1 Up Designs LLC
Founder and owner Elliott Adams sells T-shirts with Christian themes
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.
Elliott Adams, founder and owner of 1 Up Designs LLC, launched his company in 2012 to combine the contemporary artistry popular in his childhood neighborhood of Harlem in New York City with the glorifying of God.
Adams said 1 Up Designs is an electronic commerce, also known as e-commerce, business that specializes in selling T-shirts with Christian themes.
"The concept of the business came to me in the summer of 2007, and we just set out to create contemporary Christian themes on T-shirts," said Adams, 38.
He said one of his first designs was "Harlem Needs Holiness," and he "wanted to create a line of product that was contemporary in nature, but glorified God in every way."
Adams said the company plans to market its product line to churches and pastors locally, statewide and throughout the nation. He said he has computer files containing many different concepts he has created, but never put on the company's website, which is www.weare1updesigns.com.
Adams said the name of the company is three dimensional. He said the first is that Jesus ascended to heaven one way — going up, and he said the name also reflects on a concept in video games.
"When you die in video games, you are granted a new life, and it's called the ‘one up,'" Adams said.
Adams said the third dimension dealing with the name of the business refers to the fact that "as Christ believers, we have one up on nonbelievers. Not to throw it in their face, but just recognizing there is an advantage to having a relationship with Jesus Christ."
Adams, a member of Williams Temple Church of God in Christ in Gainesville, came to Gainesville in 2000 to attend the University of Florida, where he graduated from in 2003. He has been married to his wife, Najah Adams, a Gainesville attorney, for eight years.
He said his T-shirts are available in sizes from small through XX, with an additional $1 surcharge for sizes larger than XX. For example, there is a $1 surcharge for XXX T-shirts, $2 surcharge for XXXX T-shirts, etc. Adams said T-shirts can be ordered by visiting the company's website and using PayPal. He said delivery normally takes four to six weeks, sometimes sooner.
Emerson Perry of Lake Butler has purchased two T-shirts from 1 Up Designs. He said one of them has the word "Holy" on it in parenthesis and the number three outside of the parenthesis; the other contains the phrase, "Vote Yes Lord."
"They speak to what I believe in and they are very creative, while being standard in Christian belief, but out of the box at the same time," Perry said. "His products are not something that you will see on a day-to-day basis."
Adams said the two T-shirts Perry mentioned and another T-shirt that has "Daddy-cated" printed on it are his most popular T-shirts.
He said the message behind the "Holy" T-shirt is simply to express the importance of living holy. He said the "Vote Yes Lord" T-shirt was inspired by scripture found in the 28th chapter of Romans that refers to God's elect. He said "Daddy-cated" was inspired by a desire to recognize the importance and value of fathers.
Adams said he used the Bradford County Incubator, a program sponsored by the Santa Fe College Center for Innovation & Economic Development in partnership with FloridaWorks, to get 1 Up Designs off the ground.
"They gave me an eight-week course on basic business marketing and advertising principles that helped me fit the pieces of my business puzzle together," said Adams, adding that the CIED center at 530 W. University Ave. provides office space for him as well. "They really inspired me to go ahead and thrust this company forward."
The phone number is 352-575-0280.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.