Abi Ferrin, photographed for D Magazine in 2013. Stanton Stephens

Health & Fitness

Five Healthy Choices Abi Ferrin Makes in a Day

The designer, disruptor, and advocate explains how upcycling and “sloga” classes ground her approach to wellness.

Wellness is a major buzzword these days, but it can mean a little something different to everyone. Does it stand for self-care and restoration, or is it more about strength and endurance? So, we created a series breaking down the healthy habits of local influencers and entrepreneurs, allowing them to define what wellness means on a personal level.

Abi Ferrin, whose colorful, comfortable creations for all ages and sizes you’ll find at her eponymous West Village boutique (and that one time on Kate Middleton), helped pioneer the “social impact” model. Since the beginnings of her clothing brand in 2007, she vowed to create a company that gave back—a concept that was not nearly as trendy as it is today. Given her own history, it was important for her to provide employment opportunities for marginalized women, both locally and around the globe.

More than a decade later, her mission to empower women is as strong as ever. The brand recently partnered with Texas Women’s Foundation to open a sister nonprofit company, Love & Freedom, which will providing trauma-informed transition employment and training for women who were formerly trafficked or abused. She also teamed up with New Friends, New Life on a new product launch that uses fabric remnants and upcycling. (The Mariposa loop scarf necklace will be unveiled later this month.)

“People don’t realize how prevalent this problem is in our own city, and how easy it is for these women to get trapped in the system and fall through the cracks,” Ferrin says. “Together we are creating awareness and offering a permanent pathway out. The women in our pilot program have quickly become consultants to help us understand all the issues they face and to develop a program that truly works for them and many to follow.”

We caught up with Ferrin to learn how she stays balanced and centered among work and home life.

Why is empowering other women important to you, and your well-being?
Looking back, I realize that creating my Freedom Project in 2005 was the first step toward finding my own healing from trauma that I had incurred in an abusive relationship. Our most recent empowerment program has given me so much life.

All the bad news out there can affect mental health, so being an active part of change in my own community has been a wellness game changer. What I have discovered both from my own journey and watching these women transform over 15 years is that when a woman who has lost hope is given an opportunity, she almost always wants to give back to other women in seemingly hopeless situations. The inspiration and support I have received from leading this program far outweighs what I have given and motivates me to keep fighting and not give up!

Abi Ferrin
courtesy of Abi Ferrin

Do you have a daily wellness goal you’re working on that you’d want to share with D Magazine readers?
I have started to work with Dhanada Kulkarni who is an Ayurvedic practitioner here in Dallas to find the diet that is right for my system. I have been really frustrated with my body after giving birth and she has explained to me the absolute importance for mothers to get proper postpartum care. I did not do that after I had the baby. I hit the ground running to keep my entrepreneurial ventures going, so now I am paying for it physically.

The great news is that I caught it in time and found her. She’s helping me reboot my system with a four-month daily plan, including massages, guidance with my diet, and herbal supplements.

Aside from your current wellness plan, how else do you unwind after a long day?
At the end of my day, the thing that I really look forward to is a dead sea salt bath. I make a ritual of it by lighting an infused House of Saj candle from our store in West Village, adding some essential oils to address what my needs are that day (geranium for hormonal days, lavender for relaxing), dimming the lights and playing some relaxing music.

Salt baths are great for your physical body, and they also help you ground, clean, and calm your soul. Sometimes I schedule time with my nanny so I can come home and have a bath before she leaves and have just 30 minutes all to myself.

If you had to choose one favorite workout to do on your most healthy day, what would it be?
I love yoga! Barb Totzke’s Sloga class at Divine Sight Healing Arts Center is my don’t-miss weekly workout. It’s a slow, delicious yoga.

Do you do anything to intentionally end the day on a healthy, happy note?
I’ve started to “put my phone to bed” in a different room than my bedroom. Reading, snuggling with, and spending focused time with my son is the best way to end my day.

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