Blog Love is where I feature a blogger or a blog that I admire. After a long hiatus, I’m so pleased to resurrect this feature again (hooray!) with my guest for this month, Bethany Morris, creator of the inspirational women’s site, The Free Woman. I first “met” Bethany via Instagram, inspired by her beautiful images and motivational posts. We connected over email, and continued our conversations there, only to discover that we both have a passion for collaboration, especially among women. I hope you’ll enjoy this short interview with her about her blog journey.
Who is Bethany Morris? Tell us a little bit about your blogging journey.
Hi! I’m a twenty-something woman from Melbourne, Australia who loves coffee, community, storytelling and laughing. My blogging journey really began while studying Journalism where I had to create and maintain a simple blog. I learnt the basics in blogging, HTML coding, and graphic design. After graduating I decided to take blogging more seriously and purchased a personal domain name – ByBethanyJae.com. For the next few years I used that site to learn the ropes of self-hosted blogging, creating regular content, establish an online portfolio, and build incredible connections through online blogging classes. And then in June 2014 I launched The Free Woman.
What inspired the vision and outreach of “The Free Woman”? Could you tell us about your intention in beginning this community?
The idea and concept of The Free Woman has been brewing since I was a young girl. I had a love-hate relationship with magazines – loving the magazine and storytelling aspect, yet hating how they represented women and made them feel ‘less-than’. So creating something that celebrates and values women in a holistic light has been a plan for years. The modern woman is not one-dimensional, but multi-faceted and free to bloom into the beauty she was created to be. And TFW intends to drawn from, inspire, equip, empower, celebrate, encourage and contribute to these facets of her character and life.
There are so many intention-minded women’s communities coming out of the woodwork and into the blog scene. Where does “The Free Woman” fit into the big, global blog scene and community movement?
More than ‘fitting into’ the global blog scene, I think it’s more about complimenting that which is already established and moving. What I particularly love about these communities coming out is that they are all an expression of someone else’s revelation and are going to resonate with different audiences that TFW won’t necessarily reach or appeal too. It’s about complimenting and championing, rather than competing and comparing. It’s also about staying true to your mission and values.
Tell us a bit (briefly) about what we can find on a regular basis at TFW. What can readers expect and look forward to when they go here, and how may they participate with their own images (do you have rules, themes, etc.)?
You’ll find content revolving around the five facets of who TFW is: Inspired, Honest, Radiant, Influential and Aware – both the practical and inspirational that will equip and empower you to do something. In terms of participating with images, we’re always on the lookout for feminine hearts that capture life and people beautifully, and are also living life as a ‘free woman.’ Simply send us a hello with your images, or take part in the #solovelysofree Instagram feed.
We’ve been following your #solovelysofree campaign/thread on Instagram. Tell us the story behind this, and what may be your plans for this, if any.
I absolutely love this hashtag! So, a few months into TFW launch I was thinking of a hashtag and refreshing the tagline to something that embraces not only what TFW is, but also who the women are in this community. I wanted it to be about freedom, partnered with something feminine. After playing around with a few variations and words, it became what it is now.
Going forward we’ll be launching a series on the website called ‘So Lovely, So Free’ – stories of women who have found freedom and are tapping into their unique feminine heart. While posting pretty pictures is fun and inspiring, there is more to her life. This series will be opened up to the public, not just contributors, and those who would like to share their story (within guidelines, of course). When a woman knows she’s lovely and free to be herself and do what only she can do, there’s great strength, humility and influence in that. And that’s to be celebrated.
What’s on your wish list for TFW?
Oh, so much! Obviously for TFW to continue to grow and evolve with women joining the movement. More than an online space and community, its purpose has always been to create an offline expression of that too. We’ve already rolled out mugs, which have been really well received and an excellent conversation-starter, but there is more coming that is representative of each of the five categories (and not just product or merchandise-wise!). So exciting things will definitely be unfolding in the near future.