Football fanatic families (say that 10 times fast) eat, sleep, and breath football...on purpose. My family does so by career-force, not by choice.
My recent interview with Linda Hope, a beautiful Dominicana born and raised in Miami, Florida, and wife of retired NFL probowler and 2011 Super Bowl champion Chris Hope, delivered perspective on how balancing life as a loving mom, driven entrepreneur, and caring wife is possible with intentionality and strategy.
When and where did you and Chris first meet? What is your greatest joy about being married? Chris and I met in Tallahassee, FL back in 2000. He was a junior at Florida State and I was a freshman at Florida A&M. At times, we laugh at our present. The reality that we are married with 2 kids is simply incredible to me. My greatest joy about being married is knowing that I married the man of my dreams and that he wanted to marry me back. That’s a blessing! So many people choose wrong or end up with someone just because they don’t want to be alone. I’m happy I listened to that small voice that assured me that one day he was going to be an incredible husband. I love knowing that I have a person to grow old with that loves me unconditionally. I also love the fact that I have a live-in comedian. My husband is so funny! There’s never a dull moment in our house. I will soon have two for the price of one because my daughter is taking after him.
What are you passionate about and what drives your desire to succeed?
I am passionate about people. Anything I can do to help people become their best self, I’m all in. Especially women. I truly enjoy empowering and motivating women to recognize the jewels that we truly are. I also love identifying solutions. Give me a problem and I will solve it. That’s one of the reasons I love designing. In design, we identify the need first, then provide a solution. I also enjoy traveling and learning about other cultures. I truly enjoy new experiences.
Outside of having a degree in Journalism, Linda is currently enrolled and obtaining her degree in Interior Design from the O'More College of Design in Franklin, Tennessee
When did you decide you wanted to pursue your dream as an interior designer? What inspired you to pursue this journey?
After having my daughter; before we decided to conceive, we discussed me staying at home with our first born for a few years. I believed at the time that staying at home was the perfect fit for my growing family and me. But, after staying home with Crislyn for about 6 months I soon realized that I missed working. I missed being in a professional environment. I needed to be mentally stimulated and away from baby babble for few hours a day. Right before I gave birth, I was actively working in the Real Estate field. I knew that I wanted to go back to work, but I also knew that if I had to choose between showing a house and spending time with my baby girl, Crislyn would win that battle every time. That’s when I realized that it was time for a career change. In that moment, I decided that if I was going back to work it had to be something that I really enjoyed doing. After praying for direction, God showed me Interior Design. Growing up, I was the one in my house that always moved the furniture around. I was in charge of giving our childhood home a face-lift from time to time. As a young adult, I never imagined earning an income doing something that seemed so fun.
How do you balance supporting your husband, taking care of your family and supporting/ chasing your own dreams?
With lots of prayer, a plan and help. A very wise friend told me after I had my second child and was feeling a little overwhelmed, “there’s no problem that can’t be solved with a little help.” And she was right! I welcomed more help and recognized that I could not do it all and remain sane. I also got more organized. I started managing my time better. You’d be amazed at how much more efficient you are with a plan and great time management skills.
So tell me about your career with Beautycounter?
Where do I begin!?!? I LOVE being a part of this amazing company. It has completely changed the way I see the beauty industry, an industry I fell in love with at a very young age. Based in Santa Monica, CA, Beautycounter is a disruptive brand with the mission to get safer skin care and cosmetics products into the hands of everyone. A B Corporation, Beautycounter has created unparalleled transparency and safety in the personal care industry—a severely under-regulated space. To top it off, our products are amazing! I use them all and love them. To me, Beautycounter is another vehicle that God has blessed me with to fulfill my life's mission to empower people to be their best self in every area of their life. What I love most about being a part of this incredible movement is connecting with amazing women all over the world that want to leave a better beauty legacy for our future generations.
What is your favorite Beautycounter product?
Hands down...Our Lustro Face Oil # 3! It's a beautiful blend of light weight pure plant based and essential oils that balances and moisturizes my skin. I love it!
Linda Hope, the picture of multi-faceted perfection!
This week’s WAG Feature Wednesday is an introduction to our newest platform, Behind The Brand. Our first brand we are highlighting is NFL Wife Handbook, an online blog that was founded by Mallory Brown, the very gracious with a heart of gold wife of NFL veteran, Donald Brown. Mallory and her business partner, Stacie are passionate about sharing their love for Christ with our NFL community and do so in such a motivating and refreshing way that showcases the strongest women in the game! To share your testimony or become featured on their blog; email: email@example.com. Who is Behind the Brand?
Mallory Brown is married to NFL veteran Donald Brown who has played in the league for 7+ years — Donald has played for the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, & recently was added to the New England Patriots Roster. We have two energetic, beautiful, amazing little boys — Hudson, 3 years old and Piersen, 18 months old.
What is her brand?
Back in October of 2015, I was asked by another NFL wife to start a blog — ironically so as this was something I wanted to do a few years back, however I clearly heard God say “wait Mallory, it is not the right time." Sure enough when I got the nudge this past year, I realized God was merely affirming my vision from a few years back. “The NFL Wife Handbook" is merely a platform for NFL wives to share their stories. I view myself as “editor in chief” and love helping share these womens’ awesome testimonies. Stacie (my business partner) and I both felt it was FINALLY time for people to understand and comprehend the real livelihood of our husbands — better yet, the way we pursue the ups and downs of this league is by walking alongside Christ.
I would love for this blog to be a never-ending story. I pray 20+ years from now, I am still blessed with testimonies to share. The power of a wife/girlfriend’s voice in this league is huge — therefore why not hoist up your megaphone and give all the glory back to Jesus. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the NFL was known as a Christian organization with insanely talented football players? It is certainly ambitious to think this, however we are called to pray bold prayers, because we have an omnipresent, powerful God who serves us, and is merely waiting for us to ask Him to do BIG things.
What have you learned on your NFL journey?
My journey through the NFL has been nothing short of amazing. We have had many highs and lows, yet amongst all the inconsistencies Donald’s profession posseses we have loved every waking minute of it. To be truthfully honest, when Donald and I began dating, a few months into our courtship, he informed me of his future plans to pursue the NFL. When I heard those three letters “N-F-L” I immediately pulled back and planned on ending our relationship. I wasn't a football fanatic, and I “knew” enough about the character of these athletes that I certainly did not want to do life alongside one of "those" men. Shame on me for not realizing, Donald was and is so far from the typical stereotype.
Fast forward three years into our lives together (clearly we stayed together), we attended a Christian ministry retreat for NFL athletes and their significant others. It was here, (going on year 4) that our lives, and outlook in the NFL radically were changed for the better. We were invited by a former teammate of my husbands’ and in that week, we gave lives over to Christ. Years 1-3 of Donald’s career were wonderful, however we didn’t do life with God first in mind, rather ourselves. Years 4 and on, God has been the focal point for us as indviduals, as a married couple, as parents, as “missionaries” in our realm of work.
It has been the most insanely rewarding outlook for our each of us. It has made every high that much better, and every low more easily comprehended. I don’t view myself as a “WAG” but rather in a season of my life, where I am called to be His hands and feet to those around me. I understand the value of this platform we have been blessed with, and realize our time is limited to have such a noticeable voice. Therefore if I (alone or with other members of this league) can show the world that we are just regular, Christ-like individuals who are wanting to pave a highway for the Kingdom, then I have done my work with the role I am currently in — that of a “WAG”.