Essie Taylor is an influencer and world changer. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Rockford College. She is a veteran educator of Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish Language Acquisition with National Board Teacher Certification. She is an advocate of lifelong learning, language learning & multiculturalism. Essie is the CEO of KenMar Press and The Essie Faye Collection. Essie is the author of “Finding the Love You Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love & Acceptance” and “Finding The Love Your Deserve: A 60 Day Healing Journal For Women of Faith. She is also a minister, youth advocate, recording artist, podcaster, and improviser. She is deeply committed to motivating minorities, women, and youth to pursue God while chasing their dreams and carving out their life’s path. She loves God, people, and helping others. Essie has been a Christian nearly all of her 39 years; She was born again at 15-years-old. She has been a bilingual worship leader and interpreter for 10+ years and has by the grace of God helped to establish bilingual ministries at 5 churches in her young life. She is a survivor of domestic violence (verbal and emotional abuse) and marital abandonment in a prior marriage.
Share your background.
I am a Chicago Native–I’m from the South Side! I was born and raised in the neighborhood of Englewood. I’m a product of the Chicago Public School System. I am currently an educator at CPS. I believe that education opens many doors of opportunity; it did for me. I’m a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL where I majored in African American studies and minored in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
Tell us about your deep commitment to motivating minorities, women, and youth to pursue God while chasing their dreams.
As a Black female and youth advocate and educator, I feel that it is my responsibility to first be visible and give voice to that experience, in whatever space in which I find myself. Education is a tool through which I coach my students to find their life path, to question, inquire, and think. Teaching is a huge part of my identity, as are my race and gender. I am a mentor to youth, and I am a sister-friend to women of all races, as we share a similar struggle and path in life.
You have been a bilingual worship leader and interpreter for 10+ years. Tell us more.
I have a passion for worship, praise, and God. I am also passionate about Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures. It is an amazing opportunity to create a space of access through interpreting and serving in another language. I am helping others by spreading the Gospel message of love to Spanish speakers. The medium of language is powerful and I have the task of being a conduit as I transmit a message from one language to another–this is not merely words, but it includes energy, expression, and the anointing. It’s an awesome experience and allows access to many who may not otherwise have access to a life altering message of victory & deliverance.
What was your inspiration for Finding the Love You Deserve?
My book, “Finding the love you Deserve: 30 Lessons in Self-Love and Acceptance” was born out of my experience within an abusive marriage and the grief of divorce. After I ended a “marriage” of three years, I was so broken emotionally, spiritually, financially, psychologically. It contains 30 lessons I learned from walking the path to wholeness and rediscovering who I was after experiencing one of the lowest points in my life.
Share your vision for the Essie Faye Collection.
My vision for the Essie Faye Collection is that consumers would be inspired by the encouraging messages on tees. Life can be so difficult sometimes and the smallest things–like tees–can bring so much joy. Sometimes sadness can be overcome with a simple kind word. I aim to deliver a kind word through tees with an inspirational message. My motivation for starting this collection was the onset of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The entire world was mourning; we were surrounded by death and uncertainty. It was a scary time for us all. And I thought, “how can I encourage people to keep faith?” The Essie Faye Collection is a small way to encourage faith in God’s plan and the kindness of people.