Debbie Tuch is one of the sweetest ladies around (pun intended). A food jewelry pioneer since 1996, she started Glitterlimes, a jewelry line made from real fruit slices and candy from around the world coated in glittery resin. This followed her earning a BFA in Jewelry and Metals from Rhode Island School of Design and then bopping from California back to New York, where she settled. Glitterlimes is now based out of her Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio. We can't get enough of her adorable jewelry and sat with her for a little Q&A about how the world of Glitterlimes came to be!
How long have you been creating and how did you get your start?
I've been creating all my life but Glitterlimes started in 1996 following a jewelry/metalsmithing degree at RISD. The first lime was made there. Then, I moved to San Francisco and became fascinated by all the markets and international groceries. It has been unfolding ever since.
What's your most memorable experience as a vendor?
There have been so many great memories from vending since I've been there. I love the ladies that find me after 15 years of wearing their first Glitterlime from the American folk art museum. Its been sort of an ongoing "this is your life" episode as people come through and have stories relating to their Glitterlimes.
What is your favorite part about selling at markets?
I love meeting everyone that comes through the market. Since I work with food everyone has personal nostalgia related to something on display. The relationships grow when you have a physical store. It makes production more inspiring knowing there are many smiling faces awaiting them.
Where do you see your brand in 10 years?
I honestly see it continuing in the same way it has been. New candies and fruits have kept the focus fresh fir decades. There is always something new to showcase in resin.
Do you remember your first ever sale? Tell us about it!
The first GL sale was in San Fran, a RISD alumni sale. I had 20 citrus pins, the same price as i sell them today. They all sold and the rest is history.
What new projects/pieces are you working on?
These days I have some beautiful new Japanese candy necklaces. Gorgeous colors that stay true. They are send from Japan along with peace cranes.
When is the first time you saw someone wearing one of your pieces outside of the market environment?
I see people all the time on the subways etc... When i first moved here in 2010 I decorated a huge Christmas tree in Lincoln Square. So that was a lovely out-of-market sighting. Glitterlimes have been circulating for 20 years all over the world, so they show up from time to time. We've worked with Lady Gaga and Madonna. When i was younger I used to give them to everyone. John Waters, David Byrne, Tammy Faye Baker. The list goes on!