Several years ago I was at our local Christian bookstore perusing the shelves for a gift for my mentor’s upcoming birthday. I found her something fun and then came upon a book I hadn’t seen before: Fashioned by Faith by Rachel Lee Carter. A book about fashion and faith? I purchased it on the spot and read it that week. I loved the anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories of a Christian model working in the crazy world of fashion.
A few nights later I met my mentor for her birthday dinner. After giving her my gift, I told her about the book I had found for myself, and her eyes lit up. “I know that book,” she said. “I interviewed the author on my radio show last month!” What a funny coincidence (if I believed in coincidences).
I then connected with Rachel via facebook and have enjoyed following her career from across the country. She is first and foremost a family woman, but she takes her work seriously as a ministry tool. She continues to model, speak, and write, all the while remaining bold and fearless in sharing her faith.
She is a shining light for Jesus in an often dim industry.
Please meet my friend, Rachel.
1) Please tell me a little about YOU.
I’ve been a professional model for over 20 years. At 19, while living in NYC, I gave my heart to Jesus and became a Christian. My eyes were opened to the self-destructive nature of the industry, so I left it to attend Bible College. Upon graduating, I re-entered the fashion industry where it became my ministry. In 2011, I authored the book Fashioned by Faith, (an international model uncovers the truth about modesty and style). I enjoy sharing God’s heart with those in the industry and those influenced by it. But my real heartbeat is in being mom to Jack and Jude, and wife to Daryl. I still model at least once a week, but am very selective about the type of jobs I take and the time spent away from my family. My family comes first.
My clientele includes Cover Girl, Tommy Hilfiger, Clairol, Cabela’s, Jones New York, Teen Magazine, Wrangler, Fitness Magazine, Nicole Miller, Chico’s, DKNY, Reebok, SAKS Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and many others.
2) Please tell me about your work/ministry.
After graduating from Word of Life Bible Institute in Schroon Lake, NY (where I studied Bible Survey and Systematic Theology with an emphasis on missions and youth ministry), I returned to the modeling industry as a professional Christian model. Here is where I began using this platform to share the love of Jesus Christ within the fashion industry and at women’s and youth conferences nationwide. My passion is sharing the hows and whys that women and girls can be both modest and fashionable at the same time.
3) Why are you passionate about what you do?
Too many negative attributes are rightly attached to immodesty: low self-esteem, depression, poor reputation/testimony, and eating disorders. God opened my eyes to the truth about modesty, and I’m happy to share it with others – in a fun and Bible-centered way.
4) Why is it important to help others?
Luke 12:48 –“To whom much is given, much is required.”
5) How can readers contribute/participate/come alongside you?
Arrange to have a mother/daughter tea or conference at your church and teach the message of modesty. Learn about it, live it, preach it. If it matters to God, it should matter to us. 2 Timothy 2:9 –“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety.”
6) What makes a woman truly beautiful?
1 Peter 3:4 – “Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Inner beauty outshines everything.
7) What do you like to do in your free time?
We are outdoorsy people. And we love sports. I’m usually seen, sans make-up (and hair in a pony) at one of my kids’ baseball games or golf matches. We play pick-up games like kickball or baseball in the neighborhood. We do everything together, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m also very crafty. Pinterest is my weakness.
8) Since you’re getting on my shoebox, what’s your favorite kind of shoe?
A flat-heeled real leather, calf-high riding boot. Nutmeg.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.