Liv Alliston of Fragrant Offering LLC
1. Tell us about you! Your name, where you're from, about your family, etc.
Hi! My name is Liv. I am originally from a small Kentucky town. My parents divorced when I was little, so it was just me, my mom and my sister growing up. Growing up in an all-girl household was a lot of fun, even though it had its challenges. I attended a Christian school all the way through 12th grade and graduated valedictorian. Before college, I spent the summer in NYC at an acting conservatory and went on to pursue a degree in Theatre with an emphasis in acting. The plan was to pursue acting fully by moving out to LA as soon as possible after graduation....but, God. God put a sweet man in my path - my now husband, Drew. He halted my plans and before I knew it I had traded LA for Dallas! My husband got into school in Texas, where he is originally from, and we moved here to begin our lives together. We have been married for almost 7 years, and we have one son and one baby on the way (due in late August).
2. How has God uniquely made you and gifted you?
God has gifted me with the ability to see the beauty and possibilities of things, to dream big dreams and to diligently persevere to make those dreams a reality. In the past, I used these gifts in my own strength and in my own way, but never really made it very far like that. As I've grown up and grown in my relationship with Christ, I now know that those dreams and gifts were planted there by God and that apart from Him I can do nothing.
3. Tell us about your ministry, page, business, etc.
Fragrant Offering LLC is an online, boutique candle shop, specializing in clean candles. I started the business in July 2017 and operate it out of my home. I use organic coconut wax, organic essential oils, wooden wicks, glass jars and wooden lids. I also create my own signature fragrances and hand-pour the candles myself while my toddler naps. Although, when he's old enough, he may be helping me!
4. What inspired you to start? What keeps you going?
I always had the desire to own my own business but never felt I knew much about any one thing to actually build a business. Yet, the dream was cemented in my heart. About a year ago, God began dealing with me about some sin in my life that He was refining out of me. Although painful to deal with, I obeyed Him. I had placed the dream of starting my own business on the back burner, thinking (according to my plan) that I wouldn't be able to start it until my children were well into high school. But, as I walked in obedience to God, He began to grow the dream in my heart into a beautiful reality - not for 20 years down the road, but for right now. I was shocked and so incredibly happy! My family and I had already started eating organic, cleaner foods and as I learned about the toxic chemicals in most candles (my favorite home decor item), I decided to try my hand at making a clean candle. To my surprise, I succeeded!
What keeps me going when the going gets tough (which it often gets) is the fact that God gave this to me and called me to do what I do. I know that it is blessed because He is in it, and I don't want to be anywhere except inside of His perfect will for my life. God has continued to bless the business He gave me, something for which I am immensely grateful.
5.What are your greatest struggles in what you do?
The greatest struggle for me is to not seek perfection. I am not a perfectionist by any means, but I am performance-oriented. So, when things don't go as I think they should or I pour a candle poorly, I have to focus on why I started the business and remind myself that no one and nothing is perfect. I am not seeking perfection, but the glorification of God through the talents He's given me. Then, I pick myself back up and try it again. Some days I feel completely inadequate and some days I feel completely in control. Neither is fully true and I fight to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus when I encounter struggles. Fixing our eyes on Him is not easy, but it's worth it.
6.What is the one thing you have learned from what you do?
Through this process, I have learned to fully rely on Jesus and to trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know I can't do this without Him. He gave me the name, the idea, the logo, the marketing - everything. Giving the business to God and releasing my reins to Him is a daily process.
7. What is your greatest passion for the Kingdom of God?
My greatest passion for God's Kingdom is that others will see a difference in me that will point them to Christ. That they will see Him in me, as I walk in obedience to Him and live my life for His glory. I don't want to blend into the world, but I want to stand out for Jesus in everything I do.
8. What could you talk about for hours?
First of all, I could talk for hours....period (Lol)! But, a few things I am most passionate about are things I'm learning, whether that's in God's Word, in parenting, in my business or in current events. Also, I could talk about architecture/interior design in my sleep - huge HGTv fan! And, I love talking about my son - who doesn't?!!
9. What has God been teaching you lately?
For the last two years, I feel that almost every sermon, Bible study, and social media post is about letting go of unforgiveness, resentment and hatred and choosing forgiveness. This is not a fun topic, for me especially because I have such a strong sense of justice. God has been lovingly showing me how harmful it is for me to hold on to grudges and how detrimental it is to my walk with Him. The Bible says that we can only be forgiven to the extent we forgive others (Matthew 6:12) - yikes! I have been seeking God for a fresh revelation of His grace and mercy toward me and my sin, knowing that as I grasp how undeserving I am of His forgiveness I will extend forgiveness and grace to others.
10. What do you think is the greatest struggle facing Christian women today?
I think so many women, including myself, struggle with the comparison game. "They're prettier or smarter, or they have it all together, etc." And, for Christian women, I think it's worse because the things we tend to covet are Godly things. "She's holier than I am or she knows the Scripture better than I do, etc." Whether worldly or spiritual, all of it takes our focus off of God and places it on ourselves - the last place we should all be looking. This is where we stumble, and this is why God instructs us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-3, Matthew 14:28-33).