Editor’s Note: We spoke with Don Rivette to learn more about Earth Treasures located at 207 W. Miami Avenue on Venice Island. You can also shop for hundreds of products at EarthTreasuresFlorida.com. Call Don or Draeanne at 941-412-3777.
Don, please introduce Earth Treasures. We’re a unique gift store with a wide array of products including crystals, minerals, fossils, unique jewelry including beads made of bone, wood and ceramic, sculptures, shark teeth, souvenirs, and other collectables. We are constantly adding new products, and many are sourced locally from collectors we’ve worked with for many years. Drae and I have been providing products to locals and visitors for more than 10 years.
What are some of the most popular gift items? People enjoy giving shark tooth necklaces, handmade knit animals, shark tooth sampler bags, bracelets, earrings, mineral hearts, and healing crystals to their loved ones including family and friends.
When did you first get involved with collecting items from the natural world? My mom encouraged me as a child to enjoy my time outdoors instead of watching television. I found cool things in the backyard and at a swamp nearby. She taught me to appreciate wildlife and all things natural. Being curious about the interesting things I discovered outdoors was very motivating.
What do you both love about your work? It’s satisfying for both of us to see the happiness our products bring to people of all ages including children and couples. I also enjoy sharing information about items people discover at the beach or on the trail. Drae enjoys the custom design work with her popular wire wrapped jewelry.
What can you share about Drae’s wire wrapping? She has 10 years of experience putting wire on shark teeth and other custom items like fossils and shells. Her secure form of wrapping is artistic and perfect for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and anklets.
Don, what are some of your other interests? I enjoy learning about space sciences and the human condition. I’ve been involved in citizen science outreach programs with NASA for many years. My name (with many others) is on two different rovers on mars. It also accompanied the Stardust mission to a comet and sailed past Pluto onboard the Pluto New Horizons spacecraft. I like flying my quadcopter, fishing and nature photography. I’ve recently started rock sawing and tumbling. It was a challenging year with Ian destroying our roof and a few health challenges. Drae and I appreciate life each day and we’re grateful for our positive interactions with visitors at our store on Venice Island.