In this next Meet the Maker interview, I’m chatting with Nelz Nunez of Heart of Gold Apparel. Nelz is very special to me, not only because Liam has been one of her reps before, but also because of Nelz’s purpose and inspiration behind her shop. Heart of Gold Apparel is a modern Christian-based t-shirt brand for kids. The tees have fun, faith-based designs. Personally, I love how trendy and clean the designs are – definitely a breath of fresh air from the secular logo-turned-Christian tees I grew up with in the ’90s. It’s also probably just more affirmation that my kid will always be cooler than me. I can’t wait for you to check out Nelz’s interview. We’ve also included an amazing discount code below this Meet The Maker interview if you want to grab a tee or three for your littles.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got here. Where did you get the idea to start HOGA?
I’m so bad at telling people about myself, but here it goes. I’m Nelz. A follower of Jesus, wife, mommy, and owner of Heart of Gold Apparel. I was born in Puerto Rico, but currently live in Philadelphia, PA. I work full time at a landscaping company under their sales and marketing team. I love being able to help people save trees. I volunteer at the nursery at my church and get to hold all the babies. I like giving hugs and call everyone “darling”. I enjoy helping others and always have a smile on. My heart for the Lord longs to be near Him, and I try to shine His light everywhere I go.
Several years ago, I was at my wit’s end. While I was walking my dog one day, I was in tears and asked God if he’s real to reveal himself. Well he did! One of my neighbors was walking down the street with Proverbs 3:5 on her tie-dye shirt and I followed her in tears until I read the entire verse. It was so bold and bright. Then, even after far more tears and days gone by, I searched for a church, went and was saved. I like to think that God brought me down to my knees in the heaviest tears I ever cried, all because of a t-shirt. Years later, I felt the need to share my testimony in some way, thinking maybe I could inspire even ONE more person that same way. And so came this little shop. God-driven all the way!
Heart of Gold Apparel started on November 2014 with my main goal being to make Jesus known. I offer a bold modern/hip
look for our little witnesses to wear from newborn to 6/8 years and hope to continue to pour my heart out and offer new collections at least twice a year. HOGA makes faith learning delightful through Christian kids tees while providing a teachable moment with each wear. My hope is that parents use HOGA tees to bring up God in a conversations with their little ones (and anyone who reads the message) every time they wear the tees.
How did you come up with the name for HOGA?
I chose this name because of the incredible promise that we have been made new in Christ Jesus. He lives in us and therefore, we now have a pure heart. A golden heart…a Heart of Gold.
Who/what inspires you?
I’m inspired by the Word of God. There’s nothing better to be inspired by than things God wants us all to know of.
What are the best and hardest things about being your own boss?
The best thing is that I get to share a message with the world. It’s something I believe everyone needs to be reminded of. The hardest thing about running a business is physically running it on your own. It’s not easy to keep up with all that’s involved. Yes, of course I count my blessings and always ask God for wisdom, guidance, and strength, but sometimes I wish I didn’t have to work my full time job and could just work for myself.
What advice would you like to share with other women entrepreneurs?
Pray. Pray. Pray. No one else can guide you best but God. He knows beginning to end and there’s no better comfort than to know He’s got your back!
What’s your favorite item from your shop?
Haha. This is tough. I don’t think I have a preference, but I must say that those tiny “JesusKingofkings” organic tees are so adorable.
What’s next for HOGA?
I’m always dreaming big. Sometimes too big, haha. This year will be a whole lot different for HOGA, though, because I’m adding items other than tees to the shop. I dream of one day being a one-stop-shop for infants and toddlers to dress head-to-toe in apparel that will glorify Jesus.
Since you’re not a big T.V. person, what books are you reading right now?
Make it Happen by Lara Casey and Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. I love grabbing a book and cuddling up with some tea and comfy PJs.
I hope you enjoyed hearing from Nelz as much as I did. If you want to see the latest HOGA news and new releases, you can follow Heart of Gold Apparel on Instagram and Facebook. Want to shop the store? Use the code “LFB20” for 20% off your next order at www.shopHOGA.com.
If you’re a new reader to my blog, the Meet the Maker series give me the opportunity to introduce you to some of the makers, creators and artists behind some amazing companies and brands out there. It’s not only a great excuse to share some of the great things these women are doing and how they’re turning their passions into dollars, but it’s also designed to inspire others to say “yes” to their own creative journeys. If you are interested in being interview for a Meet the Maker post, I’d love to hear from you!
Photos provided by Heart of Gold Apparel and are (c) @bjbphotos.