As Hosea enters its 7th month of business I wanted to take you back to where it all began...
At the start of 2017, I had just arrived home from a soccer scholarship in the US, with dreams of still making it in the game. In tandem with this, I had finally found my spiritual home. I had been a Christian my entire life but had never found a place where I had totally felt comfortable with my faith. But whilst I was growing spiritually, I was starting to lose my interest in football and dreaded the hours before training.
What was happening?
Why hadn't my growth in loving God resulted in a breakthrough for my dream?
One year on from those experiences, the answer seems so simple. In fact, the answer was already in the question...
I was doing football for myself. I was doing it for my own selfish ambitions and glory.
It was MY dream and not the one God had planned out for me.
Going to church and being part of a cell group (bible study) had allowed me to realise that I wasn't the most important person in the world.
I started to want to help others and their walk with God.
Instead of looking forward to improving my football skills, I had found myself waiting the whole week for my cell group.
I had finally taken the decision to stop playing football and focus more on God and what He wanted me to do... that's when Hosea was revealed to me.
One afternoon in June 2017, whilst I was online shopping, I couldn't find anything that I liked. I had always liked my fashion but I couldn't find anything that was truly "me".
It was then that the light bulb struck.
Could I create a fashion brand based on my faith?
In my time in America, I had found many Christian labels, but none of them could be classed as my type of fashion.
My faith took over and I started putting pen to paper. I drew up several different designs, logos and brand names.
My excitement after that evening was incomparable to the feeling I had before a training session a few months before.
I truly hope that this short testimony may help the younger generation in making decisions about their career and goals.
I think we can all agree that it is a difficult world for young people to grow up in.
They are offered so many opportunities nowadays, that so many crack under the pressures of the world.
They follow pathways that they believe they must follow, because to go out of society's norms, risks being branded a failure.
But, as my testimony demonstrates, the perfect remedy for all of one's doubts lies at the throne of the most high.
Perhaps that's why I love our Clarity in Confusion design so much.
Because amongst the chaos of the world He leads us to the correct path.
God reorders your life when you put Him first. That's the simple truth.
I like to encourage people to think of the invisible staircase when times get tough.
God has the next step waiting for you to step on, but you cannot see it just yet.
You may not realise why you have to take that certain step but you just need to have faith that it is there.
It is only after looking back down the staircase that you can realise why God had you make that step.
Anyway back to our journey...
I was convinced that the best way to start making our products was through a fabric paint method. As you can see from the picture below they looked great.
But it wasn't a consistent technique. I couldn't create the same product every single time. I had to find something else.
One of my best friends Anne had directed me towards a small printing company that did not require a bulk order. We informed the printing company of what designs we wanted and we got printing...
Our July shoot was a great success. And everything seemed to be going to plan. I had planned a September launch in conjunction with a G12 Hearts on Fire conference that we were to attend.
I had decided on a name. But it wasn't Hosea...
Based on John 3:16, the brand was to be called One and Only.
How about the logo?
I had the vision of creating the initials of Christ (JC) with the horizontal line further down.
So it would now look like the initials of Christ merged with the cross.
But at the same time it would look like an anchor representing the strength behind the brand.
As many people have pointed out the logo has disappeared from Season 2 and 3.
I've had a lot of requests to bring it back. And I'm happy to say that we are looking to bring it back revamped for the the next season.
But why take it away in the first place?
I loved the logo. But I also knew that logos are long term.
Therefore, I made the decision to leave the logos out for the next two seasons and work on creating something similar, but even more recognisable.
As the September launch date edged closer, I was informed by some close friends that the brand name was very similar to another local clothing brand.
The name had to be changed.
It took a while for the name to come.
But eventually the name Hosea came to me.
In the Bible, Hosea was instructed by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer.
Countless times, Gomer left Hosea to go back to her old ways.
Each time, Hosea would chase after her and restore her to his home.
A preaching I watched compared this to how God chases us when we stray away from Him.
I wanted Hosea Clothing's mission to be similar.
A tool that God could use to win the lost.
I wanted our clothes to be the light for unbelievers to see.
In fact, we encourage those without faith to wear our apparel.
And with that in mind, I came up with our motto:
Born to spread the message.
Created to show the Light.
Read more about our mission here.
The first few months of business presented challenges.
Using the printing company was not financially viable for the long term.
We had to find a long term solution.
I looked at different printing companies.
But the same financial problem arose.
So we went back to our original plan but with a different technique.
Clothes designed and created by us.
We purchased a vinyl cutter and a heat press.
And our new technique was underway!
Now every purchase that you make has been handmade by our Hosea team!
So what about the last few months?
Season 2 and 3 opened our designs up to new types of fashion with the introduction of bomber jackets, caps, turtle necks and zip necks.
In March 2018 we launched our YouTube Channel. We want to use this channel to gain a wider audience for Hosea.
We're aiming to produce content which empowers the fellow Christian with their everyday walk with Christ.
We're also aiming to produce a channel that helps people style our Hosea products in the best way possible.
Right now on our channel we have two lookbook videos.
We plan to produce more of these types of videos over the coming months.
As well as this, we are going to produce motivation and spoken word videos.
If this sounds like something you'd be interested check out our videos below- and be sure to subscribe!
Our Instagram has truly taken off since we started.
We have countless amounts of messages from people around the world.
You can never understand just how valuable your words are to us.
To get recognition for what we are doing truly makes the difficult times worthwhile.
To finish the blog off I wanted to offer my thanks to everyone who has helped with Hosea.
Without your help, Hosea Clothing simply wouldn't exist.
For those who have helped from Pagasa Church, whether you're a model or a photographer, I will always be grateful for what you have done for Hosea.
Finally, to all of you who have bought from Hosea. Your purchase has helped us to grow and expand our business.We've had orders from all over the world from the USA to Denmark.
We are so grateful for your support and want you to be part of this journey with us.
So please continue to support us via our channels... and be part of spreading the message and showing off the light!