KINGSTON (CBS) – A former oyster farmer in Kingston is mixing fishing and fashion in her new business.
“I love our bay, I love being on the water, and if you’re here, you know there are oysters here,’ Brooke Lovett told WBZ-TV.READ MORE: VIDEO: Somerville Police Looking For Passenger Who Shot At Mercedes
Jones River Landing is home to the longest continuously run boat yard in the country and in the bay, farmers harvest Rocky Nook Oysters.
Lovett spent almost a decade managing Rocky Nook Oyster Farm.
“It was really fun, it was a lot of hard work. Definitely back-breaking and early mornings and very, very muddy and smelly. It was really fun also to be a female farmer out there, there’s a lot of them, more and more every year,” she said.
But last year the pandemic hit during the growing season. Restaurants closed and with no demand, Lovett decided to leave the industry.
“I pivoted and started working with the materials that we used on the farm and created a bag,” she explained.
That’s the Oyster Bag, which is made almost entirely of aquaculture materials.READ MORE: Surveillance Video Shows Man Pointing Gun At Police In Springfield
“I just thought all of these components people don’t see on a regular day-to-day basis and I really think people are interested in what’s going on out on the farms,” Lovett said.
The former farmer took the heavy-duty oyster mesh, zip ties, rubber bands and rope usually only seen on the ocean floor and brought them to the surface.
Each bag starts with 6- or 9-millimeter mesh, used for breeding baby oysters in the bay. And on the inside there’s another nod to the fishing industry – bait bags generally used for lobstering or crabbing.
There are three different sizes – petite, market and jumbo bags. Lovett says anyone who is into oysters knows those are the three sizes you can order at restaurants or seafood markets. She also makes a clutch version and a wine caddy.
Lovett said last year five retailers carried the Oyster Bag. Heading into this summer, there are now 35.
“It kept us really busy and focused trying to create something positive during a whole year of being in the house,” she said.MORE NEWS: Summer Officially Underway In Massachusetts: Kids, Adults Alike Looking To Have Fun
“I love oysters and I love where I’m from. I’ve lived in Kingston for 20 years. It made me feel good really to come up with a line of bags or a line of products that would work, and I could also tell the story and feel proud about where it came from.”