En Conversation with ...
Meet Ally Walsh! A female entrepreneur who balances co-running a thriving coffee business with a successful modeling career, and still manages to stay zen. This week, over coffee, of course, we chatted about how she reconnects with herself at home and cares for her mental and physical wellbeing, despite her strong presence on social media and hectic schedule.
You grew up in New York, now reside in LA and have traveled the world but where does your heart truly call home?
"California may be where I stay, but New York will always be my home! With my whole extended family living there, I always have a reason to go back, and it always feels so familiar, comfortable and grounding.
That said, I've been in LA for about ten years now—enough time to sink some roots in—and have built a life I really enjoy here! So I don’t see myself leaving any time soon."
Can you share with us some of your beloved addresses in your hometown? Favorite coffee spots?
"Here in my neighborhood of Echo Park, I like walking to Cookbook for groceries and Honey Hi for lunch. Neighborhood on La Brea Avenue is our favorite place for coffee! Otherwise, we almost always make it at home.
I go to yoga at Love Yoga, hike in Elysian Park, and like to unwind and meditate at the Self Realization Center on Mount Washington. Botanica and Elf are my go-to's for dinner and a good glass of wine, and if I’m getting a bottle for the house or dinner, I like Psychic and Vinovore.
Once a week, I get out towards the beach where I like hiking in Temescal Canyon, taking a class at Yoga Works on Main Street in Santa Monica, and going to Gjusta Bakery."
Paris looks good on you, where do you like to hang out in the city?
Just being able to walk around the city and take in the architecture and street life is such a treat—both during the day and at night. It feels like every corner you turn can lead to something beautiful.
I enjoy getting a filter coffee at Telescope, coffee, and food at Echo Cafe and Cafe Oberkampf, people-watching at Cafe de Flore. Walking around Le Marais. Finding a good book at Shakespeare & Co., walking along the Seine or through the Jardin de Tuileries. Having a glass of wine at La Buvette, Septime la Cave, L’Avant Comptoir. Eating dinner at Clamato, taking in the view from Montmartre, visiting the Rodin Museum. And I must say—I do love bringing a bottle of wine and snacks
"Social media is a tool. It’s about projecting a feeling and vibe that resonates with me"
Where in world inspires you the most?
"I think I’m inspired a lot by places with different perspectives and ways of life that place an important emphasis on virtues I admire. Food, architecture and natural beauty are essential, as well. But I think different ways of life are the common thread that draws me to places like Bhutan and Japan as well as Paris and Copenhagen. These are all examples of cultures that have valuable lessons to learn!"
When you are not traveling and exploring new places, how do you choose to unwind at home?
"Going on walks, reading books and magazines, making tea, meditating."
If at home for dinner what would you do- order takeout or cook and what would it be?
"Cook! Our go-to dinner is roasted seasonal vegetables with a big simple salad, avocado, kimchi, and black rice or quinoa."
What’s your idea of the perfect night in?
"With Casey, opening a bottle of wine and making an early dinner together. Relaxing and watching a movie. By myself, probably the same but without the wine, and maybe reading a book before watching a movie!"
Along with your morning coffee, what are your morning rituals?
"Meditation. I learned to meditate through the Vedic Meditation approach, which advocates two 20 minute meditations—one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. And I usually go on a walk around the neighborhood."
With such a strong following on social media, how do you cope with the pressure of constantly being in the public eye?
"I don’t think much about the public eye aspect! I’ve been drawn to social media and Instagram because I’ve always enjoyed photography and visual mediums. I only like posting when it’s a photo I admire, so I use it in a way that stays true to myself. Also, having our company, Canyon Coffee, for which I also run social media, helps remind me that in many ways social media is a tool. It’s about projecting a feeling and vibe that resonates with me, and I’m able to separate that from myself."
Do you have any tips for a successful social media detox?
"I’ve never taken an official detox, though I have gone long stretches without sharing. If I did, though, I’d probably be focusing more on meditating, walking, eating well — doing things that help me feel clear, focused, and healthy."
"Right here, right now, you are free!"
"It's important to practice gratitude"
Like many of us on social media, do you find yourself comparing your life to others? How do you rise above this?
"I think it’s so important to practice gratitude for all that we have, down to the bed we sleep in and the clothes we wear!
Yes, of course, I think there are moments when you can find yourself being in wanting. But more often than not, this just inspires me to keep planning my own adventure. And I always save beautiful places I see on social media for future reference!"
How do you reconnect with yourself?
"Making time and space to be alone, to contemplate and reflect. Sometimes that’s just having time at home alone, sometimes it’s traveling, or taking walks, or even going to yoga."
Why is it important for you to support sustainable fashion brands?
"We live in a time when humanity is responsible for so much pollution and destruction of our beautiful planet. Any choices I can make as a consumer to help minimize and reverse those effects are ones I want to take!"
What is your mantra in life?
"Right here, right now, you are free!"
Merci beaucoup, Ally! xxx
Want to know more about Ally’s life in LA? Follow her on Instagram here.
And if you like what she’s wearing, discover our Summer Collection here.
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