The Start + how we met


I had waited for three months for this day… me + my best friend, Bethany, from Minnesota + my best friend, Mackenzie, from North Carolina all in one room surprising my dear friend Sarah. It was like those scenes in movies where everything is just sort of a blur.

To understand the whole effect of this moment let me take you back to August + how we met…

Sarah and I board a plane to Alabama to go to a photography retreat called Shine. All we have is a few phone numbers, an address, that when looked up on Google maps, doesn’t even exist, and a few facebook profiles. We’re not even sure who’s picking us up from the airport but all we do know is that we were meant to be there. Judging by how many obstacles we had to get through to go on this trip it was either a. Going to be a horrible trip filled with lots of tears or b. A beautiful adventure filled with Godly women + amazing conversations + staying up ‘till the wee hours in the morning. Thank goodness it was the latter.

So, we board the plane and we take off on this crazy adventure. We’re so excited about everything that’s happening and then we realize we’re speaking so loudly that the whole plane can hear our conversation. I’m surprised the flight attendant didn’t say something to us when handing out refreshments.

We land in Alabama and we text one of the girls that we’re here. She informs us that one of her friends will be picking us up and Sarah and I quickly do a little facebook stalking on her. 

Finally we find her friend and we’re off to coffee and then lunch. We head back to the airport to pick up the other girls and then to the unknown lake house in the woods. Sounds creepy right? Thank goodness it wasn’t!

We spent 4 days with 10 other girls (including Mackenzie & Bethany) and we know that we have made some amazing friendships once the retreat is over.

These weren’t your typical ‘summer camp’ friends. These were girls committed to building new relationships with Christ + friends + family. It was truly a beautiful sight.

We go home ready to take on the world and excited about all the possibilities God has to offer us. Then in September, Sarah, Mackenzie, & I get an email from Bethany. She want’s to know if we’re interested in helping her create a magazine for young, Christian, entrepreneurial women.

My first reaction… Jump up and down + call Bethany to tell her YES! (I’m pretty sure that was Mackenzie & Sarah’s reaction, too)

We’re so excited! We start planning the launch, figuring out our vision, deciding on a design for the website, and all the fun little things that come with starting a new venture.

Then I get a message from Sarah’s sweet mother, Danae.

“Hey, Ciera! Was just wondering if could contact the girls for me and let them know I’m planning a surprise party for Sarah in November. I know it’s kind of a far reach but it doesn’t hurt to ask!”

My automatic response- YES! That would be completely amazing! I message the girls and it turns out none of them are available except Bethany. But, she’s determined to come and with lots of hard work & effort + getting ahead in schoolwork + begging her mom she’s finally able to purchase a ticket to fly down! Woohoo!

Then the Tuesday before Sarah’s party I get a call from Mackenzie and she’s now able to come as well! Yay!

We get all the details worked out and Friday is finally here! Time to surprise Sarah! I’m literally sick to my stomach excited… It wasn’t butterflies, it was more like giant birds flying around. We had planned for Sarah to have two surprises. 1. The actual surprise party & 2. The girls from out of state. So we had them hide until just the right time and then… SURPRISE! Like I said, I had waited for this day for 3 months and it was finally here! Sarah being her normal self is so caught off guard and is crying + falling over chairs + screaming with excitement. It was quite a sight.

I’m so thankful that Bethany & Mackenzie were able to fly down for the weekend! It was so perfect! We could plan out Shine & Soar better plus we sneaked in a little photo shoot for our intro issue cover!!

It baffles my mind to think how Christ intricately timed the right moment when we were all supposed to meet + embark on this crazy, God filled journey. I’m still so in awe of how we met and became lifelong friends. We are just a bunch of ordinary girls serving an extraordinary God. We can't wait to see what the future has in store for us, together.

Ciera Chante

Intro Issue Launched

Our intro issue is live! Check it out + leave some love! Here is the link to the brand new into issue!!

 The Shine & Soar Team

The Beginning

We're SO excited. One, it's New Year's Eve, and two, it's launch day of this gorgeous baby! We hope you love it as much as we do. Much more is coming as we start blogging a couple of days a week and start full force on our Spring Issue! Wooohoo for new beginnings!

Happy 2013 y'all!