The freediver turns discarded glass pieces into beautiful jewelry with a conservation message.
After holding a cushy banking job for five years, Anqi decided to quit in 2010 to pursue her love for the ocean.
For the next couple of years – and to her parents’ chagrin – she travelled around the world to scuba dive, became a certified instructor, and stumbled into freediving, a sport where you dive underwater in a single breath. Last August, Anqi became the first Singaporean to win a medal at an international freediving competition, and has clinched more awards since.
Her route to becoming a competitive freediver wasn’t exactly smooth-sailing. Besides contending with skepticism from people around her, she had to dig into savings and do crowdfunding to finance her training and competition fees.
When Anqi isn’t underwater, she spends her time on ocean conservation through Sea Glass Project, an upcycling project she started late last year to spread the word on pollution.
During a beach cleanup, she picked up many discarded glass pieces that were naturally frosted from years of erosion and weathering. With some trial and error and lots of tenacity, she transformed those glass pieces – also known as sea glass – into beautiful pendants, earrings and art pieces, which are up for sale on Etsy.
“I hope people will resonate with the ocean through sea glass jewelry, share the story of sea glass when they wear it, and be changemakers,” she said.
“Ultimately, my vision is to have the coastal communities form a self-sustaining livelihood by collecting sea glass and making merchandise for sale. This will create jobs, reduce overfishing through providing alternative livelihoods, and help to clean up our ocean.”
Follow Anqi on Instagram (@anqiunderwater).
This feature is part of Shape Singapore’s initiative to honour inspiring women in sports and fitness, who are using their positions to positively impact society in 2020 and beyond.