Portsalon woman turns sea glass into successful business

A CREATIVE Portsalon woman has turned her daily walk into a successful business venture by selling jewellery made out of authentic sea glass.

Helen Coll has been living in Portsalon for the past ten years since she moved over from Leeds in 2010 and she is the owner of upcycled jewellery company Donegal Sea Glass.

Helen walks the beach at Ballymastocker Bay everyday and after noticing various pieces of colourful sea glass scattered along the shore, she began to collect the pieces and eventually started to use them to make jewellery.


She has made a wide collection of unique necklaces, pendants and earrings which have been on sale on Etsy for a number of years and the venture has proven to be very popular among local people and visitors to the county.

Helen explained, “I live right above the beach at Ballymastocker Bay and I walk there everyday.

“I started finding pieces of sea glass while on the beach and they are just so gorgeous so I started to collect them.

“I had been collecting them for a few years when I started to look into it and I saw that people collect sea glass from all over the world and it is quite a niche interest.

“I started selling it a little bit on eBay and moved on to crafting it into jewellery.

“I have always been crafty. I like collecting and finding things so it is a nice project and it also promotes Donegal and the Portsalon area,” said Helen.

Helen also runs Portsalon Luxury Glamping and sells her products from the glamping site and they are widely popular as souvenirs among guests.


Each piece of sea glass is sold in the same shape and condition as it is found and can date back decades or even centuries.

“The glass has been tumbling around in the Atlantic ocean for years and it comes out really nice and smooth so it just needs attaching to the jewellery pieces,” said Helen.

“There is a lot of history in the area.

“Lough Swilly had so many shipwrecks and so much stuff has gone into the ocean here.

“The old Portsalon Hotel was really popular through the 1900s so I think a lot of glass probably went into the sea form there when it was open.

“The glass goes in and it has to come back out again so it is nice to make something beautiful with it,” said Helen.

Donegal Sea Glass can be found on Etsy at or on Facebook and Instagram at Donegal Sea Glass.


Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007
Every Thursday
Every Monday

Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. St. Anne's Court, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland