Who doesn’t love the feel of a glossy magazine between their fingers? The promise of pretty pictures, tips, trends and recipes awaiting. What if you were able to create something like this with you sistahs? Not just your girlfriends, but with your blood-true-to-life sisters! I recently caught up with Stephanie, the youngest of five sisters. Collectively, they started GiGi Magazine in 2011. They have a passion for working with little girls, teen girls & women. They said, “For many years, we dreamed and prayed for God to show us what we could do for women around the world. In June 2011 Stephanie (the youngest sister), was inspired to start a magazine for teen girls. The concept was new, fresh, and exciting and we couldn’t wait to get started. By March 2012, we had the first GIGI magazine printed & distributed, and it hasn’t stopped since. We know that God is leading, we see His hand in everything we do and all the blessings He pours to us. All things are possible with God.”
Join me, as I have a chat with Stephanie…
Where did this dream for GiGi Magazine come from? Can you give us an overview of what GiGi magazine is all about and who it’s aimed at?
The dream for GIGI didn’t originally begin with the thought to produce a magazine. I remember it was nearing the end of 2010 and I had this overwhelming impression to do something for the single girls in my church. And so began ‘Girls Gazette’ a little A5/6 page booklet that contained inspiring devotionals stories, a verse of the month, a biblical story, recipe, fun beauty pampering to do at home and sometimes an activity or two. It was a monthly publication that I would post out to about 12 girls; however, this very quickly grew to about 38 girls.
One morning I went to my sister’s room and starting telling her that I really wanted to revamp the newsletter/booklet for 2012. I wanted something more special, colourful (not black and white and on different coloured paper). And when she asked me what I envisioned I told her jokingly “I’d love a Christian magazine for teen girls” but then I laughed it off! But Esther didn’t and said “ok, let’s look into it”
And GIGI was born. God even gave us the name GIGI – Gorgeous in God’s Image.
GIGI is a fresh contemporary, non-denominational magazine that uplifts girls’ spirit. GIGI tackles real issues that girls go through, whether they are in church or not. The articles are non-judgmental and it shows girls that no matter what has happened in their lives, God is redeeming and unfailing love. We have addressed issues such as abortion, sexual abuse, purity, and going back to church, eating disorders and so much more.
It brings hope and a better self-esteem for the young women. It is beautifully laid out with bright colours that not only attracts girls & women but also some men ☺
Why is it important to you?
For me GIGI is extremely important. I remember when I was growing up, I wasn’t much of a reader, but the thought of a magazine sounded cool (not so much text, fun article layouts, more pictures, colours, stories, helpful girl tips etc..) but I remember that every Christian store I went to didn’t have a Christian magazine. I believe every girl needs positive reading material.
[Tweet “Young women should value who they are and never settle for society’s idea of beauty”]
What need do you feel Gigi Magazine fills?
I think GIGI fills a very important part for every young woman. GIGI’s aim is to remind young women to value who they are and to never settle at the idea of what society might be depicting as beautiful. It’s the positive in a negative world.
Do you see this magazine as ministry?
I definitely see GIGI as a ministry. It is an amazing outreach tool for any young woman. We have seen God lead us through this and I can say with complete assurance that if God hadn’t been in control or given us GIGI it would have never ever started. This magazine is reaching girls from all over the world.
How do you feel Gigi Magazine fits into what God has called you to do in your life?
Well, my favourite verse of the bible has always been Psalms 138:8 – ‘The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.’
[Tweet “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.’”]
I use to think to myself “what’s my purpose?” Until one day I prayed to God and asked Him to please fulfill His purpose in my life – I wanted to serve Him with something more personal, something He had specially prepared for me to do. I believe that every single person has a special calling, we need only ask God, He has it ready.
What are the different sections of the magazine?
GIGI is divided into 6 different sections:
- EMBELLISH – Is all about fun projects, and life tips/skills to enrich a girl’s life. It also features the cover girl (normal high school girl) and her story.
- SPARKLE – this one is all about health, not only physically but holistically. It also contains our wonderful recipes.
- ESSENCE – no matter the age we all like to take care of ourselves and this is all about natural beauty and fun home remedies.
- GLANCE – fashion! What girl doesn’t like it? This section is all about being fashionable BUT modest at the same time. We want girls to realise they can look and feel great without being revealing.
- MOMENTS- Whether they may have been good or bad, moments focuses on different relationships. It’s also, where many of the tough issues are addressed.
- BLOSSOM – This section focuses on all the spiritual things. You will find the bible story, Power of prayers, how to connect with God, finding inner peace and more.
It’s important because none of us think we are. Society had created so many twisted and unrealistic ideas of what beautiful is. What they have created is an unattainable look, attitude and life. Sadly, by this confinement of ‘beauty’, everyone’s unique look is not good enough and we can never measure up! However, in reality these features, those unique aspects make us, us! Special. One of a kind. Not a clone.
Our cover girls are every day teen girls that have not been altered by Photoshop. They share their stories, experiences, struggles, laughter and pain. We love focusing that no matter what size, culture or their journey, they ARE BEAUTIFUL.
Do you have an interesting story you’ve heard from people who have read GiGi magazine?
I suppose it would have to be the beautiful testimonies we hear; it’s hard to pick just one, but the one that comes to mind right now is one of a 16-year old girl. This young girl has run away from home and is going through a very dark time in her life. She doesn’t read anything God related, however, GIGI is the only thing she’s currently reading and it is filling her soul.
How can someone contribute to GiGi magazine?
Please email us. We have been very blessed to have so many wonderful writers and organisations donate their time to write articles on an issue they specialise in. We’ve also had many girls write to us and share their stories of how they have found God and what they have been through. We love it.
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What kind of contributions are you looking for?
We look for all types, people who are passionate about writing, girls/women wanting to share their stories, nutritionists, lifestyle counsellors, doctors, nurses, trainers, pastors and the list is endless ☺
What advice would you give to someone who has a dream to do something interesting and unique for ministry?
Firstly, I would have to say pray! Prayer for me is the ultimate secret weapon and a direct line to God. When you start by putting God first He will lead; all He needs is a willing heart. Once you pray and have a clear vision of what you would like to do, then GO FORTH! It won’t be easy, but never give up. If God has given the ministry, He will lead it. Never be afraid to trust Him completely.
[Tweet “Prayer is the ultimate secret weapon & direct line to God. Start by putting God first, He will lead; all He needs is a willing heart.”]
What book are you currently reading?