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An interview with Esther Molyneux – creativity, wellbeing and purpose

Can you tell us a bit about you and share how you came to faith in Jesus?

I’m the founder and creator of She is Found Studio, a British faith-based stationery and self-development brand with a fresh perspective. My background is in design and creative problem-solving; taking a seed of an idea and turning it into reality. I’ve worked for brands such as ASOS, Kurt Geiger and French Connection, in senior roles as part of their creative and fashion teams. I’m a coffee drinker, realist, mother and a dreamer.

Life’s full of twists and turns, nothing is plain sailing. Sometimes, life comes screeching to a halt. For me, this was in 2017. After the breakdown of my marriage, I realised that I had nothing left. I was on welfare, with a 3-month-old living with my parents with nothing to show for my life; it had all disappeared like quicksand. A year of perpetual grief, depression and suicidal thoughts meant I felt like I was in a worse position than before.

My 360 degree turn around came through my late uncle. He led me to Christ in his last days in 2018. Although I’ve lived in a Christian home, a relationship with God was not on my radar at all. Thirty-one years later, Christ’s death and resurrection finally now means I don’t feel shackled, ashamed, or condemned. Christ has allowed me to find my voice. I am becoming who I knew I was destined to be, but somehow I got very lost on the way. Christ gives me a purpose, allows me to dream and move with joy despite the pain and tangled mess my life is still in. I’m unashamed of my past, or how my future is shaping to be. Yes, I’m still currently on welfare, yes, my history causes me to doubt myself, and yes, I still experience grief. However, my soul is free. I believe every woman should experience a walk of freedom, undeterred by the voices that shut us down and out.

What is the She is Found Studio and why you were inspired to start it?

She is Found Studio is a design practise and community exploring the intersect between creativity and spiritual wellbeing. The Studio provides practical tools for women to connect with God. The aim is to help unravel and understand patterns, behaviours and needs. Through reflections and actionable steps, the Studio helps to create a lifestyle aligned with God at the centre, using creative practices. The platform, through its books, journals, research and stories, celebrates the betterment of God’s transformation with Him at the core. The Studio explores spirituality, emotions, self, intellect and creativity to form the most important relationship, one that is intimate with Christ.

Built on the pieces of a broken marriage and the darkness of depression, The Studio is built upon God’s unending hope and unwavering light. The resources I design are intended to inspire and guide readers as they take stock and realign their plans and purposes to the One who holds them all. Contemporary culture’s perspective on how we should live can be soul-crushing. Instead, The Studio’s goal is to encourage, motivate and inspire.

Tell us about some of the values that the Studio stands for and why you chose them.

The Studio encourages creative and ambitious women to pause the pace to cultivate a life and faith centred on Christ. The Studio doesn’t believe in telling women what to think or how to think. However, it does believe in providing the right tools to connect with God and self, so it becomes personalised and deliberate inaction. I aim to expand the mind beyond current circumstances, limiting beliefs and unconstructive actions.

Our fundamentals are built upon God, at the heart of everything the belief is that without Him, the Studio has no validity, power, or strength. Christ calls the Studio to love as the number one priority. The sole purpose is to serve, support and nurture women first and foremost. Contemporary culture’s perspective on how we should live can be soul-crushing. Instead of the Studio telling you who you should be, the goal is to encourage, motivate, and inspire in a healthy way.

Creativity enriches the mind and soul. It triggers emotions, thoughts and tells a story. Our products and content are all intentionally designed to stimulate and add authenticity. A bombardment of advice can sometimes be overwhelming. The approach is always to make things understandable, digestible, and easy to apply.

Finally, the Studio believes in the value of putting energy into your curiosity in God, rather than pressurised passion–finding.

What is Her Collection 2020?

Her Collection is designed to help orientate your life and goals around the God who holds them all. I have created two unique workbooks designed to suit the many different personalities and learning styles. The purpose is to illustrate the journey of faith and freedom.

We all have spiritual needs and spiritual hunger that needs satisfying. Physical food is not enough. Material things alone don’t keep us contented, and success and even human relationships don’t meet desires. However, faith in Jesus fills the emptiness we experience.

Today, it seems like everyone is on a pursuit for happiness, but research shows that the millennial generation is plagued with feelings of emptiness, anxiety and sadness. Our surface desires may be met in moments, but statistics of mental health illness are at an all-time high. Culture and society lead to a belief that a life of more cheap love, wealth, beauty and possessions equate to being happy. So often following this advice leads to looking in the wrong places. Her Collection invites readers away from these false-promises of contentment and instead into a safe space where faith can be cultivated, and true satisfaction can grow from a relationship with God.

Her Collection invites busy creatives everywhere, to take the time to pause, retreat and cultivate a faith-sustaining pattern of rest. The hope is that this will propel them forward and in direction with God’s purposes for their lives.

Written by myself Her Field Notes is a workbook that sets a tone to open up to faith in a wide-open and secure space. Dive into questions of spirituality, mindset, relationships and many more topics; scribble upon worksheets that provide an invaluable tool for self–reflection and observation. It is a reminder to take a moment to breathe.

The workbook provides tools, reflective exercises, prioritisation and affirmative techniques to help move internal/external resistance. Connect with God outside of the digital landscape through actionable tasks and questions. Her—Self is a prompted and visually dynamic workbook that helps to break down the blocks that we face when embarking on new journeys, ideas, or extensions of our creative–selves.

Who are the workbooks aimed at, and what can we expect to find inside?

The Workbooks are designed for female creatives seeking to find a deeper connection with God and in search for more. Through the medium of creative and sustainable practices, the mission is to nurture women. The Workbooks aim to increase knowledge of God and self to empower a faith-driven life. By removing weak self–belief and negative patterns, real confidence can be enjoyed through the validation that only Christ can give.

I am fully aware that God’s ways do not always seem linear. Therefore chapters are stand-alone and thematic, enabling you to dip in and out as prompted and set their own moments for reflection. The content will help women switch off the noise and visualise and dream with God afresh. Women can look to His Word to light their way, inviting us to drown out society’s view of success with God’s.

Whether you have known God for a long time or are just exploring a life of faith for the first time. I invite women to rebel against the norm and start something new with an everlasting effect. It is time to simplify and root our lives as we head into the world with faith. Scattered with Scripture, these visually dynamic and interactive resources are intended to inspire and guide readers as they take stock and cultivate sustainable patterns.

What tips would you give to busy women (that’s most of us right?!) who are trying to balance everything?

Personal life, social media and busyness all fight for attention. It seems that the first breath of fresh air taken is Instagram, and the last moments are spent endlessly scrolling through Facebook. It’s so easy to become addicted to the hustle and bustle, but where is there space for God?

In a culture that can so often glorify busyness, it doesn’t take moral failings to keep us from God. We often waste time on things that don’t matter, and that distracts many Jesus-followers today. Because of this, we are missing the great life God has to offer. The problem is such small life-choices can be so subtle that we unintentionally find ourselves following the script that society has set for us. However, it’s time to switch off the noise, declutter the distraction and intentionally realign our life patterns and pace to God.

I firmly believe that reading the Bible is not only about accumulating knowledge and then letting it sit there. Everything we learn applies to life right now and can be included in daily living. It’s time we step away from the sidelines and get our hands dirty and our knees bruised in connecting with God each day. Not just on a Sunday, but in our day-to-day lives. Let’s get the balance right and put God first.

How can women get involved with the Studio or find out more about Her Collection 2020 workbooks? 

Community is a core part of the Studio. I aim to mirror Jesus by being inclusive rather than exclusive. The Studio is a space for you to retreat, find support in a community of like-minded women. Come and join us on Instagram. I love chatting and praying for women, and it would be a pleasure to meet more women that I/we can support.

If you would like to find out more about Her Collection and the Workbooks, please visit our Kickstarter page. There you’ll find a full rundown of the finer details. If you discover that these are tools you need in life, place a pre-order. Without the support to meet the funding goal, we will not be able to go into print and production.

Prayer is also valued and welcomed if you are unable to give, or you are a prayer warrior.

Esther Molyneux is the founder, and chief creator of She is Found Studio. A faith-based design studio, specialising in resources. The Studio is also a spiritual and personal development space for women. She is a mother foremost but believes her calling is to serve women. Esther is on a mission to foster an authentic safe environment for female creatives who want to place God first. You can follow Esther on: Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram


Lifestyle credit:
Corina Straub
Portrait credit:
Megan Gisborne