My name is James Furman.
I was born in New Haven, CT.
The inspiration to create Aqwela started over 20 years ago; this was actually the first business that I ever attempted to do, during unfortunate circumstances that molded me into who I am today: when I was in my early 20’s, I got falsely accused of something that I didn't commit, and it forced me to actually have to withdraw from college and go to prison.
I then started reading everything I could get my hands on about business management, how to build a team and more importantly, how to stay motivated while I was there. And I began planning this clothing line on a napkin, which was all I had at the time.
When I got out, I took a chance and moved 3000 miles away to a city I have never been to, Phoenix, AZ. I knew one person at the time.
We initially struggled to find a name for the line and we began looking through the bible and a page fell out. It read, Aquila, which was a Jewish man born in Italy, I am half Jewish and half African American and my partner at the time is Italian. We knew we were on to something. Further research, we also found that “Aquila”: one of the highest flying Eagles to ever fly, and also one of the seven brightest supernovas that ever shine.
We changed the spelling a bit to make it our own unique word and Aqwela was born.
The effort to go after this clothing line led me to my first million-dollar business in less than a year.
Now I am relaunching that clothing line dream to encourage individuals to go after their passion, overcome obstacles, and be inspired to follow their internal compass along the journey.
This line is inspired by the sea and the name behind each piece, is based off of the elements that I feel are necessary in order to overcome obstacles and put yourself in the right mind state to make the right decisions at the right time: this was my motivation to push through when I was at my lowest point in my life.
It has been a long voyage. I am going to be honest with you. There have been challenges, difficulties and times when I felt I wanted to give up. But you know what? I never did. And today I am here to encourage you to go within, find that inner voice, and identify where your heart is driving you to, and never give up!
Because when you follow your internal compass, amazing things happen: the right people, the resources and the motivation you need to pursue your dreams will come your way.
To all the incredible people that have been on this journey thus far, thank you for your support.
And to all of you reading this today, remember: you are strong, you are brave and the #voyagetovictory is waiting for you.