This month's featured #bloomgirl is Grace Moyd. Grace is the founder of WritefullyHis. We met Grace in 2015 at the Atlanta Gift Show ago and were instantly drawn to her sweet and caring personality. We teamed up with Grace a year later to design our Writefully His Planner that we included in our 2016-17 Academic Year Line! We will be releasing another project we've been working on shortly!! We are so inspired by Grace and we know you will be too! Read more about her incredible story below!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi everyone! My name is Grace and I am the founder of WritefullyHis (WH). I am inspired by the simplicity of life when put into focus, the ease of the written word on pages in a book, and the slow meandering of getting lost in a new city. I set out initially as a printmaker and fell in love with creating events of inspiration and charm for women wanting to create. I pursued that passion further in curating and creating resources for women. I also spend my time running my family’s foundation, Thrive Global Project, as the Executive Director. My heart urges for children and women to receive resources to be their best self. I founded WritefullyHis during study abroad in France when I lived with a host family for 6 months. My host family did not speak English, and I don’t speak French. Each day allowing myself to slow down, dive deep and reflect got me one step closer to WritefullyHis.
Tell us about your time in France studying abroad and realizing someone couldn’t afford tuition to attend school.
With the simple breaking of a pencil, WritefullyHis was created. Travel back with me six years ago. I was studying abroad in the Southern part of France in Aix-en-Provence. I chose to live with a family, rather than an apartment so I could soak in all the French culture that I could. What seemed like a simple decision at the time I later realized it had a huge impact. I found out rather quickly, my host family did not speak a word of English. And did I mention that I did not speak the language of love either? So, there I am in the South of France, in a town where not much English is spoken and in a home with two retirees whose main activities were gardening and lunches with the neighbors. One definite perk was every night, Anne Marie and Christian would prepare a full 3-course meal where we were expected to gather and you dare not be late. Every night the length was no less than an hour and no more than four. We did a lot of smiling and had a great deal of patience with each other as we both learned a new language. I quickly learned how to adapt to the lifestyle of retirees. Many afternoons I found myself going to a park after class, stretching out over a blanket, watching the locals and reading. I had a lot of “me” time. One of the first books I read was, “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie, the TOMS founder and one-for-one movement guru. The concepts of giving back through companies fascinated me so I delved deeper and found more books to read on the topic. A couple of months into my trip, my favorite travel companion and best friend, my sister, came to visit me. As I shared with her what I had learned, she told me about a story she had heard about parents breaking pencils just a few weeks before. This immediately sparked my interest. I then found the book The Price of Stones, Building a School for My Village. The story was about a man named Jackson Kaguir. A Ugandan citizen and Heifer International Hero who was recognized in Time Magazine’s ‘Power of One’ Series and a co-author of the book. Jackson stated “he owes everything good and positive and productive of his life to his parent’s willingness to buy and to break pencils. I want to share with you his story and how it changed the direction of my life.
“We were five brothers and sisters. My childhood memories are about waking up in the morning and finding that my dad had gone and purchased a No. 2 pencil – which for us as a family, was a lot of money. That is why he could not afford 5 pencils – one for each of us children. However, the school rule was that you had to have a pencil – used or unused – it did not matter – to attend our school. We would be turned away if we did not arrive at school with a pencil. So dad broke this No. 2 pencil into 5 pieces and handed each of us 5 children, one-fifth of a pencil stub. With a fifth of pencil, I didn’t have to sneak into school and risk being kicked out.” This act by my father launched my schooling. It is my father’s simple and profound act of breaking No. 2 pencils. If people in America and elsewhere want to understand the depth of educational need in Africa, they need to stop and think about this one fact: There are many children in Africa who cannot attend school because their families cannot afford the price of admission, which is one-fifth of a pencil."
From all of my reading and time spent journaling, I began to research education in East Africa and found this to be true. WritefullyHis actually had its beginnings as a pencil and a piece of paper that rested on a café table in France as my sister and I huddled over it- we brainstormed and jotted down ideas on that one piece of paper with that one pencil for hours. I knew that day, I would follow my God-led passion and take His vision, sketched on that scrap piece of paper, and follow it wherever it would take me.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is what WritefullyHis grew from. It came from a hardship that I wanted to find goodness in. It came from a breaking that I could make whole again through my actions. My biggest inspiration comes from a need to continually give back and pursue my passion the Lord put on my heart. That inspiration has pushed me these past 6 years. It continues to do so as the company evolves and grows into something bigger than myself.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, personally or professionally? How have you overcome it?
Personally, my biggest challenge has been my age. Unfortunately, being a young woman entrepreneur right out of college has not always allowed me to get the respect I deserve. Many times at networking events with my nametag having the words “CEO” individuals asked about how my “little hobby” was going. Instead of getting angry I just kept showing up! I kept sharing my story and putting myself at the table. My mother always said, you cannot control what others do or say but you can always control your response and I always made a deliberate response to keep attending and living out my story as passionately as I knew how.
If you could talk to yourself 5 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
It might not look like what you had in mind but I promise the journey you are going to be led on is so much better! You will see individuals come out of the woodworks to support you and to be apart of your story. Embrace each one humbly and your journey is different than anyone else so make sure to stay true to who you are!
What are some key books or learning experiences that helped shape you and your company?
I love reading so there are many books that inspired me to dive deep into the nitty-gritty of WritefullyHis. These few books encouraged me and helped me lay the backbone of the concepts and logistics of WritefullyHis. Continually putting myself out of my comfort zone gave me the opportunity to grow and build WritefullyHis. Here's my favorite book list:
- Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
- Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis Majors
- The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri
What are your favorite bloom products, and why?
My favorite bloom products are my WritefullyHis Daily Planner and my Meal Planning Pad! My planner keeps me organized throughout the week. Being an entrepreneur allows me to wear many hats so using the WritefullyHis’ bloom planner helps keep all those hats in line! It’s lightweight feel, simple design and beautiful cover is the perfect match for me.
The Meal Planning Pad is SO easy to use as well. I get to start fresh every week with a new sheet. I am amazed at the ease and anything that allows me to put my grocery list linked with what I am preparing is a win-win to me! My planning pad helps me on Sundays when Livingston (my husband) and I do our grocery shopping.
We hope you enjoyed getting to learn a little bit more about Grace and WritefullyHis! If you'd like to learn more, check out the Writefully His website here.
Do you have a #girlboss story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be our next featured bloom girl!
the bloom team