Updated: Mar 22, 2022
Early morning 'treasure hunting' walks
For as long as I can remember I have had two slightly niche passions; beach combing, and making jewellery.
I have my Grandpa to thank for the love of beach combing, or ‘treasure hunting’ as he called it. My grandparents lived most of their life in Kenya, and I was lucky enough to spend a few months every year visiting them while growing up.
I have fond memories of early morning beach walks with Grandpa, where we would look for shells along the high tide line, or in the colourful rock pools. I learnt about the different species of shells, seaweed and fish, and there was something magic about knowing that each tide would bring new treasures to be found on shore.
At the age of seven, my parents, brother and I moved from the UK to Mallorca, an island in the Mediterranean. The next six years were a happy blur of exploring hidden rocky coves, picnics on far-flung beaches, and Mediterranean blue skies. I feel incredibly grateful for my childhood.
By the time I moved back to the UK at the age of 14, a love of all things sea-themed and sundrenched felt deeply set in my soul.
Fast forward six years, and I am at Exeter University studying Sustainability with Spanish. I loved my course, but craved something a little more creative in my spare time. In the summer after my first year I started making glass pendants by fusing layers of dichroic glass together in a kiln, and, due to popular demand from friends and family, Bahari Blu unofficially came into being.
A photo taken in my Uni house - making sea glass earrings between lectures.
Over the rest of my years at university I gradually established the brand, and developed the Up-cycled Ceramic and Sea Glass collections. I was motivated to try and make collections using recycled/waste products, as both my upbringing and degree had made me acutely aware of the problem of overconsumption and the damage it poses to our fragile planet.
Right now, I have graduated from university and I am taking the opportunity to develop my jewellery making skills, making the leap towards becoming a self-taught silversmith. I have come back to Kenya, and am living on an island off the Northern coast. Between working remotely for an environmental organisation (which helps pay the bills) and learning the ropes of silversmithing, I feel very grateful to be building a business based on two life-long passions. I have visited beaches across Europe, searching for the most beautiful sea glass gems, and I now have the freedom to play and experiment, hopefully creating some truly beautiful designs.
Learning from local silversmiths in Lamu old town.