How we started Ocea
I dreamt of having our own business which was born through our love of travelling!
After many short holidays to Bali, we quickly fell in love with the place, people and culture and felt we needed to find a way to incorporate our passion to start a new business that could keep us travelling and coming back to places like Bali.
My husband and I decided to focus on a business that could give us the freedom to work whilst travelling and designing, which I felt was always my calling. This gave me the inspiration to create beautiful leather goods, jewellery and clothing.
Before we made the decision to travel, I was in a place in life which I feel is pretty common—I was working insane hours and the busy rush of day-to-day routine was pushing me to search for a new lifestyle. My boys were growing up so quickly and I was yearning for that break – that stop button, a new life that would give me the freedom to spend time with my family and this is how we started OCEA!
We have so much to say about our amazing adventure but some of the standouts are.
Staying at a family village in Nusa Penida. We were fortunate enough to have a lovely Balinese friend take us to her family’s village. It wasn’t like staying in accommodation for tourists it was a family home with no power and no hot water. We helped with daily chores, from feeding the cows to cutting down coconuts, the boys were out daily helping out with life on the farm, they also got to experience what it was like to go to a Balinese school in the village. To the spectacular Cave temple – climbing up steep stairs then in through a small opening to a cave that can fit up to 3000 people where we were lucky enough to experience a full Hindu blessing. The temple was an absolute highlight!
Together, we started learning the local language, Bahasa. It was fun practicing words, from ordering food to hiring bikes and chatting with the locals at the shops and rice fields.
To touch more on how we started Ocea, whist in Bali I reconnected with an old friend who helped to source my suppliers. Since then, I have maintained a very special relationship with all of them. They are not only our friends but a part of our family. My relationship is based on good values, mutual respect and trust between them and myself. At team meetings I’ve always maintained good practices and listening skills, I appreciate and then help resolve any challenges that present themselves always contributing while developing a better understanding of each other’s values and ethics. I never haggle on price, respecting the honesty and integrity of my Bali families hard work to fulfil the orders and needs of the business. They are not just suppliers; they have become our Bali family.
You have to go to Bali with an open mind, no expectations, respect the locals and embrace the culture. We ate our way around whilst sipping on Bintang’s, wandering through rice paddies and learning more about their beliefs and ways of life for much of the 3 months. The list goes on with such wonderful cultural experiences and I can only hope that everyone gets to experience an adventurous holiday like this.
On another note, if you’re a little confused about how to pronounce this rarity you are not alone. First instinct for most is Oh-SEE-ah, but it’s actually Oh-Shah, like Ocean but without the N.
Which makes sense when you consider that as a name it is thought to be derived from Oceana, a Greek name meaning Ocean or Oceanus, another Greek name meaning ‘god of the sea’. In light of this it probably comes as no surprise that the name Ocea means ‘Ocean’.