Prioritizing God, Family, and Blogging: Rachel Dahl of A La Modest

Rachel Dahl

Have you been loving fmG’s guest features so far? Can I just say that discovering other faith & fashion bloggers and business owners is such an answered prayer?! Typically it’s so challenging to find a few for the month, but God has sent three in less than two weeks! Today you get to meet a faith + fashion + beauty + lifestyle + health + new mama blogger. Put that on your resume. Introducing, Rachel Dahl!

Hi! My name is Rachel, and I am the blogger behind A La Modest (alamodest.com). I am a new first time mama of a cute baby girl and married to the most amazing musician in the world (I am biased, of course). We live in beautiful Baltimore working online and offline (as parents) full time.

fashion meets God: I must say, I’ve enjoyed scrolling through all your outfits on A La Modest and can see an array of different styles from romantic to bohemian, costume to classy-corporate. How would you describe your style?

Rachel Dahl: Thank you! My style has definitely evolved so much, but one thing stays true—I dress based on whatever that inspires me, whether or not it’s from this decade and whether or not it’s found in stores or featured in magazines. I like a lot of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s looks and lifestyle.

I wish I could be easily defined and recognized as having a certain type of style which makes it easier for others to compartmentalize and familiarize themselves with. I do know that I try to be as modest as far as showing skin goes. I do the best I can with not wearing anything too tight, but I don’t always do a good job at that because it’s hard to shop for my body type most of the time!

 

1-14

 

fmG: What or who is your biggest fashion inspiration?

 

RD: I honestly really admired the Guess ads from the 90s when I was a little girl. They were a bit too sexual for my age (or for anyone) however, but it did inspire me to mix vintage with modern without going over the top and have laid back and relaxed hair. I was never good at getting my hair done (nor my nails). I also have always liked vintage French and Russian makeup and styles.

 

fmG: Congrats on your newest addition to your family, too! Any advice for other working mommies who want to blog?

 

RD: Ah, this one is tough. I am still figuring out time to blog! I have a newborn baby, which is understandable. I say focus on that little baby for now and rest when baby is resting! When you cannot rest for some reason (like me who cannot take naps at all in the day), you can blog but make sure you pay attention to the time! Your little one is priority.

 

hotelroom2

 

fmG: I read your “Salt and Light: Apply to Clothing” post from 2011 which is still very relevant to the present day- and I couldn’t agree more with what you said! What would you say to someone who is pulled between what the world says she should wear and what God wants her to wear?

 

RD: I say if you have that conviction, you should first pray about it, listen, and take action. Even if that action is not to follow, at least you have done something to relieve yourself of that anxiety. You will have peace in your heart, no matter what difficult decision or path you choose, if it is indeed what God wants.

 

salt-light-clothing-modesty

 

fmG: You blog on sensitive subjects such as how to fight against depression, anxiety, insecurities, suicidal thoughts, and more. How did you gain the courage to write them? How has God used these specific posts to encourage women?

 

RD: I think it’s encouraging and humbling both to me and readers just because of the fact that these posts are not about me flaunting my own fashion sense! I like to write more on these topics because it definitely helps feed the soul, especially when rooted in scripture, while fashion, though modest, only really feeds the flesh. A lot of these more sensitive posts, especially from the early days, are from my own personal struggles and hardships.

 

fmG: Has being a faith and fashion blogger deepened your relationship with Christ? If so, in what ways?

 

RD: It has done both good and bad. I would be lying if I said that being a fashion blogger only deepened my relationship with Christ. Just like a Christian artist, the temptation to immerse in the world and put on a Christian face just to win over other Christians is too great. I have to constantly pull away from my blog or even the Internet, reflect on my heart, and be humbled by criticism to focus my attention on what truly matters, which is my personal relationship with Jesus.

 

insta2

 

Thank you so much for sharing your life not only as a blogger but how your priority with your relationship with God affects everything you do, Rachel! Power to you, mama!

 

Be sure to stay updated with Rachel!
BlogInstagramTwitter

 

“When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”
– Ezra Tatt Benson

 

Esthetician-To-Be and Entrepreneur: Yasin Sugufara

Yasin Sugufara

During last weekend’s The She Is’ New Year Do You Event, I met this young, lovely lady who, at first, may be shy and reserved, but once you get her talking about her jewelry line Naz Virago (amazing name, right?!) the love and passion she has for it oozes right out of her. Meet Yasin!

My name is Yasin Sugufara and I’m 19 years old.I am currently in beauty school studying to become an esthetician and I currently run my own jewelry boutique. I was born and raised in Detroit and I love being from this city. My passions are writing, creating makeup looks, and making people feel good about themselves everyday. Fun fact: In my spare time I like to watch anime and play with bubble wrap.

 

fashion meets God: Tell us about Naz Virago including the background story of its awesome name!

 

Yasin Sugufara: It all started out of depression to be quite honest. I felt alone, inadequate, and that I didn’t have value to my life. I was betrayed and used and just felt unloved. A few months into my depression, I started my freshman year of college. I met some of the most inspiring, weirdest people ever who were just..free. They had no care to be like everyone and embraced their uniqueness. I began going to different events and really changed my mindset as a whole. I began thinking outside the box and growing comfortable with being myself and loving myself for who I was.

 

I realized that this isn’t an easy task for us these days. There is so many expectations of what we are ‘suppose’ to be and we are often ridiculed for not being these things. We are told we are weak and we need a man to depend on. Coming from the child who watched her single mother grind endlessly for years because there was no one man enough to stay…that isn’t always an option these days. So as a woman in a generation that won’t defend and protect you, but instead neglect and kill your value..what was I to do? I decided to build something from the ground up as a way to inspire and protect not only my generation, but also future generations to come. It was at that point that I decided to turn a hobby into a business.

 

Finding a name was really hard. I was putting off an essay I was suppose to be finishing and started scrolling through pinterest. I stumbled across a board with a bunch of unique words that people don’t normally use and found two words. Naz which means, “the pride that comes from knowing that you are loved no matter what you do” and Virago which means “a strong, brave, or warlike woman; a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities.” Naturally when I put them together I thought “wow, that sounds kind of weird.” But then I thought of how original it was and decided to keep it.

 

fmG: Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

 

YS: All of my pieces are pretty much bohemian style inspired, so when I see beautiful stones, crystals, and other charms I imagine how I could put them together and what I could name them. I never make two of the same things; all of my necklaces are one of a kind. When I pick things I think of whether I’m making it for my edgy girls or my dainty girls, or maybe my girls who are a little in between. Maybe I’ll make one for a girl like me who loves anime. None of my jewelry is one size fits all.

 

fmG: How long does it take you to create your jewelry?

 

YS: It varies honestly on how complicated the piece is. If it’s a necklace it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. If I’m making a ring it takes way longer because I have to make sure the placement is perfect to actually be wearable. I also take about a week or two to actually wear the product and check the wear of it, the durability, and check for any sign of irritation. I would never post something for sale if I feel like it’s uncomfortable or needs improvement. Offering a quality product is key.

Naz Virago Ring

fmG: From your “Our Story” section, it’s obvious you believe in the bigger picture. It’s not just running an accessory business but, as you say, it’s starting a movement. What do you want your pieces to stand for?

 

YS: I want my pieces to stand for individuality, love, peace within yourself, acceptance of your flaws, inspiring creativity, strength that empowers you in your weakest moments. When you feel depressed, alone, afraid..I want people to look down at this beautiful, handmade creation around your neck and remember that it was made especially for you. It was designed with love just as God made you therefore you are strong, you are not alone, and you don’t have to be afraid.

 

fmG: I LOVE the last sentence of that section, too! This is the voice that says whatever you desire, you can make it happen with faith in yourself and faith in your Creator.” How has God and your relationship with Him influenced your creativity and business?

 

YS: My relationship with God has been the boat that has kept this afloat. In my doubt He spoke to me and gave me confidence that I was made for a higher purpose. I was not meant for the norms. I was meant to break barriers and inspire. As long as I have my faith and I follow Him, He will lead me and my business to higher places.

 

fmG: Where do you see Naz Virago in the near future?

 

YS: I see Naz Virago not only being a leading jewelry brand, but I also see it becoming a lifestyle. I want to put on fundraisers, fashion shows, tour around the world… just using it as a voice to reach as many people as possible and spread love and unity throughout the world. I also want to use it as a tool to help others start their own businesses and be a part of something bigger than just the normal 9 to 5 job. 

 

Naz Virago Necklaces
Thank you, Yasin! Looking forward to all that God has in store for you and Naz Virago!

 

Follow Yasin!
Instagram: @nazvirago

 

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”
– Proverbs 22:1

Detroit, I’ve Missed You

Cupcakes

Oh, Detroit, how I’ve missed you!

After almost one year of being out of the scene, I attended my first fashion-networking event! Last Thursday I went to The She Is Project’s “New Year Do You” event held at Detroit is the New Black. The energy was high and fun as people shopped items from fashion designer Tracy Reese and networked with other female entrepreneurs. Attendees also had the opportunity to give a 15 second pitch on their business. I actually thought this was mandatory until I realized it was only me and four other women giving a pitch to a room of 25+ business owners. Why miss that opportunity?!

Tracy Reese-2Tracy Reese-1Detroit is the new black

Another highlight was seeing the other Detroit fashion bloggers whom I haven’t seen in forever! Hey, Leah and Jordan!

Detroit fashion bloggers

The rest of the night consisted of more mingling which I’ve missed so much during events! I love hearing about other people’s start-ups, brands, dreams, and visions. Detroit IS NOT dead, y’all! Carlottah Holloway, The She Is Project’s founder, ended the night with a toast to 2016 being one of the best years yet. I believe that. Cheers!

Carlottah The She Is Project

Fast forward two nights later and I found myself at Thrift on the Avenue’s (TOTA) and UnitedFront’s Sip, Swop, Shop event where you literally could sip on champagne, bring and swop items from your wardrobe with others, and of course, shop TOTA’s vintage gems and UnitedFront’s eccentric pieces.

thrift on the ave detroit

They auctioned off a rack full of new and gently used clothing which was SO entertaining- let me tell you! Guests (kindly and politely) fought for certain items while throwing paper play money in their air. While the model catwalked around the store, screams of “$20! $25! $70!” filled TOTA’s shop.

thrift on the avenue

Actually browsing through TOTA’s store is a blast, too! There’s never really a dull moment looking through racks of vintage blazers, faux fur coats, completely sequined dresses, pencil skirts, and kitten heels.

TOTA Vintagevintage shoesSequined vintage dress

Thanks, TOTA, for opening your doors to us once again!

Make sure to follow The She Is Project and Thrift on the Ave. for more news and upcoming events!

The She Is Project
Instagram
Twitter

Thrift on the Ave.
Instagram
Twitter

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
– Hebrews 10: 24, 25

Life as a Teenage Christian Fashion Blogger: Blaze Ann

Blaze Ann

Let’s be honest, the world is not what it was 10-15 years ago. With the power and influence of social media and the constant overflow of the media, entertainment, and celebrity gossip, we’re being fed an unending amount of who, what, and how we’re supposed to act and look according to the world’s standards. So, when I found this young lady of 16-years-old who loves the Lord, is a faith and fashion blogger, and is set out to stand firm in her faith through her blog in her high school’s hallways, I can’t help but get EXCITED. My, do we need more girls like her. Introducing, Blaze Ann!

Hi there! My name is Blaze Ann Carbonell, and I blog over at P31beauty. Before I talk about my blog, I’d like to introduce myself. One of the first things that people ask me when we meet is, “How did you get your name?”. If you’re wondering, “Blaze Ann” was actually inspired by my mom’s name, which is Blaziel.
I am currently 16, a junior in high school, and a resident in the Bay Area. When I’m not blogging or studying, I love watching my favorite sports team- the Warriors.
My blog P31beauty was started in the summer before my freshman year of high school. I believe that every Christian should make a statement for Christ, whether it be through talent, fashion, or being a living testimony. Before I started going to a public high school, I decided that I wanted to maintain modesty in my apparel in an effort to glorify God. P31beauty was created to encourage me and to give other girls inspiration for modest outfits.
IMG_0307
fashion meets God: Your “About Me” section says, “This blog was also created to encourage me to maintain modesty in my apparel as I enter a public high school.” What an amazing and creative way to stand boldly for Christ! Would you say blogging has positively made you accountable on what to wear?
Blaze Ann: Blogging has positively made me accountable on what I wear and also how I act on a daily basis. As a blogger, I want to be genuine with my readers and blogging friends. At times, I’d subconsciously ask myself, “Would I post this garment or outfit on my blog?”. If the answer is “no”, I’d decide not to buy or wear it. What I love about blogging is that you are able to find a community of friends that share similar passions as you. As a result of being part of a community, you are encouraged to be stronger at whatever your passions are. Personally, reading Christian blogs (such as Jireh’s!) has encouraged me to try to live more deeply for Christ. Also, blogging and reading other blogs about modest fashion has motivated me to dress unashamed in the midst of a secular environment.
fmG: What is your go-to wardrobe piece that you find yourself wearing multiple times, multiple ways?
BA: I really love tulle skirts. It may sound unconventional to wear on an average day, but I am here to tell you that it is not! What I love about tulle skirts is that you can dress it up and wear it super fancy or feminine. You can also wear it casually and pair it with a plain or patterned tee. Pretend you see someone walking down the street in a tulle skirt. Wouldn’t this sight bring you feelings of wonder, surprise, and a little bit of happiness? Haha, I don’t know about you, but I think tulle skirts are essentially layers of “prettiness” and joy.
IMG_2935fmG: You’re just a teenager, but your posts on your faith sounds like a mature, grown woman- I’m astounded! Can you share with us your testimony and how you came to know the Lord?
BA: Thank you for your sweet words, Jireh! It’s really uplifting! I currently live in a Christian household and have parents to look up to as Christian role models. My parents have taken me to church ever since I was a baby. I received Christ as my personal Savior when I was eight. God has a purpose for every Christian’s or future Christian’s upbringing, and I am thankful that He chose this path for me.
fmG: What are some of your favorite verses that you reflect on during challenges?
BA: The Bible is filled with wonderful verses that help in times of trial. It’s a beautiful thing that reading just a few words can fill you with comfort, reassurance, and joy. A few years ago, I was facing an inner challenge, and I remember being scared. It was night and I couldn’t sleep, so I got out my Bible and turned to a random page. I landed on Joshua 1:9 which says,

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” When I read that, relief just flooded into my heart. It reminded me that no matter what we’re going through God is with us, and He has a purpose for that trial in our life. Other verses that have helped me are Psalm 84:11 and 1 Peter 5:7.
fmG: Being a follower of Jesus in high school is not the easiest thing and I’m sure a lot of other people can relate. What advice can you give other high school students to stay grounded in their faith?
BA: This is actually a topic that I sometimes struggle with. In high school, it can be embarrassing for teens to simply do the right thing because most of the time the wrong thing is what’s popular. When Christian teens are confronted with the right vs wrong dilemma, sometimes the sneaky voice in our head will justify the wrong and say, “You’re just a teen! You can do right when you’re an adult.” For other Christian teens, myself included, sometimes you put your education in front of your spiritual life. My advice for other high school students to stay grounded in their faith is to purpose in your heart to do right and to prioritize and live for Christ. You have to make that decision now as a teen because as an adult, the temptations for sin will not stop. In fact, it may be harder as an adult since you will have to make your own decisions without the guidance of your parents. Other ways to stay grounded is to find a fellow Christian in your school to encourage you throughout the day, prayer, reading the Bible, and listening to music that glorify God.
IMG_2804
Thank you, Blaze Ann, for being so open and honest with us from your experience as a young faith and fashion blogger to simply being a student in high school as a follower of Jesus. I can only imagine how much God is going to use your life, your heart, and your blog to glorify His Kingdom. I pray He continues to use your passion for Him to encourage and inspire many other girls!
Visit Blaze Ann’s Blog: P31Beauty
Instagram: @p31beauty
“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
– 1 John 2:17