Good morning, Friends, and happy Tuesday!!!
I am so excited about today’s interview!! I have been following Jaimee for many months now and absolutely love all that she is doing. She is truly a light on social media and in the-Catholic-World-online. She never ceases to inspire me by her work and I am so honored that she agreed to do this little interview!!
ANDDD, stay tuned for a special giveaway coming tomorrow on Instagram!! You guys won’t want to miss it!! Now, on to the interview!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with you or your business, please introduce yourself.
Hi there! My name is Jaimee Keogler and I am a stay at home mom of two little ones. My husband and I started Catholic Box in 2015 (when we only had one child and a lot of free time apparently… ha). Catholic Box is our little space to try to provide beautiful high-quality products to help people grow in and celebrate their faith.
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? What encouraged you in striving for a deeper relationship with God?
I first truly encountered Jesus when I was on a Steubenville East retreat in high school. During Eucharistic Adoration, I was really touched by the peace and joy that I witnessed among the teens so that’s where I really prayed for the first time. I built a solid group of friends within the youth group at my Parish who encouraged me then to turn my life towards Christ, and they still do today (it helps that my husband was one of them 😉
+ How do you intentionally live the joy of Christ in your daily life?
Man, I wish I had this down. Honestly, I just take every day as it comes, and this has been a lesson that Jesus has been teaching me for the past year and a half. I can live the joy of the day when I am truly focused on that day (not the deadlines ahead, not the daunting event of the future or the “what if’s” of life). I have found that Jesus wants to meet me in the little tasks and the mundane moments of my ordinary day, so I find joy when I show up and meet Him there.
It takes a lot to be intentional within that time though, it’s easy to numb out or get distracted and not realize how we’re spending our time or the disposition we have towards the day or where are our hearts are… so being aware is how I stay intentional. My favorite bible verse is Prov 3:6 “acknowledge Him in all that you do, and He will make straight your paths.” If we realize His presence in every moment …. every single one… that’s where the joy is. Second fave: In His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) ☺
+ You own and operate a beautiful company called Catholic Box. What inspired you to start Catholic Box and spread your faith in this way?
I studied Theology and Catechetics at Franciscan University and spent a couple years as a Youth Minister and Director of Religious Education. I left ministry on the Parish Level when I had my second child, but I still wanted to be involved in spreading the faith in some way (beyond passing it along to my little ones.) I did a little soul searching and discovered that creating things really made me come alive. I felt passion and purpose when I could have a creative outlet which translated into creating products and prints all centered on the faith. I feel awkward calling myself a graphic designer (because like I said, Theology and Catechetics) but when I am creating things on the computer that’s when I could spend hours on a project and to me, it feels like 10 minutes because I enjoy it so much. It has been a challenge because as I mentioned I am home with a four-year-old and two-year-old, so spending hours on the computer just isn’t a reality… so most of my work is done into the wee hours of the night once they’re in bed.
+ Recently, you launched a new product line called Simple Saints!! The saints are such a beautiful part of Catholic life. Realizing that the saints are just like us, how can they inspire us to live virtuous lives?
Gosh, I am so grateful for the Saints. I am the second born in my family so maybe this is why… but I am SO much more confident in my ability to do something if I know someone has done it before me. Enter the Saints. They show us that it can be done. The race can be won, and they set the bar really high which is a very encouraging challenge to take on when it comes to living the Gospel. I appreciate so much how their countless stories of faith, trust, trials, and perseverance resound with the message of “I’ve been there.” …. “I know what you’re going through.” … “You can do this.” … “It’s worth it.”
+ Who are some of your favorite saints and why?
Padre Pio. I’m kind of terrified of him but in a very loving way (Haha). He has been a powerhouse of intercession in my relationship with my husband and has moved mountains for us.
St. Faustina. Her diary is so real. as a prayer journaled I felt like I could relate to her a lot. Obviously, Jesus isn’t appearing to me … so not completely relatable 😉 but there are moments when she is so honest that I see parts of me in her. I am very encouraged by her bravery and perseverance.
+ How would you encourage someone who has a hard time connecting with the saints?
I get it. It can be awkward to get past the halos and piously worded prayer cards… but read autobiographies and their writing and you will quickly discover friends there waiting for you who want to take your hand and guide you to Jesus. No one likes trying to make friends, first grade was a rough year… but make it a prayer and ask for a Saint to be your friend and they’ll show up. I promise.
+ What is your hope through sharing this beautiful art? Your mission?
I’m an extremely visual person. I can’t tell you how many times I read something, and I say, “I need this tattooed on my forehead.” I can easily lose my way throughout the day, fall into discouragement or listen to the lies that the enemy feeds to me if I’m not surrounded by truth. Through our Frameable Faith Print Subscription my goal was simply to provide visual reminders of truth, beauty and goodness for people to display. I create a new print every month that is designed to celebrate the liturgical year or a theme particular to that month. I love the changing seasons and I especially think that the rhyme of the liturgical year is so cool so living that and incorporating that into your home is a nice way to keep your faith fresh.
The Simple Saints came out of my desire to have a consistent beautiful collection of the saints. For me, visual clutter is mental clutter and having 4 pictures of saints by different artists or photographs with different color schemes, etc. made me feel anxious. My goal in simplifying their images was to provide visual reminders of the Saints, their presence and intercession but ones that would be subtle and bring peace to one’s home.
+ How has this business strengthened your relationship with the saints, Christ, and His church?
I have learned so much in creating new products and designing new prints. Each one sends me on a journey to learn about the Saint I am creating or read the back story behind a prayer I am designing into a print. It’s given me a reason to make time to constantly read and learn more.
+ Lastly, what would you say to someone who wants to share about their faith in a similar way? How would you encourage them to start?
DO IT. God reveals Himself to us through beauty! There’s always more room for beauty, truth and goodness so whatever way you feel like you can bring that to the world, do it. If it touches you and brings you joy it will impact someone else too, guaranteed. If you’re waiting to begin until x, y, and z line up then you’ll never begin. Just start with what you have where you are right now and don’t look back.
I hope you all have a beautiful day, my friends!! And check out my Instagram tomorrow for a really amazing giveaway!!!