1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m from Melbourne, Australia, am known to giggle a whole lot, and love a good brunch and coffee. I’m the Founder & Editor in Chief of The Free Woman, and not too long ago launched a communications home called Gem + Thread. Communicating with integrity, creativity and beauty are my passions. And Hope is the anchor for my everyday living.
2. In your About page you say, "The Free Woman is a global community celebrating, inspiring and equipping feminine hearts to lead more purposeful and authentic lives." In what ways do you do this?
The main outworking of this is currently through the blog. Here we post regular articles that tap into and encourage the five qualities we see in all feminine hearts - inspired, radiant, influential, honest, and aware. There’s also our blossoming social media community and #solovelysofree hashtag, as well as a few goodies in the shop that serve as reminders for our everyday living.
3. What initially caused you to start The Free Woman?
Creating a platform that celebrates womanhood has been a dream since I was a young girl, but always thought it would be developed and launched in my thirties once I’d “lived life more” (ha!). After finishing Journalism at university the idea kept niggling and brewing. I didn’t want to outwork anything unless the name felt right, made a statement, and timelessly embodied feminine hearts! Back in 2013 I went through a series of personal events and depression. And then one day I realised I had become a free woman. Cue lightbulb moment - “The Free Woman, that’s the name!” After checking that the domain name etc was available, I knew that it was something to pursue now.
4. Can you tell us more about your mantra, #solovelysofree ? What does that look like in the daily lives of your readers?
The line ‘so lovely, so free’ came about randomly, but captures the heart of TFW perfectly. Being so lovely and so free is simply living life with purpose and delight. It’s often a two-edged sword - loveliness speaks of femininity and the beauty in each day, while free is more often the messy, grit-filled journey or living on the other side full of hope and vision. On the site we have a series called ‘So Lovely, So Free’ where women share their own stories. It’s full of heart, raw beauty, and incredibly refreshing and empowering.
5. What is your overall goal for starting, running, and spreading The Free Woman mission?
To express and encourage the feminine heart in a fresh way. Something I’m passionate about and believe in is that all women are inspiring, radiant, honest, aware and influential. Those qualities are in each of us and simply need to be tapped into and drawn out. It’s not about picking and choosing what ones by saying, “oh I’m not a leader so I’ll dismiss influence and stick to just being inspiring”, but rather acknowledging that we all have those qualities to varying degrees and capacities, and now it’s time to grow in them. We weren’t put on this earth to simply look beautiful, but we’re here to bring about beauty, justice, and create things with our hands, heart and feet too. Each of us have an integral role to play in humanity’s story. My hope through TFW is that women would begin embracing the essence of what’s within them so that they live fully alive, with purpose, and do whatever it is that they’ve been marked to do in their world.
6. Do you have any plans for the future of TFW?
Obviously for the site to continue growing as that will always be the ‘homebase’ of what we do. In 2016 we’ll start rolling out offline gatherings to begin cultivating person-to-person community. Then there’s also building up our lifestyle brand, one day expand into a print magazine, and hosting workshops that equip women in the five facets/categories we cover. Exciting!!
7. What are some practical, every day practices to help our readers live "so lovely, so free?"
Choose to celebrate and be thankful, no matter what season you’re going through. Talk kindly to yourself, because you deserve it. And most importantly, never be ashamed of seeing a counselor or psychologist. Imagine the goodness that would be able to blossom into the world if people decided to reach out, get help, and work on freeing their heart? You can’t live the dream in its fullest capacity, or see it thrive beyond that, if your heart is tied down. If I hadn’t decided to work on mine, The Free Woman may have never been realized.
8. Last question! What is the highlight of your day?
Sounds corny, but it’s actually our Instagram community! As @thefreewmn I direct message as many new followers on there that I can with a welcome note, as well as engage with those on the #solovelysofree feed. Connecting with women in that personal way opens up a whole new conversation, understanding and level of encouragement that goes both ways. It also keeps everything real. I love, love, love it!