Steph Gabriel

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Steph Gabriel is an American entrepreneur. Steph started OceanZen in 2014 and is based in Sunshine Coast, Australia.[1]

Steph Gabriel, founder of OceanZenSteph Gabriel, founder of OceanZen




Sunshine Coast, Australia


Early Career

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Steph started OceanZen in 2014. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on OceanZen?

In 2009 I packed up and went travelling on a one way ticket overseas. I had no idea how long I was going to be away for or really where I would end up, all I knew is I had to go. I ended up being away from home for 3 years!

From hanging out with elephants on safari in South Africa, to snowboarding mountain peaks in Canada and cruising South America in an old Volkswagen, I eventually ended up on a tiny little island in the Caribbean, The Cayman Islands.

I landed a job working with wild Stingrays… YES. WILD ONES! My job was to handle (with training) and feed them every single day for eco-tourism interactions. From being in the ocean every single day for a whole year, I really started to learn of the human impacts we were having on the ocean. I could see where our plastic was going and how it was effecting these beautiful animals that I had come to love so dearly. So this is what essentially brought me home. I wanted to learn more and more importantly I wanted a voice for sustainability. So after much research and passion.

OceanZen was born. 😊

Having a degree in Environmental Science, plus all of my unique experience working with marine life, this has really made OceanZen’s values strong and these values are the foundation of the business.

When I came up with the idea of launching a sustainable swimwear company, it all happened so fast. Once I decided I was doing it, it happened. And I think this is key to anyone who wants to launch a business. Just Start!

I was working two casual jobs at the time (in marine conservation education and on a humpback whale watching boat) and studying my degree full-time, so a lot of my friends and family laughed a little when I said I was doing this. I got lots of comments like ‘where are you going to fit that in’ and ‘with what money’.

But my passion was my purpose and that is what inspired me and drove me to launch. This is why I believe it’s so important to launch something that you are passionate about, something that you believe in, otherwise you will lose interest and go onto the next.

Source [1]