Wanderlust: An Interview with Co-founder Kate Fisher
Synergy’s roots were seeded on our co-founder Kate’s first trip to Nepal in 1993, but her personal lust for travel began when she was just a small child. We caught up with her to talk about some of her favorites places, why exploring new lands is such an important part of her life, and how traveling has been influential to her work.
Why is traveling so important to you? What benefits does it have on both your personal life and business?
I feel like I was born to travel in many ways, it is so natural to my personal rhythm. When I was about 10 days old I flew from Maine to Brazil, where my my family was living due to my father's work, and I was the youngest person in the state of Maine at the time to get a passport. I feel like the energy of flying so young helped propel me to travel. By the time I was five years old my family had lived in Brazil, New York City and Rome, so I grew up with a very international sense of myself. I’ve always had a deep wanderlust to move around and explore this amazing planet and it’s peoples and cultures. When I was in college I was taking Religious Studies and Anthropology courses, and I remember feeling, “I want to get out of the classroom and go to the source of what I’m studying about and experience something different.” That is when I took off for India and Nepal and ended up starting Synergy.
Traveling is so important to me because I experience a sense of total freedom and deep inspiration, a sense of opening up my perspective and tapping into the deep magic that unfolds when in the pure flow of life. I have immense gratitude when I am exploring and experiencing new places. It often can feel like a re-set for me, I put aside my day-to-day life, take off, and return feeling refreshed and almost more “me.” I feel rejuvenated to plug this magic and newfound perspective into my home life and work. I feel traveling helps our business because I gain so much inspiration from what I am experiencing, especially when I visit places with a market culture. I also like to check out the international fashion scene, I check out what the local people are wearing in the places I visit as well as international travellers. I really tap into the visuals and ambiance of each unique place.
Where did you travel this year? Which were your favorite places and why?
Over the last year I traveled to Tulum, Mexico (which has grown into an annual mid winter break for me), England, India, Kauai, back to England again, and throughout the US. I would say Glastonbury, England was my favorite place I visited this last year, and I ended up going there twice which is unusual for me.
I went to England with our family for my kid’s spring break, and on my way to India for work we were mostly in London, Glastonbury, and the countryside. I had been hearing a lot about Glastonbury from my yoga teacher Sianna Sherman and through women in the awakening Goddess community, about it being a power spot on the planet and I was intrigued. I loved the natural bucolic beauty of the city, the energy of the land and sacred sites, and the charming “old school” architecture and feeling of the villages. It was enlightening to plug into the culture over there since so much of my ancestry is from England. It was also my first time heading to sacred sites in the western world. I went back to Glastonbury over the summer with Sianna on a yoga retreat, which was so amazing. It was also my first time doing a retreat internationally and although I usually like to be very independent when I travel, I found that I learned a lot from being with people who know the area so well and explained the history and meaning behind everything.
Another travel experience that completely stood out for me was when I visited the organic cotton fields in India last April. It was truly amazing on so many levels! It was a total adventure to get to the fields, with about 10 hours of travel each way. Meeting the villagers and women, who are seed guardians who protect the organic cotton seeds, completely blew me away. I was in total awe of the experience and process. I was so grateful that I was able to travel across the planet to these small rural villages to see the fields in person, and meet with the people who help grow the organic cotton that is made into clothing we sell. We had the most delicious home cooked meals as well on that trip too. It was a very synergistic, heart opening experience.
What places are on your radar to visit next?
I really want to visit Bhutan, one of the last Himalayan kingdoms, that borders Tibet. It has been a very well preserved country with its culture and places very intact from what I understand. The world is changing so rapidly right now and getting to visit places that are largely the same as they were 50 or even 20 years ago is getting more and more rare. It is my understanding that Bhutan is like that, with amazing beauty and a sense of deep peace. I have also never been high in the Himalayas in India, as summer is the best time to be there, and I would really like to do that, including visiting Ladakh.
What is something new that you took away from your travels this year?
My first feeling that comes to mind is how lucky I am, to get to experience such a variety of places that also allows me to express myself in a variety of ways. I remember feeling that pretty deeply when I got home from Glastonbury over the summer. Within 10 days I completely changed gears and went from being in this amazingly deep and rich sacred retreat space, to home in Santa Cruz with my kids and family, to the high energy swirl of Las Vegas for a fashion trade show, to New York City (where I grew up) to put my finger on the culture and fashion pulse as inspiration for Synergy. I remember feeling this sense of how those four places, that I spanned in less than two weeks, were all very different from each other and also all true expressions of myself and how I show up in the world. They are expressions of how I show up in all my various roles and relationships, and a pure reflection of what inspiration is to me.