I was born in Florence, South Carolina, but my earliest memories come from Bolivia, where my family lived as missionaries until I was 8 years old. I am the baby of 4 girls, and the daughter to the most wonderful parents. I am about to start my senior year at The University of South Carolina, where I am studying Elementary Education. I love spending time with my friends, eating good food, and sitting in the sunshine. I love to travel across a bridge or across an ocean and I am always looking for an opportunity to get on a plane and go. I have had missions on my heart for as long as I can remember, and most of my favorite memories are from serving in places such as Uganda, Peru, or Ireland. I really love acoustic music and always have candles burning in my room. Although I am studying to be a teacher, I have an endless list of occupations that I would love to pursue, and I hope to attempt each of them at least once!
How would you describe your style?
My style is a mix-match between many different genres. My shirt might be from a boutique while the jeans I pair it with are hand-me-downs that one of my sisters wore 10 years ago. One day I might wear bright colors and preppy designs, but the next day I will wear light colors with flowy fabrics. I wear booties and wedges with a lot of my outfits, and I love to find new ways to mix clothes that I never thought would go together. In the summers I wear a lot of sundresses or jean shorts with flowy tanks. In the colder months, I LOVE to wear chunky sweaters with tall boots or my suede booties. I crave the temperatures that bring about scarves and fall colors. Overall, I’d say my style is really just whatever I feel that day, from $3 Goodwill overalls to a classy black dress with 6-inch heels.
Where do you like to shop?
Most of my clothes come from TJ Maxx and a few pieces come from local boutiques in Florence and Columbia. I love to find random items at Goodwill or thrift shops, especially if they’ve gone out of style but still catch my eye. I’ve recently become a fan of Plato’s closet and love to find nice brands that I would never buy at regular price.
Who inspires you and why?
So many different people inspire me, so I honestly have such a hard time answering questions like this one. I guess that two women sit at the top of my inspiration list- my mom and my best friend Caragh. I genuinely believe that my mom is the most wonderful person anyone could ever meet. She is a servant who never expects anything in return, and she finds true joy in giving of herself to others. She was in a horrible accident in 2001, where she suffered severe burns from an explosion in our fondue pot. From this tragedy she opened a non-profit ministry for burn victims. I have never heard her complain about the fact that her life was turned upside down, and she used the entire experience to bring glory to God and aid to others. She is quick to remind me to be gracious, tender, and hospitable. Secondly, my beautiful friend Caragh. I met Caragh last summer while serving for a month in Uganda, and she completely changed my life. Our first conversation took place on a concrete slab where we sat for 5 hours before realizing that the sun had set and everyone was sound asleep. Caragh loves the Lord in a radiant and overwhelming way, and one quick conversation with her gives you such an evident example of a Christ-like individual. She was smart enough to attend Oxford University for her degree, and is now moving back to Uganda to work with Tribe and Glory, a non-profit ministry founded by her friend. Caragh laughs until she cries and she spends hours in prayer for the lost. If there was anyone to strive to be like, it would be Caragh Bennet.
What makes you feel most confident and beautiful?
I feel the most confident and beautiful when I am surrounded by friends who encourage me and make me laugh. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by solid groups of women over the past decade who have built me up in a Christ-like fashion and held me accountable in my walk with the Lord. When spending time with these friends, I feel the best about myself and my place in life. As far as a fashion-beauty, I love for my hair to be long and flowy, to have on shoes with a heel/wedge, and to accessorize with earrings. I never go without earrings, and most often wear pearls or hoops. An outfit is not complete without them.
If people could only know one thing about you what would you want it to be?
That I love the Lord and crave relationships. Personally, I think the two go hand-in-hand. My life would be nothing without my relationship with my Heavenly Father, but along with that, it would be so different without all of the amazing friendships that I have. I LOVE to make new friends and I love to have long, in-depth conversations with complete strangers, leaving us as life-long friends by the end of the talk. I love to learn from others and be challenged by their knowledge, especially in relationships that are rooted in Christ and can teach me not only earthly knowledge, but eternal wisdom. Without Christ, I would be nothing, and that is the most important truth in my life.
Do you have a piece of clothing that you can’t live without? If so what and why?
I don’t think I have a specific clothing item that I have a specific attachment to, but I kind of go through phases with my clothes. This past semester, I had a beige sweater that I bought from TJ Maxx in the 11th grade that made its re-entry into my life. I wore it over tank tops, t-shirts, long-sleeves, and more. It went in my purse from place to place, just in case I got cold or wanted the security of slipping it on over my outfit. I have a pair of Pali Hawaii sandals that I ordered for $9 off Amazon a few months ago and I wear them everyday. My two most consistent items are my gold-cross necklace and my Sheila Fajl earrings… I wear those every single day, no matter the outfit, no matter the style.
What’s one thing you like most about being you?
I feel as though I connect with people quickly and easily. My travels around the world and exposure to different people and places has allowed me to participate in countless different activities, and I think that it has made me more interested to learn about what other people are interested in and relate to them on whatever level I can. If I meet someone at a party and learn their favorite color, middle name, or a dream of theirs, I most likely will go home thinking that we are best friends and genuinely looking forward to the next time I get to see them. My love for getting to know others has led me to some really beautiful relationships, such as with Caragh, and it has brought about my most treasured blessings.