Two Cape Cod teenagers, Katheryn Maloney and Brady Cullinan, both 17, deserve to be acknowledged for their enterprising savvy and their unusual jewelry. They took advantage of swarms of cicada beetles which alighted on Cape Cod for the first time in 17 years. The dead bugs are collected by neighbourhood kids at 5 cents a bug. A win-win situation! The pair spend a whole day processing the beetles which are lacquered with shellac and decorated with beads, spray paint or food coloring. The wings are either left open or closed for design variation. The tricky part is piercing the resulting hard bodies to attach the wires.
Maloney and Cullinan have been selling successfully at their weekly local Farmer's Market and were even interviewed on tv. They plan to continue selling there whilst supplies last. Looking ahead, these budding entrepreneurs are also considering other invertebrates such as small horseshoe crab but Maloney draws the line at spiders.