There aren't many people that inspire me quite like Stephane does. The founder and editor of influential women's site Milk & Honey, Stephane selflessly lays down her life to encourage, rise up and discover potential in all. From the first time my eyes gazed over Milk & Honey, I became utterly fascinated with its determination to not conform to the culture that already existed, but instead, create a new Jesus-centred culture. An online community where women can come and feel safe is completely focused around Christ and encouraging a woman in her Christian walk.
We first met coincidentally two years ago at a summer festival, and I have since been immersed in the site, both as a reader and as a regular contributor. As we so often get lost in the conformations of culture- being told what to do and who to be- finding a site that truly enables women to refresh their souls and discover who they were made to be is a rarity in the world we live in. Stephane's vision for Milk & Honey was birthed after she got a raw and honest look into the media industry, and felt stirred by God to create something that honoured Him.
Now living the Californian dream, and soon to be speaking at Ted x Croydon in November, Stephane empowers and inspires like no other, setting a Godly example for women all over the world. As she talks to us, let her vision and lifestyle inspire your life as much as it does mine.
The birth of Milk & Honey
"I had been working as a TV presenter for a few years when I decided to create Milk & Honey. I was at the point of exhaustion and had just felt the entertainment industry as a whole was rather fickle. Everyday comparisons, what celeb is setting the trend, whose the latest Hollywood couple to split, what's the hottest, trendiest band wagon to jump on! It was all just rather exhausting. I've never really been into the glitz and glam of celeb culture. Having said all that I live for a good article, something relevant, fun and girly that meets me where I am at, somewhere I feel safe. So the heart behind Milk & Honey was to be a platform where women felt just that. No additional pressure, but rather good content that would empower them from the inside out. Completely entered around Christ, faith and the things women love to talk; and that was really the heart and vision behind the virtual land of Milk and Honey."
Advice on creating your own site
"Go for it! The internet is a beautiful space to share and connect with people around the world. Be diligent and patient, and at the same time surround yourself with people who will be the same; who aren't in it for the showmanship, but rather because they share the same heart and common goal for whatever it is you wish to talk about. Above all be consistent. It will be hard, it will take time but if it's your passion, don't give up on it. Sooner or later you will reap the rewards."
"Goodness, so many things inspire me. A good movie, a theatre play, a relevant sermon, waking up to a warm sunny day without a cloud in the sky in California. I'm forever inspired by creation and those I'm blessed to be surrounded by. My family and friends inspire me immensely and I'm really so grateful for the love and people I'm surrounded by. So I guess to get to the point, life and its surroundings inspire me."
On the pressure of social media
"Our emphasis has and never will be for our readers to find their worth in social media streams. It's a real pressure that many women find themselves engulfed in. We try to not be in your face with beauty and fashion pieces. It's not the be all or end all if you don't have the latest lipstick collection from MAC you know. Having balance is key so I guess we try to stray away from self-indulged topics and stay more inspirational and light hearted in the content we share."
On what makes a woman beautiful
"Each and every single woman is beautiful. To me beauty is love. Sounds a bit Disney right, but it really is. The choice to forgive and still love those around you relentlessly and unapologetically is beautiful. Bitterness, unforgiveness and holding on to pain wears you down. Exercising the same grace we are given in our everyday relationships is one of the most freeing and powerful things we can do as women. It's a lesson in life I am always learning and growing in, so for me, what makes a woman beautiful? I'd have to say love."
On her favourite book in the bible
"I would have to say 1 Peter and Proverbs. I love how the Proverbs tell stories, like Aesop fables it's just so rich in wisdom. I love 1 Peter because it was in this book that I first got a true understanding and revelation of God and just how deeply He loves me. I love how the issues within the book are so relevant to me as an evolving young woman."
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