POWER IN PURSUIT: Lucie Rose Donlan

We are so excited to share with you our latest project – Power in Pursuit!
Power in Pursuit is a new blog feature where we will publish interviews telling inspiring stories from empowered women!
We have specifically chosen women who personally inspire us for many different reasons. While these current times are challenging and uncertain, our aim is to spread positive, inspiring stories hence the launch of Power in Pursuit!
Without further ado, we're honoured to present our very first feature with Love Island contestant, female surfer and blogger, Lucie Rose Donlan! 
She graced all of our screens as a contestant on one of the most popular reality shows in the world, Love Island. Lucie stole the show entering the villa on the first night wearing our Rash Suit, made from regenerated ocean waste. As founders of a small ethical start up brand, we were so excited for our swimwear to be featured on such a huge show but we were even happier when we found out that the contestant who chose our suit was a passionate surfer & environmentalist from Cornwall!

Pursuit catch up with Lucie to talk about story and her life following Love Island.

Pursuit: Tell us about your surfing journey - how did you get into this & what do you love most about it?
Lucie: I first got into surfing when I was about 13.  Some of the boys in my year were sponsored surfers and I was always really curious to find out more about the competitive side and how it all worked.  At that time there were hardly any girls that surfed and it was a mainly a male dominated sport so it was tough starting out, but I was determined to make an impact in one way or another.  I started my journey by taking lessons with one of the local surf schools and once I'd learnt the basics I took myself off to less popular smaller beaches to improve and progress at my own pace.  From the age of about 15 I started to enter some of the competitions but didn't really click with the competitive side of the sport.  I decided to go a different route and worked towards becoming a Surf Judge. By 2018 I'd qualified as an ISA Level 2 Surf Judge and was now the youngest female judge in the UK working with Surfing England and the UK Pro Surf Tour. 
Nowadays I surf for fun and relaxation and as a way to switch off from the stresses and strains of everyday life.  I'm extremely passionate about using surfing as therapy and as a way to encourage more people to get outside, stay active and experience the benefits the sport can bring, not only physically but mentally as well. 
Pursuit: We absolutely loved you on Love Island 2019, how would you describe your experience on the show, did you have any particular high & low moments?
Lucie: Thank you and thank you for making my entrance pretty epic with your gorgeous Viper Suit!  I definitely had the most amazing and life changing experience, which I'll always be grateful for.  Having watched the show from the first series I thought I would know what to expect and how I was going to cope with everything, but once you're in there its completely different from what you see on your screen at home.  I think for me it highlighted some of the more personal issues I have with myself such as body image and having the confidence to stand up and speak out when others tried to bring me down or challenge me on the way I did things or coped with certain situations.  It's made me realise that I still have some work to do especially based around learning to trust people again and believing in myself. 
My lowest moment was definitely feeling like I didn't fit in.  It seemed that at one stage I was surrounded by women that couldn't and wouldn't connect with me.  It made me feel very low and triggered that deep rooted anxiety I had felt around groups of girls at school.  It was frustrating that they wouldn't accept me for being different and although I tried to be like them, it just wasn't me.  I've always been the girl that hated "dramas" and preferred to hang out with boys and join in their lighthearted banter and sense of adventure.  I wanted to come across as a fun and bubbly individual but what happened in the first few weeks upset me so much that I seemed to be crying most days and thats certainly not how I wanted to be perceived by the public!
My high point definitely had to be Casa Amor!  It was probably the best part of the show for me and the stage I was looking forward to the most.  It was great to meet all the new boys and have a second chance at finding someone to couple up with.  We had such a good time there and everyone seemed so relaxed and able to enjoy the experience more, especially after all the dramas and dumpings we'd had back at the main Villa.

Pursuit: Has your lifestyle changed after the show?
L: I'd like to think that my lifestyle hasn't changed too much and have kept the same values I had before the show.  I live at home with my parents and I still drive the same van that I had when I passed my test!  I'm not really into splashing out on designer goods, flashy cars or mad holidays in Ibiza and have always been very sensible about saving the money I've earned, preferring to spend it on meaningful trips to unique and beautiful destinations.  My biggest dream has always been to own a little cottage with a garden by the sea and I'm so grateful that I've had the opportunity and mindset to be able to put money away, start a Pension and get closer to realising that dream!  Being an independent woman who is able to support herself financially is very important to me and something I'll always aspire to do for as long as I can.   I've never been afraid to be on my own and have always loved the quote " Don't be a woman that needs a man, be a woman a man needs".