Growing up in a family of first generation immigrants who embodied the "American Dream" with their entrepreneurial spirits, it was instilled in my younger sister and me at a very early age to aspire to have our own business endeavors some day. On my list from the very beginning was creating my own clothing brand. During my adolescent years living in the South Bay of Southern California, I grew up watching and admiring the popular brands like Stussy, Hurley, Billabong and Club Sportswear. I knew if I were to create a new brand some day, it had to have the same levels of design and craftmanship, if not better. Question was, when would I create this brand?
Fast forward to 2008, while in a season of being a full-time youth pastor, I took notice of the trends of the youth who were representing brands with messages of self-promotion and worldliness. It was there that I kept asking myself why a brand promoting godly messaging couldn't be as cool - or cooler- than that which was presently being glorified in pop culture.
Shortly thereafter, my pastor was preaching a message about Barnabas and Paul, about the encouragement that Barnabas brought to one of God's great champions. At this time, the vision took shape, and God reignited this passion to create a clothing brand and answered my original question. Not just any clothing brand, however, but a redefinition and elevation of what Christian clothing was thought to be. It was then that the Lord charged me with the message to 'Live A Life Worth Imitating' from 1 Corinthians 11:1 where Paul says, 'Imitate me, as I imitate Christ'. This was the message that would spark the beginnings of Barnabas Clothing Co.
11 years later, with 3 brick-&-mortar stores having come and gone, and the launch of a new division within the corporation, "Barnabas Design House" which services custom merch for clients like Alicia Keys and Carlos Santana, I can say that it doesn't look like God is slowing down anytime soon.
Even through these many years, I am still humbled at the fact that God would use a guy like me to be at the helm of Barnabas. In this new season, I feel He is breathing new life into the brand with design and messaging for today's Christ follower. Encouragement to not only share the gospel of Christ through cool and elevated designs, but inspire and challenge the saints today to choose to honor God through their lives. Yes, most of my designs are created with the hope to spark a conversation with someone who does not know Christ, but even more importantly, to encourage and challenge today's Christian to make a daily decision to choose Him before anything else.