At The Free Woman, we love learning more about women and organisations that are doing good in the world. Let us introduce you to the Forget Me Knots and its Founder, Tayllor Lemphers. Tayllor is also a regular and much loved contributor to TFW.
Forget Me Knots is truly a catalyst for causing women to live their truest identities, so that we can live beyond ourselves. We handcraft bow-shaped rings made of precious metal, but we are far more than a jewellery company.
We believe there is something significant in wearing a bow on your finger; people used to tie string around their finger in the shape of a bow to remind them of something important whenever they saw it. Well, what’s more important than remembering who you really are? We recognize that in this world, with so many conflicting messages instructing you on your identity, we desperately need to be reminded of the truth.
Our society loves self-empowerment, but we are adamant that it doesn’t stop there. We are to live empowered so that we can be free to empower others! That’s why we sell our knots in pairs. With each purchase, you receive two knots and two Identity Cards. On one card is the phrase “I AM __________,” where you write one truth you need to remind yourself of, and on the other is “YOU ARE _____________,” where you write down one truth about your friend. You then give away the second ring and that card to a significant woman in your life.
Every woman needs to be reminded of her true identity: she is created by God with purpose, intrinsic value, beauty, and a calling. Nothing she has ever done or failed to do, nor anything anyone has done or failed to do to her alters her identity. Who she is at the core of her being is untouchable by people or circumstance.
It is our heart that women will not only take hold of their own identities as a result of FMKS, but that in turn they will rise up to change their world around them!
After one of the most challenging years of my life, I went to live with one of my best friends in South Africa. Through the previous months, I grappled with the reality that I had always run from my pain and my past, instead of facing it – not a fun realization!
While living there we went to church where my life completely changed. The pastor spoke these words I so desperately needed to hear:
“No person or circumstance can dictate your identity or destiny.”
It was in this moment I realized just how much I had let other people and things that happened to me to shape how I viewed myself. It was incredibly freeing, and yet I felt so lost. What do you do when everything you once based your identity on is stripped away? I turned to God, and heard, “Let Me show you who you are.” This marked the beginning of my journey of identity, and the beginning of Forget Me Knots!
From that I made the first ring (having never made jewelry before) and He gave me the name, Forget Me Knots. It’s funny to me now, but at the time I didn’t see the story behind FMKS. I thought it was a cool idea, but left it alone and forgot about it for six months. After months of seeing how those words that were spoken to me in South Africa began to change my life once I came home, I began to see what was right in front of me. My story was the story of Forget Me Knots, and no doubt the stories of many other women! This is when I seriously began to consider that FMKS could become something. Now, I am convinced of the message, and I cannot help but share it with others!
You know, I’m really just starting to grow into myself and actually know what inspires me! For the longest time I was never my own advocate, so I let myself be silenced and belittled by others, losing my voice and flavor in the process.
As I’m becoming more aware of myself, I see a variety of things inspire me: I love reading children’s books!
I am incredibly attuned to aesthetics and delight… Whether it is climbing a mountain (just climbed Mt. Baldy near Los Angeles, fabulous view!), water color painting, hearing the stories of other people, putting together outfits within my capsule wardrobe, eating an incredible meal or driving with the windows down, these are all things that feed my soul, and thus inspire me!
Has there been a highlight or particular story so far that stands out to you from the FMKS?
Every single person and circumstance that has led me to this place: the incredible jeweler from Northern California who taught me how to make quality product, the graphic designer/photographer/web designer who I met at a concert, a good friend who randomly gave me $100 to buy wire.
Honestly, FMKS has humbled me incredibly, because as I look back over this two-year journey in the making, I can say that I never did it alone. It’s these people who matter. I saw God provide someone in every area of weakness who caught the vision and generously helped me for free! It has been miracle after miracle. That’s what I have to hang onto, as I face an uncertain future: obviously I am meant to do this, and God will make the impossible possible!
What is your hope for the FMKS?
Ah, the goal and vision question! Well, I cannot wait to have a physical office space (my bedroom the size of a peanut is great, but not quite cutting it long-term), and to hire an incredible team! My first love has always been to write, speak, and engage through story. I see FMKS growing to be a platform for travel, writing a book, have a TED talk (oh yes!), speaking at conferences, in schools, and to directly engage with women to live their truest identities. I see an expanded product line (I have so many sketches of new product!), and FMKS growing to reach an international audience.
YAY! This is my favorite part: you lovely ladies! You are why I started FMKS, because of your stories!
One of the things I want to see with FMKS is to see you all sharing your stories through the brand. Once you write down your words on your Identity Cards, snap a picture and share it using the hashtags #WearWorthy and #ForgetMeKnots, along with your story! We want to feature you on our [Instagram and website], so that your story doesn’t just stay between you and one friend, but can inspire women around the world!
The great things is, living your truest identity doesn’t stop with a ring. It is our hope that these little bows can be catalysts to transform way that you view yourself and live your life, so you can live beyond yourself. The language we use in our self-talk will spill into the language we use with other women. I think that after a while, you won’t need your Identity Card anymore to remind you of truth; your mind will transform.
Be patient and kind to yourself in this, as it is a process. I still struggle often with living out the truth! But whatever you do, keep on fighting the lies with your words of truth. They are powerful, and so are you!
– images provided by Tayllor Lemphers