To set the scene, it's 2019 and I was just realizing another business I wanted to start wasn't practical and therefore was not going to happen. That idea was also focused on removing ocean plastics and creating upcycled products to raise money and awareness for our ocean's health. Although the original idea "failed," it provided me space to think creatively.
I had several things swirling around in my brain, including how wasteful my pile of my old wetsuits was. This pile kept growing because I couldn't bring myself to throw them in the trash and sit in a landfill. I kept thinking there had to be something I can do with these to give them new life. At the same time, I had a vague concept on doing something with rings to symbolize commitment to the ocean. I had not connected both ideas at this point.
Then one afternoon when I was watching YouTube videos to kill time and get some inspiration, I came across a video of a ring being made out of denim pieces. And that was it! I realized I could actually take the wetsuits and turn them into rings. Only problem was, I didn't know how to do that. Unfortunately, denim and neoprene are very different so I could not make rings the same way shown in the video. Couple that with having no idea how to use a lathe or any machine tools for that matter. This is where the fun and learning began.
I experimented with different ways of combining wetsuit and resin and after many failures I figured a way to make this work. I also enrolled in a machine shop class at a local community college to learn about the tools I needed to bring this idea to life. And it's been a wild ride ever since.
I continue to play with ring ideas and expand the range. I also work with discarded resin ("surfite") that is scraped from surfboard shaping bays. Surfite is beautiful and perfect for making unique pieces with. I have a few product ideas with both neoprene and surfite that I plan to introduce in the future.
I'm always open to thoughts and ideas so please reach out if you have either. Oh and follow me on Instagram to stay in touch and see what I'm up to!