Photo courtesy of Fashioned Magazine
Photo courtesy of Fashioned Magazine

Alumna Shares Her Passion for Fashion

by Micaela Ricaforte '20

Cyndi Galley ’97 wears many hats. At 10 p.m. on a Monday, she’s just wrapped up a meeting with Fashioned Magazine’s editorial team. The conference table is strewn with beauty samples to review, prints from the latest photo shoot, and articles marked up in red pen. This is her “editor-in-chief” hat. Earlier in the day, Galley wore her “communications director” hat, producing video promotions and planning her church’s upcoming five-day conference.

After the meeting, the editorial team lingers, chatting. Many on staff are young women whom Galley mentors. She tells them to take home the extra donuts and coffee from the meeting. “Thank you, Aunt Cyndi,” they say. That’s her third hat.

“My two passions are ministry and media, and I’ve been blessed to work in both of those fields for 20 years,” Galley said. “But no matter what position I hold, my purpose is always the same: to reach individuals with a positive, uplifting message that glorifies God.”

Galley entered APU as a communications major, but felt prompted to change her major to Christian ministries. “Years ago, the Lord told me that the career path He had for me was different than a traditional path,” she said. “Robin Smith, Ph.D., a vibrant professor who taught a youth and family ministry class, emphasized the importance of understanding people, and that gave me a really solid foundation for both fields.”

Galley went on to receive her Masters of Divinity from Oral Roberts University, and served as an assistant pastor at the The Rock Foursquare Church and as an adjunct professor at Life Pacific College.

While she loved working as a pastor, Galley said that she sometimes felt torn between her call to ministry and her desire to work in media. “For so long, I thought of the two fields—media and ministry—as distinct. I loved being a pastor, but I also had these God-given dreams, everything from publishing a magazine to producing a TV show,” she said. “But when you’re doing what God is asking you to do, He marries the two together. With the communications director position I hold now at The Rock, I get to use my creative skills to glorify God. God is a creator, so as followers of Him, we should be the most creative people who produce content to the highest level of excellence all across the board.”

“Three years ago, God finally gave me the ‘go-ahead’ to make one of my dreams a reality,” Galley said. In 2015 she founded Fashioned Magazine as a “bridge between God and young women who would never set foot in church.”

“I subscribed to a lot of magazines as a young girl, and I followed the trend watches and advice columns religiously,” Galley said.“I held celebrities who looked nothing like me as the standard of beauty. The columns told me that my worth was tied to being desirable, and showed me how to change parts of myself to make me so, and I accepted it all without question.”

When Galley matured, she realized that those magazines shaped her outlook on beauty, love, and what it means to be a woman. “I wondered why I couldn’t find a magazine that still gave style tips, but in a way that showed women they don’t have to show skin or change themselves to be beautiful. That was when God planted the seed for Fashioned Magazine in my heart.”

The magazine is intended to function as a full ministry and is in the process of becoming a non-profit organization. The name “fashioned” is based off of Psalm 119:73 and Psalm 139:16. “Both of these verses reflect on the fact that God is the one who ‘fashioned’ us and our lives,” Galley said. “And we want our readers to embrace themselves the way God created them. Our editorial photos feature models of all colors, shapes, and sizes, and our articles help women enhance their natural beauty.”

Fashioned’s cover girls are young women of faith with positive messages, such as country singer Alissa Griffith, fashion model Christina Boudreau, Angel House founder Lindsay Russo, and 2015 Miss California Teen USA Melanie Mitchell.

In addition to the magazine, Fashioned has a podcast, where Galley and her guests explore deeper topics by sharing their own stories. Galley said that her own journey is characterized by a struggle for control between her and God. “I have definitely stumbled along the way by either jumping the gun on things or leaning on my own understanding,” she said. “But what I can say is that if you give your life back to Him wholeheartedly, then He will make sure that your feet are planted, and point you in the right direction so that you can do the very things He has fashioned you to do.”

Micaela Ricaforte is a public relations intern in the Office of University Relations. She is a double major in journalism and honors humanities.