February 19, 2014

Live Hope: Jenny Highsmith

I'm not sure if I could express how excited I am about today. I was over the moon when I asked Jenny of Maiedae if she would like to be a part of Live Hope. Jenny is one of those amazingly talented humble ladies that share their heart and encourage you through it. Jenny is a lifestyle blogger, a business owner and she also has a calligraphy shop. What's that, if not inspiring. If you haven't ever hung out with Jenny over at her virtual home, then you're missing out. She has such a lovely heart which comes across in the words she shares. Hang-out for a bit a learn about Jenny's inspiration shaped by Jesus.

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How has your relationship with Jesus shaped the way you run your business and blog?
One of the deepest desires of my heart is for women to know their worth in Christ and to pursue their dreams after discovering their strengths and passions. I want to help other women accomplish their dreams and believe in themselves and I know that God made me with this desire in my heart. My relationship with Jesus is the sole purpose of me having my own business and running a blog. I've known from early on in my life that I wanted to 1) create beautiful things that other people could enjoy and 2) encourage and uplift other women towards developing a deeper relationship with Christ. When I met my best friend, Savannah, in college it didn't take long for us to realize we had similar passions for entrepreneurship, encouraging women towards their dreams, and creating beautiful things. So naturally, we decided to start a business together, right? Haha. As a graphic designer and blogger, I get to do those things every day! Savannah and I don't try to preach the gospel every day on our blogs, however, we also do not go back and edit God out of our thoughts, feelings, and business. We say what's on our heart. And as far as our business goes, we are constantly trying to treat our customers with the utmost respect, value, hospitality, and professionalism. Sometimes we don't get that in return, but we never speak poorly about any of our customers no matter how they treat us. We want them to feel that working with us was different and maybe that will lead to asking why.

How do you maintain your authenticity in an industry that is so saturated?
Part of our goal in running Maiedae is to take the vision and dreams that someone has jumbled up in their head and put it together for them in a beautiful and artistic way. This means helping them narrow down their vision as well as encouraging them to take risks or try something they hadn't thought of yet. Usually, when working with a client, I can automatically see what they're trying to describe to me and how I can make that happen for them. I think how we try to set ourselves apart is the way in which we execute those visions through creative thinking and problem solving and through our customer service experience. We try to take really good care of our clients and many times even end up becoming friends with them. We love what we do! We also try to be "on trend" while still being completely original. Sure, sometimes it's easy to get into a rut as a designer and those are the times where you need to step back, take a break, and go out to gather new thoughts and inspiration. Most of the time I've noticed that I have to find a balance between looking at what other designers are putting out there and forgetting all of it exists entirely. I know that sounds weird, but honestly it helps to know in the back of your mind what's current and trendy, but to also be able to think outside the box without any influencing factors. I  think when we come back to our "roots" of what we naturally are drawn to, it always ends up being the best.

How do you fuel your creativity? How has Jesus shaped that creativity? 
For me, fueling my creativity usually means getting dressed, listening to  music, getting out of my house, and going to a coffee shop. This is where I love to journal, think through ideas, brainstorm, and just be free with God. I've always had the best memories at coffee shops - usually long, intentional conversations with good friends - so I find a lot of comfort and peace going there by myself. I do a lot of journaling which helps me think through ideas that I have going on in my head and I end up walking away with a clearer vision of where I'm going. There's also something about just getting dressed and putting on makeup that inspires me creatively. I've always loved playing with hair and makeup as a way of expressing my more artistic side, so doing that in the morning helps inspire me to stay motivated and also reminds me that I'm worth taking care of. I think as women we often put ourselves last and, I know for me, I have a hard time being creative when I'm not treating myself with kindness and compassion.

I think Jesus has shaped my creativity by reminding me constantly to "let go." I tend to seek out control when I'm anxious or stressed and I think for me part of being creative everyday is reminding myself that I am not in control of anything - that God is in control - and to find peace and trust in that truth. Once I let go of my anxiety, fears, and frustrations that's when I feel like I am truly filled with creativity and passion. It's as if I'm not quite myself before I allow Jesus to take away the barriers that are holding me back. And once He does, I feel like I'm who He meant me to be.

What verse of scripture do you feel represents the ethos behind your blog and business? 
This is a hard one, but if I had to choose one verse that I felt represents the ethos behind my blog and business I would choose Romans 15:13 - "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit." I think this verse represents what I desire for my blog and business to be - an overflow of the hope I have in Jesus. A reflection of my heart for Him. And a source of joy, peace, and encouragement to others because they see that coming through as well.

What encouraging words would you like to share with today's readers about Jesus? 
Jesus is with you and for you! You don't face anything alone! When you're feeling anxious or fearful, know that you are focusing on the visible world without Christ in it. Don't be afraid to dream big dreams with Him. Believe in yourself and, more importantly, believe that God can accomplish it if it's a dream He has placed in your heart. When I started dreaming about owning my own business, I held myself back at first because I was afraid to disappoint others and myself. I didn't want to fail, so I scared myself out of doing it. Every dream or desire is an invitation towards risk as well as an invitation for more intimacy with Jesus. Don't allow Satan to discourage you! You deserve to dream! Yes, there will be failures. Yes, you won't do everything perfectly. Yes, it will take a lot more out of you than you ever think possible. But Jesus will fill you up and meet you in a way that is sweet and beautiful. He will draw you closer to Himself. God-sized dreams usually require sacrifice, look messy, and often times are painful. But the moment that changes everything is when we decide to fear God more than we fear what may happen. Doing nothing is not the safest or most godly option. God never rebukes anyone in Scripture for making a mistake when their sincerest desire is to please Him. He has called you towards action, not apathy.

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I was inspired and encouraged in so many ways by Jenny's words today. What did you find inspiring?  Don't forget to stop by and see Jenny, and stop by her shop too.

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6 comments:

  1. I love that Romans 15:13 verse. Thanks so much for sharing! Great words from Jenny. Her stuff is so beautiful!

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    1. Me too! When I read that verse, I couldn't get over how perfect it is for all aspects of life. I was really inspired by everything she shared.

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  2. i love that verse & the last paragraph...so inspiring! fear God more than you fear what may happen! thanks for sharing these beautiful words! :)

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    1. I love that verse too! Jenny's words are so encouraging! I'm so glad she shared!

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  3. LOVE everything jenny said and how Jesus is in the center of it all :) P.S. she is such a cute preggo, isn't she??

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    1. She is so cute preggo! I love all of her outfits too! I was so inspired by everything she said. I loved all of her thoughts about how Jesus has shaped her journey.

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