It was such a pleasure to catch up with the exceptionally talented and inspirational Poppy Delbridge – Life and Business Coach, TV Exec, International Speaker and founder of SLAY Retreats. With a shared passion for female empowerment and PROAGE principles, it was fascinating to discuss her work, her ideologies and the thinking behind her fabulous luxury holistic events and retreats. Here are just a few of the things we talked about.
It’s so lovely to finally meet you Poppy. To begin with, can you tell us about SLAY Retreats and the concept behind founding this company?
I set up the company because I couldn’t see any other retreats out there that were looking at our wellbeing and mindset, together with the ‘soul’ aspect of basically being a woman and working in ambitious careers and with our own companies. I truly believe that some special care is needed for busy career women. I could see a lot of yoga, detox and body retreats out there, which I do love, but I realised that was something missing – something in the mind space – so I decided to set up SLAY Retreats. A lot of my coaching clients had suggested that I should do retreats, so I decided to do just that and to make it a real holistic luxury place to recalibrate life.
You mention your coaching clients – can you expand a little more on what this involves?
I’m also a Life and Business coach. Basically, I coach mindset techniques, media strategies and how to create strong self-belief for success. My clients are mostly women, and I work with anyone from CEOs, creative entrepreneurs, brand leaders, public figures, working mums and celebrities. I have a TV/media background so it all merges together well to allow people to rise up and become more visible. I also do a few coaching programmes surrounding media and how to step up into your power and own it – really getting behind your own visibility and recognition, both externally with strategies, and also with mindset and manifesting more success. Double whammy!
What has been your own personal drive in creating and developing SLAY Retreats?
I’m so passionate about this. It all stems from my parents, who were also entrepreneurs. I was born in Plymouth in Cornwall, so we lived in a very small town where my parents essentially bucked the trend by building up their own businesses that did extremely well. Then my father had a sudden collapse when I was very young, which they discovered was a rare and very advanced form of cancer, and they were told that he had only ten days to live. As a result my parents couldn’t work and they lost everything. But – instead of giving in – they made the decision to do everything they could to carry on. They had such a positive mindset and passion, and an unwavering faith in the fact that they could live positively – even with something like that. He lived for another 15 years! He ran marathons and was the kindest and happiest man you could meet. They went on to do so much for other people. They were such a huge inspiration to me and they made me realise that people can do outstanding things with their lives if they can just re-wire the limiting beliefs. I have brought up my son the same way, he is a teenager now. So this is where my passion comes from – I enjoy seeing it in others and I love showing them exactly what they’re capable of.
Can you tell us a little about your role as an international motivational speaker?
I really enjoy motivational speaking and giving talks, largely because I can speak from a place of experience. Whether it’s talking about my father and that strong mindset, or about the media and creativity and how to unlock that to brand yourself and to see yourself as a living pitch – I think that sometimes we do need motivation from others because it can be hard out there – just surviving and living! I’ve been so lucky to be raised with a very ‘can do’ attitude and self-belief, so I feel that the work I do now is to tell others what they are capable of and then coach them to help implement changes. Inspiration without action is just an inspired thought, but it doesn’t lead anywhere unless you really do it. So I like to help others with both.
Are there any career obstacles you have had to overcome along the way that have shaped the woman you are today?
‘Obstacles’ is probably a too strong word – and I always think that obstacles are helpful anyway. They can push us in different directions. I like to think of them as catalysts, and sometimes those catalysts are people, which of course can be good thing or a bad thing. I’ve had some amazing bosses and mentors, but there have also been some that were not so good. I suppose this is actually what has taught me how to really stand up for what I believe in, even if that has meant quitting a job or standing up for other people. I do see ‘obstacles’ as a good thing. They move me on and it’s how I navigate life. It’s feedback that I try to use for the better good or just to stabilise myself. Over the years I’ve discovered that what I’m good at is the creative side of things. I’m less interested in the nitty-gritty and admin. It’s about how to become confident, to live big and to play big, and to not sweat about the small stuff or be concerned about what anyone else is doing.
What does PROAGE mean for you? Do you think that we are now moving forward with female empowerment?
We are. One hundred per cent! Female empowerment is a topic I’m so passionate about, and it’s partly the reason why I started the retreats in the first place. A place for women to come together as a collective, to show their vulnerabilities and to be able to share all that’s bad as well as celebrating the good. Equally, I’m not one of those ‘man-hating’ women in terms of female empowerment. Some of my most feminist friends are men, so I believe that it is truly about equality and having a real respect for each other. When it comes to PROAGE, it’s the same thing, and I guess for me PROAGE means just being yourself and not feeling as if you are being judged for that. Whatever a woman wants to do is her responsibility and her prerogative. I would never do any shaming in terms of what people want to do with their faces or bodies. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and allowing others to do their own thing and whatever makes them feel happy. If you want to wear strappy tops in your sixties … do it! The same with makeup and skincare – do what you want to do!
How do you manage to juggle a high-powered career alongside a family and social life? Has this been difficult at times?
Yes! I think only a robot would say that everything is completely fine! Being an entrepreneur is tough. You need the mental resilience of a stallion! And you’ve got to be aware of what isn’t working for you, aware of your life and your feelings, and respect this. You need to have proper routines in place. I find that if I don’t stick to my routines – my morning routines and my holistic routines – that’s when things start to go a little bit awry. I believe that we need a strong support network of people who are rooting for us. People we can be inspired by. We should be very careful and ruthless about toxicity in all forms and try to be around supportive friends who will go through our journey with us. Being an entrepreneur certainly has its ups and downs but for me there’s no other way to be! I’m definitely a bit of a rebel so I like having rebels around me too – positive disrupters who buck the trend and stand up for what they believe in.
How do you like to spend any time you have to yourself when you’re not working?
I’m one of those people who in any spare slither of time pretty much focuses on my own personal and spiritual development. This is what I love to do! And I always have a podcast playing or a book on the go – always learning about something. Currently I’m learning all about gamma energy fields and quantum physics! I like training up in different energies – Tapping and EFT - which is basically an energy psychology I’ve used for many years. I’m not at all a ‘loafer arounder’ so you’ll pretty much find me always doing something! With my family – my son and two step-children – it can be a full and rowdy house at times, so I love to do lots of cooking and audiobooks. I also love fashion – I don’t particularly follow trends but I do enjoy style, finding odd thrift pieces and just throwing it all together, getting dressed up and trying new makeup. I also usually take a bath twice a day – which is a bit nuts, I know, but I love baths!
You mentioned how much you love Podcasts and books – is there one in particular that has truly inspired you?
There are so many! But one of my favourite go to books that really made an impression on me is called The Master Key System by Charles F Haanel. Like many of these old success-related and personal development books, it is quite odd and old-fashioned, written by a man many moons ago – but the principles in it are still really effective. It can be a bit daunting if you don’t really know about mindset and manifestation work, but if you do, it’s such an interesting read. I first read it a long time ago when I was about 15, and before this kind of ideology was so popular, and it really made a huge impact on me.
How do you find the time to keep fit with such a busy work schedule?
I do like to keep healthy, for me keeping fit is all about body movement. I don’t really go to the gym, but I do stretch and I do hot yoga. I like movement – but I am not a ‘gym bunny’ girl. I never have been. It hurts! I have had personal trainers in the past – just to keep me on track – and I do more in warmer months, but it’s not one of those ‘big list’ things for me.
What is your beauty routine and can you share some of your best beauty tips?
My beauty routine started when I was about 12 years old when my Mum got me into the ‘cleanse, tone and moisturise’ routine. She taught me all I needed to know! She had really good skin and gave me all of the products she used. I take my makeup off every night without fail and I always make sure I put on a face oil at night. I have so many different beauty products on the go. I use eye cream and I have regular facials – not ‘soft’ facials – but proper facials! I am pretty religious about my skincare and I just try to use good brands that work with my skin type.
And finally – do you have a favourite inspirational life quote that you can share with us?
This is an easy one! My mantra is – SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD, SO SHE DID.
If we work on shifting our unhelpful beliefs to create a strong sense of self-belief, we make inspired action, which leads to ten times the results.