My name is Corinne Evans Jones. I am the Assistant Editor of SurfGirl Magazine and the Content Creator for Vitamin Sea Collective.
I have worked in the surf industry for ten years, as a free surfer, model, writer and content creator.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I remember speaking to my careers counsellor at school before I decided which GCSE’s I wanted to take, I told her that I wanted to work in the Surf Industry as a retail buyer or visual merchandiser. To this day, I remember her face; she had no idea what I was talking about. Looking back, I had a clear vision of where I wanted to be. I didn’t expect it to go the way it did, I didn’t see me working as a professional, free surfer for years, getting to the surf and travel the world, but I am so stoked with the way my career as turned out.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Without a doubt, funnily enough, a lot have them come from my lack of self-belief. For years I never thought I would achieve my goals, and always felt like I could do better. As I entered my 30’s, this started to change, and I am now more confident in who I am and what I can achieve. I have had a lot of knock backs or opportunities which I thought would go somewhere, but they never did. It makes you a stronger person.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I have so many. For eight years, I ran a women’s learn to surf tour, getting more women in the water. I have hosted retreats in the Maldives, raised money for women’s breast cancer charities through surf festivals. All of this, I am proud of, but for me, my biggest achievement is forging a career out of my passion for surfing.
I am really stoked to be part of the Vitamin Sea Collective team as well. We launched the website in October and it is already getting lots of love. It is a new global community and platform for female surfers and ocean lovers. Borne out of the pandemic it focuses on the positive benefits of the sea, covering nutrition, health, wellbeing, mental health, surf, yoga and more. It’s an empowering space for all women to come together (no matter age and ability) to learn from real professionals, interact with instructors and have access to engaging live classes, workshops, tutorials and articles. With Coronavirus forcing people indoors and mental and physical health taking a hit, now is the time to get outside and the Vitamin Sea Collective is at the forefront of encouraging women to embrace all beach and ocean focused activities.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
It was putting myself out there and sending those emails asking to write blogs, asking for sponsorship or an interview. If you don’t ask you don’t get. I am terrible for this at times, but looking back everything that has happened in my career has come from me reaching out whether it was through an email, Instagram message and over a coffee.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I have never done either. I think at points in my career I would have benefitted from one. I have moments now when I consider reaching out to someone; it’s always good to get a fresh perspective on things.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
There are so many ways in which we could accelerate the change. Still, for me, at the moment I feel equal pay, equal prize money and equal opportunities for high power job roles would be my priority. I know that’s not one, but they are all so important.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Believe in yourself. For so many years, I doubted my ability, and it held me back. I missed opportunities for not backing myself. I realise that now, but so many years were wasted doubting myself.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
With my focus now on the newly launched Vitamin Sea Collective, I am excited to see where this goes! We have big plans for a visual festival and more empowering content to inspire women to surf, swim and adventure. The future looks pretty awesome, considering the current climate. I am optimistic and ready for whatever is ahead of me.