1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in North Santa Barbara County, California with my husband Paul where we love surfing, hiking and adventuring up and down our golden coast. I’m the Founder and Director of Wonderfully Made, a non-profit organization for young women. I’m also an author, occasional speaker, and developer of the Body Beautiful iPhone app. I love horseback riding, writing, dreaming big dreams and spending time with my family and friends.
2. In your "About" page you said, "Wonderfully Made is a voice of love to today’s generation of young women. We exist to share the truth about your value and worth." Can you tell us about your reasons for picking this message, and how this message correlates to your own life?
For so long I questioned my value, worth and significance to the world. Beginning at the age of twelve I experienced unwelcomed feelings of loneliness, insecurity and sadness. Those feelings escalated throughout high school when at the age of 18 I found myself signing papers stating that I was a danger to myself. I truly believed at the core of my being that this world was better off without me in it. Between the ages of 18 and 21, I was hospitalized four times for severe depression. My experience showed me that I wasn’t alone in my brokenness. I had so many friends who were imprisoned by eating disorders, abusive relationships, drug and alcohol abuse and the list goes on. What I discovered was that at the core of these struggles was a lack of self-worth. I also realized through my own journey that I couldn’t “love myself” out of my pit. I need something, someone bigger than myself to love me, to rescue me. For me that someone was Jesus, and I’ve never been the same since. I’d be lying if I said that once I followed Christ everything came together — no, not at all. My depression returned a few years later and I’ve had my struggles since, but I discovered my true identity and reason for living. That’s the heart of Wonderfully Made — for women to know their true identity in Christ. I know it’s not a mainstream, popular message, but it’s what we’re really about.
3. In what ways do you spread this message? (i.e. conferences, products, etc.)
We have college chapters on a few campuses in California, offer young women’s conferences, produce films with girls’ stories (HerStory) and have two Bible studies. We also have a merchandise line that spreads our message of value and worth while financially supporting our operations. Our most popular tee and tanks have our theme verse, “I will praise you because I am fearfully (lovingly) and wonderfully made.” They are tangible reminders to clothe yourself in your true value and worth.
4. What has been your favorite part about being the Founder and Director of WM?
There are so many things I love about my role, but I’d say creating a vision to reach young women and seeing it actualized is one of my favorite things. I love daydreaming and envisioning new ideas and the best part is seeing the impact they have on girls’ lives.
5. Do you have any dreams, or plans for the future of WM?
I’d have to say God has surpassed some of my wildest dreams. Since the first day I felt compelled to start this organization at the age of 18, I had a big vision. I dreamed of creating life-giving communities for women on college campuses, offering conferences, publishing books, and creating films. We’ve done all these things in the past ten years and we plan to continue.For several years I had dreamed of doing a conference in Southern California for thousands of girls. That dream was actualized last October when we partnered with Friends of Bethany Hamilton to host an inspiring event called the Anchored in Love Conference for 3,000 girls. We’re planning on hosting the event again this year. I’ve also learned over the past ten years through my role to loosely hold my dreams and plans because ultimately I’m not in control.
6. We love that WM is helping young women to "know your value" and wanted to ask if you have any practical, every day advice for our readers to remember their own value?
I’d say the biggest thing you can do is surround yourself with people who breathe life into you, cherish and value you and remind you of your true worth. It’s been said that we become like the five people in our lives we are closest to you. Make sure your inner circle loves, encourages, challenges and inspires you.
7. Last question! What is the highlight of your day? (Coffee, journaling, cuddling with your dog, ice cream in the evening, anything!)
I really don’t want this sound mushy, but my favorite part of my day is being with my husband. We have a few hours in the morning together, sometimes we see each other at lunch, and then we try to do something fun (in between bills and housework) like surf or hang out with friends in the evening. He’s the most joyful and hilarious person I’ve ever met. Having struggled with depression for so long, I am beyond grateful for his presence in my life. If I my husband let me have a dog it might be a toss up between cuddling with the two of them, but for now he wins!
One facet of the inspiring work Allie does through WM is HerStroy, telling the inspiring stories of women through a video interview. Visit their website for more!