Since becoming an avid runner, Rebecca Rothman wanted to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
The perfect idea came to her while working out at the Plant City Family YMCA.
“God graced me with the idea of designing athletic apparel to witness to others — whether it be at the gym, a marathon or just at the store,” she said.
That day, Rothman was inspired to create her own clothing line, which later became Lifted Fitness, a local athletic apparel line dedicated to sharing the Christian faith.
Rothman opened the line with her husband, Mark, in December. In the first 24 hours of shirts being up for sale, they had more than 40 orders.
“It’s being blessed more than I could have imagined,” she said. “We have gotten wonderful response, mainly because it is such a unique item and there is nothing quite like it available.”
Originally, the line offered only men’s tech fabric T-shirts and women’s tech fabric tank tops, but the line has expanded to include several other items with the launch of a new website, liftedfitness.seuniforms.com, including baseball caps, gym bags and golf towels.
Each piece features a Bible verse.
“Typically, the gym is not conducive to conversation, (because) iPods are frequently used,” Rothman said. “(Because) we have Bible verses on the back side of our shirts and cross design logos on the front, it is meant to be a visual display of our faith in Christ.”
Twenty percent of the proceeds from clothing sales benefit Church at the Park, Plant City’s First Baptist Church’s homeless ministry that Rothman launched last year.
“Someone from our church begins the evening with a short devotional and blesses the food, then myself along with a team of faithful volunteers serve the food that we prepared earlier in the afternoon,” Rothman said.
Prayer and needs cards also allow church members to pray for those in need.
“It is such a need in our community, and we are blessed to be able to fulfill a small portion of their needs,” she said.
Now about a month into taking orders, Rothman said business has continued to be good, with orders coming in steadily.
“The more we sell, the more benefit it is to the less fortunate, and that’s the main purpose of our faith and our clothing line,” she said.
Rothman’s ultimate vision is for Plant City to have a full-time food pantry and clothes closet. In the meantime, she hopes the line continues to do well and help spread the word of God.
“My prayer is that these shirts promote conversation which in turn allows a person to more effectively lead someone to know our one true God,” she said. “As for the Lifted Fitness brand, I am trusting that God will guide us in the direction that is in line with his will for our business. He has big plans for this, I am sure of it.”