Chosen Vessels

“God, I thank you that I am a chosen vessel!” -Cyvonne Davy

I thank God that I’m a chosen vessel. I was adopted and accepted by God. If you don’t know who He is, His name is JESUS. He picked me. He chose me. I was selected among several others by God. I’m a vessel for God’s Spirit and to carry out his purpose. I am validated in Him. I am who God says I am. For these reasons I am purpose driven. When you realize you were hand-picked by Christ you will not understand. This interview with founder and CEO of Chosen Vessels Apparel touched me, blessed me, and encouraged me! Faint Adams is beautiful, driven, funny, and a boss lady. She is one of the many hardworking women that I am glad to know and introduced to you through this interview. I learned a lot. Enough from me, let us get to why you’re here.

What is Chosen Vessels?

Chosen Vessels Apparel is a Christian Lifestyle brand that has a host of apparel such as t-shirts, hats, totes, etc. Chosen Vessels is a brand that can be worn by people of all ages. It is a brand that believes you can love God and be stylish through your apparel.

What do you believe and how has it influenced Chosen Vessels?

I believe that God gives everyone gifts and talents. It’s up to us, however, to cultivate them. Chosen Vessels is a “Christian” lifestyle brand and everything we put out is meant to make that statement. Whenever you see a CVA shirt, you will know that we strive to spread the love of God in everything we print. 

What was the first shirt you ever made? How do you feel about it now?

The first shirt I ever made was a shirt for Christmas when I was about 8 years old. It was something my mother and I would do for the holidays with her grand-kids and myself. I remember it like yesterday; making a shirt for my birthday using puffy paint and making a shirt for Father’s Day for my dad. Since my birthday typically falls in close proximity to Father’s Day, I would find joy in being able to create shirts for him as a gift. Going to Michael’s, Joann’s Fabric and Hobby Lobby always excited me and I can remember the feeling of purchasing hot glue guns, fabric and other crafting supplies. I never imagined that was God cultivating the gifts in me that would one day become my source of income. As far as the first Christian shirt, that was Acts 2:38. What inspired me was wanting to create a witnessing tool on my job.

How do you decide what to sell online or in retail?

Demographics play a huge role into deciding what to sell. Shirts that may be trendy and on high demand in one area, might not be so in another. For instance, in Michigan it begins to cool down around April. That is not the case in Florida. When customers are asking for hoodies there, it make sense to provide them for customers in cooler climates versus in retail in Florida where it is hot during that same time of the year. Additionally, some of our apparel does better in person via vendor opportunities than they do online. For this reason, we’ll take more of those items that we know need to be seen in person in order for the vision to be seen by consumers.

How do you decide what items to incorporate into a line?

Right now, we have about 25 shirt graphics/designs waiting to be released. The majority of our shirt designs come during a church sermon, while reading the bible, or from a thought that I am having. I have come to realize that just because you get an idea, does not necessarily mean that it needs to be released right then. You must truly be willing to figure out what it means for God’s people and when to release it. Ultimately Chosen Vessels is a ministry and we prepare our designs the same as any other minister would decide what sermon to deliver.

What is your strongest truth?

My strongest truth is that if it goes against what you believe and if it goes against God’s word, DON’T DO IT! The temporary reward or gratification may seem to be astounding and too hard to pass up, but if God has something for you, you’ll NEVER have to compromise your beliefs nor His word to receive it.

What are the best shoes to wear with a Chosen Vessels shirt?

That really depends on your style. Believe it or not, I am a sneaker-head, so I’ll match mine with a good pair of J’s. The beautiful thing about our shirts is the versatility. You can literally take the same shirt and pair it with sneakers one day, flip flops the next and then heels, a tulle skirt and a blazer the next. We love to see how our customers wear our shirts based off their own style and personality.

How much power does your customers have?

Hopefully they have that HOLY GHOST POWER!!!! LOL just kidding. I listen to their suggestions and watch the latest trends. There have been times when they’ve given us great suggestions that we incorporated into our designs. What I have found to be true though is that less is more, and you can’t please everyone. So, although we would love to take everything into consideration, we aren’t able to. We do love feedback! It helps us to see if we’ve grown, what we can improve and what their thoughts are concerning the brand.

What differentiates Chosen Vessels from competition?

Firstly, I want to bust a myth. People say if you’re so focused on yourself and your brand, you won’t have time to focus on the competition. I completely disagree. Paying attention to your competition can show you what NOT to do. The apparel business is a huge market and the “Christian” apparel business is huge. Most people and brands use “Christian” lightly and loosely. However, we strive to show in our brand that our God has a name, Jesus, and we’ll use that anytime we can. Like I said before, our shirts make statements and end up being great witnessing tools. For us, it’s not just about money, it’s genuinely about soul winning and witnessing. We love hearing how people have worn our shirts and had an opportunity opened up to talk about the scripture or the saying. Many times, friends have gotten baptized after discussing the shirt or strangers will approach people while working out and ask questions, which is what we want happening. This company literally started because the company we were working with told us we had to quit converting people; but that’s our goal. Witnessing can be hard for some people, so when we hear them say they have used our shirts as a conversation starter and gained the boldness they’ve been desiring, it makes everything worth it. We do what we do for the Kingdom of God, not for ourselves. You don’t have to compromise or collaborate with conflicting values/beliefs to be successful.

How committed are you?

I’m committed so much and love the brand so much that I sacrificed and left my job three months ago to run the business full time. We’re currently wrapping up a three-week summer tour. Our goal was to put the brand in front of as many people as possible.

Who can wear Chosen Vessels?

Anyone who loves God and loves being stylish can wear Chosen Vessels.

Tell us something about your background?

I will tell you something quirky about me: I am a very funny, easy going person BUT I hate being up front in the limelight. I am a behind the scenes person. However, this tour has stretched me outside of my comfort zone. I talked to people for as long as they wanted, but I got nervous the more people found out that I am the owner of the company.

How comfortable are you working with models to build your brand?

I am extremely comfortable working with models. Currently, Chosen Vessels utilizes a group of individuals who have been with the company for several years as models and brand ambassadors. We have used models in various social media posts, stories as well as brand/company videos and photographs.

14) What is the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The most difficult aspect is being realistic and being a Saint. We’re not just entrepreneurs or “Christian” entrepreneurs. As a Saint, you might be asked to do things that are against what you believe. Learning how to say no was difficult but extremely necessary. Another difficulty is the fact that social media makes it look super easy, but they don’t see all the late nights and early mornings. Nor do they see the sacrifices. There are so many elements that go into it such as maintaining your spirituality, prayer life, putting each area of your life in its proper place. You MUST be a great manager of your time so that you have time for yourself, your family, and sticking to and maintaining your values despite what other companies may be doing. Many people think being an entrepreneur is simply owning a business. Starting a business is easy, sustaining and maintaining it is an entirely different thing. I’ve learned that you must give people the grace NOT to believe in you. Not everyone is a visionary and that is okay. They might not be equipped to handle your vision. Many entrepreneurs say you must be able keep going even when the excitement is no longer there. There are times where you might not get paid, but God always provides. Often He’ll send someone at the right time to offer an encouraging word that will help you see your “why” and keep going. Being an entrepreneur has increased my faith because it has taught me the true meaning of daily bread.

What should we look forward to from Chosen Vessels?

We just completed our first mini tour which is the kickoff to our brand expansion efforts. We’re also gearing up to launch our fall line in the next month or so.

I truly hope this encourages someone to keep going and continue pressing for their vision. I had my website up for an ENTIRE YEAR before I made my first online sale. NOW there are days where we’ll do 70-75 orders in one day. That aren’t itemized orders, they’re grouped orders. If we itemize them, it would come out to be much more. Entrepreneurship is NOT easy by any means, but it is SO worth it. No one will believe in your vision more than you.

Be sure to follow Faint Adams on Instagram (@ceofaint & @chosenvesselsinc) and Facebook. Subscribe via email for the latest changes, new releases, exclusive offers, sales and more. You don’t want to miss any of it. Chosen Vessels is looking forward to being in Tennessee this October and in California in November. Stay connected so you don’t miss the next tour to your city and state or one nearby.

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ChosenVesselsApparel.com

#HandPickedByChrist

Postpartum Glory

Disclaimer: This post is just my own hair experience. I am not a hair-guru, stylist, doctor or expert. I have been natural for years now. The information I know is from my personal experience and what I’ve learned from doing research, reading articles, and watching YouTube videos. I have formed some opinions along the way. Some of which I did not necessarily have before. This post is just that; my opinion. It does include some facts I pulled from the experts. Share your constructive thoughts in the comment section.

 

Glory! Glory! Glory! No, not hallelujah. I’m talking about hair here. Hallelujah for this 90-day hair challenge I’m starting today though.

“And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering”, 1 Corinthians 11:15 (NLT). Don’t stop reading here. The King James version says, “it is a glory to her”. This verse is not at all saying all women must have long hair. Whatever length of hair that naturally grows out of your hair is a glory to you. God gave it to you as a covering. He knows that we don’t all have long hair that is touching the ground. Some of us have curly hair, others straight, some coils, others kinky, loose curls, tight curls, wavy etc.… You get the drift. The point is, whatever God gave you naturally is your glory. Before I go any further let me just say I am an advocate of HEALTHY hair. Your glory can be healthy natural or processed. I have seen and experienced terrible glory on both ends of the spectrum.

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Let us move on. What happens when your glory isn’t up to par? When it is falling off against your will or desire? I will come back to this.

Here’s a little hair background. I was natural for the first 13-14 years of my life. I remember if I was 13 or 14 when my hair was relaxed. I remember it being after I started middle school. I had to beg my dad to allow me to get it relaxed. Why? I couldn’t take the agony of my mom doing my hair any longer. From there I had to go to the hair salon with her every two weeks to get my hair treated and washed. I hated that too. I hated doing roller sets and sitting under the drying. The next thing left to do was petitioning to do my own hair; which I did. I felt like I was old enough. I had these awesome twin girlfriends that would braid and style my hair for me when I asked them to. I was a teenager so it all made sense to me then. I didn’t start wearing weave in my hair until I was in college. In other words, out of my parent’s home. My dad always said my hair was long I didn’t need it and weave was of the devil. I still don’t know how but it’s funny. While in college I shaved my hair twice. The first time because I was tired of relaxed hair and didn’t have the skills or patience to transition my hair to its natural state. The second time because I visited home after my hair was dyed blond, yes blond, honey blond, and my dad was so upset he wouldn’t stop talking about it. By the time I left, I was so angry and irritated I got all of it shaved off. I could have just dyed it a darker color, but my emotions ruled me. I started wearing my hair in sew-ins and box braids as a form of protective style and a means to grow my hair out without having to do too much. I never really learned how to properly care for my hair. I started wearing wigs a couple of years after I graduated college. The only reason being fear of that thing falling off my head while I am out in public. I could make time to explain all the things I’ve done to my glory, like dying it jet black and getting a RiRi cut, but I know you don’t want to read all of that. My glory has been through it. The journey back to healthy hair was a struggle. It is all under the blood of Jesus.

My hair was finally long and healthy. Long and healthy hair is my pride and joy. It grew longer and thicker while I was pregnant with my son. That was everything. I was so happy and excited. I promised myself after I gave birth I was no longer going to invest money into buying anymore weave. I want to solely invest in better care and treatment for my natural hair. Then BOOM! I hit 3 months postpartum and the unexpected happened. I took some pictures for my blog and while reviewing the images it appeared as though my hairline was receding. I was a bit taken back so I started analyzing every picture I took after that. It appeared to be getting worse. I was concerned enough about it to talk to my doctor and do some research. So, what do you do when your hair starts felling off against your will? Be depress and cry until you figure out a solution? What if there isn’t one except for “time”? The doctor advised for me to continue taking my prenatal vitamins the hair loss will stop on its own after it runs its course, 6-12 months postpartum. That was not very comforting to hear. One day I woke up and noticed a bald spot on the right side of my hair. I thought it couldn’t get any worse, but it did. a couple of weeks later there was one on the left side of my hair. Then my hair started to come out in chunks. And just like that my edges were gone.

After you give birth it’s expected and normal to shed some hair because your hair follicles are no longer in a resting stage. Postpartum hair loss is a whole other demon. Not all women experience drastic hair loss after giving birth. Some women don’t notice much of a change during or after pregnancy. Talk to your doctor to rule out any factors that may be more serious as hair loss could be a symptom of an underlying issue. I did panic at first because I’ve never lost that much hair before let along my edges and having bald spots. Since there was no way to prevent my hair from falling out I turned to preventative methods and taking really good care of it. It’s now my second baby I need to care for and look after to ensure healthy and proper growth. I continued taking my iron pills and prenatal vitamins. For a month now I’ve also been taking a food-based Multivitamin & Mineral Complex. I can’t accurately say whether it helped because its only been a month and it won’t stop the postpartum hair loss.

I contemplated getting a wig, but I decided not to and proudly rock my glory. I gave birth to an amazingly sweet little human and part of my cost was losing some hair. So be it! I refused to allow that to make me feel less than anything God says I am. Two bald spots later and with no edges left to lose I joined some ladies in this 90-day hair growth challenge. Starting today I’ll be taking It Works Hair, Skin, & Nails nourishing Complex Dietary Supplement. The bottle contains 60 tablets. I will be using J.LaShea Naturals’ products for my hair care. My goal is to achieve and maintain moisture, definition, volume, and length. God’s Word says, “but the very hairs of your head are all numbered”, Matthew 10:30. I’m going to trust he’s going to increase ALL the numbered hair that is left on my head. If I could just anoint and lay hands on every single strand. I guess I could but ain’t nobody got time for that.

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One part of the challenge is to drink plenty of water daily. This part is the easiest part for me. I love drinking water and prefer it over anything else. Even milk and I LOVE milk. Yes, milk. There’s nothing like a cold glass of milk. The saying goes you must drink half of your body weight in ounces to drink enough water. Most people I know hate drinking water and are probably walking around in this Florida heat solely on God’s mercy. I weight 129 pounds. Half of that is 64.5 pounds. Let us just round it to 65 pounds. For me to drink the amount of water my body needs, I need to drink to drink 65 ounces of water every day. That is equivalent to four 16.9 ounces bottles of water. I have a bottle that can hold a little over 32 ounces of water. Two of that bottle is enough for me.

I wash my hair with shampoo once a month and twice a week with conditioner. I use TRESemme anti-breakage conditioner with vitamin b12 and gelatin to co-wash twice a week. I use PANTENE PRO-V shampoo once a month to clean my scalp and hair and to fight frizz. Normally I use a TRESemme shampoo also, but I wanted to try PANTENE. I’m not a product junkie so I don’t have or use too many hair products. My hair has high porosity. Moisture is everything! My hair freezes easily and needs a lot of moisture. Thankfully it’s not dull looking or easily tangled. The way to test your hair porosity is by taking a stand(s) of clean dry hair and place in a clear glass of water. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If your hair goes to the middle, you have medium porosity. That “just right porosity”. If it goes to the bottom you have high porosity glory.

I’ll be using the Shea Souffle for moisture and shine. It also helps stimulate growth. The kit comes with an herb-infused growth oil that I’ll be using 3 times a week. It contains MSM which helps create keratin. My hair needs a lot of strengthening due to how much of it I’ve lost. The Henna Gloss every 2 weeks will help with that. Also, the Henna Strengthening Hair Mask every 6 weeks. I’m leaving the Multani Clay Wash for when I do my wash day. The J.LaShea Naturals Kit comes with a pamphlet that explains what each product contains and how to use it.

My current length

My texture

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My attempts of protective styles

This is probably the longest blog post I’ve published. At least it feels that way to me. I’m glad you made it to the end. Here’s to long, better, healthier glory!

Today is my 28th Birthday! GLORY! GLORY! GLORY! Yes, glory hallelujah! Glory to God.

Until my next publication, see you all on Facebook and Instagram, where you will hopefully share this post. This month’s interview will be with the beautiful and amazing CEO of Chosen Vessels Apparel, Faint Adams. Lookout for that!

Stay encouraged!