Surf Careers: Sara Strachan, owner of Ocean Boheme Jewellery

Surf Careers: Sara Strachan, owner of Ocean Boheme Jewellery

Seafoam has a heart for sustainability. I am always looking at ways I can improve its impact and I expect our labels to do the same when designing their surf wear collections. It is something that is always in the back of my mind, even shopping for personal items. However, it's something I never really thought about when looking at jewellery. How can they become more sustainable? I spoke to Sara Strachan about her Jewellery label Océan Bohème and how she is working hard to make a difference.

Sara founder of Ocean Boheme Jewellery

Hey Sara, what is the story behind 'Océan Bohème' and what makes your jewellery more 'sustainable'?
I am the owner of Ocean Boheme - ocean inspired jewellery, designed for water women with a firm eye on sustainability. I use recycled silver, handpicked ocean hued gemstones, up-cycled shells from post consumer products and sea scavenged sea-glass. I strive to make unique designs with high quality craftsmanship whilst supporting marine conservation charities and always with plastic free packaging. On top of this, the newest project I have been working on is to plant a small coral fragment for every purchase made - carried out by Coralive who are involved in coral reef regeneration. 
What motivated you to start your own jewellery business?
I had always wanted my own business but choosing what to do was the tricky part. Jewellery making had always been something I was interested in but I actually ended up falling into it. I was working for a great independent travel company as a Travel Consultant but I was looking for something more. I decided to reduce my hours and train as a Paddle Boarding instructor as I didn't know if that's what I wanted to do, but I knew I wouldn't find the answers which working such long hours in an office. Whilst doing the SUP instructor course I met a lady who was a jewellery designer and she offered to teach me - so I started going to her house in the evenings and I made a sea-glass ring as my first piece! 

Ocean Boheme Jewellery

How and when did you get into surfing?
I grew up on an island on the South Coast of England and got into windsurfing as a teenager but always thought surfing looked really fun - we just didn't have waves where I lived. When I went to uni I joined the surf club and went on a surf trip to Newquay. Since then I have been surfing in numerous places around the world on my travels but have never lived anywhere with consistent surf. I have now finally moved to Hossegor in the South West of France and am super excited to surf more consistently even if I still love small wave surfing!  
What brought you to Hossegor and how did you experience settling abroad?

I've lived in France quite a few times before - during snowboarding seasons, when I used to teach windsurfing and also a stint in Bordeaux. I also speak fluent French. When covid hit and my travel consultant job took a turn for the worse I thought maybe it was time to take the plunge and try and and go full time with my business.  I had friends in Hossegor and thought I would go and visit in the summer of 2020 whilst I no longer had work ties. So I bought a van to transport my jewellery and whilst I was there I started dating an English guy who had bought a restaurant in Hossegor Everything fell into place and the rest is history! 

Ocean Boheme Jewellery

What does your average working day look like running your own business?
Since leaving my full-time travel job due to covid  (where I used to work 8 hours in an office and then probably about another 4-6 hours on Ocean Boheme) I now have a more relaxed schedule.  Each day is different but generally I don't use an alarm to wake up (bliss), once awake I package any orders I have and cycle a 14k round trip to the post office, if I don't have any orders I'll go for a run on the beach if there isn't any surf.  In the afternoons I work on my website/social media/answering questions/uploading jewellery to my website/designing etc. 
What do you love most about running Ocean Bohème?
I love the freedom it gives me, also I love being able to support charities that I am passionate about.  The designing process is really fun and I also love the photo shoots and editing side of my work too. 

Ocean Boheme Jewellery

Did you study or do any courses in jewellery making or business, or did you learn ‘on the job’?
No courses apart from that first sea-glass ring I made, I now get my jewellery made by one guy in Bali.  He's called Roni and is amazing at his work.  It's also really satisfying to know that my jewellery orders support Roni and his little family.
With production based in Bali, do you often meet your manufacturer?

In the beginning I met my manufacturer once a year and also sent out friends to meet him.  However I soon realised that this wasn't necessary even though an excuse to go to Bali is always nice!  I now mainly use What's app for designs, pricing and quality control - the magic of social media!

How did you decide on what charity you'd support with your brand?
I have supported and donated regularly to Surfers Against Sewage since I was about 13 years old so it seemed natural to continue supporting this charity that's close to my heart. I also recently heard about coral regeneration and immediately thought this would be a great fit too. I remember at university doing an essay on the importance of coral reefs so I knew how important that were for biodiversity and oxygen production. I also like that I support one marine conservation programme from the UK and another that is based in the tropical locations where I often base my imagery for Ocean Boheme. 
Sara Strachan Ocean Boheme

How do you like to spend your free time? do you have much time left to surf?

I love all sorts of beach/ocean activities from sea-glass hunting to sea swimming, surfing and paddle boarding. When not at the beach I also love photography (sometimes I take that in the sea too with my under water housing - haha), longboard skating and snowboarding. Living by a surf beach and having a flexible work schedule is luckily great for surfing - my only issue now is that Hossegor is known for its big waves so often it can be too big for my skills!   

If you could surf anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?
Oooh good question, I have a passion for travel so my list is long!  Nicaragua is definitely up there as I haven't been there yet but I also wouldn't turn down a trip to Ecuador or Colombia as they're a bit different or return to Indonesia which is a country that has my heart.  
Do you have any exciting plans when all this Covid madness is over?
I have a trip to Nicaragua brewing and can't wait to walk through the jungle to the surf and sip on fresh coconuts. 

Sara Strachan
Want to see more of Sara's beautiful creations?
Go check them out here:
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