Boss Babe: Sara Strachan
Company: Ocean Boheme
Tell me a bit about your business.
I am the founder and designer for Ocean Boheme, an eco conscious jewellery brand for water women. I work with recycled silver, upcycled shells, ocean hued gemstones like turquoise, amazonite and larimar and also the odd bit of sparkle from opals, moonstone and keishi pearls. I also work with two amazing marine conservation charities, I donate a minimum of 5% of my profits (often more) to Surfers Against Sewage who campaign for cleaner seas and also Coralive who plant a piece of coral for every purchase made though Ocean Boheme.
What made you decide to start it?
I've wanted to have my own business for about the past 15 years, but I could never decide what to put my hand to. I've had so many business idea over the years from treehouse hotels to fusion sushi handrolls! I had always swore that I didn't want to work in nan office job so after 5 years working in travel (in an office) I decided to really start searching for my calling. I stated by training to be a paddle boarding instructor as I had once been a windsurfing instructor and had always loved working and being around the ocean. I started teaching for a local watersports centre and whilst there I met a lady who made jewellery. This was also something I had always wanted to have a go at, so I told her I had looked at doing some of the local courses and she offered to teach me. I made a seaglass ring with some seaglass I had found and it sparked something in me and I haven't looked back!
What’s a typical day/week like in your shoes?
Since covid happened, my travel job is no more (after working 8 hour days working in an office, followed by many evening hours working on my jewellery). Now my typical work week has drastically changed. I thought that with all of the extra free hours I could sooooo much more jewellery work but it turns out I just have a better work life balance now! I have recently moved to the French surf mecca of Hossegor which is great. I typically don't set an alarm (the dream), go for a beach run with frequent pit stops to look for seaglass or a surf if the waves are small. Days can be filled with packaging orders, filling out customs forms, either convincing my boyfriend to go to the post office if he is going past in his van, otherwise it's a 12k round trip on my rusty bike. Each day is so different, it can involve planning photoshoots, designing jewellery, hand picking gemstones, creating content for Instagram
What’s been the most difficult thing to get your head around when you started up?
Oh wow, that's a hard question as everything was new! Maybe how to use Instagram for a business - I'm still trying to figure out the algorithm.
Have you encountered any hiccups along the way?
All sorts! Designs that don't turn out as I hope is probably the biggest - so nothing too drastic!
How do you stay motivated?
By always thinking of the next project/design/photoshoot. I get bored easily and am super motivated when I have a new idea spinning around my head which helps me to progress my business and constantly learn new skills.
What’s your main marketing took/social media platform? Are there any you want to try out that you haven’t had a chance to yet?
My main one by far is definitely Instagram, it's hard to get noticed with all of the other businesses, influencers and personal accounts on there but it's still my main source for people finding me. I did consider Tik Tok briefly but not sure it lends itself to my business so well.
What’s next for your business?
More designs in the bass range, hopefully the weekly Hossegor markets will become a regular thing for me if I manage to get through all of the French paperwork, some videos featuring my jewellery, learning to use my underwater camera housing for photo shoots and hopefully more surf shops stocking my jewellery - phew!
Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?
If you have a burning desire to start something and can put the hours in then do it! For me working for 3.5 years in my office job alongside my own business really helped. It meant I didn't need to stress when no orders were coming in but I knew I was gradually working towards going solo at some point.
What do you do to relax?
Running, surfing when the waves are small, paddleboarding, beachcombing, photography, I'm currently teaching myself to use procreate and the odd bit of wine drinking!
And lastly, what did you have for breakfast?
Today I made an Acai smoothie - delish!
Thanks so much Sara! It sounds like you really do live an idyllic life out there! If you fancy getting your hands on a piece of Sara's beautiful jeweller, head over to her Instagram page @ocean.boheme for all the info you need. x