Transformational Life Coach Amy Lee & UGG Want You To Step Into Your Power
The “Feels Like UGG” campaign star on her work as a transformational life coach, ayahuasca, and her “full circle” moment of working with UGG.
When it comes to her work as a transformational life coach, Amy Lee is in the business of extracting what is already there.
“People come to me thinking I’m going to make them more powerful and confident,” she tells NYLON. “The power and the confidence has already been there, I'm just helping you get rid of all of the blockages.”
She feels the same way about UGG, the storied Southern California brand whose plush, sheepskin boots and slippers have become synonymous with comfort since the early ‘00s. For Lee, her transformational life coaching intersects directly with UGG: “We're just elevating the user, you know?”
Lee, who calls herself “a student of life,” began coaching in the wake of 2020’s global reckoning; now, business is booming, with Lee offering healing modalities like reiki, ecstatic dance, and more. Her work eventually led her to UGG, where she’s one of the faces of the brand’s next chapter of its “Feels Like UGG” campaign, along with the likes of A$AP Nast, Natalia Bryant, and more. The campaign highlights reimagined heritage styles, with fresh updates like platforms and neoprene detailing, to name just a few.
Ahead, Lee shares more about her work as a transformational life coach, her experience with ayahuasca, and her “full circle” moment of working with UGG.
When did you decide you wanted to be a life coach?
It happened really organically. It kind of fell into my lap rather than me searching for it. I didn't even really know what a coach was until maybe the start of 2020. When I was 21, I had a really dysfunctional relationship. I started out in fashion and beauty on YouTube, you know, just sharing with my followers. Then, when I started learning about self-help and spirituality and I started therapy, I was just sharing it all online. I was like, “How come people don't know this?” During lockdown, there was a therapist shortage and I stumbled upon this coaching certification program. I started getting life coaching myself and [my coach] was actually the one who told me I should pursue this path as well. I did all that and one thing led to another and here I am. It's not something like When I'm a kid I wanna be a coach. It kind of just happened. I always used to say, I wish I could get paid to empower people. And I think that's what I do.
When you say there was a point where you were coaching for free and sharing what you found, what were those sources?
I call myself a student of life. I have a big appetite for information. Whether it was following my favorite therapist on Instagram and they would recommend books and I'd start reading those books, which would lead me to a spiritual teacher. It was a rabbit hole, I would get sucked into information. At Barnes & Noble, I had a joke that the self-transformation and personal growth section had my name all over it. Now, when I walk there I'm like, “Ugh, I just can't,” because I'm so tired of working on myself as a project. I feel like I passed that threshold. Even things like somatic healing, reiki, ecstatic dance, I got into the community and that led to one thing after another.
Can you tell me more about ecstatic dance and what that means?
It's a form of embodied dance that allows the body to connect with your soul. It's not necessarily about following rhythm or choreography. It's more of a freestyle dance that can look rather, uh, silly to the outside eye. But that's the point of it. It's to be joyful and to be expressing yourself. Dancing seems really scary to some people because you're being perceived, but ecstatic dance is just doing whatever you want. I also was doing a lot of that on TikTok before I even knew any of the TikTok dances that everyone was doing.
How does transformational life coaching differ from other schools of life coaching?
I believe that transformation is an inside-out process. Meaning that it starts from limiting beliefs, what you believe to be true about yourself, childhood trauma, the experiences that have shaped us. From working through all of those, the external reality kind of meets up with your internal. There's coaches for fitness and nutrition, but I feel like more of an internal coach would go through all of the limiting beliefs that kind of lead you to binge eating. I put transformational to make sure that there's gonna be a before and after photo per se of your mind that will lead to your whole life changing. And that's kind of what I deliver with my clients.
How would you say that sort of differs from CBT, therapy, for example?
I've been in CBT therapy for the past four years. I think talk therapy can get you to a certain point, but it will also plateau because trauma can get stored somatically in our bodies. Even though talking about it is one way to process it, a lot of the deeper, more traumatic issues, like sexual assault and stuff like that, I found that I could never breakthrough in talk therapy because it was just too traumatic or painful to access. It’s actually why I pursued an ayahuasca journey in Costa Rica, because a lot of that is somatic trauma that can be released. I think that the program that I've created has a lot to do with CBT modalities, but I also do holistic things and any type of metaphysical or spiritual modality that they're looking for. I also can guide them to the right people. Talk therapy is great, but I do think that a lot of times we can hit a certain plateau and then not move past it.
I'd love to hear more about this ayahuasca.
I don't know how, maybe on Tumblr, but since I was like 14 or 15, I had heard about this plant journey of ayahuasca. But when I researched it, it terrified me because in my own mind, I thought it was the Olympics of trauma healing. You're vomiting, you have diarrhea, it's really physically intense. And I have a fear of throwing up. I just remember thinking maybe one day I’ll work up the courage to do that. After these past few years, I feel like we've had a different reckoning as far as just humanity, so I went for it. I feel like I manifested the experience, It was awesomely awful and awfully awesome.
It seems so intense. I also truly hate throwing up more than anything in the world.
I have the thing where when you throw up, it makes me so disgusted that I threw up because I saw myself throw up. Some of the nights were a little bit rocky, but some people slept through the whole thing. There's a lot of different ways that medicine can work on you. I would say stay open to it. You never know.
I will keep my heart open to it. What made you want to work with UGG on this campaign? Did you grow up wearing UGG?
When I was younger, we didn't have a lot of money. We always just had enough. UGG was always out of my mom's budget, so it's been a really full-circle moment to be working with UGG. After the shoot I was like, “Mom, I'll get you a pair!” It was definitely an aspirational thing for me to have. It's really organic and authentic because I feel UGG is a brand that’s not like, “Okay, if you wear this, you'll fit in or be cool or become something else.”
I think with my coaching as well, it's clear, and with UGG it's clear that the consumer is already the protagonist of their own life. UGG and I help you literally or metaphorically step into more of your power, whether that's through comfort, ease, an active lifestyle, or lounging at home. People come to me thinking I’m going to make me more powerful and confident. The power and the confidence has already been there, I'm just helping you get rid of all of the blockages. UGG and I are similar in that way. We're just elevating the user, you know?
What was your first UGG purchase?
The classic boots in the winter. I would wear them all the time with everything. Now I wear UGG slippers indoors all the time. My mom bought me these bright purple ones for Christmas a few years ago. Now, I'm like, that was a little foreshadowing of what was to come.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.