About Shell Dave

Shell Dave went to high school on Maui, and afterwards moved to Oregon and started rock and crystal collecting. His art form began with braiding leather to make crystal keychains and crystal earrings. He moved back to Maui and stopped making jewelry for five years while he was working construction. During his freetime, he would stroll the shorelines of Maui searching for shells and pukas. In 1992, a friend from Oregon that used to search for rocks with him, came to visit Hawaii. They started making puka shell necklaces and while searching for shells together, used to say to one another, “Wouldn’t it be awesome to do this for a living instead of working construction?” Construction was taking a toll on Dave’s body and in the summer of 1995, he started a new job.


One of his fellow workmates became a friend and told him his mother lived on Kauai. Explained that Kauai had beautiful shells and people had been known to survive on them when they visited. So he invited them to visit Kauai with him, and Shell Dave came to the island for the first time in August of 1995. It was then that he discovered one of the most beautiful pukas he had ever seen. Dave had brought his collection of pukas from Maui with him, but after seeing the puka shells on Kauai – he threw his Maui collection back in the ocean. By Halloween, Shell Dave and his Oregon friend had moved to Kauai. They made puka shell necklaces with sunrise shell charms and sold them. He was able to buy his first car within three months and in January of 1996 he began stringing Kahelelani shells. He has been living his dream ever since …
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