Antonio Oliver, Owner of Casual Church Wear

Over 27 years ago, I fell in love with the process of getting artwork on apparel in high school which carried over into college. I started by creating t-shirt designs for different organizations, then getting their designs printed on shirts by local screen printers. I knew I wanted to get a solid business off the ground, so I continued to take on orders all while trying to balance a full load of classes, working a part time job, and volunteering within my own student/church organizations.

I eventually had to drop out of college due to an overwhelming amount of “life blows”. Emotional stress, failed relationships and financial battles all came knocking at my door at the same time. These issues compounded into a full-blown mental illness, which not only got me kicked out of school, but also caused me to take several unwanted trips to jail and mental health rehab centers throughout my college years.

This downward spiral of events was going to turn out in 2 ways. I was either going to kill myself from the suicidal thoughts or this illness was going to lead me to prison from me accidentally killing someone during one of the many psychotic episodes. The Devil was trying to take me out during this season, but God kept His mighty hand on my life.

It was by God’s grace and mercy that he deterred me from a head on collision with an 18-wheeler while driving on the wrong side of the highway. It was his grace and mercy that allowed me to survive a highway chase from police officers. It was his grace and mercy that allowed me not to get killed after assaulting and resisting arrest from those same officers.

There was absolutely no way for me to escape this mess, but God… He showed me love and kindness even when I didn’t love myself.

I didn’t know what to do after dropping out of school, so I continued to focus on art/t-shirt designs/photography, which I picked up all from high school.

In July of 2000, I used my $500 income tax refund to start a t-shirt business that we know today as Aloha Six T-shirts. I racked up so much debt from the mental illness and college expenses that I needed more income to help me chop down this mountain. God moved me into the corporate world so I could sustain a family and eliminate this debt a lot faster with both streams of income.

God blessed me with this side business to help me eliminate that huge mound of debt and grant me the freedom to go back and finish college. Over the past 23 years, I’ve been able to design, consult, and sell t-shirts to some of the local ISDs, churches, and organizations across the state of Texas.

I’ve always wondered why I even had to go through that nightmare, but now I know.

I believe God allowed me to go through all of this so I can give Him the glory with my testimony. He needed to get me on the right path to guide me into the man that I am today. This season wasn’t just for me to grow spiritually, but it was designed for me to help the growth of other people. It was designed for me to share this story.

Now I’m going to take my passion for God and creating shirts and put it towards building God’s Kingdom with Casual Church Wear.

God has given every one of us a gift and a story.

I want to use my story to inspire others to explore their gifts, share their personal stories and spread the Gospel of Christ.

Hear It - Wear It - Share It

-Antonio Oliver