Sophie Hellyer is a woman with many strings to her bow. Living on the North Coast of Cornwall, she is a full-time mother and business owner, splitting her time between running retreats, writing and raising her child. With much of Sophie’s work revolving around event logistics and writing, she spends a good chunk of her working day on her laptop, be that stolen moments out and about, or at her desk in her cottage by the sea. We spoke to Sophie about the importance of a designated work-from-home space and how she keeps all the plates spinning… 

Hey Sophie. Tell us a bit about yourself and your work.

I run Rise Fierce, which is a cold water community that uses cold water swimming and kinship as a tool to empower women. I’m a yoga teacher, open water swim coach, lifeguard, SUP instructor, event manager and producer. I organise and host Rise Fierce retreats and community swim meet ups. I’m also an influencer on the side of that. 

What does a normal workday look like for you?

There is no such thing as a normal workday for me! I have a one year old who’s not yet in nursery so I’m juggling motherhood with working. I’m normally trying to do emails during his naps. If I’m running a retreat he stays home with his dad. I’m basically juggling working and a baby and a dog. 

Running your own business, do you often work from home or do you have an office space elsewhere?

I don’t have an office space. I work from home or on the go. For me I find it’s really important to have a dedicated work space at home with my laptop set up and my notebook ready to go, so when I do snatch that 30 minutes or an hour when the baby is asleep I can jump straight on my desk and I’m instantly in my work headspace, instead of having to unpack it all and get everything out. So yes, I have a desk! It’s really important. I also work a lot on the go, in the car or out and around, wherever I am. I don’t often get to choose my moments. 

As a writer, can you explain to us how important your desk is to you? 

When I sit at my desk I’m instantly put into a headspace where I’m in this calm work mode. My brain knows when I sit at my desk that now is my time to be productive and get work done. It’s like an association. It’s similar to when I go into a yoga studio and the smells and the space makes me relax and I know I’m going to do yoga. Or when you go into your bedroom, you might have a lavender pillow spray and a dark room and white noise and your brain associates that with sleep. My brain associates my desk with being calm and productive and it’s really important for me. 

Being such an active person, how do you balance sitting at a desk versus spending time outdoors?

I don’t get anywhere near as much time to spend at my desk as I would like to. I probably get about an hour a day at my desk. I also don’t have anywhere near as much time outdoors as I would like to. For me, it’s not so much balancing it, it’s more about trying to carve out more time at my desk and more time outdoors. 

What’s your advice for others looking to create their perfect WFH set up?

If you work from home and are trying to set up that perfect work-from-home space, I suggest having an area that is just for work. Don’t do it at the kitchen table or in your bedroom. Have a desk. Have a really good ergonomic chair. Keep your desk nice and clear so it’s not covered in junk. Just have your laptop, your notebook and a pen ready to go so that whenever you feel that moment of inspiration or you have that little bit of time when you can get away from your family, or whatever else you have going on, your desk is ready. When you sit down at your desk everything you need should be there and you’re ready to go. 

Your popular Rise Fierce retreats are centred around movement, being outside and womens health. How much time do you spend at your desk to organise the weekends? 

I probably spend more time at my desk organising the retreats than I do at the retreats! There’s quite a lot of desk work involved, including risk assessments, paperwork, marketing, sales, and obviously all the event planning. All of that behind the scenes stuff is done at my desk. From that work at my desk comes the magic of the retreat where I take the women sea swimming, on a yoga flow, we eat delicious food, do a women’s circle, and hopefully everyone leaves feeling a little bit calmer and stronger. It’s quite nice that the hours spent at my desk end up in this beautiful space where women come together. 

To learn more about Sophie’s Rise Fierce retreats click here.

Cold water swims on a Rise Fierce retreat at Fforest in West Wales, photographed by Heather Birnie

Sophie works at one of our brand new ModPop desks. They feature a Fenix laminate top, solid oak legs, and our innovative ModSys brackets. Our popular ModSys desks are made from lightweight Russian birch plywood. We offer over 200 colours for the brackets, allowing you to choose your perfect colour-scheme. Worldwide shipping is free. To shop the ModPop range, click here, or here to browse our ModSys options.