Esther Interviews: Grace-Kelly of Ecc311 Beauty
To start the week, we're launching a new series, Esther Interviews, featuring the modern day Esthers who are making an impact on the world. Our first guest is a lovely young blogger and t-shirt designer, Grace-Kelly Muvunyi, who has the biggest heart for God and helping people find beauty in everything.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hello! My name is Grace-Kelly, and I was born in Rwanda, Africa - a tiny little country right next to Uganda (if all goes well I will be going back home this summer!). I’m the oldest of five children, with an awesome mom and dad, who have been very influential and significant in my life. My mom and I are both “natural organic food junkies” and I love drinking apple cider vinegar tea (recipe will be posted soon on my blog).
I treasure the free moments I have to listen to music, write letters or blog posts, and read. After my senior year, I’m going to study at Elevate Institute where I’ll get a bachelors degree in Biblical studies and leadership, and with a little more direction from God, perphaps continue my education in either international law, or chiropractic and nutritional studies.
You are the founder of an apparel line based on Ecclesiastes 3:11. Why did you choose this verse as a foundation for your business?
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, "Everything is made beautiful in it’s time." This verse quickly stuck with me, because it’s a reminder that no matter what your starting point looks like, in God’s timing it will be made beautiful. I’ve taken that on as a life message, and this verse really lined up perfectly with my apparel line. My line is made up of plain, basic white tees and long sleeves, but in a random, perfect moment, God gave me the idea, to create a shirt and line that reminded people to smile. In that moment God made something beautiful through me, and not only did I find a new passion and hobby, but I started something bigger than myself. So I use this verse to remind people that everything can, and will, be made beautiful in God’s timing, whether it’s a t-shirt design or a real life crisis...God will come through!
What are some of your other favorite verses from the Bible?
“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic all-purpose garment. Never be without it." -Colossians 3:14
"But I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." -2 Timothy 1:7
"I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way reaching out for Christ, who has wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong. By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back." -Phil 3:12
How did you come to know Jesus personally?
I’ve been involved in the church my whole life, but it wasn't until freshman year of high school that I actually accepted Jesus in my life. I got invited to go to Fellowship of Christian Athlethes (FCA) by one of the upperclassmen. That night, one of the juniors leaders were speaking. At the time, I had no idea who he was, but as he started to speak, the passion and excitement in his words and body just penetrated through me. I was marveled, and even shocked, to see that kind of excitement in such a young person, especially at school.
But I am forever grateful that he allowed God to speak through him, and that he did not hold back, because that night, I started my journey with God. I remember crying uncontrollably, and probably unattractively because my core had been shaken and new roots were planted. Since then I’ve learned so much about who I am, and what I’ve been called to do on this Earth.
What does a set-apart young woman look like to you?
I’ve always admired people who are bold, and I also challenge myself to be confident in what I believe. To me a set-apart young woman is bold, but about God. A set-apart woman lives a life that magnifies who God is; she exemplifies love through her actions and words. She sets an example to those around her with encouragement, instead of judgment or condemnation, and through this she is able to elevate her life, and bring people up with her. I still have battles to fight, and a distance to run, but what I’ve learned from those set-apart women is that everyday is a day to be set apart, and it starts with the smallest things.
What advice do you have for young women who want to start their own blog or business?
Know what you want to represent and stand for. A blog or online business is a great way to give your voice or talent a larger platform, but it’s also an easy way to get sucked in among hundreds of other irrelvant blogs and businesses. Before you start a blog make sure you know your true motivation, because this will help you give the project your best effort. Also, a great way to expand your blog is to connect with other bloggers who are similar to you.
What is God currently teaching you?
God is teaching me to be bold. To be more open and transparent about who I am, and what God has done for me. Also, I’m learning to step out of my comfort zone so I can connect with all sorts of different people, that on my own I wouldn’t have much effect over.
What are three things on your life bucket list?
- Ride Elephants in India
- Hike mountains in Colorado or South America
- Run a viral, influential blog
You recently went on a mission trip to Miami, Florida. What is the most memorable moment from that trip?
On the last night of the mission trip, we all went down to the beach as a group - we just sang like we were one family, prayed with each other, and really created an atmosphere full of true awe of God's presence. Then, I stepped into the Atlantic Ocean, and continued to walk until I was waist deep in the water. My youth leader talked with me and told me the importance of my decision, then she dunked me into the ocean water. I was baptized in the ocean, surrounded by an atmosphere of praise.
The Miami mission trip was a transforming experience where I was influenced and broken down by real people who just needed hope. It’s crazy and awesome to think that I got to be a part of delivering that hope and aid, especially since on this trip God also delivered so much to me.
Want to be featured in the Esther Interviews? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
// images courtesy of Grace Kelly Muvunyi