At the age of 33, my life fell apart. I had spent more than a decade carefully crafting the reality that my friends saw on social media. To them, I was a free spirit, traveling the world on a whim. The reality, of course, was much different. My world wanderings, across six of the seven continents, were in search of meaning. I was accepting of every culture I came across and spent time with the locals, embracing each belief system, in an ongoing attempt to find true joy.
And then, when everything finally seemed to be making sense while working on the project-of-a-lifetime, the truth revealed itself to me in the most unsettling way. All at once, my world crumbled. Yoga and Tai Chi, practices that were previously calming, only added to the stresses I carried. The meditation techniques I'd learned while sitting with monks and babas and new age gurus in far off lands could no longer stop the tumultuous writhing of my mind. I considered suicide; I was in agony.
And then, under the most ironic of circumstances, I was redirected to the Christian teachings of my youth. Only the name JESUS held the power to turn away the darkness. After testing out all the other gods I had been bowing to over the past decade, it became evident that when it comes to spiritual warfare, only one God deserves my praise. I renounced the wanderings of my past and re-accepted JESUS into my life. When fear held its grip on me, my aunt had me memorize a Bible verse: 2 Timothy 1:7 (That's why this is one of my all-time favorite HOODiiS). Now, when I find others in similar circumstances, I remind them that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind!
Part of the process of turning away from my past meant walking away from millions of dollars. [You can read more about my personal journey here.] My (now former) business partner decided he was not going to honor any of our signed agreements, so I made the decision to turn everything over to him and simply walk away without fighting him in court (despite having a signed and notarized agreement). Considering that I'd dedicated more than a decade of my life to building our mini empire together, my friends and family still question my drastic decision to leave it all behind, but surrendering everything is where I first encountered real and lasting JOY.
I decided to sever our relationship as peacefully as possible. ("How can righteousness partner with lawlessness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14). I organized 54 gigs of data and gave Michael all passwords, all design files, all ownership rights to all our brands, all intellectual property including trademarks to prominent brands and 16 patents (some with more than half a billion use cases in a growing industry), everything. We had created more than 20 businesses together, and it suddenly occurred to me that an extremely nefarious side existed to most of the projects I had been creating. Previously, this had eluded me, yet all at once God made it clear that I was to walk away.
Somewhat ironically, one of my main focuses over the years had been on product design and company branding. Years ago, when I first came up with the name HOODiiS, the brand was not at all Christ-centered. I loved the name, but Michael rejected it, so we never put it into use; instead, I kept it in my personal logs for future use. After walking away from my nefarious past, this is one of the only digital brands I still had access to. I sat in prayer questioning what my next steps were to be.
I have no doubt that the LORD will continue to use me in other meaningful ways, but my first assignments were clear:
So... here am I, humbled before the LORD.
I truly appreciate your support. It's a testament to the weirdly serendipitous path that God has lead me down. This brand is my way of sharing the good news in today's digital age.
HOODiiS is here to spread the Gospel, and (other than selling awesome, Christ-centered apparel) we use our proceeds in the following ways:
- 10% of HOODiiS' profits are cheerfully given to our local church.
- 10% of HOODiiS' profits are cheerfully given to Luke 4:18 Ministries, equipping Christians with tools for spiritual warfare.
- 10% of HOODiiS' profits are cheerfully given to Church Under The Bridge, supporting the homeless population in Austin, TX.
- 10% of HOODiiS' profits are cheerfully given to missionaries in China.
- 10% of HOODiiS' profits are cheerfully given to the ADRN (Austin Disaster Relief Network) or HOPE Healing Rooms.
- All proceeds are dedicated to serving the One who was and is and is to come...
Sign up for our mailing list if you'd like to receive updates about how this money is being used to glorify God! We'll also use this email list to announce the winners to any of our monthly apparel giveaways...
If you have a suggestion for other places where we can make a difference with our donations, please share your ideas with us. If you have prayer requests, we work with a team of prayer warriors that would be happy to include you if you reach out to us via messenger or our Contact Us page. Also, if there is a particular design or verse that you'd like to see on a shirt or hoody, let us know.