Wow, Almost 4 Years Later!

Posted on December 14 2012

Almost 4 years ago I was swimming in my friends pool, in Orlando Florida, when it hit me! "I'm gonna make some cool tees"
I walked right out of his pool, dripping wet, into his home office, grabbed a napkin and started doodling..
I've always said Thank You Lord, so I wanted to use that in the logo somehow. Three minutes later, I had the first draft of our TYL logo (The Cross of Gratitude).
I call my brother Frankie, let him know my vision and sent the draft over to him so he can add his touch.  (he's so much better at graphics than I am).
And that's where it all started and I haven't stopped working on the GRATEFUL APPAREL Brand since.
A lot of people ask me  "How did you guys get so popular?"
I really never knew how to answer that question....
But one day thinking about the question, I started to backtrack and I noticed one thing in common - Giving.
One thing God put on my heart was to give, sow seeds.
I've always looked for opportunities on how to bless someone else and in blessing others I've actually been extremely blessed.
Couple of Examples:
  • About four years ago my church had a concert. Six bands in total. By the time the last band was setting up, I was done, tired and about to leave. Something told me to just stay. Reluctantly I did and Thank God, because as soon as these guys hit their first note, I knew it was going to be good!! DOUBLEDGE just rocked my Church!!! And left an impression on my heart. By the way, this is before GRATEFUL APPAREL was even thought of. So when GRATEFUL was birthed about a year later, I knew I had to find these guys. It took a little while for me to find them, but when we did, they agreed to meet with us. I remembered thinking [They need a banner] they rocked my church without a banner. So for the meeting I made them a 15' banner with the DOUBLEDGE logo on it. They had no idea that I was going to bless them with banner (sow a seed) and I had no idea, that, that seed I sowed would come back ten times... They loved the banner!! Next thing you know, I’m traveling with them around the country selling GRATEFUL APPAREL at all their shows. While on the road, I meet tons of people, widening our network and fan-base. All because I blessed them with a banner.

  • About two years ago, RapFest, I walk up to this underground artist in his booth. I had no idea who he was. We start talking and hit it off right away.  I remember him saying “let me get one of those Rapfest-T Shirts, I want to sow a seed into this ministry”  Man, I loved that, I love when people think of others. He had his own merchandise that was kind of OK. I say to him, "I think we could do a better version of that tee for you". Excited he says "sure Thank You". About two weeks later we hand him the first GRATEFUL / SIN IS WACK collaboration tee. He loved it! And the rest is history. You see that guy [Andy Mineo] winded up becoming one of the most popular Hip Hop artists around, signing a major record deal with Reach Records making the Sin Is Wack Tee just as popular. All because I sowed a seed.
Now, you can't go around blessing people expecting things in return, it just doesn't work like that.
I believe you have to give with a cheerful heart and your motives have to be genuine.
I can't take credit for being a giver/sower, it's something God has blessed me with and it doesn't always come easy. 
Example : There's been times at shows where God has told me to give all the money we just made from sales back to the event. 
The conversation would go something like this :
me "All of it?"  
HIM "Yes All of it"
me "You mean just the profit, right?"
Him "No All of it!"
me "Ooook"
LoL, it sounds funny now, but believe me explaining it to my wife wasn't. 

But looking back it was all a blessing!! You can never out-give God.
You can’t keep what you have, unless you give it away.
I really believe the best is yet to come.
We appreciate every single one of you.
Thank You so much for the support and God Bless!



  • Liz: November 11, 2015

    I’m a sucker for a good sci- fi / aciton movie. I’m rather forgiving in just how much I will overlook in the name of quality entertainment.First, the Good: Some of the acting (Cillian Murphy, Justin Timberlake and a few others) are respectably solid. Also, the overall concept is very intriguing the world currency is time, and when a person turns 25 their life clock actually begins. From the time you are 25, life’s objective is to keep your life clock from expiring. If it expires, you die. Not a problem for the rich, who have more time than they know what to do with: a wealthy person may have centuries to live, while the poor continuously struggle for more time. It’s a very interesting premise that becomes more interesting when a poor worker (Justin Timberlake) saves a wealthy man from a time stealing mob boss while flaunting his wealth in the ghetto. in return, he gives Justine Timberlake all of his time (over 100 years). In a short but very philosophical discussion the wealthy man, who has mentally lived too long, says We are meant to die. So begins a science fiction tale that promises to serve up plenty of symbolism, philosophical overtones about economy and the meaning of existence. Could it possibly be the rare sci fi / aciton film panned by critics but destined to become a cult classic somewhere down the road?Hell no.Unfortunately, that’s about as good as the film gets.Actually, the movie starts to go down hill and remains spiraling out of control with the entrance of Amanda Seyfried. Sadly, the story abandons all of its earlier adult-oriented promise to become a vapid love story seemingly aimed at pre-teens. Amanda Seyfried is a very pretty girl, but her acting abilities are horrific. I was not impressed with her in Red Riding Hood and even less impressed here. Not only can’t she act, but her acting is so horrible that my wife and I kept laughing at scenes that were meant to be serious. She serves well as eye candy, but the girl really needs to invest in some acting lessons. She’s laughably terrible.Just an example of her horrible acting: she plays a wealthy girl who is kidnapped by Justin Timberlake and taken to the ghetto. They are both rendered unconscious and robbed of nearly all their time. Now they have to stay on the move and struggle to stay alive without running out of time. Never once does she seem very concerned that she is mere minutes from certain death. She acts incredibly hum-drum for a rich girl who always had an over-abundance of time and now literally has almost none.The third act gets even worse when the two lovers turn into Robin Hood-esque characters, stealing from the wealthy and giving to the poor. The movie becomes so trite that anything once redeeming is no longer a part of the equation.Also, the ghetto’ was way too tame: in a world where time can be exchanged simply by grabbing someones arm, think how chaotic, dismal and brutal the ghetto would really be with people killing eachother just to survuve a few more minutes. While this is slightly implied, it is never shown. The movie becomes its own worst enemy by completely santizing what it’s attempting to condemn in the first place.All in all, this movie is so incredibly disappointing because it started with so much promise and then took all that promise and wasted it. Some the actors were solid- I’ve always been impressed with Cillian Murphy and I must admit that Timberlake easily holds his own as well. With a tighter script and direction, this could have been so much better than it actually was.

  • 1: June 30, 2015


  • Jonathan: July 18, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. You may have second guessed it, but I just want you to know that I’m interested in creating some T-Shirt designs that share God’s (Jesus’) love and I’ve been eagerly searching for others who are already doing it so that I can just learn about their experiences. I’m so glad you are focused on giving, this is also my heart for creating apparel- to give back to ministries that are spreading the Good News with a portion of every sale. God bless your efforts as you continue!

  • lea: February 26, 2013

    You truly are an inspiration to all of us. I beleive in giving the truth and it always made me the bad guy but i truly understood it when i read the verse that jesus says "you will be hated , be treated harshly…. "im not great at quoting scripture but that is my goal this year. Keep doing what you are doing and Godbless. My daughters love your music they are 6 aand 12…

  • Dameon Pearson: February 21, 2013

    You are a blessing, thank you for all your efforts and your work in Christ Jesus.

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