Local business mogul melds fellowship and faculty

Local business mogul melds fellowship and faculty

Local business mogul melds fellowship and faculty
February 04
04:07 2016

Matt Payne | Copy Editor

@MattePaper

Between being in charge of teaching a group of eight adolescents, contributing design work for Denton Bible Church and doing anything else the fellowship asked him to do—all for free—Eddie Renz couldn’t help but feel his labor of love was starting to be taken advantage of.

At 40 years old, Renz is an entrepreneur, business management mentor, graphic designer and college student in charge of three businesses that he manages from his single-bed apartment in Corinth. He said he enjoys the control he now has over his work.

“I felt resentful contributing so much only to have those requesting it feel compelled to dictate what direction I let my design go,” Renz said. “Creating is a sensitive art you grow attached to, and when people feel obligated to tell you what direction to go with it, it only makes sense to get paid on the side.”

Texas Women’s University alumn Eddie Renz is the owner and founder of online shop Denton Swag as well as a DJ and a former youth pastor at Denton Bible Church. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Texas Women’s University alumnus Eddie Renz is the owner and founder of online shop Denton Swag. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Renz owns and operates a graphic and web design service, Chemist Creative. His most recent apparel and merchandise line, Denton Swag, was founded in 2015. It offers prints, mugs, clothing and more in an attempt to capture what Renz called Denton’s “quiet energy that always seems to stay at a nice simmer.”

Renz is also a disc jockey for his company Sound and Show and manages to DJ for at least three shows monthly, bringing in close to an extra $20,000 per year.

Formerly one of 40 youth leaders at Denton Bible Church on University Drive, Renz was responsible for helping with several tasks in the youth department. He has colorful backgrounds in both business and graphic design from past positions with Boeing and Texas Instruments and was routinely charged with designing event posters, T-shirts and anything else the fellowship decided to assign him.

What inspired Renz to build a trio of business ventures was knowing he could only attain the future he wanted if he had full control of where his life took him. He dreamed of a future he could make his own and combine his love of Denton with his appreciation for dress and design.

“I used to grow up and have this idyllic picture of how my life wanted to be,” Renz said, commenting on his early days attending Texas Woman’s University for a degree in physical therapy. “All my businesses and pursuits have increased my skill set. Anything I used to think of how my life was supposed to look like would only slow me down.”

From the fellowship

In spite of the physical and emotional drain Renz has had to cope with, he has been able to leave an impression on several of his former pupils, now grown and most with families. In both his personal and professional lives, he has established rapport and respect.

“Whenever I talk about Eddie, I always say he’s like a second father figure to me,” said former Denton Bible student Nathan Allison, who now teaches at Marcus High School. “But in all actuality, he’s a powerful man who’s a big teddy bear.”

From unabashedly confronting rambunctious teens in movie theaters to impressing the likes of the Chinese while overseas on mission trips, Allison described his former leader as both looming and lovable.

Owner of online shop Denton Swag Eddie Renz rolls up a poster he sells on his website to get ready for packaging in his apartment office on Wednesday February 3, 2015. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Owner of online shop Denton Swag Eddie Renz rolls up a poster he sells on his website to get ready for packaging in his apartment office on Wednesday. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

“I explicitly remember one Chinese man saying, ‘You’re what we call Godzilla,’” Allison said. “I guess he could be Godzilla if he tried hard enough.”

Although Renz is now considered a business mogul among several of his entrepreneurial peers in Denton County, making a comfortable living for himself working from his home office, he doesn’t attribute his success entirely to himself. If it weren’t for both the guidance of friends made at the fellowship and growing up with parents who worked a paper route and lawn service as well as church service, he said he doesn’t think he would have the savvy to nurture his success.

Never one to stray from labor or service in dedication to his religion, Renz would learn to build a life of his own and grow beyond what he’d been taught by collaborating with fellow colleagues.

To the office

Justina Record, Renz’s intern, recalled one of the first instances where she and several others met with Renz to plan Denton Swag’s website. She, Renz and several others decided to meet at Shift Coffee, Record’s place of employment at the time in 2015.

On the same afternoon, Renz enlisted Record and everybody else with a DSLR on them at the time to go to the Denton Square and take pictures modeling Denton Swag’s merchandise.

“It was an adventure, and it was shocking how well everybody got along,” Record said. “The synergy of everybody working together made for fast results.”

Owner of online shop Eddie Renz’s office is filled with Denton Swag products that customers can buy on his online store. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

Owner of Denton Swag Eddie Renz’s office is filled with Denton Swag products that customers can buy on his online store. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

The spontaneous adventure convinced Record that the character of Renz’s pursuits were reflected in the company’s motives moving forward. Beyond the office, Renz showed no hesitation in granting Record maternity leave, as she has recently entered her second trimester of pregnancy.

“Our goal moving forward is to spread our communal values,” Record said. “[Renz] never talks about himself and always asks about you first. You can see that reflected in our work with Denton Swag.”

As far as Renz’s future is concerned, he said he would ideally like to expand the Denton Swag apparel line nationwide, putting the city he loves on the map. Also studying for a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary, he hasn’t forgotten his roots, despite the genesis of his several business ventures.

“I want everything and everyone to be beautiful,” Renz said. “I don’t have time to be depressed.”

Featured Image: Eddie Renz, owner of online shop Denton Swag, has a variety of the store’s products in his office. Paulina De Alva | Staff Photographer

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