Sea Stars in the Big Blue

In August of 2023 I had the privilege of traveling to Fiji for my honeymoon (postponed from 2020). I didn’t know much about Fiji except that I really wanted to swim with manta rays, and Fiji has them, along with being known for some of the most robust coral reefs on Earth.


(The view from our room)

The trip had a rough start; our luggage was left behind in San Francisco so for two days I was stressing. On the first night, one of my teeth broke in half - it didn’t hurt but there was this ambient sense of dread that I would need emergency dental work out here in the middle of nowhere. And I missed my cat - he had just turned 16 and began showing his age; I was very uncomfortable being so far away for so long.


(accommodations on Manta Ray Island)

Long story short, I didn’t get scuba certified, but my husband did. He was off, under the sea, with some new friends and I was having serious anxiety sitting in our bure (a bungalow on stilts right on the water’s edge) and I decided “Fuck it. I’m going snorkeling.” I walked out 15 feet, put my face in the sea and saw this vibrant, cobalt blue sea star right beneath me. I was sure it was an anomaly; I didn’t know starfish come in that color!


It was also the size and shape of all the white starfish people have in their window sills all over Cape Cod - could they possibly start out dark blue?!


Turns out, yes, they do. Sometimes called Blue Linckia, these blue sea stars can grow up to 11.8” wide and have been seen in many shades of blue, and even purple. They are primarily found in shallow tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. The experience inspired me to finally finish up a design I started 8 years ago, called Save The Reefs - the blue starfish in the sand really completed the concept.


When sea stars die, they begin to lose their color, and this species has been super popular in the ‘seashell trade’ which has led to a significant population decline. It's one thing to find shells or starfish in nature, it's another to purchase them from wholesalers - don't do it!!

Linckia Starfish are super iconic & beautiful, so I wanted to honor the vision of them that most of us have - of their white skeleton. Our new Sea Star Knot Tanks are in store & cozy layers are coming for Fall.

 

 

I was so excited (the MOST excited) to tell my husband all about it when he got back from his dive. Unfortunately the tide had gone out and it wasn’t safe to snorkel again that day. The next morning I practically dragged him in the water with me and we saw dozens of them, littering the seafloor like bright blue confetti. It was incredible & a really nice reminder that a new perspective can change everything.


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