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As a young business owner of faith, I find it very refreshing to interact with other such wet-behind-the-ears entrepreneurs who live life with gusto and a passion for the things of God. They’re a rare breed. I found one! Or rather, she found me. Monica Miller, 19 year old editor-in-chief of Vibrant Girl, recently contacted me about doing a review and giveaway for the Christian girls’ magazine she recently founded; and I was thrilled to be able to check out her work. The magazine is geared towards girls ages 12-15 – a very formative time of life, indeed.
I really enjoyed looking through the magazines that Monica sent me for review! They are put together almost entirely by young girls for young girls and include a wide variety of material, from spiritual articles, to short stories, to contests, to interviews with the young staff, to photo challenges, to recipes, to cut-outs, to journaling prompts, to design ideas…and the list goes on. The information is Christ-centered, the “models” are modestly dressed, and a wide variety of young talent and insight is represented. I did catch a few grammar and design things that bugged me a little because I’m one of those people, but on the whole I was very impressed with the layout and design, especially considering the age and experience level of the staff. I’m sure that the quality of these magazines will get even better as time goes on. This is a new and exciting magazine, folks, and it’s well worth a read! Even if you’re not a teenage girl, I’m sure you would still enjoy looking through these magazines.
I had the privilege of asking Monica Miller (above) some questions about Vibrant Girl:
1) I noticed that you live in Thailand. What led you there, and how do you spend your time there?
(MM) Yes! Over three years ago, my family made the drastic move from the Rockies of Colorado to tropical Thailand. My Dad was asked to fill a role here with the Institute for Global Opportunities (IGo). I was sixteen at the time and the adjustment was not an easy one. It still has its daily challenges, but I have grown to love life here. And that is truly a God-given gift that I could never muster up on my own.
Life here, in Asia, is often filled with the same grit and normality as life in America (i.e. laundry). And I spend a lot of time on Vibrant Girl, obviously. Outside of that my opportunities here have been varied. From learning to communicate in Thai, to hanging out in remote villages, to teaching English. But hopefully, the experiences I’ve had here will become something that adds color to the magazine. It is my prayer that girls will have their worldview expanded and will, likewise, have their eyes opened to needs within their own communities.
Honestly, being in a family involved in “missions” has taught me more about my own weaknesses than anything else. But I truly want to learn to be the hands and feet of Jesus to anyone who comes across my path. Whether that be to the first grader in a Buddhist Temple School, or to the youthful American reading Vibrant Girl Magazine.
2) How did you jump into producing Vibrant Girl, and when did you actually start?
(MM) Vibrant Girl officially started a year ago, out of a dream and burden that had been developing in my heart for a long time. Our world is polluted with negative content for our girls. We all know that. But the temptation can be to spend so much time and effort steering girls away from the lies that we miss offering them truth. The Vibrant Girl adventure began out of a desire to offer a resource that helps serve some of these needs. And it was totally based on the beliefs that 1. God’s beautiful Words are ALIVE. 2. Christ’s work on the cross is REAL. 3. This is ENOUGH, even for girls. And, wow, it’s been a ride full of bumps, challenges, and fun surprises!
3) You do all the design work yourself, correct? Are you self-taught?
(MM) Yes, at this point, I do all the design work myself. Although, I am looking to add graphic designers to the Vibrant Girl team in future. I am completely self-taught (think lots of trial and error… make that tons of error!) … but I’ve been doing graphic design since I was twelve 🙂 . Most of my experience was gained through creating an online publication called Girlfriend Gazette.
4) Please tell us a little bit about the magazine staff. How do you come up with and delegate material?
(MM) I’m so glad you asked about the Vibrant Girl team! I’m so grateful for each person who makes the magazine possible. It’s seriously so humbling and exciting to see a group of people catching the vision and using their gifts for the Kingdom.
My older sisters normally help me brainstorm ideas for each new magazine. It’s just so much easier for me if I have someone to bounce ideas off of. We start by choosing the issue’s core topic. We put a lot of prayer into choosing these topics…and it’s cool to see how God directs this.
Along with the core topic, each issue is full of short stories, craft tutorials and more. In the brainstorming sessions, we generally come up with an outline and delegate assignments to other team members. We also use quite a few guest contributors every issue, just because it keeps things fresh and interesting 🙂 .
5) How many issues do you publish per year? Do you see that changing in the future?
(MM) Vibrant Girl is published quarterly. At the current time, I don’t have plans to change that… but there’s always room for changes and growth 🙂 .
6) Where do you see this magazine heading in the next few years?
(MM) Honestly, when people ask me where I see Vibrant Girl in a few years, I hardly know what to say. I have so many big ideas of practical ways we can better equip the women of tomorrow….even outside of just the magazine. But for now, they’re just ideas. And I don’t know where all they will take us. But, I want to grow to be more surrendered to God’s plans… no matter how overwhelming or insignificant they may seem to me.
Back to Briana…Thank you, Monica! It’s such a blessing to hear your dedication to God and His work. Thank you for letting God use you and the gifts He has given you through the production of this magazine.
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