As part of a running series of blog articles, All Things Malibu is profiling Malibu locals who are doing interesting and amazing things not just in our own community, but in the world. This week, Jobi Manson, founder and creative director of Séfari, spent time with us to answer questions about her herself, her unique business, and her spiritual journey that led her to where she is today.
Jobi opened up her storefront, Séfari Outpost, in early December of 2015. The name Séfari combines the two biggest inspirations in her life; the sea and safari. Inside the store, designed by Jobi herself, you can find a plethora of fascinating items for sale. Most of the merchandise is handmade, vintage, or one-of-a-kind. Such as Moroccan Berber rugs from the High Atlas mountains, Indigo Shibori Teepee’s, Japanese ceramics, Ancient textiles, 1st edition Peter Beard books, African inspired luxury travel bags, 100% recycled surfboards, handmade local Malibu artistry, palo santo Kassia Surf wax, ect. However great the store is, it is only one aspect of a multifaceted business.
Jobi’s true passion lies not solely in the store itself, but in building a creative and holistic co-working space that operates as a hub for creative practice, introspection, self discovery and connection with nature. Jobi holds workshops and classes where she helps people discover + activate their authentic creative nature.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I’m from Annapolis, Maryland, I grew up on the east coast. I’ve been coming to California since I was 15 years old. When I graduated college, California was the only place that I wanted to live. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be able to wake up every morning and go surfing.
Q: So surfing was one of the main reasons you moved out here?
A: Yea absolutely. I started surfing when I was about 14 years old... We grew up going to Nantucket and in the fall that meant hurricane season... so there was really good surf there. But it was not nearly as consistent as what we experience here in California. Surfing in the Northeast is very seasonal.
Q: When did you make the move to Malibu?
A: I have lived in Malibu for the last 4 years and about 6 months ago I moved to Topanga. I love Malibu.... I’ve loved living here because of it’s raw connection to nature and I feel really inspired in this place... The ocean as well is an incredibly healing resource for me. Now that I own my own business here, it's actually a really good thing that I have separation between where I live and where I work.
Q: How did you come to be in this position of opening up your own business here?
A: I look at this business as the manifestation of my spiritual transformation which began about a year ago. Sēfari is my heart, its my life perspective, my ethos. It is my way of celebrating the ocean, and the idea that life is an adventure. Life is a Safari.
In July of 2015, I left my previous job working with a company called Aviator Nation. Upon my departure, I decided that I needed time to travel and reflect upon the kind of life I wanted to lead moving forward. This realization led me on a 3 month trip throughout Southern Africa. When I was mapping out my excursion, I felt very called to launch a luxury travel bag company. When I began traveling, I realized that in order to be creative on this journey and work away from home, it was essential for me to work in an environment that stimulated creative thinking… And for me, that always comes down to being in Nature.
I took this concept to heart, as I was designing the experience around the brand I was building. I knew I needed to build a nature inspired platform that would allow people to connect to their own creativity. This is why the store looks the way it does and is comprised of all natural materials and designed within the concept of Biophilia, which capitalizes on nature's healing power for connectivity. I wanted to build a space that allowed people to step into my vision as a creative but also experience their own creativity simultaneously.
A: Sure! I did not grow up religious or spiritual at all. My family kinda blew off church/synagogue and it was sort of a joke for us, we did the Chismakuah thing…
Spirituality came on very suddenly in my life. I left my job and split up with my partner at the same time and I was very much in a place of self reflection. I hit a wall hard enough where I could no longer continue at the rate and way in which I was progressing in life. I ended up going to something called “The Hoffman Process” which is a transformative workshop that deals with all the negative patterning you learn in your childhood. This process takes you through something called a ‘cycle of transformation,’ which begins in self awareness and ends with you being able to step outside of your programming and establishing new behavioral patterns for yourself. When I went through that transformation it allowed me to get in touch with my intuitive self and live and make decisions from my heart space rather than from what I thought I should be doing or what intellectually seemed like a good fit for me. It was the hardest and best thing that I’ve ever done.
Q: So exactly what kinds of things does Séfari do to help people discover their own creativity?
A: There are many different aspects to my company + it is also an enterprise that is constantly evolving. The retail space, “Sēfari" is my creative outlet and the outdoor garden is something I’ve developed into a holistic co-working space where people can come and practice their own creativity. Essentially, Sēfari is a place for people to connect in nature and unite in creative practice. I host weekly workshops with different local artisans where they come and teach their craft to the local population. You can participate in those classes by signing up on my website. My concept is uniting people through creative practice as a means of self discovery.
Another program I facilitate is a manifestation + meditation practice called “Water and Spirit”. I take individuals out on a paddle board and perform a guided visualization in the Ocean. We then work together to explore the deeper subconscious + learn how to actualize what we dream into reality. I help people understand how to manifest the changes they seek in their lives.
A: So we do many different workshops here. We’ve done sound healing, medicine bag making, we’ve made dream catchers, we’ve made plant hangers, we’re going to be doing some essential oil making classes, hiking, and more. I love creating diverse activations that allow people to be exposed to many different practices in order to discover what they enjoy.
Q: What is the average turnout for your group activities?
A: It depends. I’ve had anywhere from 5 to 25 people here per event.
Q: What do you see for the future of Sefari?
A: As far as scaling goes, I see this location as the flagship and starting point… the foundation. My dreams pertaining to growth include building Sēfari into a global activation. I plan to partner with radically aligned visionaries to help me co-create this platform. Sēfari is centered around an idea forged by a mentor of mine, Kathy Eldon, “Together we rise”. We are all here as amazingly unique and divine individuals and our soul purpose on this planet is to discover our authentic truth. My mission is to help facilitate and guide this process, that is my gift + the gift of Sēfari.
If you have any more questions about Jobi or her business, you can find out more information on her website by clicking here. On her website you can find information about her upcoming events, her online journal, her online store, and more!