Below: Our Founder & Creative Director Ally Ferguson's secrets to staying creative, grounded & resilient regardless of the season. All that and more in this recently-released Artist Feature by One Bold Journey Magazine.
Meet Ally Ferguson
September 26, 2023
Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Ally Ferguson. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Ally, we’re thrilled to have you sharing your thoughts and lessons with our community. So, for folks who are at a stage in their life or career where they are trying to be more resilient, can you share where you get your resilience from?
I love this question and hopefully my experience can offer some insight to those who are in a similar space. Resilience is a quality I’ve cultivated from a wide range of influences, throughout my life. In the beginning, my involvement in competitive sports, particularly high-level ice hockey, instilled within me this mindset of a committed athlete. It taught me how vital it is to maintain a laser focus in a super pressurized environment, which the fashion industry in many ways can be. I really believe that developing this ability to continually stay in the game was something I carried with me into creating Seeker and helped me approach any obstacle that came in my direction.
I draw inspiration from my parents, both entrepreneurs, who showed me the relentless dedication it takes to run a business and a family simultaneously. Raising three kids (especially in Los Angeles!) is no small feat and their constant, unwavering ability to be there for us left a very lasting impression on me. In addition to that, I have discovered newfound resilience through spirituality. Believing in a larger plan, trusting that the universe supports those who actively participate in it, has been empowering. It encourages me to be the best version of myself, knowing that when I am, the world tends to respond positively. I also practice Kirtan, a mantra-based chant that adds a heart-centered dimension to my life. It serves as a very harmonious backdrop to my daily experiences, reminding me of the beauty in connecting with others around me.
Appreciate the insights and wisdom. Before we dig deeper and ask you about the skills that matter and more, maybe you can tell our readers about yourself?
I’m a designer, surfer, native Angeleno– I have always been interested in design, art and music. Being the daughter of an architect sparked a love for creating, and being super hands on with my work. I founded a clothing line in 2016 called SEEKER, it’s an organic, hemp, inclusive collection that is made here in LA. I chose this modality because I knew it would allow me to intertwine my interests and curiosities– my growing love for travel and philosophy– and I knew I could make incredible clothes. I grew up admiring the styles of my two brothers, who were immersed in this radical 90’s California skateboard culture and I loved it– but being a girl I could never find clothing in that sector that looked or fit in the same way, that made you feel powerful and COOL. This experience, even though I was really young, was probably the earliest inception of this idea– a brand that allows for self-expression regardless of gender. Once SEEKER came to life it became this möbius shape, something that traversed both inside and outside the fashion industry and I have really enjoyed experiencing many of the synchronicities it has brought along the way. It’s been a wild 8-year adventure, and I’m eagerly approaching the 10-year milestone, which has prompted me to set a lot of new, ambitious goals.
Throughout the evolution of SEEKER, I’ve encountered both rewarding moments and challenges. The past few years have been a testament to resilience and adaptability. The onset of Covid-19 forced me to pivot and find creative solutions. During that time I was invited to be a contestant on ‘Making The Cut,’ a show hosted by Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn on Amazon Prime Video, which allowed me to connect with a larger global audience and showcase my creativity on a new platform. Getting to share more of my story on the show and connect with this global community was incredibly special– but also required me to step way out of my comfort zone.
As we emerge from the pandemic, I’m thrilled to share that my business is still thriving in the third quarter of 2023. I’m gearing up for a whole new line in Fall 2024, currently delivering Fall 2023, and welcoming new accounts for Spring 2024. This fresh wave of interest gives me hope and fuels my passion to continue pushing the boundaries of my brand.
In addition to my fashion endeavors, I’ve opened my studio workshop in the heart of the DTLA Arts District for collaboration. Hosting quarterly art parties has become a significant part of my mission. It’s a space where artists from our community can shine, and we come together to celebrate art, music, and connection. These gatherings have created a whole new facet to SEEKER and again, allowed me to explore so many new curiosities– I wish I could go back in time and tell myself when I first started how expansive this brand will be.
Looking ahead to the next decade, I’m excited to keep pushing the envelope, expanding my brand’s reach, and continuing to be a hub for creativity and community. Stay tuned for more exciting updates in the years to come!
There is so much advice out there about all the different skills and qualities folks need to develop in order to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment and often it can feel overwhelming. So, if we had to break it down to just the three that matter most, which three skills or qualities would you focus on?
My perspective is constantly shifting but if I had to choose just three of the most vital skills I’ve gathered along that way I would say the importance of relationships, allowing yourself to be experimental, and being brave enough to ask for help.
SEEKER is a global community and I am constantly amazed at how powerful it is when we bring new people together. I am immensely grateful for the support of my friends, family and colleagues– I’ve met so many incredible individuals along the way who have all contributed to SEEKER. How you treat people, the values you uphold, and your ability to collaborate can make or break your ventures. I deeply believe that when you win, those around you win too. There’s room at the table for all of us, and fostering positive connections can pave the way for mutual growth. Specifically in the sustainability space, it’s exciting to see the innovations taking place and how we can all benefit from the strides happening in this field. Staying connected and making the time to check in with your “front row people” always helps me feel inspired and stay focused.
In regards to being experimental, I’m constantly trying to evolve within the scope of the brand. Experimentation is a lot of design, I’ve made so many things that people have never even seen and so just being able to tinker around the studio, testing out new patterns and colors feels like I’m constantly exercising that part of my brain. This past season we’ve been repurposing deadstock fabric that was likely destined for a landfill, and reimaging it in a ton of new ways. I love working with hemp but hearing the response from our community about giving these pieces a second life has been a risk I’m so glad that I took.
Being able to ask for help, whether it’s carving out a bespoke pattern or launching an entirely new product, it can be nerve wracking but it’s a reminder that we’re always able to step back into that role of being the student. There’s no way we can be experts at everything and there’s a huge difference between just delegating versus spending the time side by side with that person allowing them to help you absorb this skill on your own. For example, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a pro when it comes to digital marketing/advertising but the team of experts I’ve been lucky enough to work with this year have given me a wealth of knowledge. I feel that I understand this fast-paced landscape so much more now. We can connect with new SEEKER customers all over the world just because we fine tuned those preferences in such a more effective way. Don’t hesitate to tap into the wisdom and support of others on your journey; it can be a game-changer.
All the wisdom you’ve shared today is sincerely appreciated. Before we go, can you tell us about the main challenge you are currently facing?
In today’s digital landscape, it’s become increasingly competitive, and many platforms require significant advertising budgets to be seen. Companies with bigger budgets can allocate teams to manage their social media and everything on SEEKER is created carefully by me, so I have to constantly keep my finger on the pulse of what’s trending. However, I firmly believe in the value of authentic connections and organic discovery. What sets my brand apart is the meaningful relationships we build with our customers, and the unique experience of discovering our products. We’ve seen that when people find our brand organically, they become not just customers but friends who share our ethos. I believe in the power of these connections, and while it’s a challenge, it’s also an opportunity. By staying dedicated to my mission and focusing on building these genuine relationships, we’re confident that our hard work will lead to success.
Lynwood Robinson of Optic Entertainment