Beached Artisans - how two women from North Wales quit their jobs to make jewellery and go surfing

PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:05 15 August 2016

Beached Artisans Holly and Katy

Beached Artisans Holly and Katy


Katy Griffin and Holly Mather are swapping surfing life in North Wales for a life-changing road trip overseas as the Beached Artisans

They call themselves the Beached Artisans but there’s nothing washed up about Katy Griffin and Holly Mather.

While many of us fantasise about quitting our day jobs and seeing the world, the pair are actually making their dreams a reality and it’s all because of a newfound passion for surfing that has changed their lives.

Best friends Katy, aged 29, and 26-year-old Holly, met at the Grosvenor Rowing Club in Chester two years ago and hit it off immediately.

CHE Jul16 Beached ArtisansCHE Jul16 Beached Artisans

Says Katy: ‘Then we got into surfing last summer and on one of those drunken nights we were persuaded to go to Le Pin Sec surf camp in France where we both fell in love with surfing.

‘There’s a certain lifestyle about the sport and we felt that was the sort of lifestyle we wanted to follow, but at first we didn’t know how to head in that direction and change our lives.’

Luckily for them, Holly was living in North Wales so they could indulge in their favourite sport at weekends.

But it was the decision to quit their jobs and just surf that has changed the course of their lives. Now they have headed over to the continent to live in a van and chase the surf, surviving by selling jewellery that Katy makes along the way, while Holly blogs about their experience.

Their blog The Beached Artisans has already won them a following. They have had help from those they’ve inspired, including the surf camp at Le Pin Sec and another in Hossegor further along the coast, both of which have offered them free accommodation.

‘We are also ambassadors for the Watershed shop, which is the 12th best surf shop in the world,’ explains Katy.

‘They have asked us to wear their clothes and post pictures on Instagram.’

Before setting out a few weeks ago, Katy, a nurse, who is also a jewellery maker, had to re-train in cold joining techniques so that she can create quality jewellery on the hoof, without using much equipment.

‘I somehow don’t think crossing borders with blow torches will work out,’ she says with a laugh.

‘We will be heading for Portugal in our van. It’s an old Mercedes Sprinter which we’re calling Bruce and we would like to travel to Morocco but it all depends on funds.’

‘We are both giving up good jobs and all our security but we will actually be doing something we love - and we haven’t a clue what’s going to happen next.’

Holly, a purchasing assistant for equestrian brands, admits they’re taking a big leap of faith but she’s hoping it will be an amazing experience.

‘I have been around horses all my life but when I was 20, I stopped riding them, even though I’m still working in the equestrian field, but getting into surfing really opened my eyes and I felt like going for it,’ she says.

‘I don’t know what’s going to happen next, who we are going to meet, or even where we are going to be but I am really excited about the whole thing. Of course, I will be blogging about it all the way and thanking those people who have supported us and made it happen.’w

You can follow the adventures of Katy and Holly by visiting

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