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Meet Julissa Gonzalez - Owner of Poiema of Grace

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Julissa, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us. Can you please explain a little bit about Poiema of Grace and how it got started?

I started my walk with the Lord about 5 years ago, and as soon as I knew Him, it prompted this zealousness for Him that created a sense of urgency in me to share Him with others. God really was the one to put it in my heart to start this business. Looking back at my life, I feel He prepared me for it all along! My career has always been in fashion merchandising, and I wanted to apply my life long skillset in creating a brand that stood for God and Jesus- (not that He needs any of my help) But I find a tremendous amount of satisfaction in designing clothes that can spread the Gospel and spark conversation with others. I wanted to create a clothing line that was chic with more of an athleisure feel but with scripture on it to share the Word of God with others. It is the greatest gift an individual can hand another. And by the way- the word POIEMA pronounced po-ee-ma- is a Greek word. The translation can mean "poem" , "masterpiece" or "workmanship" and it is derived from Ephesians 2:10, my inspiration behind the brand, that states, "For we are God's "poiema", or "workmanship", created anew in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Poiema of Grace is me exemplifying that verse.

Wow, that made our hearts so happy. I'm so thankful there are women like you who hear the call and move boldly towards the vision. With that being said, what are some of your struggles as a business owner and how do you overcome them?

The biggest struggle is financial- lack of capital can sometimes stop you from expanding and growing at the level that you would like. However, I always make it a point to remember that God is sovereign over everything, and as long as I know that I am doing my absolute best every single day to provide people with knowledge of God in some way, then I know I am on the right path. Success will vary from person to person. Sometimes its about the small achievements day to day than the overall picture. The Bible says we are here to please GOD not others. Scripture has been my number one helper in helping me overcome obstacles in my life. You need to remember that obstacles will ALWAYS be there. It is about your mindset and how you approach the situation that makes a difference.

Absolutely! We couldn't agree more.

How important has social media been for your business and what can our readers (who may also be business owners) do to improve their social media presence?

Social Media has been THE MOST crucial marketing tool to my business. I never owned an Instagram account before Poiema. So when I started, it was a learning curve for me. Definitely you need to post every day or almost every day. But your content needs to be engaging, aesthetically appealing, and valuable in terms of the information you are offering your readers/followers. The more content you can provide that is HELPFUL to your followers in any way, the better chances for them to share you with their friends and family. Slowly but surely this will help you grow.

Thank you for the advice, Julissa! What is your personal favorite product you sell and why?

This one is a tough one because I love everything!! Lol... but my absolute top seller is the Fear is a Liar hat. It has the cross in the front and its embroidered on the side with "FEAR IS A LIAR"- and truly the statement couldn't be more real. So many times in the Bible Jesus tells us not to fear. Paul writes that God has not given us the Spirit of Fear but of love, power and a sound mind in 2 Tim 1:7. Fear can stop you from achieving your God given goals and dreams. Don't allow it to consume you. Instead trust in God and the process of living life.

That hat is definitely very cute! Do you have any new and exciting projects in the works?

I currently partnered with Tinez Farms on a new hat with my signature cross and embroidered work. We might expand a line tailored to her. The owner, Jessica, is also such a wonderful Christian woman and the Lord has also placed in her heart the importance of being Christ centered and offering Christ related product in her farm. So that is to come soon!

Congratulations to you! That sounds like a fantastic collaboration. Where do you see Poiema of Grace in the near future?

I see it continuing to flourish, inspiring and blessing others. The idea is to create a domino effect. One person wears it, another sees it and reads it and in turn is blessed by the message. My creativity has only began- and there is a lot more coming down the pipeline.

We have no doubt that Poiema of Grace will do just that, especially with God's help!

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