We recently had the opportunity to connect with Indianapolis’ Believe Brand Co. owner, Iman Tucker. In an attempt to highlight a kingdom brand, we reached out to pick his brain about his company and about the God that governs his life.
We were not at all disappointed with the man behind the brand, and we can’t wait for you to dive into this interview. We asked seven questions and received answers that are weighted in wisdom, inspiration, and motivation.
What’s the story behind Believe Brand Co.? How did the company get its start?
I began my creative career traveling as a performing DJ opening up for popular artists in the contemporary worship and Christian hip-hop space. As an entertainer it was important for me to don my own icons and logos that spoke for what I believe in. What began as a the mark of “I” joined with “T” representing my initials of Iman Tucker, but more importantly, creating the mark of the cross found as mark to represent the sacrifice of the son of God, morphed into something bigger.
As we wore the icon on our shirt at shows and in everyday life we noticed a trend. Fruitful conversations between both believers and non-believers. One side to celebrate in community the obvious connection of like minded faith. The other to inquire on what it means to be a Christian or to challenge the validity of our faith.
Regardless of what camp we found the other party in, one thing remained consistent. We were having some of the most meaningful conversations. I never wanted to have a clothing brand. I ran away from the idea often. However, I knew it was impossible to continue to hide the gift of intentional conversation through our pieces to other people.
As it grew the message became clear for what the original cross icon meant. It was not longer Iman Tucker – it was the “I” representing myself, you, us as sinners. The “T” representing the cross, a life laid on the line for our salvation. Together, with the space in between the letters representing the space between where we are as imperfect believers, and closing the gap between where the Lord wants us at the cross, connected to Jesus, a perfect man’s life who was committed to sacrifice.
The name Believe Brand came from a space of simplicity. We wanted to have a brand that was simple, easy to remember. As I dug into the lineage of my family, and looked to understand deeper our roots, it was uncovered that the name “Iman” is of arabic farsi and translates to Believe or faith in God. With a life built around faith and belief it only made sense to use a general ethos to intimately describe the foundation of our existence.
We believe that all believers’ endeavors are actually ministries. How do you minister to people through your business/brand?
We believe it is our call to share the good news. For us that is using our temple as a billboard to communicate through both subtle and [bold] messages about our God. In operating an online retail company we have so many opportunities to represent Christ through our daily work and collaborations with others to bring our ideas to life. Through anonymous generosity through our proceeds. Through offer[ing] prayer to each and every one of our customers and those who inquire on the pieces.
There are so many opportunities to minster through something as simple as tee shirts.
You’ve been open about sharing your story of how you came to believe in Christ, after a trying time in your life. It’s inspiring to learn how things turned around for you. What advice would you give to others who want to know or even grow in Christ?
I wouldn’t suggest as there was ever a turn around within my walk. My grandparents raised us within the church and we had a foundation of scripture and an intimate understanding of the religion. However, what I would say was the shift was learning how to walk in the spirit and really make my faith my own.
I believe the Lord speaks to us in moments of silence. In a culture that is obsessed with busy schedules, constant stimulation, and self reliance, there is something special that happens when you sit still without distraction.
You begin to become introspective. In that silence you are free from any vices, crutches, or copes that we will tend to lean on in our day-to-day. In that space you may never audibly hear the Lords voice, but it does allow for a space to lean into the Holy Spirit and for wisdom and truth. I believe we underestimate the power of God and lean on scripture, church and prayer to connect. Although those are vital to understanding who Jesus is, in margin and space I believe the Lord can also reveal who he is to you. However, it is scary to be with your thoughts and emotions alone in silence – we tend to look to be distracted.
Then, attaching prayer, diving into the word, surrounding yourself with believers in, past, and before your current season to create a full experience of what it means to follow the Lord and commit your life to reverence and service for him.
The ultimate conversation starter
What would you say to the person struggling to believe in God?
Acknowledge that struggle. Ask yourself where that stems from. Is it imperfect humans trying to represent a perfect God that has turned you away? Is it lack of resource to understand who he is? Whatever the reason – that’s okay – face it.
At some point I believe most, if not all of us have had doubt. Especially due to being let down by those in the church. However, I believe the Lord wants relationship with you. All you have to do is open your hands to receive. Think less about what you have to give up to follow the Lord, but begin to pray on the blessings that come from receiving his grace. It is a gift free to you. What do you have to lose afterall? And of any of those things, how much life have they brought you up to this point? I can promise you a life given to God is much richer.
We love what your logo represents! How do you propose that we help to close the gap between where we are and where God wants us to be?
Much like the example that Jesus set, sacrificing his life for us, I believe we are called to similar. Not for salvation but to continue to spread the good news. It requires us to die to our pride and reach out that helping hand, even when it’s convenient. [It] requires submission and reliance on the Lord as opposed to reaching for all of the distractions that exists in our time today. Whether it be a relationship, friendships, substance, validation, freeing ourselves from those shackles and pursuing worth and value in the Lord will be monumental in closing the gap.
Finding and identifying the gifts the Lord has given you and pursing those full force to glorify him through the gifts he’s given you. The Lord instilled [me] with a heart desire that loves music and fashion. Had I not been obedient in harnessing those desires, I can think of so many instances where I might have missed out on a chance to display his [glory].
What is the driving force behind Believe Brand’s clothing designs? Is the brand’s aesthetic your personal style?
This is a fun question. The short answer is – no. The long answer is – it depends. As we have matured as a business what started off as printing our logos on basic garments has grown into something much deeper. I wear almost everything we produce, however, I recognize it is not solely about my taste. When we design the pieces, especially as we have walked into more premium materials, cuts and styles, above all we want to honor the needs and wants of our customers.
The driving force was pieces that have bold icons and messages that subtly reference to themes within being a believer. Words such as “Be A Good Vibe” may translate as have good energy, but subtly meaning walking within the spirit and being Christ-like.
As we have matured, our new driver is the same goal, yet with premium, designer level materials at an affordable price. We believe the quality of our goods should be reflection of excellence in our commitment to delivering the best product. We want to create pieces that regardless of income level or style, you can rock one of our pieces and have your fashion elevated with little to no effort.
Above all our main driving force is to create pieces that allow believers to share the gospel and create conversation.
What is the ultimate vision for Believe Brand Co.?
Our ultimate goal is to continue to spread the good news with our pieces. To impact communities with the resources garnered from our efforts. We’ve been so blessed to marry our retail with our entertainment unit. As we continue to push out our products our ultimate vision is to allow our pieces to continue to change lives through intentional conversation. Anything else tangible is just an adding blessing to us.
If you’d like to learn more about Believe Brand Co., or to shop the clothing line, be sure to visit their website. You can also stay connected to the brand, by following them on Instagram or Facebook.