SEATTLE — When a princess wears one of your tee-shirts, you know you've done something right.
Lindsey Ferris is an event planner-turned-clothing designer. When the pandemic hit, her events evaporated — and so Ferris turned to art as a way to cope with the state of the world.
"I started designing shirts to take care of some of that as an outlet," Ferris said. "Both with current issues and current events, and I started creating shirts and designing things that way."
Thus, Ferris Built was born.
It was her RBG shirt that sparked the interest of Meghan Markle. The former royal wore the shirt when she appeared on a podcast — and from there, Ferris' business blew up. She was vacationing on Orcas Island with her partner at the time.
"I'm like, 'what is happening?' and one of my friends ended up texting me," Ferris said, laughing. "'Did you know your shirt was in People Magazine?'"
With Ferris Built's sudden success came an idea. Ferris saw it as an opportunity to take a leap into what matters most to her.
"I really tried to use that platform...to kind of lean into mental health advocacy," Ferris said.
Ferris is currently working on her master's degree in marriage and family therapy. She plans to become a psychotherapist. Now, almost all of Ferris Built's apparel is related to mental health. The most popular design is a sweatshirt bearing the words "Anxiety State" — a riff on traditional college sweatshirts.
Ferris hopes her designs will reduce the stigma around mental health.
"I think it's opening the doors for conversation even though I'm just somebody anonymous to them," Ferris said.
Ferris also donates twenty-five percent of all net proceeds quarterly to mental health charities. It's another way for Ferris to give back through her art.
"It's been really kind of touching, it was more rewarding than I anticipated," Ferris said. "It's like a warm hug."
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