15 December 2015 // Florine van Rees //Rotterdam
//THE OCEAN REPUBLIC
It’s not very regular to visit the seaside of the Netherlands when it is clouded, misty, cold and windy; but this time it was the actual setting for meeting Sophie Ruijgrok, the founder of The Ocean Republic.
Sophie makes beautiful and unique jewelry, inspired by the spirit of the ocean. Her delicate designs are turned into real life pieces of sterling silver, gold and recycled brass. The little objects have a journey and a story themselves, that continues in a journey together with the one that wears them.
Living and working in Scheveningen is something Sophie absolutely loves. Taking a break during working hours by strolling down the beach or grabbing her surfboard to catch some waves is part of her routine and makes her working life a real treat. Having a herring the Dutch way is popular during lunch breaks, just like today.
We start meeting up at her office, which she shares with the boys from 11AM; Denni and Hugo. It is a cozy place, with a real “work hard play hard” mentality (That’s IMacs, jewelry tools, lots of coffee, a very comfortable couch and a surfboard all in one room) There is a showcase containing the latest collection of The Ocean Republic, based on volcano’s and showing new shapes and structures compared to her previous collections. I get to see the pictures taken for the lookbook of this collection, showing the shiny jewelry pieces on a beautiful model in the dark sand of Bali. Some tools are to be seen on her working space, but Sophie explains me that she likes to work at home as well and has another working space where she makes the molds. Then all the inspiration is get from her travels and the base of her jewelry pieces are being made in Bali – quite a company with one girl-captain on top!
Sophie loves to collect things she finds during her travels and by the seaside of the Netherlands. Inspiration is to be found everywhere in her house, everywhere you can find little islands stuffed with tiny things she collected during the years. Besides using these objects as inspiration material for her collections, they also function as props in windows and showcases of Denham stores, where she is having a long-term collaboration with.
We have a lot of shared passions and travelling is one of them. Sophie tells me she is leaving for California and Hawaii in the beginning of 2016, which must be and extraordinary trip with a lot of stories and new inspiration. Jealous indeed! We can’t wait to see the new collection inspired by it!
Facebook: The Ocean Republic