An Auburn alumni found a new meaning to bible verse Matthew 6:10 and has transformed it into a faith-based merchandise platform for raising money for various organizations.
Brady Fowlkes, 23, started selling sweatshirts with the One by One design, which he has tattooed on his wrist, in an effort to fund two separate mission trips for children he sponsors in Columbia and Ghana.
Last year, Fowlkes made One by One a company and launched the One by One Instagram page in March 2019.
“I just felt like I was supposed to, maybe, take it a little more seriously,” he said.
In May 2019, Fowlkes graduated from Auburn University and now uses his site as a medium for fundraising money for local organizations that come to him in a time of need. The mission behind One by One goes back to the tattoo Fowlkes has on his wrist.
Fowlkes was interning in Panama City after his freshman year and was inspired by a small moment of prayer between his friends and two servers at a diner.
“There was something about that small moment of like the five of us with these two other people connecting as people,” Fowlkes said. “There was something about that that clicked for me.”
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“I think this is what it’s meant to be, ‘One by one, His kingdom come,’” he said.
From that point, Fowlkes considered dropping out of school to move to New York City and instead was invited by one of his friends to join an internship program at Auburn Community Church.
Fowlkes said the one step that you see in front of you, you need to take that one and not hold the Lord hostage to what the next step is.
In fact, Fowlkes attributes most of the work and creativity on his site to his friends at ACC. His friends offered their services, such as photography and graphic design, to help build Fowlkes’ company.
Some of the fundraisers on the One by One site also come from friends asking for Fowlkes to use his site for fundraising.
The shirts found on the site today are for an adoption campaign called Raising Fagans. Fowlkes’ friends, the Fagans, are a couple that partnered with him to raise money to adopt a child.
“He was like, ‘Would you be open to partnering with us for a season, where you know, we make a design together, we push them, and a portion of our proceeds goes to fundraising?’” Fowlkes said.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the company is that it provides him with an outlet to express himself, Fowlkes said.
“Being a curator of creatives, I think a lot of people maybe would describe me as being creative,” he said. “That wouldn’t necessarily be the first words that I would use for myself.”
Fowlkes previously had a campaign trying to fund a mission trip to Sudan and is planning a collaboration project called “2020 is for friendship” that he planned to release before Valentine’s Day. He hopes to expand his company, producing different merchandise, like hats and socks, and to influence more change outside of Auburn.
Fowlkes wants his clothing to be more than just a material possession to his customers and for each piece of clothing someone buys to mean something to them.
“I want it to make a real difference in somebody’s life, in as many people’s lives as possible, ” he said.
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