Listen to Unsuitable with MaryB. Safrit

Episode 4.5: Obi Okolo

Obiekwe “or-Obi” Okolo is a Nigerian American Creative Director, Photographer, home chef, and plant dad. After a degree in Architecture, and a couple of years in the industry, Obi left the built environment to pursue a broader creative practice. Including design, branding and brand strategy, photography, writing, art direction, and hospitality.

Get a pen and some paper because Obi drops serious knowledge about creative work, rest, learning to see, and identity.

You can check out Obi’s work at stagcreative.co and on social media @obi.stg. If you want to check out Obi’s t-shirt company, that link was thehypeyeast.com.

If you’re a single Christian creative who feels overwhelmed by and alone in your creative calling, NEXT WEEK, August 11, registration opens for The Creative Refresh. Check out marybsafrit.com/group for more info.

Episode 4.4: Norma Hopcraft

Norma Hopcraft is a published author who recently took a creative writing sabbatical year in Paris, where she wrote The Paris Writers Circle. Then she lived in Barcelona. She now lives and writes in Brooklyn. She was a newspaper and corporate journalist, then a magna cum laude graduate of New York University’s undergrad creative writing and literature program. She’s been published by the literary magazine South Dakota Review and won first prize from Deadly Ink for a mystery short story.

In this episode, Norma talks about finding her why for writing and defining success and prosperity. Get excited, because Norma has a wealth of experience and insight on the creative life, particularly for those of you who are side-hustling.

You can buy Norma’s books on Amazon by searching for Norma Hopcraft, and you can find her at https://njaegerhopcraft.blogspot.com/.

For more information on The Creative Refresh, a six-week group coaching program for single Christian creatives, head to marybsafrit.com/group.

Episode 4.3: Matt Lau

Matt Lau is a graphic designer, video editor, and photographer from central New Jersey. He currently works as an e-commerce graphic designer, and volunteers as a Sunday School teacher for 11th graders. He also has a podcast called The Woes Podcast where he interviews high-school and college-aged students about their current lives and struggles. 5 things that help define his recreational life: pickup basketball, online shopping, video games, Star Wars, and the Miami Dolphins.

In this episode, you’ll hear about finding work after college, changing fields, setting boundaries and appreciation and compensation. If you’ve ever been expected to work for free, you’ll want to hear what Matt and I have to say about it, particularly when the ask comes from your church.

You can check out Matt’s work at matthewlauphotography.com and The Woes Podcast is available on Apple.

Visit marybsafrit.com/group to learn more about The Creative Refresh, a six-week group coaching program for single Christian creatives.

Episode 4.2: Ashley Hong

Ashley Hong is an editor and producer based in New York. She’s an assistant editor at Random House, where she edits and acquires nonfiction in the faith space. In her spare time, she enjoys reading (duh), running, and producing audio storytelling.

In this episode, you’ll hear Ashley’s practices for overcoming self-doubt, how to ask for feedback, and how to wrestle with creative identity at all stages of the journey.
You can find Ashley at ashleysunghae.com and on all the socials @ashleysunghae.

You can find more info on The Creative Refresh, my six-week croup coaching program for single Christian creatives, at marybsafrit.com/group

Episode 4.1: Caroline Mayer

Caroline Mayer is a NYC-based interior designer focused in the hospitality industry. She recently received a degree in interior design after making a career switch a few years ago. Previously, she worked for a public relations agency in Boston.

In this episode, Caroline shares about her creative journey and how she overcomes perfectionism, comparison, and burn out. You can follow Caroline on Instagram @carolinermayer.

Season 4 Trailer

Season 4 premieres July 7, and I want you to be ready and rearin to learn from these amazing single Christian creatives. This trailer tells you a bit about this podcast, and what you can expect in Season 4.

Can’t wait until next week? Check out previous episodes, or head over to marybsafrit.com to see the latest and greatest blogs for single Christian creatives.

Episode 3.14: Work Wrap-Up

Welcome to the series wrap-up. The last four dynamite interviews from Ian, Amber, Nina, and Petra focused on work, but there were themes of story, communication, and connection running through all of them. They shared a ton of wisdom on how their faith informs their work, so go back and listen if you haven’t yet.

I’m going to shake things up a bit for this wrap-up, so I’d love your thoughts and comments on what style you like better… or if you like the variety. Today, I’m going to posit and explore a question that ran through all four episodes of this series. At the end, I’ll tie in how all of this helps you in your everyday life, but for the first part, I’d love to take the opportunity to dig in together.

The question: What is the role of story-telling in the age of information?

References for this episode in order of appearance: Tell it Slant by Eugene Peterson; The Two Towers film; “Jesus Is a Jew” by David Brooks; “On Fairy Stories” by J.R.R. Tolkien, “Stir the Imagination, One Sermon at a Time” by Abraham Cho; The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

Episode 3.13: Petra E. Lewis

Welcome to your oh-so-special surprise interview, and the final interview of Season 3. Petra E. Lewis is a ghostwriter, ghostblogger, publishing specialist, author, and “Midwife to Visionaries” who works with CEOs, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and influencers.

Petra spent nearly two decades as a corporate communications writer and executive, primarily in financial services. After leaving Wall Street, Petra founded BookStar Business Ghostwriting + Development, a boutique consultancy that offers her clients a full suite of ghostwriting and (self-)publishing solutions. She has also continued her corporate communications work, as founder and principal of Stone Communications. To learn more, visit: www.petraelewis.com

Petra and I talk about her writing journey, the joys and struggles of being an entrepreneur, and hope. Petra has a lot of wisdom and I can’t wait for y’all to hear our conversation.

Episode 3.12: Nina Irizarry

Today you’re going to hear from Nina Irizarry. Nina is a researcher, entrepreneur, and ethnographer in the marketing, art and design space with over 10 years of experience. Her extensive portfolio includes collaborations with both established and emerging artists, as well as fashion designers. She is also creative director and founder at Du Coeur magazine. Sign up for updates at ducoeurmagazine.com or follow on Instagram @ducoeurmag

Nina and I talk about Du Coeur, Nina’s journey as an entrepreneur, and how her faith factors into her work. I love how Nina’s mind works and her desire to take highly conceptual ideas and make them accessible for everyone.

Episode 3.11: Amber Churn

Today you’ll hear from Amber Churn. Amber is from Atlanta; she’s a Yankees fan, a doula and a pregnancy options counselor, a women’s empowerment advocate, and the future wife of Trevor Noah. Amber shares her story of moving to New York to work in pregnancy care, and we talk about how to have conversations about sensitive topics with people of an opposing viewpoint.

Just a heads up, Amber works in pregnancy care, so there will be some mention of abortion. If you are listening to this and you are post abortive, please take care and reach out to a trusted counselor or hotline if you need to talk.

Episode 3.10: Ian Quinlan

Welcome to the final series of the season. I have three dynamite conversations for y’all that focus on the theme of work. First up is Ian Quinlan. Ian is a New York based actor who has been acting from a young age. Recently, he has worked on a couple of exciting film and TV projects including The Long Road Home, Orange is the New Black, Gotham, and Sneaky Pete, acting opposite Bryan Cranston. He’s currently shooting with Netflix on the upcoming show, Jupiter’s Legacy. Ian has also worked as an actor, director, and writer for the ABC Discovers Talent Showcase for three years.

His notable Directing credits include: Assistant Director to Philip Seymour Hoffman in the workshop of Family for All Occasions at the Labyrinth Theater.
As a child actor he was in the Lion King on Broadway as well as the film Music of the Heart, acting opposite Meryl Streep.

Ian and I talk about the uncertainties that come with being a working actor and the role Ian’s faith plays in how he approaches his work. I think you’ll really relate to what he shares, so let’s get to it.

Follow Ian on Instagram @allidoisquin

Episode 3.9: Dating Wrap-Up

Welcome to the wrap-up episode for the series on dating. Dating came up in many of the episodes, but these three felt most suited to a series specific to dating. Definitely give them a listen if you haven’t already!

So, what are you in for today? You’ll hear a relatable story about a swing and a miss moment I had with a crush, insights from the three interviews, and how all of this helps you in your dating life. You’ll get a couple of protips from me, a person who has lived through and learned from unbearably awkward moments. And you’ll get some tips on how to take the pressure off and have grace for yourself in the wild west that is dating. Be sure to listen until the end for info on how to get your hands on “The Overthinker’s Guide to Dating,” a reflection guide designed to help you discern what you’re looking for and what might be holding you back.

Episode 3.8: Jenny Barker

Jenny is the Children’s Ministry Administrative Coordinator at a church here in the city. She is a pastor’s kid and cat mom to Timmy. In this episode, Jenny shares about her experience in the dating world as a plus sized woman. She is super honest in our conversation, and I’m excited for you to hear from her.

Episode 3.7: Sheila Enright

Today’s conversation features Sheila Enright. Sheila is a Chicago native who works as a writer and editor in New York. When not neglecting to return her library books, she can usually be found in the nearest thrift shop.

Sheila and I talk about her faith, humility, and how those play into how she views dating. I love how well Sheila articulates her perspective on these ideas, and the role of prayer in her life.

Episode 3.6: Mark Engle

Welcome to the first interview of our next series for Season 3… Dating! We haven’t talked about dating all that much thus far, but this season, so many of my guests wanted to talk about dating experiences they’ve had. This series, you’ll hear from three awesome people about challenges they have faced in dating and how they are working through those.

First up, we have Mark Engle. Mark works in venture capital. He is a Seattle native, an opera lover, and an avid runner who lives on the Upper West Side. In this conversation, you’ll hear us talk about Mark’s path to New York, a challenging dating relationship he had a couple of years ago, and where he finds hope.

Episode 3.5 Self-Awareness Wrap-Up

Welcome to the wrap up episode for the first series of Season 3. Throughout the past four interviews, we heard each of the guests tell stories of self-awareness and growth. They each come at it from different angles, so definitely give the interviews a listen if you haven’t already. This wrap-up episode includes an unsuitable tale, insights connecting the four interviews and a story from the Bible, and how all of that is relevant to your life.

More unsuitable stories and thoughts are at marybsafrit.com

Episode 3.4 Katie Hodge

Welcome to Episode 4. This is the final interview of the self-awareness and growth themed episodes, and I can’t think of a better person to round things out for us. Katie Hodge is a graphic designer at The Public Theater. She is a fellow North Carolina native and a graduate of App State University. She loves hiking, art, and cheez-its.

On this episode, Katie and I talk North Carolina, she shares a story of feeling unsuitable as a Christian woman and we talk about accepting and growing into who we were created to be. I always love talking to Katie because she is very intuitive and an incredibly deep thinker. I know you’re going to enjoy hearing from her, too.

Episode 3.3 Jacquelynn Marie Gistarb

Today you’ll hear from Jaquelynn Marie Gistarb. Jacq loves gallivanting and exploring, as well as ministering to girls of all ages, crafting, working out, baking, missions, serving, shopping, traveling and adding pink, bows or glitter to anything she comes into contact with. Jacquelynn embarked on a journey of faith a little over five years ago that has taken her from the West coast all the way to Manhattan to be a light in dark places. Jacq currently has three devotional websites to encourage women to shine for Jesus as Matthew 5:16 states. You can follow her many adventures with the Lord by reading her weekly devotional blogs at iSparkleforJesus.webs.com and link to iShine in Ministry and iSparkle Teens from her debut site or book her as your wedding planner, personal stylist or lifestyle concierge through her small business, A Little Fancy (alittlebitfancy.webs.com).

As you can tell from her bio, Jacq is a bundle of energy. She and I talk about her life in Las Vegas and her journey to get to New York and being single in the midst of a culture that values getting married young. Jacq is fast-paced, even by New York standards, but she talks about how she was able to grow in a more laid back, suburban environment.

Episode 3.2 Susan Im

Susan Yoomin Im is a 27-year-old Korean American entrepreneur, artist, and luxury, retail, & consumer goods professional. Susan is an avid reader, learner, arts-goer and Francophile and is passionate about community, mental health, and other various social causes. She has a deep love for God. Susan is Co-founder of Fifteen Degrees, Co. Ltd, a South Korea based beauty-tech R&D startup, Founder & Creative Director of ATEM, a skincare and wellness company, and consults in creative direction, branding and strategy for international and domestic brands. In her free time, she volunteers at the Museum of Modern Art, on the hospitality team at Trinity Grace Church and as a vocalist for the worship team.

Susan and I have a great conversation about mental health, healing, and faith. I appreciate how honest she was about her struggles with living a neurological disorder and the toll that took on her mental health, but how she has learned to accept that part of herself and continue to grow through some extremely difficult experiences. Just a heads up, Susan and I talk quite a bit about depression. There’s also a brief mention of suicidal thoughts and sexual assault. If you are experiencing or have experienced any of these things, please reach out to a trusted counselor or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness hotline. 800-950-NAMI (6264)

Follow Susan and ATEM on instagram @atemlife and @susan.yoomin.im . ATEM’s website is atemnyc.com and Susan blogs at lettersbysoo.com

Episode 3.1 PJ Rasmussen

PJ is a composer, guitarist, and the founder of the Boardwalk Jazz band, New York’s only 21 piece band to feature four singers. PJ has headlined two national TV specials, been featured on the cover of Hot House Jazz magazine, headlined at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, and landed two albums on the jazz charts. His band has a single coming out Dec. 6 and has a new nationally syndicated TV show (An American Christmas) airing this December, headlined by WCBS in NYC. You can pre-download Boardwalk Jazz Band’s upcoming single HERE, and stay updated on all the show information at http://pjrasmussen.com/.

PJ talks about the challenges of being emotionally driven and male. We talk about how it’s affected his relationships with women, his view of himself, and how he has become aware of the positive aspects of being emotionally driven. He’s got a really interesting perspective, so let’s hear what he has to say.

Episode 2.10: Relationship Wrap Up

Welcome to the season 2 finale! Huge thanks for being here for the wrap up episode. Man, I loved these interviews on relationships and community, which were specifically Episodes 2.6-2.9. Every single one of these guests brought their A game, so if you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, go back now and check them out.

For those of you who are all caught up, let me walk you through what you’re about to hear. We’re going to start off with a story of an experience in which I felt unsuitable in community. I’m then going to walk you through some deeper implications of what I experienced while tying in insights from the four interviews in this series. We’re going to talk about this idea of privilege and how it affects our relationships, and a story of how my guy Jesus interacted with a woman who was perceived as all sorts of unsuitable. At the very end, I’ll share how you can get my very free guide, “How to Make Friends without Hating Everything.”

The story from the Bible I reference is John 4:4-42

Episode 2.9: Shawn Oates

Shawn is a Christ follower, founder of Leaf, an app that
helps you make group plans, co-host of a podcast called Two Black Sheep, and
creative director at Allen & Ade. You can follow Shawn on Instagram @soates
or @twoblacksheeplive. Leaf is available on the app store.

Shawn and I had a great conversation about his podcast, his experience growing up in a predominantly white community, the struggle to settle into his identity, and the power of having a consistent group of friends in good times and also in the midst of struggle and grief.

Episode 2.8: Cristina Spataro

Today I’m sitting down with Cristina Spataro. Cristina is a Bronx-native, she is a child psychotherapist, and she loves old movies. You’re going to hear stories from Cristina about growing up in the Bronx, growing up with physical challenges, advocating for yourself and others in relationships, how difference builds empathy, and the value of limitations. I particularly appreciate how honest Cristina is about some really challenging experiences.

Episode 2.7: Rob

Hey everyone, this week my friend Rob and I talk about community within the church. Community is a bit of a buzzword, it sometimes feels like one of those words that has been used so much that we don’t necessarily think about what it means or what we mean when we use it. Maybe you hear the word community and feel all warm and fuzzy. Maybe you hear it and it gives you hives or makes you roll your eyes because you’ve experienced it as just one more thing you are obliged to do. If you’re in a season of feeling discouraged or disillusioned in community, I hope this conversation will resonate with you. Rob and I are going to talk through some good and some less positive experiences in church community, fitting in, and exclusivity. Here’s a little bit about Rob.

Rob was raised in both New England and New York yet somehow pronounces Rs and only argues about sports as much as a normal healthy person. He has lived in NY for several years now and works in financial services but his real passion is eating at the best restaurants in the city…that only have a single dollar sign in their Yelp ratings. He can usually be found complaining about how much he dreads running and running in Central Park.

Episode 2.6: Liz Smith

Welcome to Episode 6, the first episode of our Unsuitable in relationship and community series. We’re going to kick things off with Liz Smith.

Liz just finished her Masters in Library Science at Rutgers and is job hunting. She have worked in public relations and editorial positions for non-profit organizations including The New York Public Library and American Bible Society. She was also a member of The Blue Hill Troupe, a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta group, before becoming a Christ follower and church goer. Liz blogs as Missouri St Clair at wordpress.missouristclair.com and she also created a website dedicated to memoirs called memoirsataglance.com. Both those links are in the episode description.

Liz is going to share some serious wisdom about some of her past dating relationships, mental and emotional health in relationship, forgiveness and healing. Liz led a recovery group for women coming out of codependent relationships so she has a lot of great things to say about that as well.

Episode 2.5: Work Wrap-Up

This is a new thing I’m trying over here at Unsuitable with Mary B. Safrit, a little wrap up episode where I’m going to share some of my thoughts on the theme, some key take aways from the episodes you’ve heard so far, and give you some tools to help you engage with the series theme more deeply. If you haven’t listened to the interviews, I would definitely encourage you to do so. You’ll get the most out of this episode if you have the context of the previous episodes.

Episode 2.4: Elise Mas

Elise Mas is a singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn, New York. Her style has been described as melodic acoustic pop with R&B and folk influences—earnest melodies over contemplative chords as if read from a diary. Elise has a background in classical violin and R&B music production, mentored under Orange Factory Music (Jay Sean, Big Time Rush). She’s also performed as a violinist for Rachel Platten.
In this episode, Elise and I are going to cover a lot of ground. We talk about the ups and downs of her various experiences in the music industry, using her art to process relationships, juggling creative work and marketing, and how she integrates her faith into her work. I like how she reflects on challenges and mistakes so honestly.

Episode 2.3: Debra Ayis

Debra has been a published poet and writer since the year 2005 when her poem ‘My Routine’ was published in an anthology by Anchor Books a ForwardPoetry imprint based in the United Kingdom. She has since been published in at over 100 anthologies in Canada, India, Nigeria, South Africa, U.K, U.S, and other countries. You can find out more about what she’s up to on her website: www.valiantscribe.com;  you can also follow her on Facebook at MsDebraAyis

In this episode, Debra starts off by sharing one of her poems. After that, we talk about her journey as a writer and as a Christian. I love how her faith infuses so much of our conversation and also her perspective on sharing her creative gift.

Episode 2.2: Christian Smeltzer

Christian is a Seattle born, midwest raised entrepreneur residing in Brooklyn. Founder and CEO of Swade incorporated, Christian has an extensive background in financial services and business management which he applies to both work and life alike. A resident of NYC for four years, he enjoys spending his time building his network, developing his hobbies and fellow-shipping with friends. You can follow Swade on Instagram @swadeapp and read more about it at www.swade.com Christian and I talk about Swade, working to prove something vs working out of faith, higher education, and identity.

Episode 2.1: Heidi Clark

Heidi is a copywriter, aspiring jazz singer, dad joke enthusiast, and ice cream fanatic. Heidi and I kick off Season 2 with a conversation on writing and singing, and the frustration of being underemployed in a career/productivity driven culture.

Episode 1.8: MaryB. Safrit

In the Season 1 finale, Mary B. is the interviewee. Enter into a conversation and a story about creative journey, unsuitability, faith, and singleness. Follow Mary B. on her blog at marybsafrit.com, and Instagram @maryb.safrit. On her website you can sign up for her newsletter, which will get you exclusive content, direct access to and updates on the blog, the podcast, and the book. You’ll also get a book recommendation, and a music or podcast recommendation.

Episode 1.7: Giselle Perry

Giselle is a Jersey native, an architect, and just the best. In Episode 7, we talk race, sketchy guys, her life as a PK, and unsuitability. She’s a natural story-teller who effortlessly balances humor and sucker punch profound wisdom.

Episode 1.6: Pablo Marino

Pablo is a freelance photographer (Instagram: @pablosawthese) who also works in hospitality and is in business school. In Episode 6, we talk unsuitable moments, growing up as a pastors kid in Argentina and the US, and why some youths end up leaving the church when they have the choice.

Episode 1.3: Jennifer Bangs

Jennifer Bangs is an actor, writer, singer, and all around creative powerhouse. We talk about the show she has written and is performing, divorce, single parenthood, and friendship. Go see her show “She Bangs She Bangs” at Don’t Tell Mama on December 1. Info on her show is at shebangsshebangs.com , more info on Jennifer is at jenniferbangs.com

Episode 1.1: Nana Brew-Hammond

Nana is a Ghanian-American author, editor, and fashion designer. She is also wise and has the best podcast voice. In this episode, we talk about being single, business and family, and Nana’s faith journey. Check out her website http://www.nanabrewhammond.com and her fashion line https://www.exit14apparel.com

Communicator. Creator. Coach.

© 2020 Mary B Safrit LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Let's stay in touch

Fill out the box to get on the list for bi-weekly exclusive messages and offers.