About Lily & Sea

Growing up, I spent family holidays at the seaside on the northeast coast, where we would spend hours on the beach looking for shells. I was totally inspired by David Attenborough and his Blue Planet series too. I used to watch them on repeat and would never get bored! I had decided from a pretty early age that I wanted to study Marine Biology, so when I was old enough, I learned to SCUBA dive (in the bracing waters of the UK!) and applied for a course at Plymouth University. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on shark ecology and diversity off the Cape of Eleuthera in The Bahamas. 

After uni, I spent a year in Mexico being paid to drive boats, dive and teach volunteers about the marine world. It's probably safe to say that that's where I turned into a warm water diver! Although I spent a year living a very basic life with no running water and incredibly limited electricity, I loved every moment. 

My next job was for a SCUBA diving tour operator where I worked for eight years. I was lucky to travel regularly to the Maldives, along with a one-off trip to Galapagos where I gave presentations on board to our customers, educating our divers about sharks and rays. Conservation is something I'm really passionate about and I even dedicated my time to helping start up a new charity for sea turtle conservation; The Olive Ridley Project. I was Chair of Trustees for two years and the charity is doing wonderful things.  

Following our honeymoon in 2017, Lily & Sea actually started life as HappiLily Made. I had collected shells from our touring trip around the southwest of England, and didn’t want to just leave them sitting in a jar. I set them into a frame - just a simple grid with the different shells - but loved how it turned out. I had so many compliments from family and friends that I set up a little Instagram page in 2019, which did remain little for quite some time. At this point we had moved to Cornwall, where I was getting out to the beach so much more, so I started making more artwork.
 Things really took off around March of 2020 - the first lockdown. I guess people couldn't get to the beach so they wanted something to remind them of their happy place - and I'm so grateful that HappiLily Made started to really grow. Later in 2020, I rebranded as Lily & Sea and things are going from strength to strength! My original designs and the unique style I've developed are something I'm so proud of, but I still have to pinch myself that people want to buy my artwork! I absolutely love working with the customer to create something special and truly unique to them and am now even working with customers' own shells that mean so much to them. 

 In 2021, I decided to take the leap and quit my part-time job. I now run Lily & Sea alongside looking after my two daughters, Lily, who my business is named after - and Maggie, our youngest. So things are a little busy at Lily & Sea HQ!