What’s Up With Mormons and Design Blogs?

Images from Gemma Comas series I See Beauty In (Almost) Everything.

This post is a little off the usual faire you’ll find here, I hope you’ll indulge me.

Have you noticed that tons of design blogs are written by Mormons/former Mormons? What’s the deal with that? It’s sort of a hush-hush topic I hear whispered about at blogging conferences.

As a Mormon myself, I think about this from time to time and I get asked about it a lot. There are a few theories I’ve heard. Emily of Design Star wrote about it here. She thinks her creativity came from having limited resources in a big family. From having to shop at thrift stores and ingeniously remake the purchases, not because it was cool, but because that’s what they could afford. So featuring clever DIYs on a design blog is second nature for Mormons. No doubt there’s something to this idea.

My sister has her own theory. She feels like there are a lot of talented, educated Mormon women who grew up assuming motherhood would be the end all be all of their existence. Then they found, once they became mothers, that they had capacity for projects and ideas in addition to and beyond motherhood. And design blogs are an easy outlet for all the creative energy. I’m sure there’s something to this theory too.

Personally, I feel like the graphic design program at BYU (a Mormon university) has something to do with it. It’s an excellent program and places graduates at all the best firms, where they’re in contact with the most creative people in the field. This ensures that Mormons are thoroughly connected in the professional design community. And graphic design is one of those careers that you can step in and out of as a mother, and translates easily to a design blog.

The other day, I thought of another connection. Mormons have 13 articles of faith (short statements that describe our beliefs). The 13th one says: “…If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” Which, umm, seems like exactly what a design/lifestyle blog is. In the case of Design Mom, I never had the 13th Article of Faith in mind, but I have tried to create a space where I could share every lovely and praiseworthy thing I come across. I wonder if everyone raised as a Mormon has this admonition to seek-out-pretty stamped on our brains.

An admonishment to keep an eye out for beauty is a lovely sentiment to be raised with, and easily adopted by anyone — religious or not. I hope I’m raising my own kids with the same sentiment. My religion is far from perfect — there are aspects of it that drive me bonkers. But I particularly love this part of it.

What’s your take? Have you noticed the Mormon Design Blogs? Or been curious about them? Have any related theories? I wonder if anyone has attempted to compile a list…

P.S. — Religion-related topics, even ones as silly as this one, can be quite sensitive, so please play nice if you decide to comment.

294 thoughts on “What’s Up With Mormons and Design Blogs?”

  1. the irony is that while we seek after the lovely and praiseworthy, sometimes design blogs can focus on the completely frivolous, which goes against the whole prudence and industry ideal. “You MUST get this $400 diaper bag! It is so chic.”

    And while I disagree with the BYU suggestion, I think that the network created (and endorsed) within the Provo-born bloggers has amplified the notoriety of many Mormon bloggers.

  2. How funny- just yesterday while looking over a new design blog that caught my eye, I noticed a little remark somewhere that tipped me off to the fact that the writer was a Morman. I realized that, in fact, a LOT of the blogs I read are written my Mormans. Hadn’t thought about it before. I had to click on the link when I saw the title of your post.

  3. I am not Mormon (nor particularly religious) but a few years ago I did find that I was drawn to reading blogs that happened to be written by Mormom ladies.

    I found it so interesting that so many of the women were insanely creative, dedicated to their families, very happy and young mothers. As the only person in my peer group and neighbourhood to choose to start a family at 24 it was nice to see that other people were doing it too. And they were happy about it. It was also nice to come across “mommy blogs” that didn’t find the authors complaining about their day to day life on an ongoing basis.

    So I say…keep at it Mormom ladies. Your blogs are among my very favourite!

    1. So true, Jan! Mormons are a great group to stumble into if you find yourself a mother in your early 20’s. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. : )

  4. I have noticed that a lot of my favorite blogs are written by Mormon women and I have wondered about why. I’m a Christian (non-denominational now but raised Baptist) design/lifestyle blogger also and I feel like I share these same reasons for blogging the way I do. I have a feeling that a lot of the great design/lifestyle/mom blogs out there are written by Christian women of all denominations for the same reasons you mentioned (wholesome, beauty-seeking, family-focused, creative because of a tight connection to the Creator…). I would add to the theories that Mormon women seem to be a little more outward about their denominational association, and wear it proudly on their blogs like a badge. (Not saying that’s a bad thing, but it may be why it’s more prominent and apparent.)

  5. As a non-Mormon I was curious when I first discovered all these great blogs and the fact that so many of them were created by Mormons. I definitely identify with Ella’s comment about feeling bogged down sometimes with all the pretty ‘stuff’. I like it when I get inspiration on how to improve my home and myself, but sometimes I need a break from the design blogs because I start feeling like things are never good enough and that I need more stuff. It’s definitely been a balancing act for me. My impression is that a design blog is a compatible creative outlet for stay at home moms and a lot of Mormons are stay at home moms. I also think that most of the Mormon design blogs I read do a really good job of being inclusive of non-Mormons who read their blogs and not being in-your-face with their faith. Such an interesting topic. I’m really glad you brought it up!

  6. I think it’s a confluence of a few things: Current culture, with the abundant access to less expensive but beautiful and/or stylish goods (we can all shop at Target and TJ Maxx!), mixing with Mormon Culture — where a crafty/make-do attitude with a little actual LDS doctrine results in people who have pretty blogs, sunny attitudes, and good looking families. I think it’s great, and blogging has been an important creative outlet for a lot of people, especially moms, I think, and obviously not just mormons. I find the interest in blogs by mormon women fascinating, and it’s fun to see the publicity and read the comments. That said, I also have some mixed feelings about it because we (Mormons) don’t all have pretty blogs, don’t all have sunny attitudes and some of us have ugly families (but still loved!) and so I hope that people realize that our Faith is not simply about having a good, lovely life that we post on our good, lovely blogs.
    I do love and appreciate your blog and many others. And it’s nice to have so many spaces on the web that celebrate the creative and the beautiful.

  7. I have to admit I’ve never paid attention. I mean, I’ve read in few posts that you, Gabrielle, are Mormon, but since the religion is one of the last of my interests, this information was forgotten just after reading it (but maybe you’re right, I should pay more attention, maybe there are connections): the point is I’m more focused on people, as they talk, act (write), what they do. What fascinates me of you and of this blog is that you show beautiful things in a simple and spontaneous way; that there is always positivity in your posts, a positivity that inspires to look on the sunny side of things; and that you always have a nice word for everybody. And the definition “I post on where design and motherhood intersect.” is perfect for this blog: a forthcoming mum, and a inspirational designer.
    Apart from this… is Maude the author of the comment #34? :)

  8. As a believing Mormon, it concerns me a little bit that the design blog/Mormon trend might give the impression that Mormons are, as a group, very appearance oriented. I agree that the 13th Article of Faith applies to making our homes and families lovely, but it isn’t only that — seeking after things that are of good report and praiseworthy means much more to me than only sewing or thrifting. Blogs by their nature are visual, and I enjoy a good design blog as much as anyone, but there is much more to life than what it looks like, and if we’re going to talk about faith, I hope we’re thinking more deeply than only what’s on the surface.

    That being said, I find design mom less surface-y than many design blogs, and I appreciate you letting your family and beliefs cross over into the design elements. Makes it much more readable for the average mom.

  9. Hi, I have no idea about your faith, and the other blogs i read talk about their church, but never think about it. I’m catholic and love your blog and i’m happy, you like community can have this great ideas. I apreciate and hope you can keep this good ideas. Thanks for share.

  10. I ran across my first blog about 3 years ago & was INSPIRED… I began following the blog everyday and eventually started reading more blogs. I couldn’t get over how AMAZING these women were. They made everything special for their children… I wanted to be just like them! I couldn’t believe I never thought to turn my kid’s milk green on St. Patrick’s Day or make heart shaped pancakes on Valentine’s Day. I was so wrapped up in my work & life that I forgot the little things.

    I immediately noticed that all the bloggers I was following were Mormons because they incorporated that in their blogs. I am from Arkansas & Mormons are not very common here. I was so inspired by their blogs that I started researching this religion and even requested a “BOOK OF MORMON” I haven’t converted but I have made LOTS of wonderful friends & I respect the religion. I LOVE how Mormons focus on family and home! I made it a priority focus more on my family and home and less on other things.. Of course I blog every minute of it too!

  11. First I want to thank youf or being such a great example to the rest of the world of what a Mormon woman can be, talented, fun, joyous, and did I say talented?!

    I think this phenomenon is not particular to design blog. I think there are many Mormons blogging on all different fronts. Well, food and design and mommy blog I know for sure. Tech stuff I wouldn’t know because I don’t read tech blogs, but maybe.

  12. and other thing, I forgot before the english in not my first language and you don’t know how much time have no idea about what’s the meaning of DIY, but oow read this LDS, what is that?. First, think i will read LSD, but no my mistake. Someone.

    1. Caru,

      LDS is short for “Latter-Day Saints” which is short for “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” aka mormons. :)

      And Gabrielle, thanks for the bonkers comment. Made my day to know that someone out there maybe shares the same sentiments as I. :)

      1. Mom in Mendon

        And DIY means Do It Yourself. It refers to a project you can make yourself. ( I liked reading your comments, Caru. What is your home country?)

  13. Thanks so much for posting this! Being a new mom, I relate with Jordan’s theory. I’m just glad there are so many people to connect with out there that are in similar situations!

  14. I’m so glad you addressed this topic — I’ve really been struck by how many of the blogs I follow are written by Mormons. This explains a lot.

  15. I did notice and was sort of suprised at first. I sew and knit and many of those blogs are also written by Mormon moms. I grew up with lots of Mormon friends so was familiar with the religion but didn’t know anything about the tie to design until my bog reader filled up with great blogs written by Mormons. I even commented on it to some fellow mom friends and they had no idea what I was talking about. ;)

  16. I read an article in the Guardian about Jesca Hoop and couldn’t help but make a connection with what you brought up about mormons and design/creativity.

    Ms. Hoop is no longer with the Mormon church, but the excerpted piece below is what made me make the connection.

    “Mormons, she says, are offered a life plan, in the shape of the “patriarchal blessing” received at the age of 12. Hoop’s own blessing, she giggles, presaged disaster; her mother’s, however, indicated that “her voice would be heard around the world”. Before his death a few months ago, Hoop’s father told her: “‘I think your mother’s blessing is being lived out through you.’ They’re firm believers in this,” she says, tears smudging her eyes. “I just thought: what a tender thing for my dad to say.””

    Speaking for myself, I feel that a life of, or one simply with faith, keeps helping me see the gifts we are given daily. Sometimes I have so much gratitude for seeing such beautiful things around that it makes me get back to drawing, or making stories and/or crafts with my kids, because it’s all so worth sharing.

    By the way, I think your blog is fantastic and you’re living out a magical adventure that would just stay between bindings for most. All the best to you and your gorgeous family!

  17. As a Mormon, mother, housewife, part-time paid employee, non-BYU-student, definitely NO artistic background (I was a math/stats major with no right brain), mother, and blogger (although not design), I’m not sure what draws us all to it. I think the journaling has a lot to it. I totally agree with the 13th Article of Faith reference (and love it as my patriarchal blessing refers to it). I think families play an important role as far as inspiration for blogging in general. My blog started as an easy way to share pictures and thoughts with those not living close to me. So while you have the design talent to share, I had something else. Very interesting! It will make for good conversation in the car today at least!

  18. I am new to DM but I just assumed you were Catholic, with the hand full of children and all. I married a fallen Mormon but have spent oodles of time in Provo over the years. I didn’t know about the 13 card but it makes so much sense about the attention to detail I witnessed in so many Mormon homes.

    I love that you brought this up, it’s a gentle spin on a religious topic. Very nice.

  19. My theory: Wasn’t there a talk at general conference years ago about the power to spread the gospel through the internet, so a lot of people started getting blogs? At least that’s how I remember it. And I think all of the cool Mormon blogs about food,fashion, design, and travel came from artsy/creative mormon women that wanted to have a blog, but didn’t want it to be like those “seriously so blessed” family blogs. And also, I think a lot of mormons growing up really do DO a lot of crafty things for church activities and families seemed to get really into holiday/seasonal decorations. Inspired by their childhood, the clever/creative/artsy type Mormons started blogs and actually made their decorations more like art and less sisterwive-scrapbooky. And then everyone networked, because Mormons love to network (as do other religions/sects). AND now it’s been a few years and people prefer to read about DIY and ranunculus and see pictures of coffee (or hot chocolate or maybe some of you say it’s hot chocolate, because your in-laws read your blog) with hearts in foam,so when Mormons start blogs now they are a mix of A Cup of Oh Happy Rockstar.

  20. Yes! I have totally noticed and wondered about this trend myself! I can’t count how many times I’ve come across a blog and been like, “wow, love this blog!” and then two seconds later, “hey, they’re Mormon too!” I think you’re right on with your hypotheses, and the first commenter has a good point about connections too. Blogs are all about social media, so we Mormons already know each other and tend to promote each other without even meaning to necessarily. Fun post, thanks:)

  21. Gabrielle,
    I have to admit, I’ve wondered the SAME thing! And have mentioned it to other friends and family before.

    I thought perhaps it was just because I’ve kept my circle of blogs on my reader tight but from your experience it seems like more than that.

    I thought I’d add that when I’m reading Mormon blogs I’ve taken note of everyday life and family photos. To me, I’ve definitely noticed the difference between how Mormons dress compared to how people dress around me. They seem to care about what they wear and take the time to look cute! I don’t find that often where I live. When I try to look stylish I usually feel like the odd man out.

    That mindset would lend itself to wanting your home to look nice and being interested in beauty and design. Perhaps a cultural thing?

    Makes me wish I had more Mormon friends;)

  22. it’s so funny that you mention this-when i was a marketing manager at a little women’s shoe brand and started identifying potential bloggers to work with i realized that so many of them were LDS. And because I was as well, I was finding all kinds of connections to them. My bosses were convinced that there was some kind of Mormon Mafia at work out there ; )
    I like Jordan’s theory and think it is dead on.

  23. I have also noticed this—so many of the blogs I love most are written by Mormon women. I think the design blog/Mormon tie might have something to do with the emphasis on missionary work and evangelizing in the Mormon religion. I can’t think of another religion that focuses on mission trips like Mormonism does (although I could certainly be wrong about that). I think in some ways, the blogs are an extension of the urge to evangelize. Your blogs are showing us these joyful, beautiful lives full of love and wonderful moments! And certainly, reading your blog makes me want to live a life more like you, one with more joy, more beauty and more love. I won’t ever have kids but when I see your big happy family it looks incredibly appealing! And I think that’s a real accomplishment and one that speaks highly of you and your religion.

    I also think that the blogs I read from Mormon women show, without exception, really content women. And that seems like a huge contrast to so many other blogs written by people who constantly want more/better and are tired with many aspects of their lives. That is obviously a real simplification and I’m definitely not saying that there aren’t a ton of amazing blogs written by non-Mormons—this is just my gut reaction to your question.

    1. A very interesting idea, Kate. I think you are absolutely right that blogs written by Mormons potentially give a good (or bad) impression about Mormons to the blog readers.

      Of course, I know that in my case, when I started this blog I had no idea there were going to be any readers beyond my Mom and sisters. So I definitely didn’t think of it as an evangelizing tool. Although, I’m sure there are Mormons who do think of their blogs this way (at least partially) when they start them.

  24. I agree with all of those theories! I am surprised every time I find out someone’s Mormon. Most of the time I’ve been following them for ages already, and then I see some picture of “I Am a Child of God” in their kids’ room, or they have a post titled Popcorn Popping and then I do a little investigating and they are! I think it’s fun all the way around and I’m so glad those women are doing something they enjoy!

  25. hannah anderson

    JUST mentioned this phenomena to my husband this last week – we’re evangelical Christians. Your answers provide a lot of insight but what about this added thought from an outsider:

    For a significant part of their history, the LSD have been pretty counter-cultural (new revelation, forced pioneering westward, etc.) They seem to be swimming up stream against the typical from the beginning. Do you think this creates a culture that allows for and actually engages more creative thinking and productivity? Does the Mormon history of “having to make your own place in the world” translate into today’s “can-do” attitude that blossoms into entrepreneurial, creative enterprises like design blogs run by moms? In some sense, what you’re all doing is pioneering work.

  26. I also read all the sisters blogs and found them all as they are all linked!
    For a while there I was getting really down that all these young, talented ladies were super creative and stylish and on top of that already married and had many children (and here I am in my 30’s feeling hopeless trying to make this happen) – and then I realized you’re all Mormon… and thats normal for all of you!
    so I can now get on with my own life and creativity and blogging on my time!

  27. I really enjoyed reading your take on this phenomenon. Thanks to the
    other commenters as well. I recently completed my masters thesis about
    nesting practices of Mormon women and some of the ideas expressed in
    this post really connect well with the research and analysis I have
    done. In addition to the interesting theories here, I believe that the
    LDS doctrine of creation is especially meaningful to women who have
    the opportunity to create life through pregnancy, adoption, and
    motherhood in general. We Mormons believe that the desire to create is
    divinely appointed, so creating lovely goodness in our lives and
    families is not only an outlet for the creative soul but also a
    manifestation of godliness. I also think that the emphasis on our
    unlimited potential helps us accentuate the positive and beautiful in
    our own lives (as we portray them through blogging) and in the world
    at large.

    All good-intentions in mind, another source of all this crafty DIY
    goodness is sometimes plain boredom! Domesticity includes hard and repetitive work. If I am feeling bummed, one quick fix is the pleasure of making something pretty with my own hands. A lot of daily living is meaningful in its mundane-ness (perhaps more than we usually appreciate), but it is sure fun to spice things up with a celebration or project or art that helps remind us that life is more than the sum of our meals made and dishes done.

    Thanks for being a fabulous blogger!

    1. Nancy – thanks so much for your comments!

      I would luv luv luv to hear more about your thesis…I’ve been working on an interior painting series about motherhood, women, teaching & learning together in the gathering places within the home, etc. While away for spring break, my husband and I spent time with some of our classmates from architecture school (3 of which were my roomies while on study abroad). We still have so very much in common in our dreams and goals, but I also realized that I don’t have the same professional drive I used to share with them. (I teach a little on the side, but am a SAHM to 3 full-time). My husband’s response was, “It’s ok, you’re just in the ‘nesting stage’ right now, thats all.”

      His comment helped me generate more energy and understanding into my motherhood and creative work, and I would luv luv to hear more from you!

      Gabrielle – as always, the perfect spokesperson for a curious topic!

  28. Gabrielle, what I love most about Mormon mommy/design/lifestyle blogs is that they show that we are, by and large, happy people. And we find joy in what we’re doing, whether it’s motherhood, design, etc.–or a combination of those things. I find so much joy and inspiration from reading about other women who have the same beliefs and the same struggles that I do, and seeing how they are making the best out of their lives and their capabilities. There are so many great things/tips/tricks/ideas that I’ve gleaned from reading these blogs! I feel like I’m a better wife, mother, and believer than I would be otherwise–I always enjoy it so much when someone DOES mention that they’re a Mormon and shares a little testimony snippet, even just in passing (I often think, oh, no wonder I thought you were so neat! :-)

  29. Really interesting topic. I agree with all of the guesses stated.

    It got me thinking: I am Mormon and have a blog, why do I blog? I am as good as case study as any. (Just so there is no misunderstanding my blog is not professional or fancy.)

    I guess I’d have to agree with Jordan’s point: I am an educated woman (BYU History major, English minor) who has chosen to stay home and raise my children. I use my blog as an outlet. As a way of saying to the world, “Although I prize my role and wife and mother, I am more than that. I am an interesting and interested. I have diverse pursuits and dreams and hopes. My choice to stay at home in some ways limits my interactions and education. I write and read blogs to broaden these aspects of my life.”

    Gosh. Now I am thinking my blog should be a lot more highbrow than it is.

    1. I think Jordan’s theory resonates with so many women. I love that! But I laugh, because it didn’t resonate with me personally at all. I always assumed I’d be a mother, but didn’t give it much more thought than that — I had so many other passions I wanted to pursue.

      And now it turns out I have 6 kids and write about them for a living. Life is so odd!

  30. Rolling with laughter it is so funny true. Get this I’m “mormon” as in LDS and would still love to study design/art at BYU but I live in Africa and am an only child and only have one child of my own. My hubby gave me my blog for Christmas 2009 as my creativity was exploding our home, wow my talents have sure found direction and purpose through the blog. I did not know DM was Mormon- um well hello nice to meet you enjoying the French adventure in my reader each day. Well thats all from this Mormon Mom born and bred in South Africa.

  31. This so interesting…because I am one of the many that have had this same conversation. Being a Mormon, I think I am naturally drawn to others who are as well, but it has never been on purpose. There just seems to be a creative and positive feel to each and every one. I go to blogs that uplift me. And I do feel that so many large blogs are due to relation/featuring others. There is a definite connection with religion, and although it is never deliberate, it just IS. I also think it is largely due to social networking.

    But, although I love these Mormon lifestyle blogs because of such praiseworthy things, they tend to make me feel inadequate at times because I AM a member of the church and not at all in the same place in life. I work TWO jobs (my full-time management and my part-time photography.) while my husband is in grad school, and so I am not a SAHM. And I envy the time that well…everyone seems to have, even with 4-6 kids! And I swear, there seems to be a fairy-tale type theme in every one (like moving to France, heehee). And I know that is not reality because life is not perfect, but I still have to watch my {sinful jealousy} because such creativity is what is mostly portrayed. And in turn, this positive life seen online is why I think Mormon Mommy Blogs are so popular.

    1. eeek! That sounds so negative. I didn’t mean it too;) Obviously, I love this site and so many BECAUSE of the goodness and creativity that is shown.

  32. I’m glad you brought this up, because I have definitely noticed this, too, mentioned it to my husband, and in talking with one of my sister-in-laws, realized that she, too, had noticed that a lot of the sewing/craft blogs she reads are written by LDS women.

    I think it’s cool, because I grew up in North Dakota, where there seem to be very few Mormons. I grew up Lutheran (like many midwesterners!) and am now Congregational, but I completely appreciate “getting to know” you ladies, learning a bit about a part of religion that I had no clue about, and being inspired as a busy working mom (who is on super-bed rest working on cooking my baby rather than in her classroom as usual!)

    So yes, I’ve noticed (and think it would be a cool sociological study, too!) and have been immensely inspired….thank you!

    Michelle in Minnesota
    (PS I ordered a Lesley Evers dress after you posted about them–beautiful, except I have to wait to wear it because my baby bump doesn’t fit…and for the Mad Men talk…it was both my husband’s and Vinnie Kartheiser’s bdays yesterday…my husband was at the hospital with me–preventing pre-term labor–Vinnie was not!)

  33. I know, what IS up with mormon design blog, it is pretty much all I read! The ”do do do” theory of Emily struck me and I had read her entry already. It is inspiring to me to read about and see the beauty of things and especially of children, I have four little ones of my own and I need this. I do not know much about mormonism

  34. I’m so glad that you brought this up! I noticed the “trend” some time ago and wondered about it too. I figured the church and schools did a great job of teaching you all how to balance marriage, motherhood and career AND how to do it with impeccable class and style. I even searched for e-courses on BYU’s website looking for help and answers :)

  35. So interesting that you posted this today. I am not Mormon, I can’t claim any faith really, this morning I wished to myself that I had grown up Mormon so I could be as hip and successful as all of the Mormon design/lifestyle bloggers that I read daily. Obviously a terrible reason to wish that, and I don’t want to demean your faith in any way shape or form. But darn it you’re all so talented!

    The connection between being raised Mormon and the unending amounts of creativity was obvious to me. In my mind, Mormons = awesome design skills and high IQ’s (thanks to BYU’s great educational program).

    Though the question of why so many Mormon women chose to journal publicly rather than privately I was still confuesd on. I attributed the speed of their blog’s success to the large LDS network and support from the same, after that it was all just pure talent. I had done some research back when I first realized the Mormon connection and came across this article that gave me a bit of insight to my question about why most new Mormom bloggers chose to journal publicly rather than in a private journal.


    Elder M. Russell Ballard’s encouragement is working, and me and my appetite for reading, crafting, and all things design thank him.

    Thanks for sharing your blog, familiy, and faith with us Gabby, and for opening up this conversation to your readers.

    1. I don’t mean to say that all Mormon’s go to BYU. Just that all of the blogs that I follow that are written by Mormons current or Ex did attend BYU.

  36. I, like almost every other commenter, have wondered the exact same thing; not just about design/lifestyle blogs but about most blogs. In fact, I even googled it yesterday! Imagine my surprise when I looked at the title of your post. I thought you’d zoomed in on my brain waves. Anyway, after pondering this question for a while and doing a bit of googling, I think it as an extension of genealogy and then from scrapbooking – modern day journaling and documentation. It is the Mormons who keep exceptional genealogy records and who started the scrapbooking craze, right? Please tell me if this isn’t correct. I’ve also always assumed that blogging is a way for Mormons to advance their religion as it is each Mormons’ responsibility to “preach through work and deed.” With the focus on missions, it seems that the Mormon church is a proselyting church. Although almost invisible on most blogs, my guess has always been that this is the underlying motivation behind why soo many Mormons blog. Obviously I don’t really know since I’m not a Mormon.

    For me the bottom line is that the blogs (like this one!) are fantastic! Mormon, Jewish, Hindu or not, if the content is great I’ll thrilled!
    Thanks, btw, for bringing up this sorta awkward topic. Seems many of us have been wondering. Thanks for taking the risk to share – xo

    1. I personally started blogging in 2008, when Mitt Romney first ran for president (though I did not vote for him either time he ran, even though he is an admirable man, I just aligned better with others politically). At the time, the added media drew attention to all the misconceptions about my faith. Some of these were quite distressing! :) Well meaning people who just didn’t know where to look for real answers, so they believed all the mythological social explanations floated out there. :) I still have a hard time making my life so public, as I worry a bit about my kids/safety, but for me it is about showing people, rather than telling them (though I do that too sometimes) what we’re all about. My intent was not to convert but to help put content out there that gave people correct answers about my religion– basically to help correct all the misconceptions. Not sure if I’ve done that, but it has been a great creative outlet.

  37. This is interesting…I’ve seen a lot of design blogs by mormons, and lots by people of other faiths. It seems like a lot of the design blogs are by Christians, whether Mormon or otherwise. Blogging in general seems to be very heavily dominated by Mormons, actually. I imagine it’s because of many reasons…as a homemaker and stay at home mom it’s a way to connect with others and also keep a journal of my growing family. And as for design, as a homemaker I have become more interested in design, especially home design. So maybe that has something to do with it…It seems that there are many more Mormon women who choose to stay home than those of other religions or faiths.

    1. I don’t think it depends so much on religion. There are lots of women (myself included) that desire to only stay home and raise children (and be amazing a domestic and crafty). not mormon. and its not a reality for me and anyone I know if you live in an expensive city.

  38. Thank you for posting this! I’ve noticed this over the years and have been fascinated by the tie between amazingly creative design bloggers/moms and their Mormon faith. Not a Mormon myself, it has made me wonder what the Mormon community is doing to create all of these cool bloggers. So thanks for the insight into the ideas. We were friends with a Mormon family growing up, and even back then I was amazed at all of the cool things they would do: homemade donuts after a sleepover, Santa Claus-suited Christmas cookie deliveries … just the sort of fun stuff that seemed to make things extra special. I only started thinking about those things after reading these blogs.

  39. I didn’t read all the comments yet, but I think also the Mormon faith has such a strong emphasis on family and it follows naturally that having a strong and connected family means making a comfortable and attractive nest for them. I’m not Mormon, but I love the practice of Family Home Evenings and I’ve tried to institute that in my own Catholic family.

  40. I love this post, Gabby. So interesting. As a fellow BFA Graphic Design graduate from BYU, I have to agree with your insights on this blog phenomenon. Not everyone knows how incredible, (and intense, yikes!) and well-respected in the design community the BFA Design program at BYU is. We all owe a lot to Adrian and Linda.

    Personally, I blog more for the same reasons that your sister mentioned. I blog to maintain my own sense of myself. Even though I spend a lot of time nurturing my children and my husband, I don’t want to ever lose touch with all the other parts of me that make me unique and special. Creating (and blogging is an extension of that) feeds me, makes me happier, more joyful, and in turn, a better wife and mother.

    Also, I blog because sometimes I just want to share my favorite book/recipe/poster/song/typeface with the rest of the world. =)

    Thank you, thank you for your blog. You are a light and inspiration.

  41. As a Mormon Lifestyle blogger, I think your observations are cumulatively correct. There’s got to be a lot that goes into it for each individual. I personally hate to cook, but it’s how I was raised, so I do it anyway. The beautifying things, on a nickel, is totally a big-family-Mormon thing. I was shopping at D.I. when it was so embarrassing I wanted to die; now it’s a hipster spot for Provo.

    I like where this discussion is going actually, I think there’s a lot to it.

    1. I am really enjoying everybody’s observations.

      I have always assumed the creativity of my siblings came from creative parents, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt that we were a big family with limited resources — there definitely some Pretty In Pink prom dress moments.

  42. Being design-oriented is a way of modernizing motherhood. We are still doing the things our mothers did for us, but we are going to do it our way. The things our kids wear, the food we cook, everything can be an expression of who we are. It is a way of meshing what it modern and cutting edge with traditional homemaking.

  43. I’m so glad you addressed this topic! I had noticed an abundance of creative bloggers who identified themselves as Mormon. It’s interesting and fascinating to think about why that might be. I think it’s neat that so many hip, cool, chic moms are women of faith!

  44. I didn’t take the time to read all the previous responses, so apologies if anyone else already made this point. I started reading blogs in 2006, and began to notice a prevalence of Mormon bloggers. At first is seemed strange to me, but as I’ve read the writing of a lot of Mormon bloggers over the years I’ve noticed a trend. Mormon families and the LDS community generally seem to really support the creative interests of those in their family or community. I never see/hear anything to suggest that children are told, “Sure, dancing/singing/painting/acting/creative-outlet-of-choice, is fun but you need to find a career.” If there isn’t a premium put on creativity, it at the very least isn’t discouraged. I think that makes a difference, and I think it correlates to Mormon bloggers, perhaps especially the mom’s, expressing their creativity in the online world.

    1. “If there isn’t a premium put on creativity, it at the very least isn’t discouraged.”

      That has me thinking, Jessica. Very interesting take on the topic.

    2. This idea was exactly what I was thinking. I did lots of theater and dance when was younger, and it was not unusual for me to be surrounded by Mormons on stage (I grew up in Northern Colorado). Not only did many of these Mormon children seem to have much more parental support for their creative goals, the Mormon adults also seemed committed to having creative outlets in their own lives even if they had no intention of being a professional creative.

      I noticed this trend in deign blogs awhile ago but never wondered why. It just seemed like a natural extension of the way Mormons seem (to this outsider) to place a high value on creative pursuits in general.

  45. The church (people and what they do) is not perfect, you are right about that. However, the gospel is. There is a difference between the two.

    1. I should have phrased this as a question to you. Does the religion(principles and values) drive you bonkers, or rather some of the people and their behaviors?

        1. I found this post intriguing, as I’d noticed the trend, but hadn’t really thought about it. But I was left with the same question Rachel asks.

          1. Same here. This post got me thinking about the 13th Article of Faith in a different way – about “things” – but then I got to the end. Oh, it irks me. :) Sorry! I’ve always been a huge fan, but now I feel like you might be apologizing for your beliefs? It just makes me kind of sad that you wrote, ” My religion is far from perfect — there are aspects of it that drive me bonkers. But I particularly love this part of it.” I think that there are too many people out there that will take this out of the wrong way. I think maybe this is too personal to reveal on a blog that so many non-LDS people read. I love what Rachel wrote above. The Gospel is perfect, the “church” is not. I don’t know. I’m just a little upset by this post now. Sorry, Gabrielle! I’m hoping you didn’t mean it in the way it came off.

          2. Oh wow, I was actually delighted to see Gabby admit this. We all have issues with, or at least questions about, some elements of our faiths. I’m not a Mormon, and while I’m not interested in converting, I think presenting yourself as a people who work though those questions and issues is much more appealing than keeping up an image of perfect faith that a lot of us can’t relate to.

        2. hillary collette

          you have a wonderful blog- you really do… and I would be so excited to be in your position where I can do what I love and spread so much good about the gospel. because of blogs- I think LDS mom’s are so much better understood and their is a respect there that wasn’t easy to come by before. I’d be curious of your response to these questions… because I agree with Rachel- the gospel really is perfect- not the people (which can sometimes effect the way certain things are are communicated). This gospel makes me so happy- the more I live it- the more happy I become.

      1. I was wondering the same thing as Rachel.

        It’s true what you say about the Graphic Design program at BYU, I’ve had some amazingly talented friends graduate from that program. A thought provoking post indeed, thanks Gabby.

  46. Thanks for addressing this! I have noticed and wondered about this quite a bit. All your theories sound plausible. It has given me personally a greater appreciation for those following Mormon faith/lifestyle…as it seems to produce some incredible, creative, talented women.

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