A lot has changed since we featured Charlotte Evans Russell in the October 2019 issue of Birmingham Christian Family where she shared her transformational faith story that began in foster care, addiction and then to life as a pastor’s wife.
Russell is a popular social media influencer who started her Instagram account, @charlotteshappyhome, as a creative outlet for her photography while she remodeled her historic home in Gadsden, Ala. and developed a dedicated group of followers she likes to compare to a really big small group. Through her social media and her website, she shares stories about her family life, faith, and lifestyle tips. Her online following has grown exponentially, from around 35,000 on Instagram to more than 120,000 today. Her career has transformed in a relatively short time. Her family has grown too.
New Mom. Her followers have engaged with her story in recent months as she shared her pregnancy with the world on social media. Her daughter, Amelia Grace, was born August 1, 2021.
“I am so in love with that girl,” she said. “For years, I thought I would have boys and was shocked to find out I was pregnant with a girl. I took the news hard to begin with, but then I had a conversation with the Lord.” She adds, “He showed me that He wanted to surprise me with this gift that will be so special because I will get to give the love of a mother that I never had. I will see what I could have experienced if I had the love and acceptance she will have. Almost like He is redeeming my childhood through her.”
“The Lord just began to introduce her to me,” she said. “I got her name immediately. That was the first thing I needed to do,” she said. The Russells decided on the name, Amelia Grace, which means “work of the Lord” and that name took on a very personal meaning for them. “At 38 years old, I had a very healthy pregnancy and was able to have a natural childbirth. It was a beautiful experience that I will never forget,” Russell said. “We had worship music playing during labor and delivery. Amelia was born to the song “Oceans” by Hillsong. The amazing thing about it was I spent an hour praying over her two nights before to that song on repeat! It was as if the Lord was saying He heard my prayers and He answered them.”
Remembering that special day, Russell says, “The moment she was born I cannot even explain the love and joy that I felt,” adding, “My heart is so full because of Amelia that I no longer have a desire for a son. In fact, she is all that I want! It’s amazing to me how God can do that.” Charlotte and Jon currently pastor at Fearless Church in Chattanooga, Tenn. They are commuting but are about to begin building a house which will give them a lot of new material for her social media business.
From Hobby to Career. This past year, the Russells started an LLC to better manage the business generated from her social media work and her blog. Although she originally started sharing design tips on Instagram while the couple remodeled their historic home in Gadsden, she has transformed her material into more of a lifestyle brand which generates a full-time income for her. She attributes the online growth to building relationships. “I love sharing my life with my Instagram tribe. They are more than just followers to me,” she said. “They have been present for so many milestones already. I share daily in stories and am able to connect on a more personal level there. I love and appreciate how invested they are in our lives. I believe that is where the success comes from. Being able to connect and relate with your audience.” Being a social media influencer, businesses reach out to Charlotte to feature their products on her posts. She says she only works with products she personally loves or things she believes her followers will enjoy.
Fall Designs. Autumn is a colorful time of year which offers many inexpensive opportunities to bring life to the home. For people looking for design tips this time of year, Charlotte has a few helpful hints. “Pumpkins are a fun, easy and affordable way to decorate for fall,” she said. “You can use them indoors on a tablescape or outdoors on your porch. Be sure to soak them in bleach water if you want them to last all season long!” Another helpful design tip for the fall is to use fall plants around the house or to incorporate fall colors throughout the house with blankets, pillows and other accessories. Getting an entirely new look to celebrate the season doesn’t have to involve a large scale, expensive makeover. “Think about the colors you see as the trees are changing. If you sprinkle those colors throughout your house, it will look like the fall,” she said.
Did you enjoy this story? Check out the full November issue here!