Yay Sisters: Cassandra Hooimeyer, owner of Wildergeese, based in Australia
If you've been following The Yay Project for a little while, you may have seen news of a Christian greeting card collaboration I did with an Australian brand called Wildergeese. Super excited to introduce Cass, the founder, and have her share about her creative journey, inspirations, motivations, and above all her beautiful walk with God.
Name: Cassandra Hooimeyer
Location: Gippsland Australia
Please tell us about yourself.
I’m third generation Australian with 100% Dutch heritage and the daughter of quiet, faithful Christian parents who homeschooled five not-so-quiet little women. We were raised on a hobby farm where I spent much of my childhood curled up with books living vicariously in ancient worlds of honour and adventure.
From a young age I wrote poor poetry and even poorer prose. I dreamt of becoming an author and changing the world because it was wonderful Christian writers who changed mine. Today, I am not an author. However after spending my late teens and early twenties working as a paralegal, I developed a love of how the law uses precise words in the pursuit of justice and peace. All going well, the end of 2021 marks the end of my law degree along with its ugg-boots and comfortable tshirts. I’m so keen to use Words to serve His Kingdom as a lawyer.
Meanwhile, the Lord is using my love of words and design as well as my background in administration and compliance to serve the Church through launching Wildergeese.
How did you become a Christian?
The power of the prayerful, daily witness of my parents has become so clear to me over time. I grew up watching Dad dwell in the Word and Mum in prayer.
Alongside this wonderful legacy, I can trace my deepening commitment to Christ through three books which God used alongside His Word to bring me to my knees. When I was about thirteen He won my heart through Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. I knew, reading this book, that He would hold my hand and protect my heart even to death, and that He was worth every breath. He then won my mind at about age fifteen through Schaeffer’s The God Who is There. I knew with this text that love and goodness found their origin and meaning only in the triune and personal God who had revealed Himself truly to a creation unwinding in its rebellion. Later He tamed my stubborn Dutch will through a book called Hinds Feet on High Places, a wonderful allegory about vulnerability, pain and submission to the One who is Love.
What’s your favourite way to experience God?
I’ve come to love how His silence in my need draws me closer. What I feel can so easily originate from my culture, or friendship groups or music (to name a few), so I am careful to start with what He says in His Word and all that He has done for His people past and present. History shouts His glory. The growing hearts of my family and my friends show His faithful work. When the Psalmist says ‘Help! Why are You silent?!’ he is drawn into mediation of God’s unfailing character and His great and honourable deeds of lovingkindness. It is these memories and meditations that bring me to my knees.
My best friend says that we are 'drops in His ocean' and it's a comforting thought. The severity of the trials that assail my heart are put into perspective when I think of all He is and has done. He has placed the ocean of His Spirit in this little teacup me. Grief is real. The warping of life on earth since sin is real. But the reality of Him is much brighter and I find that if I ‘look into His wonderful face all the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’. The thought of Him helps me move onward faithfully. All that matters is caught up in loving Him.
What does celebrating your God-given design mean to you?
I once thought that if I delighted in something I should learn to do it wonderfully myself. However there are too many things I value for me to learn them all in a lifetime and there are some which I value that simply do not suit my God-given design. But I have found that if I am faithful to develop a few gifts (such as my love for words, design and story) I can then use these to champion the gifts of others! This is one of the reasons I love the Wildergeese project - I get to celebrate God’s Family!
I see this with my sisters too, that once we are content in our place, with our own gifts, there is a keen delight in devoting the use of those unique skills and insights to God. And it doesn’t matter if those gifts don’t look particularly spiritual, they exist in a world God made, given by Him, for His glory. And as we are faithful to love with the strength of our hands so He will be glorified.
Love what you are doing with Wildergeese. Could you share more about its mission and how it got started?
Many ventures start from a place of need. I love sending beautiful, modern cards with chatty news and reflections on God’s faithfulness. I regret to say it, but I often buy blank secular greeting cards because the greeting cards at Christian retailers rarely capture the wonderful, raw, imaginative creativity of God’s Family. Instead, they utilise over-spiritualised photoshopped ‘art’ and trite, cultural affirmations which help a recipient take pride in themselves, rather than sentiments that encourage someone in God. There is no lasting comfort in being told we are ‘beautiful’ and ‘enough’ when we know (consciously or not) the depth of our sin and our need for a divine Shoulder. Christians need to do differently from the world… we need to point to Jesus.
This is where the name ‘Wildergeese’ comes from. The Bible tells us that to really love is to act, think and pray in a way that the world doesn’t understand. We are told to follow Jesus, walking cloaked in new holiness and a changed mind towards our purchased Home with the Lord. We don’t have the leisure of adhering to comfortable dangerous cultural norms like a domesticated goose in it’s muddy farmyard. If we are to live fully in our new spiritual birth, we must return to the wild, learn how to fly again, and fly boldly Home. Like wilder geese.
Even careless words can be powerful… affirmations can be clung to in place of the comfort of Christ’s love and provision. Greeting cards are only a simple tool, but they can be a powerful one for the Kingdom if designed faithfully, filled thoughtfully, and sent in love.
How do you come up with your collections and how many do you release each year?
We release a minimum six Collections of three cards each every year, each featuring a different creative and unique never-seen-before artwork designed especially for the Wildergeese line. I work directly with different artists / creatives to create the themes and content for Collections. My aim is to champion and reflect what’s on their heart in their journey with God, and add my skills and love to making it come to life in sharable art. Sometimes I will suggest a theme based on the trends I see in a creative’s work but often they will tell me what they’re keen to explore, and each Collection grows prayerfully from there.
What are some things God has taught you while working on Wildergeese?
So many things (I have many things to learn…). One of the most keen reminders God has reminded me that the heart needs to be prepared to withstand success, in the same way one braces oneself for a wave. Pride and self-congratulation can beat up the soul and take one under. Like another Yay Sister said, ‘every compliment, comment, collaboration and more is only because of Jesus’ provision. I have learned to put on humility every single day because it is an extreme honor and responsibility to be doing this. ...It’s about putting on a thankful heart every morning, realizing that God has given you a platform to simply steward.’ (Thanks @misstarasun x).
What’s your vision for Wildergeese going forward?
I pray these cards become a beautiful piece of stationery in your hands to be filled with uplifting words about life, goodness, pain and, above all, God’s faithful and close provision. Alongside this, I hope many artists are encouraged spiritually and practically as they share their work with Wildergeese and you! Part of our collaboration structure is an ongoing royalty to each creative each time one of their works sells, but it’s such a beautiful thing when someone believes in your art enough to buy it that by investing in Wildergeese, in a real way you encourage your Brothers and Sisters who are creating in love.
Long term (and this is a bold one), I hope Wildergeese becomes the place Christians go to discover and support new creatives and branch out to see their work and support them as they glorify our master and lord Jesus Christ through their creativity. Besides the art itself, the pages on the website which are dedicated to our collaborators which delight me most.
How can we pray for you?
Wisdom! Always wisdom. We serve in a large and complex world that’s beyond what I can understand. I hope always to be responsive to God’s guidance.
Bible verse: Jude 25 is SO good: All glory to Him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Worship song: My Worth is Not in What I Own by Keith & Kristen Getty and Come Thou Fount by Robert Robinson
Way to worship: Playing piano
Beauty product: I have a fondness for face scrubs.
Piece of clothing: White cotton t-shirts and classy heels (I’m sure I can make them work together!)
Place: I feel at home near windows. My parents built a house filled with light and I love the sun.
Connect with Cass
Instagram (business): www.instagram.com/wildergeese
Instagram (personal): www.instagram.com/flyboldlyhome