Designs on higher things
Faith and design — it’s a rare mix but Perri Furbert is making it work. Her style site Gold, The Label offers fashion and lifestyle tips and a faith-based blog.
“The foundation of the brand is rooted in my faith,” the 26-year-old said. “With this, there is an understanding that not everyone that visits the site has a mutual belief system, but the undertones of empowerment, community and purpose will hopefully spread the love that my faith embodies.
“I want future customers of my design company to know this is the story, integrity and motive behind the brand.”
Ms Furbert launched her design company Gold, The Label about seven years ago. She is now a university student in Toronto, Canada, studying marketing; in 2015 she started blogging about her faith journey.
She gave her heart to Christ when she was eight, but strayed from her faith as she grew older.
In 2011, she turned her heart back over to the Lord — and has not looked back since.
“In the beginning, finding my way through the isolation of it was hard,” she said. “I feel every person who comes to Christ has to go through a period of aloneness because it’s almost like the shedding of that old life and there are a lot of people who just don’t understand the changes you’re going through.
“It’s short-lived for some, but it took longer for people in my life to catch on. People weren’t used to the changes, but now everyone expects it from me to be that friend and that person. It holds me to a higher standard, which I’m perfectly OK with.
“The rollercoaster was navigating who I am in Christ. He makes you anew by removing those old layers, but you are still you.
“You don’t have to wear a holy hat or feel like you have to be or become someone else. You are still you, but just a cleaned up and polished version of yourself — a glory reflector or an image bearer, as I like to call it.
“We have to remember as long as we are living we will make mistakes, but it isn’t perfection He’s after and He will always meet us exactly where we are.”
She enlisted a handful of writers to grow her blog’s reach: one is a new believer, another a new wife, the third is writing a book about single ladies.
The fourth contributor is not a Christian but speaks about the feminist movement and loving your body, which Ms Furbert felt lined up with God’s word in a broader sense.
“One of the goals of each post is to build a bridge, so to speak, that shows people they aren’t alone in any particular situation,” she said. “But like my faith, the ultimate underlying goal of every post is to win more souls for Christ and uplift people’s spirits.”
She has been overjoyed by the feedback; people have told her they have been moved, or encouraged, by the posts.
“A lot of times we hold on to our issues thinking we are the only ones going through that particular thing. Pain and discomfort tend to bring forth a false sense of isolation, which can make things seem worse than they are. But in actuality, so many people are enduring the same thing and are in the same space all at the same time and my hope is to bring light to that.”
Although blogging came naturally to her she had to get used to releasing her thoughts no matter how many shares or likes each post received.
“I’ve realised it will reach whoever it is meant to reach and they may apply it to their life unbeknown to me and that’s enough,” she said. “Even though there may not be much engagement with a specific topic it doesn’t mean it didn’t touch someone and impact them for the better.”
Although she sees accepting a relationship with Christ as an inward decision, she is hoping her blog and design brand will reach people who are toying with the idea.
“If they aren’t in the faith I hope they feel inspired to love the skin they are in and that it encourages them to live out whatever they believe their purpose is,” she said.
“The overall goal is to show to believers and non-believers what the average Christian looks like today. To show people it’s not perfect, but it’s real and relatable.
“I want people to know they are understood, even if it’s not a verbal conversation. Whatever season they are in, there is someone out there who looks like them and is in the same age bracket who understands what they are going through.”