6519 Detroit Ave. Cleveland, OH 44102

What is your full name, where you are from and how long you have lived in Cleveland, and the name (and correct pronunciation!) of your business? 

My name is Anne Harrill, and I have lived in Cleveland for 18 years! I am originally from France. I grew up near Avignon, and most of my family leaves in Cannes now (Cote d’Azur) 

Océanne is pronounced O-say-Ahne Tell me about the inception of your business! How do your background and culture influence the work that you do? Were there any that experiences inspired you to start this business, or how did you gain this passion?  

I moved from France to Cleveland in my early 20’s, after meeting my husband. I was so culture-shocked! I had just finished school and was trying to connect with people and my community. I started making jewelry as a hobby, started selling at local shows, and slowly was getting to know people in the artist community and my neighborhood. It became my full-time job in 2010. In 2015, I moved out of my house, after taking over 2 spare bedrooms of my house, to a warehouse. I opened the store in 2017, and that is when I added apparel to our brand. Our apparel is screen-printed by the non-profit organizations my husband runs, a few blocks down the street! Refresh Collective

The pioneers and supporters of International Women’s Day believe that “from challenges come change.”: What has been the largest challenge in your life that influenced you to build your business, and how does this continue to fuel you?  

After moving to Cleveland from France, I was really struggling! I was in my early twenties and I was not only trying to figure out who I was but also trying to find my voice as a young woman, new wife in a new country. Starting Océanne really helped me become who I am today! I did not know I was creative until then and did not call myself an artist for years! But I remember the fire and the pride I felt when I made my first pieces! I think years later, Océanne is still a much-needed creative outlet. We all evolved as humans, and I think we are always looking for ways to reach out to others! I changed a lot since I started Océanne! And it really shows in my work!

How does your business enhance your community? What does it introduce to people, or what can people learn from it? 

I started working out of my house and loved doing local shows. Throughout the years, I loved building friendships with people in Cleveland, customers, and other artists! They literally saw my kids grow up. When we opened the store in 2017, I was really excited to be part of Gordon square! We have been able to offer custom jewelry, curated gifts, but also workshops! I love being part of people’s milestones. Whether it is to welcome a new baby, a friend’s birthday, or a new job.