As I continue to write and learn about the thoughts of many women, what we go through and how each of us have had our different battles, I have learned so much about the amazing women that are working towards helping other self-love too.
I came across Julia Ford-Carther’s site a couple months ago and let just put it this way, I had to meet Julia. I had to learn more about her site. After taking the time to talk to Julia, I learned so much. She is such an amazing person who was a breath of fresh air to talk to. I really enjoyed the fact that she wants to help other women just as much as I do.
I not only had the chance to speak with Julia but it was also a great opportunity for me to interview Julia because I thought it would be great to share her story!
1). First off I love your site! Can you tell me a little more about it? When did you start it, how did you choose the name of it?
Aw, thanks so much for the kind words! The backstory is… I started a dating & relationship blog in August of 2012, which would become the precursor to The Self-Love Formula. (As an aside, getting that first site up was a fairly substantial life step for me. I went through all the requisite pangs of self-doubt (“Will anyone read this?”, “Who am I to have a voice?”, “What if no one likes my writing?”). I stalled for about six months before actually going live with the site, but once I did, it became easier to publish with each post.)
Toward the end of 2014, after feeling stuck in my blogging practice for months and sensing that something was missing, I had a brainstorming sesh with a friend and decided to expand and rebrand, and debuted The Self-Love Formula in February 2015. What was missing for me prior to the SLF was coverage of other lifestyle topics that I thought were significant to my overall mission, which, in a nutshell, is to make young women feel better about themselves and life through media. The longer version that “SLF provides relevant, invigorating, thought-provoking positive content for young women that’s fun and entertaining, and cultivates a stronger sense of self-worth, self-respect, and self-love in all areas of life.”
2). What is your ultimate goal for this site?
With my company, SLF Media (pronounced “Self Media”), my ultimate goal is to lead a massive self-love social movement that’s engaged and modernized. This includes creating a 360-degree media platform that is THE destination for young women for all of their digital content, from news to life advice to satire. Think Elite Daily meets Inside Amy Schumer.
This would also include shaping the conversations brands have with their female demographic. I aim to help co-create branded messages for companies who are championing this shift in empowerment awareness to deliver real and relevant representations of women’s issues, shifting social norms, and the modern-day female experience.
3.) Before you started the SLF, did you have a prior job and if so why did you decide to quit it and start SLF?
Sure did! I was developing SLF while holding down a 9-5 magazine editor role AND freelance writing. By last summer, I had one foot in my purpose and one foot out, miserable about the fact that I wasn’t all-in on my purpose. I knew I couldn’t half-ass my way to the success I wanted with the SLF.
Additionally, the stress of managing multiple jobs AND not being aligned with who and what I was meant to be doing was weighing so heavily on me that my hair had started to fall out. Eep! Sometimes, things need to get painfully obvious before we start to take our desires seriously and make the necessary changes.
So I set a date, stuck to it and quit my job, and the rest, as they say…
4.) If you could give advice to any women out there, what would it be?
No matter what field or opportunity your’e pursuing, you have to be really familiar and obsessed with your WHY. Why are you starting this? Who are you serving? Are you filling a void? What pain point are you solving for others? I say this because your passion will be the catalyst that sees you through the initial stages of starting any venture, but it’s your PURPOSE behind it that will carry you through any boredom you encounter, times of feeling stuck, and falling out of love with the work that has to go into making your idea come to life — and that will happen.
Also know that, while it seems like (and sometimes there are) a million and one people out there who have already done what you want to do, there exists absolutely no one out there who has had the same exact life experiences, the same thoughts, the same purpose and mission, all being explored through your personal lens. That inherently makes your approach unique. Play that up as much as possible.
5.) As a professional women, what is the biggest criticism you have been given and how did you overcome it?
Great question. I’m not sure I’ve ever received criticism blatantly directed at me as a woman (if I did, clearly it didn’t stick!). What would happen often, is that I would be subjected to the acceptance of general sexism and sexual objectification in a publishing world that Photoshopped to “perfection” and served as a constant reminder that women should endure an endless struggle to be viewed as socially accepted or attractive.
My answer was to stick to my guns and work towards creating the solution to this problem. My first step is The Self-Love Formula.
6.) Throughout our lives we have all had different role models depending on our transitions or what we are going through, who has been a consistent role model for you?
The usual greats for sure: DVF for living out loud; Oprah for knowing who she was and living accordingly… But personally, my the woman I was named after (a dear friend of my mother’s) was always a beacon for me. She’s no longer with us, but my childhood self always remembered her as a radical of sorts, an artist who lived how she wanted and didn’t mind the opinions of others—at least not enough to let them stand in her way. I admired that. She was also whip smart and hilarious—not bad qualities to have.
7.) When I need some uplifting motivation or a reminder to push through, I look for quotes for inspiration, what is your go to quote when you need inspiration?
Just recently came across this from Ernest Hemingway and it felt very apropos: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self.”
8.) What is your go to song when you need some to get ‘pumped up’?
Haha, this is a good one. Hmm… so many. And Spotify is so good at finding new jams I like. “Hold Back The River” by James Bay will usually get me out of my seat at any moment.
Check out my Q&A on Julia’s site here.