Growing up in Houston, Texas, Kirbi Thomas was always involved in church and sports. The former basketball player and cross-country runner never attended a game or a meet with out putting her faith first by knowing that she would be alright no matter what the outcome would be. Nowadays, Thomas is using her belief in God to help other athletes convey their own messages of hope in their respective fields via Active Faith Sports, a Christian based sports apparel brand with products that have been seen on a range of celebrities from Jeremy Lin to Patrick Ewing Jr.
Thomas, who is Active Faith Sports’ President and COO, is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, a Spelman graduate and currently pursuing her MBA at Texas Southern University to help sharpen her business skills. We caught up with her to get her to get the scoop on how she makes the brand work.
Why is it important for you to deliver a message of faith through apparel?
More than ever it seems athletes are more open about expressing their faith and being bold about their love for Christ. We are proud to be at the forefront of this movement that is spreading the Gospel to so many people. It’s important to realize the platform athletics provides first to be able to do so. As a former athlete, I know first hand the parallel of athletics with life. Through both, you experience hard times, fatigue, victories, doubt, defeats, strength and willingness to persevere through adversity, joy as well as peace just as you do if life.
This brand not only gives active Christians a fashionable way to represent their love and faith in Christ, but also allows them to minister to those who may not know Jesus for themselves. Athletics and exercising provides opportunities to spark conversation and share experiences with people you don’t know. It also silently allows Christians to boldly represent their faith through their apparel. Every time I wear the apparel, I am stopped and asked questions giving me the opportunity to witness or I am able to listen to someone else tell me about their own desire to have a relationship with Christ.
What do you hope people take away from the brand?
The Active Faith brand is about glorifying Christ in everything we do while encouraging people to always be active in their faith. Our line geared towards women is called the Fearfully and Wonderfully Made line from Psalm 139:14, and through this line we want to convey that God created all women to be strong, beautiful and fierce, no matter their size, shape or color. We are all created in God’s perfect image and were fearfully and wonderfully made. We want people to be and feel encouraged when wearing the brand.
What’s next for Active Faith?
Active Faith is still in its infancy but is growing and expanding quickly. We are currently in Lakewood Church, the largest church in the world, but have been approached by several other churches across the nation to carry our line. We are currently in to process of getting that done. It’s very exciting. We have also recently received our purchase order to be carried in Family Christian Stores Nationwide. We have been truly blessed and continue to be in awe at the way the Lord keeps his hand on the company and guides us. He is doing amazing things through the company.
Is there any thing else you want to add about the brand?
We are currently choosing from a number of charities to partner with that we will be donating portions of our proceeds to. Giving back and loving others is the Christian way and as a Christian brand we intend on making those values an integral part of everything we do.