A self-confessed creative, maker, and dreamer, Naomi Lewis always took the opportunity to explore. From her Cornish roots, she had taken a leap moving to London, then decided that the next step would begin with nothing but a backpack and a craving for inspiration, experiences, and adventure.
After roaming the globe from Bali to Byron, Sri Lanka to Central America, Naomi decided it was finally time to find somewhere to settle, and unpacked her rucksack in New Zealand.
‘I was always seeking the ocean vibes from cliff walks to sunset spots…’
As long as there was somewhere for her to take a dip in the sea, she was home.
After life on the road, Naomi realised that while travel provided an abundance of inspiration, it didn’t necessarily come with an outlet. Desperate to create once more, she enrolled on an evening course in jewellery making.
‘When I didn’t want to leave my class, which finished at 9pm, I knew I was on to something good. I was staying right on the beach, and it so happened to be one of the best seaglass beaches I have found in the whole of New Zealand! I collected my favourite pieces and brought them into class, then began making. Finding something organically shaped and recycled just made me fall in love with the craft – I could make gifts for friends and family back home that really showed I was thinking of them.’
For anyone that comes from a seaside town, the ocean ultimately reminds you of home, no matter where you are. The act of creating jewellery from seaglass allows the wearer to be close to the water, wherever they are in the world.
Found Treasure Arose From An Obsession With Crystals And Minerals
‘I would go to the same shop in St Ives to build my collection. I was fascinated with them; the colours, the shapes, and where they were from. Then when I got a bit older, I saved up to buy jewellery.’
The act of purchasing new jewellery soon became much more than simply buying.
‘The ritual around buying jewellery was always such a big deal for me. Each piece had to be handmade, good quality, and a little bit different. I truly treasured my collection and would wear my pieces every day.’
Little did Naomi know that one day she’d be designing and creating the very things that she had been so fond of all her life.
‘After doing the evening classes, I posted a photo on my Instagram of the seaglass ring I had made. From this one photo, I had 5 orders from friends at home… I couldn’t quite believe it!’
Soon after this, Naomi rented studio space so she could fully immerse herself in her craft. Nurturing a new-found determination, focus, and love for creating, her business soon developed.
‘Starting Found Treasure has also allowed me to practice my love of photography and brand design, and given me a reason to play around – creating collages and editing styles.’
From simply being inspired by nature to create something special, Naomi is now running a beautiful business with strong morals, and is being supported by like-minded people from all corners of the world. Ever the big dreamer, she is continuously looking forwards:
‘I am looking into running some small workshops of my own, as I really want to encourage others to practice their creativity! Even if jewellery isn’t your thing, it may help you find something else. I am also prepping for Christmas markets, and am really excited to meet more people and understand what they like most about my small business.’
As her jewellery is created with such a definitive link to the ocean and Mother Earth, it’s only natural that Naomi strives to make her brand as eco-friendly as possible.
‘How can you be in love with the ocean and not want to protect it?’
She brought her values in right from the very start, using eco packaging which is recycled and compostable, whilst continuously reducing waste, working with eco-friendly products and suppliers, and focusing on natural materials.
‘From travelling and setting up in a new country I have learnt a lot about minimalism and the small amounts of things you need to get by. So reducing, reusing, and buying quality when you can, has become so ingrained in me.’
Naomi’s love of seaglass arose from an absolute longing for the ocean, a need to be in it whenever possible, and never straying too far from the tide line. After exploring so many little pockets of the world which made her feel so at ease and happy, Naomi explains how she manages to leave one place behind and continue to the next, as her journey unfolds:
‘I have lots of happy places, but I’ve come to realise that you can create your happy place and link it to your previous favourite spots. This is in very general terms but, for example, I miss Bali, so I find yoga spots that help me remember how I felt there, even just for an hour. I miss Cornwall and Byron, but I connect with those feelings by being in the ocean, or by watching the waves crash against the rocks. Now that I’m currently settled in New Zealand, I also love walking into the studio, turning on my speaker, and getting into my zone, because it makes me feel empowered.’
As the Found Treasure journey unfolds, so do many others. Naomi has big plans on the horizon, both for herself and her business, but is also making sure she finds time for the little pleasures of life.
‘I came home last month to find that my boyfriend had bought me my first ever longboard!’
If you’d like to find her, you’ll probably spot Naomi scouring the beaches of the North Island in search of her precious treasures, working away in her studio with a coffee on her bench and music filling the air, or dancing on the waves…