Carolyn Newton, founder and Chief Whale of The Whale Company was born in South Africa and spent much of her childhood in Kinshasa, Congo before living in Paris, UK and Germany. Carolyn is an enthusiastic, vivacious character who lives life to the full. Her love of travel, nature and adventure has taken her to many parts of the globe: kayaking in New Zealand; safari in Kenya; climbing in Chile; whale watching in Canada; diving in Egypt and meditating in Bali.
Passionate about education; Carolyn began her professional career as a primary school teacher and went on to work as a tutor for children with special educational needs and assessor for a top tutoring firm.
Carolyn set up The Whale Company (Whale Bags Ltd.) in 2007 after learning that plastic was devastating the oceans; she read an article about a whale that had died from ingesting plastic and decided to take action – determined to help people stop using plastic bags she designed her organic cotton bags as alternatives. Over the last ten years the company has evolved as Carolyn has brought all her passions (education, protecting the environment, sport and travel) together.
Carolyn believes by turning passion into action you can bring about positive change in the world.
Carlos De Sousa was born and bred in São Paulo, Brazil, where he trained and worked as a P.E teacher, specialising in working with children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). In 2005 Carlos moved to the UK where he spent the next eleven years – he fell in love with London, despite the weather! It was in London where he first experienced paddle boarding and completed his first marathon on the Thames, after only four sessions. Carlos loves building things from recycled materials and after building his first paddle board out of plastic bottles, he came up with the idea to complete a marathon on a plastic bottle board to raise awareness of plastic pollution and to make SUP accessible to all.
Partnerships and Innovation
Joy Chien was born in China and grew up in London and Washington DC. In the past 16 years she has started companies, been a venture builder, worked in corporate consulting and ran start up competitions and communities globally. She has joined the pod as our partnerships director. She loves to SUP and came 2nd place at the Painkiller Cup in the British Virgin Islands in 2012. She also is passionate about plastic free oceans and women’s rights.