Blue Betty founder Jade Harding is passionate about empowering women and saving the ocean. Feature Photo: Casey Pratt Photography
If you’ve spotted a group of women, of all ages, shapes and sizes, having an absolute blast in the sea recently, you’ve probably seen the Blue Betties.
The Blue Betties come from all walks of life, are between the ages of 25 and 76 and have gone from being complete strangers to close friends – all thanks to ocean-obsessed Umdloti resident, Jade Harding.
The blonde ‘surfer-mom’ Jade started the movement two years ago in an attempt to rekindle the love of the ocean amongst women, while saving it in the process.
“It started when my friend, Danielle Bolton and I were chatting about what is happening to the sea with all the plastic and pollution. I remember saying to her that I want my children to go find treasure in the sea, enjoy it and grow up with it like I did,” says Jade, who grew up with salty hair and sandy toes and has a deep connection to the big blue.
“I feel like my whole life and treasured memories are founded around the ocean. It’s that sense of freedom while you are out there and this connection you have with the earth. It’s my happy place.”
The solution, she decided, was to help make people fall in love with the ocean so that they would care for it as much as she does.
“We started Blue Betty as a woman-inspired concept that focuses on building a community of everyday women who want to drive change and respect our oceans through the choices they make for themselves and their families.”
Jade says the ‘blue’ part symbolises tranquillity and calm, while ‘Betty’ stands for a woman who is an entrepreneur, wife, mother, daughter, sister and girlfriend.
“A ‘Betty’ is a modern-day queen – irresistibly sexy and feminine, educated, deep, witty, simple and young-hearted! Age is only a number! She does not succumb to the man’s world. She is naturally beautiful, honest, brave, loyal and nurturing. She is the whole package – balanced, quirky, open-minded, complex and flawed. She is soulful, connected and driven. A modern-day triple-threat, go-getter,” laughs Jade.
Jade previously worked at Salt Water Girl and took women on surf experience camps before joining the corporate marketing world and then going solo in consulting after she had her two children.
Her goal is to boost women’s confidence in themselves and the ocean while heightening their eco-consciousness. “It is about socializing with other women and the sea. Some of them haven’t been in the water for 10 years and have lost their confidence in their bodies or are not used to the sea anymore. We only allow women because we feel that having men around would make the ladies feel intimidated.”
Apart from getting salty in the SUP socials at La Mercy lagoon or surf sessions at Addington Beach, the ladies also venture to foreign waters, such as their upcoming SUP and Yoga retreat in Mauritius, which is focused on reflection, me-time and unlimited fun. “We motivate each other and rely on one another to show up.”
They also learn together to be better earth residents through their #JustBegin workshops.
“We encourage ways for you to #JustBegin with small changes in your daily habits that will ultimately save the ocean. We learn about worm farms, how to make our own eco-friendly home care products and do clothes swap nights. Next up, we are going to learn how to make ‘green’ Christmas crackers that families can make together. It’s small steps, but it’s a start.”
Details: www.bluebettylife.com or
Text: Elana Wagner