Beachcombing Business: The Woman Turning Ocean Trash into Treasure

Sophie Witt, originally from Somerset, started a successful jewellery business as a result of her beachcombing hobby – where she turns ocean trash into treasure. 

Beachcombing is the process of wandering the high tide line and collecting interesting finds, and it has risen in popularity in recent years. 

For Sophie Witt, Founder of Bahari Blu Jewellery, her love of looking for beach treasures has taken her further than the occasional DIY project. Having started beachcombing with her grandpa when she was four years old, it was while studying a degree in Sustainability at The University of Exeter that Sophie started thinking about what she could create with her growing collection of beach finds.

Sophie started with her collection of sea glass – a material that is created when broken pieces of discarded glass make their way into the ocean and are rubbed smooth over the years by the sand, pebbles and waves. Effectively, the natural movement of the ocean turns unwanted shards of waste glass into gem-like looking treasures, ready to be found by meandering beachcombers like Sophie.

Intent on building a business that did not further deplete the Earth’s resources, Sophie set about learning how to create unique jewellery out of her sea glass finds. After months spent shadowing traditional silversmiths at work, Sophie launched her first bespoke sea glass jewellery collection, made from pieces of surf-tumbled sea glass set in 100% recycled sterling silver.

Sophie’s designs are inspired by the shapes of seaweed, shells and other fragments she finds whilst beachcombing, and she now works from her home-based studio creating ocean-inspired designs with the very treasures she has spent her life collecting. When asked what her favourite part of the process is, Sophie said:

My favourite part is dreaming up new designs, and bringing them to life. Each piece of sea glass is uniquely shaped, and I draw endless inspiration from the sites I see along the shoreline. Beachcombing is a wonderful excuse to spend many hours of my free time by the sea – I find the process so therapeutic and peaceful.”

You can see more of Sophie’s work on her website: https://www.bahariblu.com/

Or, follow her on Instagram, where she often shares behind the scenes of her jewellery-making and beachcombing adventures: @bahari.blu 

(Note to readers: Sophie does not collect any live shells, and collecting sea glass clears the beach of pollution as it is originally a man-made material).