SIBLEY — Anthony Dagel and Lynette Visser thank God for saving their lives and bringing them together to promote and spread His Word.
The Sibley couple are the founder of Salvator Clothing and Ministries, a Christian clothing company they launched on February 11. Salvator is the Latin word for Savior.
“It’s more us as individuals who know we need God’s help and God’s love in our lives,” Dagel said. “We want to spread this positive message. Our target audience are other people who know they need God’s grace in their life.
Visser, 44, described the clothing line of hats, hoodies and shirts that she and Dagel, 42, have developed.
“Our main goal is to design shirts – bespoke shirts – with the Word of God on it,” Visser said.
When people, businesses or organizations order clothing from Dagel and Visser, they have a choice to whom they wish to donate, such as veterans, drug recovery programs, and school lunch programs.
“Whatever money we make, a percentage goes either to a church or to a youth group,” Visser said. “There is a lot of charitable work that we want to do through this. These are the ministries – just give it back.
“We make corporate clothing and branded clothing for businesses,” she said. “What sets us apart is that we give to charities and missions on their behalf or to the charity and / or mission of their choice. “
‘Spread the word’
Dagel and Visser want to expand their for-profit online-only business nationwide and beyond.
“My goal is to make a million shirts by the end of the year – to get the word out,” Visser said. “Iowa, as a predominantly Christian state, can step forward and lead by example.
“If everyone unites, we can set an example for the rest of the country by putting our money where our mouth is and focusing on those programs which are usually under the radar,” she said. declared.
She and Dagel want to give back and support those who need it most – the forgotten, the lonely, the injured and the excluded.
“They are generally pushed aside in society,” Visser said. “I find that happens a lot here. People neglect recovery programs or veterans.
“We need to focus more on them and not only raise awareness, but in fact we can take action and help people,” she said.
The couple also started the Salvator scholarship program for students and missionaries who wish to continue their studies in the Kingdom of God.
“Whoever wants to do it – we’ll sponsor them,” Visser said.
She was inspired to create Salvator Clothing and Ministries with Dagel due to another clothing company she owned.
“It was a streetwear business and I didn’t feel that passionate about it,” Visser said. “For me, it didn’t work.”
She came up with the idea for a Christian clothing business in late December and discussed it with Dagel before they decided to pursue her.
“It was something I wanted to do,” Visser said. “We prayed a lot for this. We want to be actively involved in changing people’s lives or helping people and letting them focus on Jesus and not the world.
Visser takes care of updating the company’s website and marketing the clothes while Dagel creates the designs – including the company logo – for the clothes they sell.
“I love that she puts the elements I designed on a page and we’re getting positive feedback from everyone who’s viewed them,” Dagel said.
“My pride and warmth comes from knowing that the greatest message I get from the Bible is that you are going to flourish by spreading the Word of God,” he said.
“I prayed a lot about this”
The couple are passionate about promoting and disseminating the Word of God.
“It’s not just about the money we make,” Dagel said. “It’s more about being in the good grace of God and knowing that we are doing something positive for the nation and the world.”
Visser thanked God for allowing him to emigrate with his two children in June 2018 from his native South Africa to the United States.
“God has played a phenomenal role in my life,” said Visser. “Saving my life was one of the things that got me to this point.”
She left South Africa with her children because she feared for her life and the lives of her children due to the underlying racial tensions between blacks and whites in the country.
“We were in grave danger,” Visser said. “We were helped by US citizens, which was really cool. I had to apply for asylum, which we were granted.
She is in the process of working to become a US citizen.
“I was adopted by your nation, if I can say that,” Visser said. “Asylum is essentially an adoption process. “
She remembers feeling a lot of anxiety at first when she left her homeland for a foreign country across the Atlantic Ocean.
“You have to adapt,” Visser said. “I learned that our cultures are different. The only thing I could come back to was to start praying again.
She needed God to tell her why she was in the United States because she didn’t like living in another country.
“It was difficult for me; it was difficult for my children, ”said Visser. “I prayed a lot about it and the only thing I could do was know that I could work for myself.”
She worked for the South African government before leaving for the United States.
“I’ve done a lot of agricultural research and development,” Visser said. “It’s also why I ended up in Iowa. I thought I could apply these skills.
However, this turned out not to be the case.
“The agricultural sectors are so different,” said Visser. “It’s not really applicable, so I had to find something that I could focus on and be successful in. “
“We work well together”
This led her with Dagel to create Salvator Clothing and Ministries.
“It wouldn’t work without him,” Visser said. “We set it up as a partnership.
“We both have our own strengths,” Dagel said. “We work well together. “
Visser met Dagel in July through mutual friends in Sibley. He had just returned to his hometown in 2018 after living in Colorado for about 16 years.
“I didn’t want to meet anyone at the time,” Visser said. “Then I met him and I was like, ‘He’s not that bad.’ He’s a good guy. He has been a rock in my life.
Like Visser, Dagel credits God for saving his life. He is a recovering drug addict who has been sober for about three years.
“I signed up for treatment about two years ago – I was sober for a year before I even went to treatment – but thought I should do it only for my own benefit,” Dagel said.
He entered the drug treatment program with a clean and sober mind.
“I got a lot out of it,” Dagel said. “I knew I was feeling the touch of God fundamentally. It sounds a bit cheesy, but I felt a presence with me, giving me the strength to pull myself out.
“There was a certain force that drove me through the process and I took away so much of it,” he said. “He was definitely there with me; I never would have done it on my own.
The trials and tribulations in the lives of Dagel and Visser have brought them together to create new life for themselves as they promote and spread the Word of God through their Christian clothing business.
Dagel has four children – Parker, 21; Eva, 15 years old; Joël, 13 years old; and Lance, 10 – and Visser has two children – Rozane, 19 and Ethan, 12 – from previous relationships.
The two families have mingled well and the kids have helped the couple since they started Salvator Clothing and Ministries.
“I received a lot from the community and a lot from the people,” Visser said. “My whole idea was to give back. God has saved my life many times before.
“For me, it’s a way of giving back, but without wanting to advertise the fact that I would give back,” she said. “It’s really something that I really wanted to do.”