The creators of Our Faux Farmhouse, Holly and Brad Lauritzen, were Instagram influencers and content creators before people really made money off of social media.

The couple started sharing their hobby — building furniture and renovating their home — online after their friends told them about Instagram. It was 2016 and Holly Lauritzen said they made the account for fun. Since then, they have amassed more than one million followers on the app and they’re known for their thrifty DIY and lifestyle content.

But then something changed in the last year.

Holly Lauritzen said she was considering pulling back from Instagram, but was prompted to do something else instead — start sharing more of her faith online. The Lauritzens are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On their account, they’ve now shared this decision and have started posting about their Christian beliefs.

In an interview with the Deseret News, Holly Lauritzen opened up about what led to the decision, how she and her husband started their account and what it’s like to have an active, notable social media presence.

Since 2016, Lauritzen’s account continued to grow and over time, she and her husband felt like they wanted to start a new chapter. It wasn’t because she didn’t love content creation, she just felt like a different season of her life was starting.

Her family had prepared for it. She was planning on telling her audience in mid-December right before the holidays that she was going to stop posting on her account.

“But I could never get a confirmation from Heavenly Father that this was what he wanted for me to do,” Lauritzen said.

Lauritzen felt like her heart was focused on other things and she didn’t want to return to posting her typical content. “Especially over this past year, a lot of 2023, I really started diving more into my scriptures,” she said. “And those are the things in my heart right now.”

While Lauritzen grew up a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, she said she “deviated paths” when she was a teenager and young adult. She came back to church and most of her adult life, it’s been a defining part of who she is. She’s the mother of five children and now that she’s not raising babies, she felt like she needed to feel closer to Christ and spend more time with God.

“I’ll be honest, it was President (Russell M.) Nelson,” Lauritzen said, citing the church president’s 2018 general conference talk where he said, “it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

Lauritzen said in between nursing babies, changing diapers and taking care of her children, she didn’t feel like she took enough time to fill her spiritual tank.

As she thought about this, she felt “little nudgings” from God telling her to talk about what’s in her heart.

“I have always mentioned the church, I mentioned my beliefs, I mentioned my faith in the past in very safe little spurts and then I would put it back to my safe, little box and we wouldn’t talk about it,” Lauritzen said.

For Lauritzen, the majority of who she is, who they are and why they do things is “our faith and our belief in Jesus Christ.”

It felt “counterfeit” not to show it.

After Lauritzen got the courage to share her faith, she made a post on Instagram about it. She was expecting to lose half her followers and endure negative comments.

What happened instead surprised her.

Lauritzen’s followers embraced her and her new content. The majority of her audience are not Latter-day Saints. “I’ve really come to love that,” she said, explaining that she loves being able to talk about faith with people who have different views and different religious outlooks than her.

At the same time, Lauritzen also hopes she can be an example of a faithful Latter-day Saint, especially to women and girls. She makes an effort to be “all in on her covenants,” talk freely about her faith, not judge others, be bold and courageous, dress modestly and be comfortable and at peace with herself.

“I think more than anything people are wanting to feel peace right now,” she said.

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The beginnings of Our Faux Farmhouse

The genesis of Our Faux Farmhouse started with the couple’s shared dream of having a beautiful home for their family and not a lot of money. DIY was their hobby and after they started sharing it on the internet in 2016, some of Holly Lauritzen’s blogging friends told her she could start charging to promote products and monetize her account.

“It was the Wild West because people were just not doing that then,” Lauritzen said. “It was really the beginning of influencer marketing.”

From limewash brick to pops of color on accent walls, the rustic modern farmhouse chic aesthetic resonated with audiences.

Eventually, the couple was able to switch to content creation full time as they accrued more and more followers.

Courtesy of Holly Lauritzen

“It was so surreal because I thought it would be my parents and cousins and people I knew from my neighborhood,” Lauritzen said. “My circle was small and tight and I liked it that way. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

Lauritzen said it felt like she was getting an influx of new friends as people started to follow the account. Her followers connected with her over their shared interests and hobbies. She felt like she could be friends with the majority of them if she were ever to meet them.

It wasn’t all upsides though. Lauritzen said social media doesn’t allow people to see the full picture of who they are and it can be easy for people to make incorrect assumptions and fall into echo chambers.

Early on in her content creation career, Lauritzen said she made some boundaries and decided to treat it like a job with business hours.

“I noticed that it wasn’t worth my sanity and my sleep,” she said, explaining that she would take off weekends, holidays and time in the summer when her kids were not in school. “I tried to make it as much like a normal job as possible.”