Meet Elise Hodge, founder of the blog She Is Light! When she's not blogging, she's working at a PR firm in Australia! Elise seeks to place value on women and inspire them to be a light to other women. Read more about her love for others, daily challenges, her dreams, and advice you just can't miss!
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
Hey lovelies, I’m Elise. The first thing you should know about me is that I am passionate about seeing young women come to know their worth. I’m 22 years young and live in Brisbane, Australia - a lovely, sunny part of the world! I studied a double degree in journalism and business (majoring in economics) and am putting my degree to good use, working full time in PR and media relations. In most of my spare time, I'm working away on my blog – She is Light.
In my down time, you can find me spending time with my hilarious, sweet and handsome husband, sipping cups of peppermint tea, or hanging around the closest dog park looking for mini dachshunds (yes, you could say I’m a bit obsessed, ha!).
WHAT'S YOUR DAILY ROUTINE TYPICALLY LOOK LIKE ON A WEEKDAY?
I work full time as a media consultant, as well as run the blog full time – so my day-to-day life can be a little bit crazy! But let me try to give you an insight.
I’m so not a morning person, so when I finally rise (after tapping the ‘sleep’ button a few too many times..) I get ready for work, make my breakfast smoothie, do my makeup, and run out the door around 8am to catch the bus to work.
As a media consultant, I help manage clients’ relationships with the media – this includes pursuing media opportunities, writing media releases on current topics and in response to what is in the news, writing articles for magazines, managing social media accounts, and writing reports. (Disclaimer: it’s really not as glamorous as it sounds. I work in a corporate environment, and sit in an office nearly all day!). In my lunch break, I try to fit in a gym class before diving back in to work for the afternoon. When I get home, around 5pm, I prepare dinner and relax a little. Around 6pm I get stuck in to everything She is Light – this can include handling admin, writing blog posts, preparing social media content, pursuing partnerships, and working on ideas for the future. I head to bed around 10pm (unless I get a little carried away with my blog work, which totally happens sometimes) – read my bible, and get stuck into a good book.
Does that sound exhausting? To be honest, it can be. But rest assured, I don’t take on that much work every single day. I like to space out my She is Light workload so that I focus on it two or three nights a week, and a few hours on a Saturday morning. While I’m working full time, I’ve got to make sure I have time to breathe, relax, and enjoy time with my husband and friends. After all, relationships are the most important part of life!
YOU'RE PRETTY PASSIONATE ABOUT ENCOURAGING YOUNG WOMEN. TELL US MORE ABOUT SHE IS LIGHT! WHAT INITIALLY INSPIRED YOU TO START IT?
I wanted to start a blog since my first year of university, but I didn’t want to start one without having a real focus and vision behind it. For a few years, I wrote ‘blog posts’ and saved them to my computer, knowing there'd be a purpose for them one day.
About a year ago, I heard The Message version of Matthew 5:14-16 in the Bible, which explains how we are called to ‘be light’. It was in that moment that God dropped the vision into my heart! The blog was always going to be about women and for women, so naturally ‘She is Light’ came about.
She is Light is so much more than a blog – it’s a global movement of women who know their worth. The mission is all about placing value on women, and inspiring them to be a light to other women.
I hope that She is Light will show women that no matter what their occupation, relationship status, belief, qualifications, Instagram follower count, body shape, hair colour, hobbies, habits, struggles, interests (you name it) - they are valued.
ARE THERE ANY OBSTACLES THAT YOU HAVE HAD TO FACE SINCE STARTING SHE IS LIGHT? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
It was a little scary to put myself out there – it’s a vulnerable space, and everyone always has an opinion. Before I launched the website, I was messaging a dear friend about how I was a bit nervous about the blog launch, and she said: “Don’t be nervous! It will be so good… I think it’s a big thing to put yourself out there – it’s a vulnerable space. But go for it! People need it!”
One of the minor challenges has simply been that I'm such a perfectionist! Haha. I'm always changing the look and feel of the website.
But in all honesty, the most challenging part has been finding the time to create content, foster relationships and seek out opportunities with other ladies in the blogging community. As I mentioned, I work a full-time job, as well as run the blog, so it's finding that balance that's a little tricky – and also drawing the line between what's blog time and what's down time at home. That's something I'm still learning.
HOW DO YOU REPRESENT THE TRAIT LOVING?
I have a big heart for people, and I value relationships and authentic connection. I most certainly am not perfect and do not always get it right, but I am a big people person, so naturally I love to connect with friends, meet new people and get to know them. I’m passionate about fostering a sense of community over competition and I believe there is huge power in women cheering each other on – so that’s what I like to do, and I hope people feel loved by my attitude toward them.
DO YOU SEE YOUR LOVING PERSONALITY TRANSLATED IN THE WORK YOU ARE DOING NOW?
The work I’m doing through She is Light is simply placing value on women and empowering them to pursue purpose. I believe we’re really loving on people when we want the very best for them, and that’s exactly what She is Light is all about.
WHAT IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE SOMEONE FEEL LOVED?
I’ve personally experienced the power of having just one person truly believe in me in an area of my life, and it has made the world of a difference. In turn, I’m so passionate about loving on people by letting them know that I’m in their corner, believing in them and cheering them on.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE IN LIFE RIGHT NOW?
My life is an unfolding adventure. Most of all, I love being married and doing life with my husband. While She is Light is a lot of work on top of my full time job, I’m really enjoying working on all of the little details – it’s a dream of mine that is, over time, slowly and surely coming into focus!
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
One? Oh man, it's too difficult to narrow it down to one person. I don't know that there's one person who has inspired my overall. There are different people who inspire me for different journeys in life. Of course, I look up to my mum! There are some dear friends of mine who inspire me in different ways - some are so driven to follow a strong calling on their lives, I really admire that! Others have been through the toughest of life's situations and have come through them more resilient than ever. And then there are a few incredible women I've met over Instagram, of all places! I'm very grateful for the amazing ladies I've connected with through the She is Light Instagram account. Most of them live on the other side of the world, but they're so sweet, encouraging and uplifting. They have huge capacity, they dream BIG, and they shine light! It's really cool to have these ladies cheering me on along the journey, as I cheer them on too.
ASIDE FROM BEING LOVING, WHAT ARE THREE OTHER PERSONALITY TRAITS THAT DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND HOW SO?
Passionate, dreamer, outgoing
I represent passion in that when I love something, I will pour my heart and soul into it. I’m a dreamer because I have no end of ideas running through my mind, and have fresh ideas and vision for the future all the time. I’m outgoing because I love, love, love to connect with people – whether it’s catching up with my close friends, networking with likeminded bloggers over Instagram or meeting up with them in person or over Skype!
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS? WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
I see myself running She is Light full time. I see it as a globally known platform that women can visit to gain inspiration, connect with other women, and take courses and learn skills that will help them pursue their dreams and live life with purpose.
WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE THING YOU COULD TELL OTHER WOMEN ABOUT BEING A LOVING PERSON, OR ADVICE THAT YOU COULD GIVE?
Honestly, just think about how you would like to be treated, and treat other people that way. We each receive and feel love differently, so I think we will give love in a way that is natural to us. But I’d encourage everyone to pay that extra special attention to what makes those around you smile, and to love on them in that way!