Last week, I posted a blog about the beauty and expansion that happens in the world when people take the courageous journey of creating. It isn’t easy to create. We have to push through our own insecurities, plow past other people’s criticism, and keep walking into a future that is unsure. I loved reading each response. Each one was oozing with courage and bursting with goodness. Thanks to everybody who took the bold step to write out what you had created!
My friend Lee Hanssen is creating something very good, a way to encourage people and help them see God in a new way – so I wanted you to know about it. In fact, today is the first day of his Kickstarter campaign, and I was one of the first to back it. Perhaps you’ll consider backing him as well.
Please enjoy reading Lee’s story below. And let there be lots of beauty and wonder in your own creative process, and also in the outcome!
A while back a friend asked me to bring her a few of my favorite articles of workout clothing, so I did. Then she told me about her start up company and that she needed to send my stuff to some obscure country. I said yes, and I never got my clothes back. I’m still a little mad about that.
But I got something so much better.
At that meeting we started talking about Christian clothing companies. I almost threw up in my mouth (my apologies to anyone currently wearing something from or associated with an existing aforementioned companies). I told my friend the last thing Christianity needs is another shirt that says ‘Jesus Saves’ or ‘John 3:16’ painted across the front. Jesus does save and God loves this world, more than we will ever know. But those types of shirts never really did much for me. I’m not sure those types of shirts ever did much for anyone but the person wearing them.
When I read something I love – in the Bible or a really good book — I write on my hand. It’s usually a simple word that reminds me of what I’m learning. I couldn’t tell you how many times people have asked me about what’s on my hand and I have been invited to talk about Jesus…and I love to talk about Jesus.
So we started a company so I didn’t have to keep writing stuff on my hands. It’s called Branded By J. Otto.
Here’s how it works…
You hop on our website and shop by theme. Our themes are printed on the outside of the garment and represent life events we all have in common.
Scripture has been carefully matched with the appropriate theme. We have something fitting for any situation.
You have a chance to include a personal message. The recipient will also receive a link to an inspirational video explaining the verse on their garment.
Your loved one has something they will wear for years and hopefully never forget!
I have had the privilege to preach, teach, write, and talk about God in many different ways. And when my friend invited me to join her in this endeavor, it gave me another way to invite others into the conversation. It gave me an outlet to create something new, something significant out of what God has been doing in my life.
I have no idea how to start a company, but here is where I find myself: at times blissfully unaware, and at other times terrified of all that’s on the line. For me, it’s never really been about starting a company. It’s more about seeing an idea come to life. I don’t know if we will make it or not, but I sure hope we do. I think what we have created is worth sharing. I think what we have created will meet people where they are and help them take their next step of faith. I think what we have created comes from a deep place in our souls.
I hope we make it because I think what we have created is good…so very good!
— Lee Hanssen