Good morning, friends! It’s that time of the week where we feature a woman who living a life beautifully for Christ! These features have been a blessing to my own heart. They have challenged me to be faithful with the gifts God has given me and to crave His Word more than anything in this world. Today I want you to meet Yuris Yoon, artist, designer, and entrepreneur. I know you will be blessed by her story and her beautiful artwork! Grab a cup of coffee and meet Yuris!
Introduce yourself like we are having a cup of coffee together. 🙂 What kind of coffee/tea would you drink?
I’m afraid I don’t drink coffee at all but am a lover of tea! Now that the holiday season is drawing near though, let’s have some dark (gotta be dark) hot chocolate topped with whipped cream!
My name is Yuris and I am a graphic designer turned small business owner. I brainstorm, design, execute, produce, photograph, advertise, and sell paper goods—all in my cozy home office. It’s a one woman show! My husband, Elias, helps a ton in the finance department, and I’m so thankful for that. Math was never my strength growing up… He was actually the one who pushed me to start this business soon after we got married last year, and he still is the biggest supporter and critic. He keeps me grounded and lets me know when I begin to stray away from the biggest goal of this whole thing: glorifying God. Salt Stains will be exactly one year old this December!
What is your definition of a “life lived beautifully”?
The word “submission” comes to mind. It’s such an unpopular word today, but it’s something Jesus himself modeled for us. I once was such an ambitious person who lusted after success and status, and God had to break me into submission. It really took so long for me to wave the white flag and accept that my life is not my own. My dreams are not my own. As John the Baptist said when all of his disciples were leaving him for Jesus, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from
heaven.” (John 3:27) I still have dreams and ambitions of course, but with a different motivation. My prayer is that my life will be one of submission and humility, a willing vessel God can use for His kingdom.
When did you start following Jesus?
Although I was raised in a Christian home, I never proactively sought Jesus until college. Or rather, He drew me to Himself—God used Elias in a huge way in this process. Elias was really the first person to tell me the importance of studying Scripture as a Christian (this is right about when we started dating). It was a slow start, but things started making sense. Then it all happened very fast. I had never felt such zeal for knowledge and wisdom of Scripture, and I read through the entire bible twice during college. That molded the way I viewed life throughout college and planted the desire in my heart to reach out to others through my work.
What are some verses you constantly cling to and bring life to your soul?
My constant prayer and desire:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple”. Psalm 27:4
Finding peace in placing my work in the Lord’s hands:
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:3
In times of temptation and struggle:
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
When I meet those who don’t know Christ yet (especially through Salt Stains):
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Colossians 4:5-6
The “hope” that we have is not a mere wish or a possibility, it’s an assurance through faith, something that dictates how we live our lives:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:1-3
Lastly, a verse Elias reminds me of often when I feel deeply discouraged:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
How do you integrate sharing the Gospel with creativity?
Most of the prints in the shop are directly drawn from Scripture, and some are quoted from my favorite hymns. And then there are greeting cards that aren’t necessarily biblical, and there are custom prints I make mostly for married couples (Vow Print & Bridal Bouquet Painting). I make it clear that this is a shop owned by a woman of faith who tries to uphold biblical beliefs and therefore desires to live out those qualities. I really put in the effort to express that in the “About” section of the shop, and my Instagram feed reflects that as well. I always have a healthy fear that I might compromise what God stands for in the face of money or success. Starting my day with Scripture reading helps clarify my mind. It informs my heart of the bigger picture and the purpose of this business before I start working.
How did God direct you to start Salt Stains?
Picture this: a fashionable woman running her own design firm in her flawless outfit and high heels, power-walking around her office with a cup of coffee in one hand and a Macbook Air in the other, occasionally glancing out her large window at a magnificent view. She wouldn’t marry until 30 at least, of course, not until she can buy a decent home for herself.
When I entered college, that was my vision and my only goal in life. I had always been competitive and took pride in my academic performance. But this was not God’s plan.
By the time I was a senior, God had become so important in my life. I yearned to proclaim the gospel through my work and nothing else seemed better. When I graduated, I got a job like most people my age. I got married soon after at 22 (turned 23 the following month) on a beautiful spring day. I worked as a designer for the first year but I hated it and everything I had to make seemed the same. I was never motivated and I honestly can say my performance was subpar. So I prayed and prayed, asking for direction. A part of my prayer was an option to stay home to raise my children (if and when it happens) while I continued to use my gift of creativity.
Turns out, my dream still was to run my own business. But my vision was no longer what would glorify me but God. After much prayer and encouragement from my loved ones, I took the chance and blindly dove into the scary world of running a small business. After about four months of research, phone calls, building inventory, and countless late nights, I finally had a little business of my own! God really took my immature dream and modified it to be a hundred times better.
What is the vision behind Salt Stains?
I decided to be a business owner who creates beautiful paper goods for others, to be the salt and light to whomever I encounter. I create these goods to encourage and serve fellow believers in places I’ve never been to. My constant inspiration is the Creator who was the very first artist. I pray that every customer I talk with sees love and kindness in me that reflect Jesus.
What are some books you are currently reading?
Books for the soul:
My husband and I just started going through “When Sinners Say I Do” by Dave Harvey with a few other married couples. I’m also reading “Drawing Near” by John MacArthur on my own.
Books for fun:
I’m trying to read “The Martian” by Andy Weir because I was such a fan of the movie. Elias is an aerospace engineer (and his father is an astrophysicist), so he’s always been crazy about space movies. He’s such a geek and he’s turned me into one now too. Also, this is embarrassing, but I picked up “The Fellowship of the Ring” from “The Lord of the Rings” series months ago and just can’t seem to finish it! But love the movies.
If you could tell every woman reading this blog one thing God has laid on your heart, what would it be?
There is so much strength and power behind every woman that pines after Scripture and its Truth. Doesn’t the world love to talk about strong women? But without the fear of the Lord and the proper knowledge of God (theology), there is no lasting power. At the end of the day (or the world), nothing else will save us. We as believing women have the power to act as godly women that use our gifts for the kingdom, godly wives who support and serve our husbands willingly, godly mothers who raise the next generation in love and discipline, and godly sisters who share the wisdom in words and deeds. And most importantly, we have the power to speak the Truth of the Gospel to the lost. Sisters, I have seen strength in women that submit to Christ every day that is incomparable to that of women who put all their worth in themselves. Strength and beauty is in submitting to what is holy, not rebelling against it. We are here only for a little while to dedicate everything to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Our definition of a “strong beautiful woman” must be different than the world’s. I hope we will all desire to be strong and beautiful women in God’s eyes.
My prayer goes out to each and every one of you and PLEASE don’t hesitate to drop me a line!
Salt Stains website: www.saltstains.com
Salt Stains email: firstname.lastname@example.org