God can do a lot with a little. In February of 2016, I launched Art of Homage with only a $1500 investment from my savings. I basically saved my tax return to start my venture. I began with about 100 hats in three colorways. On the first day of launch, I only sold four hats and all of them were to friends,lol. I remember only selling five hats that first week. I had some doubts about what I was doing but I had just enough faith to keep at it.
Since then, I've done over 45K in sales in 10 months with about 24K of that coming in the last two months. The movement is growing and I'm more encouraged than ever that Art of Homage will be around for quite some time.
I have high aspirations for my brand. My goal to see believers treasure God more deeply and dwell on His goodness over our failures and doubts is strong. I've learned quite a few things since launch and wanted to share some insight with you guys. Here's a breakdown of my sales by month:
Some Cool Things I've Learned:
You can't do it all. When I first launched, I wanted to conquer Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I quickly figured out I wasn't gaining much tread on any of them. So I focused solely on Instagram, the most visual of them all. I spend a lot of time crafting the words I say and the pictures I post. I want the content to be edifying and encouraging and not just thrown out there hoping people like it. Eventually, I'll spend more time building on other platforms to grow but probably 95% of my engagement comes from Instagram because I'm focused on creating the best content I can there with the limited time I have.
Be authentic and trust God. So many things in my past try and keep me from thinking I'm capable and good enough to succeed. I don't have to convey perfection as a Christian. My life is not altogether. God is good, therefore, my life is beautiful. As some of you know, I ran my own indie record label for several years and got a chance to see a lot of young people come to know Christ more deeply through my music and message. I was devastated when it failed and it left me feeling hopeless and lost for a while. All I wanted to do was music and God had other plans for my life. It took me a while to realize that God's plan for my life is better than my plan for my life. We often think we're smarter than God. We probably won't say that out loud, but we act in a way that suggest it. We think we know how life should play out for us, but God is in control...so come what may, I will worship God.
Do things that help other people grow. As I continue in preparation to run my brand full time, my focus will always be on helping people. It's really non-negotiable. Money will never be more important than my relationship with God or my vision to inspire people. The questions for me always come back to how can I help more people or how can I reach more people. Sales are important and essential to my business, but I truly believe that my bottom line will be fine as long as I'm focused on what's most important. This doesn't negate my planning or focus money-wise, it just helps me keep a good perspective on why I started Art of Homage in the first place.
How We All Change the World. When we think about people that change the world, we probably think of someone famous or a historian. For me, people like Martin Luther King Jr, King David, John Piper and most importantly Jesus, come to mind. But you will change the world. Either for the better or the worse. You'll say something or do something that alters the course of someone's life. Or it may be a series of things that you do. I can name 3 people in my teens that did a few things for me that God used to change the trajectory of my existence. Success is so daily. The majority of us will never be famous or have a statue created in our honor after we die, but the lives you touch daily and the people you encourage and build up will move on through generations until the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For me, I get to create things that spark conversation, inspire inward praise, etc. We are all in the same boat and all of history is working towards the day when the heavens burst forth in Glory...and we all bow. And praise a Holy God. Change the world around you my friend. Don't let your failures or doubts stop you from loving on your neighbor and making peoples lives better around you. This is our great calling: To love God and love His people.