At just 24, Philly Lewis has already achieved what most dream to achieve in a lifetime. She is the ultimate girl boss, being an accomplished photographer, surfer, yoga instructor, as well as the founder of successful surf and yoga retreat, Wild and Free Adventures, alongside husband, professional surfer Alan Stokes. You’ll see Philly and her work feature across my Instagram and website, both modelling my jewellery as well as her photography and her own Instagram page is filled with beautiful ocean shots captioned with equally beautiful and inspiring quotes. Her free spirit and zest for life is infectious; Philly is one of those people that you want to be friend’s with the second you meet her and she’s living proof that hard work and dedication pays off. I caught up with Philly before Summer drew to a close to talk being a girl boss, adventures and all things wild and free..
Hey Philly! Where in the world are you at the moment and what are you up to? I’m at home in Cornwall at the moment, I try to spend most my summer here as it’s so beautiful! I also have a lot of photography work during the summer months so it keeps me super busy. I’ve been shooting lots of weddings, teaching yoga and squeezing in as many surfs as possible. There really is no place better to live, when I need a break from work I grab my board and walk down to the surf. It’s so refreshing and inspiring.
You’re an accomplished photographer, yoga instructor, surfer, as well as the founder of your own yoga and surf retreat with Alan! How do you balance everything and make sure that you still have time to yourself? I still find giving myself time really tricky, when your work is your passion and your passion your work it’s really hard to draw the line between work hours/my hours. I’m sure any freelancer/business owner can relate to that! Summer gets a little manic for me and I sometimes really struggle. But as a yoga teacher, balance and being present is something I am constantly working on. I think yoga keeps me in check, I know when I’m crying out for a break, I know when I need to get my head down and work. I always try and incorporate yoga into every day, whether it’s a class, meditation or just simply sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea, it gives me the time to be present and take a breather. I also really live by the weather, if the sun is shining and waves pumping then I’m outside all day, work can wait! Making the most of this moment is really important. I’m lucky to live so close to the beach, it draws me away from my work for the break I need. I’m also human though, sometimes my balance is way of skew and I get stressed, down and waste time. When that happens I try and take a step back, switch everything off and press reset. Reiki can really help me when I feel unbalanced and pranayama. I’m also really lucky to have Alan, I can hand things over to him with Wild & Free and that’s amazing.
How did you get into photography? What are your favourite things to shoot? I’ve always been amazed by the world we live in and when I was younger we used to travel quite a bit. I loved documenting the places we went, capturing the beauty of it. I then took a year to travel the world and explore more with my camera in hand. It was incredible. When I came back to the UK, I moved to Falmouth to study Fashion Photography and I’ve just kept it going from there. I can’t really say what my favourite things to photograph are. I studied fashion so spent a lot of time in the fashion world, but recently I find lifestyle shoots a lot more inspiring. My own life experience surrounded by the beach and surfing really shows in my photos, I think when a brand matches that ethos is when the magic happens. I love to work with natural light and find the magic in it. I also love to document my adventures, my travel photography is so important to me and inspires the rest of my work. I’ve just invested into a underwater housing and have had so much fun shooting surf.
What else do you hope to achieve/dreams for the future? I have no idea! It was only a few years ago I wrote down my dreams and I’ve somehow since manifested them all. I need some new dreams! Ha. I think now I would just like to focus on my yoga, my photography and Wild & Free Adventures. I’d like to see them all continuously grow and bring happiness to others. This month I’m taking on a new yoga course to delve deeper into my practice. I’d also like to find a way to contribute more to charity. Making dreams happen is hard work!
What’s the best thing about being a girl boss? I get to live on my own schedule! It’s the best thing! I LOVE being able to do what I want with my days, if I want to spend it outside I will.
How did your Wild & Free Adventures surf and yoga retreat come about? What can people expect from it? I teach yoga and Alan is a pro surfer. We were asked by a few companies to host their retreats around the world and we started a platform to share those retreats. We then thought, why not do our own. So we did! We love sharing our home in Cornwall with others so throughout the summer we have our weekend retreats in our yurt village. During the winter, we head to warmer climates, like Fuerteventura, Morocco, Costa Rica. We have a really exciting retreat coming up in Portugal…what this space! You can expect everything on our retreats! We start a typical day with meditation and yoga, followed by breakfast cooked by our chef, a morning surf lesson, lunch, afternoons to do any other activities and an evening yin yoga session. They are packed full of adventure and fitness. We also host a lot of workshops on the retreats, sometimes yoga related or sometimes surf related. I think what people get most out of the retreats is inspiration to be living their truth and find their happiness. We also encourage as much relaxation as possible! Alan has a real gift when teaching surfing it’s lovely to see our guests making huge progress and feel safe.
What advice would you give to those people wanting to take the plunge and follow their own dreams but who may be scared to take that leap? You’ll never know until you try.
Who or what inspires you? Yoga, travelling, the ocean, surfing!
What does Wild and Free mean to you? For me, it means so many different things. There’s a beautiful quote from Isadora Duncan ‘You were once wild here, don’t let them tame you.’ I love this quote. It reminds me to come back to my true nature, to get outside, feel the earth under my feet, not get caught up in the little things and to tune in to my wildness, that’s were the creativity lies. I think Wild & Free to me is all about following your happiness, your path and finding that place where everything is as it’s meant to be. When you get there, you feel wild and free. Pure happiness. No matter who says what!
And finally what is your favourite piece of DAISYV jewellery?! hehe. My custom wild and free disc necklace for sure! I am in love with it all though…
Ahh thanks Philly! Follow Philly’s adventures on Instagram here.
To view her beautiful photography: www.phillyjlewis.com