Faces of Fourth: Lizzie Mead of Silver Sea Jewelry

Faces of Fourth is a featured series on the folks that are the heart and soul of Historic Fourth Avenue. From the merchants who bring commerce to life, to the buskers who fill the avenue with sound, there are many people to celebrate on Fourth Avenue. 

Fourth Avenue has always been a colorful place, but the owner of Silver Sea Jewelry, Lizzie Mead makes it sparkle! After all, she is the force behind one of Tucson’s favorite events, the mermaid parade. And her nautical inspired jewelry only adds to the fanfare. 

Lizzie Mead in a Sea of Mermaids in Tucson, AZ.
Lizzie Mead in a Sea of Mermaids in Tucson, AZ.

Like many of the merchants on Fourth Avenue, Lizzie is a native Tucsonan. Her parents own and operate a 1950’s style boutique motel on the south side of town and her business has been in operation since 1993. 

“I was raised in the land of self-employment and I spent some time traveling, performing, and exploring other places, but always came home to Tucson.” Mead shared. 

While Lizzie has had many ventures, Silver Sea is her main focus. She makes 20-50 pieces for the shop each week and is the curator for the store. She also has a passion for supporting local causes and runs an animal rescue organization with her friends called “Beading Divas to the Rescue” (501-c3).  They make and sell one of a kind bracelets with all the profit going to a different animal charity each month. 
Beading Divas Jewelry at Silver Sea in Tucson, AZ.
Beading Divas Jewelry at Silver Sea in Tucson, AZ.
Silver Sea also has a small neighborhood pet food pantry which serves the neighborhood’s needy pets. They provide nearly 8,000 pounds of food to neighborhood animals every year! Some of which is donated, some purchased, and some comes from other businesses and non-profits. They also provide upcycled and new collars and accessories for pets of the homeless, and low-income families. 

We chatted with Lizzie to find out what makes Fourth Avenue a special place for her. 

When did the Avenue first start playing a major role in your life?

The moment I moved here from Congress and 6th in 2008 – I was hooked. I knew I was home.

 What’s one of your favorite things about the Avenue?

The community. The diversity. The friendships. I feel a sense of belonging that maybe I’ve never had before.

Image Courtesy of Lizzie Meat and LR Levin Photography.
Image Courtesy of Lizzie Meat and LR Levin Photography.

Where is one of your favorite places to frequent on Fourth?

The back patio at Bison Witches is an oasis. I love playing hooky in the summer and stealing a little relaxing break there. 

Tell us one of your most memorable experiences on the Avenue.

I have SO MANY. Some are directly related to the business that I love,  and some are just experiences on the avenue. Karaoke,  live shows, the gathering of community in good and bad times….A guy comes in with his dog and says “My dog ate something on our walk…someone said I should ask you what to do” before sending him to the vet,  we gave the dog a capful of peroxide and he threw up a sock. A whole sock! That would have been maybe a death sentence if that caused a blockage. Gross-lol 🙂
Another one is I sold a little girl her first ring, a sterling silver ring with pigs kissing on it. 20 years later, she comes in wearing it on her pinkie to buy her own daughter her first ring.

If you could time travel, what year would you like to visit Fourth Avenue?

I would have loved to hang here during the Avenue’s hippie heyday. The late 60’s. I spent a lot of time here in the late 80’s and 90’s. But equally feel we are in a great time to be on Fourth Avenue – the artists, musicians, and the peak of localism. It’s a wonderful time in Fourth Avenue history right now. May it be wonderful in the future as well!

Image Courtesy of Lizzie Mead.
Image Courtesy of Lizzie Mead.

Visit Silver Sea on 4th at 330 North 4th Avenue. 

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