Christianhood – ministry in clothing
It all started when I was at university, feeling creative with some fabric paints, having some time on my hands, and painting ‘Christian’ slogans onto Tesco-bought t-shirts.
I came up with a name of Angel Wings and thought this was a great idea to pass some time and make some money through university.
Many friends would see the t-shirts and request one made for them, or for presents, coming up to Christmas time. Fabric paints meant individually hand painting each item of clothing, and unfortunately ‘Angel Wings’ soon ended when assignment after assignment came flooding in and, believe it or not, time for me as a student was spent on research and study.
A few years later, I had finished university and decided to be a Relay worker with UCCF in Leeds. This was a great year for me to do, to get involved in the Christian Union and rely on God in every aspect of my life.
My degree was in marketing, so within the Christian Union publicity seemed to always be my role. Making flyer after flyer, poster after poster and hoodie after hoodie! Coming up with a logo was strenuous enough, never mind looking around many clothing printing companies to find the best deal for the Christian Union.
This is when the idea entered into my head again – if only I could just hand paint all these hoodies, although that quickly went out of my head when over 100 hoodies were ordered!
But I did think: would it not be so much easier to have one company that would represent the Christian market when it came to printing and publicity for this kind of thing?
After Relay I went on to pursue some sort of career in marketing; starting a business was pushed to the back of my mind. I didn’t have any savings to begin a business, never mind the time or business knowledge.
The next step
A year later, in 2008, I found myself in the middle of a recession with no job. I had no money coming in and plenty of time that needed to be filled. I remember praying to God about what I should do, and what was to be the next step in my life.
The Lord firmly reminded me of who he is, and the need to always rely on him and look for his guidance. In the next few weeks, the idea of Christianhood came into my head. I can confidently say God gave me this name so clearly and he gave me the ambition to start the business.
In January 2009 Christianhood officially went into business. It started trading, with real customers, real money and a real name! It was an exciting time, and I stepped out with the attitude that, if this works, great; but, if not, at least I have given it a shot, and anyway all is in God’s plan whether it be success or failure.
From the start of the business, I was keen to make Christianhood a social enterprise. I had struggled when I was a Relay worker to raise funds to get through the year. I knew firsthand what it was like to rely on God every month to pay rent, food and normal life expenses.
So when Christianhood was created, I wanted the money from sales to go back into Christian work to support those who are sharing God’s Word and to enable God’s work to take place without the hindrance of finding financial support.
Since we started in January 2009 God has blessed us with so many contacts, conferences and partnerships with charities all over the UK. Christianhood has steadily grown over the past 18 months and it’s been amazing to have already supported work in Cuba, Poland, Malawi and Ireland, and also to support a young girl called Riassa in Brazil.
With the grace and will of our Lord Jesus Christ, our aim is to develop Christianhood into some sort of a supporting mission organisation. Through the sales of Christianhood we want to focus on a project or place and send out people every year to not only financially support the project/place, but to contribute skills and compassion to work in that community.
The verse we have dedicated to the company is Galatians 6:9-10: ‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up. So then, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith’.
If you are interested in finding out more about Christianhood check us out on www.christianhood.com (or email firstname.lastname@example.org). Hopefully you will be seeing some of our clothing at churches, Christian Unions or conferences near you!