ROAR: Hey Cally! Let us know about your awesome brand. What is Sea Borne art and who is involved?
Cally: Sea Borne Art: ocean-inspired, sustainable candles hand made in bohemian Bondi. It’s a creative endeavour, up cycling found, preloved and everyday materials into sustainable art. I also stock the amazing sea-inspired art of Bondi locals. Shell art, mandalas and mini-surfboards made from broken boards. Everything is recycled or handmade in Bondi.
ROAR: We love these ideas! When we met you it sounded so rad how you get your resources and how you transport products to customers. Please share what you do and why!?
Cally: I’m so lucky to live in a suburb that has a huge transient population. Not only is there always a great flow of interesting people, but there is always treasure to be found on the streets! I collect unwanted items, visit second-hand stores and people have even started to bring me bags, wrapping and trinkets to use in the candle-making process. It's a completely green operation - the energy I use to heat the wax is solar powered, and I skateboard deliver to local customers.
Sea Borne came from a place of wanting to use what we have to make things of beauty, and encourage others to do the same. Be inspired to create! As for the skateboarding deliveries - what better way to get to know your area than to skate around? Plus, it’s a bonus when I can personally deliver a gift!
ROAR: Skateboard delivery is the best idea! We also heard you have an awesome work space that people always seem to be dropping in to say hi and hang out? Tell us about this creative space.
Cally: Ah yes, the Candlearium! Also known as my garage. It’s such a chill place. When I first moved to this apartment, I had a lot of furniture that couldn’t fit. It ended up in the garage. Then, when I decided to start making candles in the garage, the furniture stayed. So it’s like a mini home, that smells like 200 candles! It’s a little oasis in the back streets of Bondi. What I love is how comfortable people are when they pop in. They plonk down on the couch or come and hover over the back table and chat away as I make candles. I was in the surf today and a girl asked me if I was the one who ‘has the little candle garage’ - stoked that people know the Candlearium!
ROAR: Awesome community vibes! Congratulations on starting your own business and already gaining a good range of happy customers! Tell us how this idea came to life?
Cally: Oh thanks! I’ve been making candles for about six years - just as gifts for friends. A few people had told me I should sell them, but I didn’t have time, and to be honest it felt a tad strange selling something I had always given away. About a year ago I finished working the 9-5 and had all this time on my hands. While trying to figure out what to do next, I thought I would just literally open the garage, make some candles and see what happened. The gorgeous, generous people in my neighbourhood did the rest! Now I stock local stores, market stalls and have an online Etsy store. It’s been a beautiful organic growth.
ROAR: Tell us about your thoughts on sustainability and eco friendly products and why it is such a focus for you?
Cally: Sustainability for me, is all about balance - living a fulfilling life, doing it with minimal negative impact on the earth and those around you. My not-so-inner-hippy was raised on a 40ft yacht my father built. My family lived a wholly sustainable (and adventurous) life, visiting pristine places and enjoying nature. We carried our own water, used solar power and didn’t even have a fridge until I was 15. We saw first-hand the devastating damage plastic can have on the ocean, harming the environment and killing animals. I’m grateful to my folks for the insight into our connectedness to and impact on the natural world. But we also lived a good life - I didn’t want for anything and mum taught me how to Op Shop like a pro! So my land-lubber life has been about finding my own balance - living a life where I don’t deprive myself of anything, but also being aware of how my purchasing behaviour can make a difference.
Sea Borne is an extension of those principals. When researching sustainable candle making, I learnt that many candles are toxic. Lead-dipped wicks and paraffin (from petroleum) wax and synthetic scents. A candle is a delicious luxury for many, and this treat shouldn’t be harmful to you, or the planet. And so I use recycled bags, the wax I use is certified sustainable, cotton wicks and natural scents. And all decorations are found or pre-loved!
Each of us has the potential to make positive change in the world - by learning where your favourite brand makes it’s clothes, and how those people are treated, to buying the tuna that is hand-caught, so as not to harm dolphins. By supporting the brands, people and products actively trying to do good, we can make a huge difference.
ROAR: So you are set up mainly around Bondi and are gaining a really good name for yourself. Are you thinking of expanding and if so where to? We can't wait to get some for the van!!
Cally: Ultimately it would be wonderful to travel around like you and live in the van, make candles, surf and explore… Sea Borne is starting to venture out of Bondi - stocked in yoga studios, organic cafes, and down the coast, a friend is opening a eco burger bar soon, Sea Borne will be lighting up the night there (can’t wait to see that!), and there are plans afoot to travel far and wide to markets spreading the love! Friends are also stocking Sea Borne in their refurbished vintage caravan and hitting the road - will forward you their details - so much happening! Ultimately though I would love to be involved with an art healing organisation - helping others find their creative fire and find peace.
I would love you to have a candle in the van - we have a travel candle in our camper van too! Drop in any time - across from 70 Denham Street, Bondi.
@seaborneart - Instagram
Sea Borne Bondi - Facebook