellite Beach, which is where most of my shells come from. Every now and then, I get over to the Cape Canaveral to do some searching, but I mostly stay near Satellite Beach. Occasionally, I stumbled across some sea glass, but it’s usually not the best quality…mostly good for crafts.
We have become particular enough, that we need to go to beaches that once had glass factories on them, so that we can find more than just old discarded Heineken bottles. That’s where the good stuff is. Old glass factories used to dump all their scraps into the sea at the end of each day. That glass has been tumbling around the ocean for sometimes over a hundred years! So it’s very rounded and very colorful.
Seaham Beach in northeast England is most famous for this. But it’s become hit and miss lately. So be careful if planning a trip there.
Pictured on this page are my husband Bob and me, and our two kids Corla and Lyell. They were both ocean rescue lifeguards while in high school and college, so our love of the sea definitely got passed down. They both enjoy surfing and boating. Lyell is the expert fisherman in the family and keeps us well-fed while on vacation in Key Largo.