Zuma Lifeguards: Gifts that Connect Us

Zuma lifeguards and Zuma stud earring

In 2020, more than ever, gifts that connect us are so important. Inherent in fine jewelry is that it links gift-givers and recipients together in a personalized and cherished way.

This time last year, a small holiday gift later inspired a round of gifts connecting some of Malibu’s heroes. The original gift was given by a local mom to the director of Children's Creative Workshop (CCW) and long-time lifeguard, Shari Latta. It was a mismatched pair of silver earrings inspired by the CCW curriculum. One earring was a dolphin and the other was the name, Zuma.

“It was literally the best gift I’ve ever received” Latta said, “I’ve been a lifeguard at Zuma for over 32 years and this beach is part of my blood so it was really special.” 

Latta approached the mom who gave her the earrings, Winnie Johnson, owner of Albertina, a fine jewelry store in Malibu’s Trancas Country Market which specializes in unique locally-made fine jewelry, about ordering Zuma studs for all the female lifeguards on the team. 

Winnie had just designed the earrings for the store and gave them to Shari because the school took field trips to the lifeguard headquarters at Zuma and to the Wishtoyo Chumash Village. They learned an origin story about how the Chumash crossed a rainbow bridge from the islands; those that fell into the water were said to become dolphins. 

“Seeing behind the scenes at the Lifeguard HQ was awe-inspiring. I came away with a greater understanding and such a huge appreciation for what those folks do,” she said. “To have these women who do so much for our community wearing earrings I designed is a dream come true. I had to get in on the gift and added ‘mates’ so they would each have a mismatched pair like Shari’s.” 

Latta said “the team was very surprised and happy and it was fun to give back to young women as teamwork is so important in our job.”

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