She sells sea shells … and gave up the nine to five to do it

16 Nov

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By Sydney Stella, Bond University Journalism Student

Stallholders at the Surfers Paradise beachfront markets have turned their passion into profit and left their day jobs behind.

Jackie Cowan and Blaire Krefts are regulars at the markets and both opted out of the typical nine-to-five jobs to pursue their interests in jewellery and crafts.

Jackie is the owner of Castaway Jewellery, where she makes nautical and marine theme accessories.

Jackie said she grew up around the beach and wanted to find a way to create something that captured the coastal lifestyle.
“The ocean and fishing has always been a huge part of my life and I wanted to start a company reflecting that aspect,” she said.

She started at the markets two years ago after working in the surf industry for about 10 years and said she loves her new job working in such an exciting atmosphere.

“I had worked in Surfers Paradise for a while and I was tired of the five days a week nine-to-five lifestyle, I wanted a change where I worked for myself,” she said.

“You cannot ask for a better office being right on the foreshore.”

Blaire is the owner of She Sells Shells, a family-run business that sells handmade seashell artwork as well as shell and marine life specimens. 

“Ever since I was a child, I had a fascination with seashells and as I grew older I found a fondness in craft,” she said.

“Over the years I combined the two loves and it has led to the business we have today.”

Blaire said she started selling the products as a hobby but the idea became so popular that her family decided to make a business out of it.

“The best part of what we do is it is constantly changing, it’s always challenging and it keeps us on our toes,” she said.

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