Creating a Happy Sea

Creating a Happy Sea

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When Owyn Porter spoke her first word, it wasn’t “mommy” or “daddy”—it was the word “beach.” Her mom, Laurie Moffitt, laughs when she recounts her daughter’s obsession with the ocean. “By the time Owyn was 4 years old, she had it in her head that she would become a marine biologist,” says Laurie. “More than anything else, she wanted to save the ocean and all its sea creatures.”
After Owyn graduated from Fernandina Beach High School, she went on to a college in South Florida to pursue her dreams of studying marine biology. “I wanted to stay close to the ocean and have an impact on the future of our oceans,” says Owyn. “It’s all I ever wanted, and all that I could think about. It was the perfect plan. That is, until I discovered I was terrible in math and chemistry, which is a must for marine biology majors.”
Owyn had a tough time, and by spring semester of her freshman year, she was in a complete panic. “I called my mother and told her I wouldn’t be able to continue with my marine biology degree,” says Owyn. “I was heartbroken. But after many hours on the phone with my mom, we came up an idea for a new business called The Happy SeaTM, a product line consisting of cute art that would spread ocean awareness and support ocean conservation. I realized that I could still make an impact, just in a different way. Today, The Happy Sea is my life dream, and my entire heart and soul!”
The Happy Sea consists of greeting cards, t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, and magnets, and 10% of all proceeds goes to Ocean Alliance, a non-profit conservation organization that believes the oceans and their marine inhabitants are a common, unique, and irreplaceable asset of humanity. By linking the frontiers of marine science to educational institutions and people around the world, Ocean Alliance brings awareness to ocean environmental concerns on a global level.
Owyn and Laurie sell The Happy Sea line of products at Color it Green, their store on Atlantic Avenue, and they also sell online. Color It Green is an eco-friendly shop that offers fair trade gifts, and “upcycled” products that give back. The Happy Sea complements Color It Green’s own mission statement.
“On the back of each of our greeting cards is a conservation tip to help remind people what we can do to make a difference and help stop pollution,” says Owyn. “I do all the art and design, and my mom takes care of all the production. This September, we’re going to be featured at Surf Expo in Orlando, and we’re really excited about that.”
“Color It Green is stocked with many USA-made products, including items from very talented local artisans,” says Laurie. “Many of our product manufacturers support a cause and donate a portion of their sales to benefit people and organizations around the world. We follow suit by donating a portion of our sales to benefit ocean conservation programs, in addition to our Happy Sea line.”
Today, Owyn is doing what she was truly meant to do—attending Florida Atlantic University, pursuing her degree in studio art, and creating new designs for The Happy Sea. “I’m not a marine biologist, but I’m still doing what I can to save the ocean,” says Owyn. “I truly love the ocean, and we have done so much damage to it by littering and using plastic. It’s time we take a stand and make a change.”
For more information, visit www.thehappysea.com, www.coloritgreengifts.com, or the Ocean Alliance website at www.whale.org.