Venita Driver

Originally from Detroit, Venita Driver is a wife, mother of four, an ACG-AAA employee and the manager of Blessings T-Shirts Unlimited. She founded her company, a Michigan Limited Liability Corporation with one member and several contracted agents currently involved with its development and progress, in 2007. 

Read Venita’s Story

Annebelle Duncan

A California native, beloved daughter of Deaf parents, Annebelle V. Duncan, MA, RSST, EIPA is the CEO of BHIS-Blessed Hands Interpreting Services. She is also CEO/Founder of the DAD-Delphine & Alfred Duncan Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DAD Foundation). BHIS provides qualified interpretation services and Communication Access Real-Time, (CART) services between Deaf consumers and hearing businesses. In addition to practical interpretation services, BHIS educates the hearing world on how to receive, service and accommodate anyone who is Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf/Blind.

Read Annebelle’s Story

Partnership History

From Annebelle: 

I came to True Believers Church to work on an assignment for an agency who was hired to provide an interpreter for one of their members who was Deaf (he works for both businesses today).

Unbeknownst to me, I would do more than just provide interpreting services. I met Venita Driver at True Believers. At first, I did not know Venita well, though we did see each other almost every Sunday. Yet when I experienced a very challenging time in my life, Venita was there for me. I endured loss, grief, homelessnes, absence of funds and lack of respect from others. I was viewed as someone who would not be successful and would not survive. I was literally looked down upon by these people.  

During that time, Venita did not treat me in a disrespectful fashion, and instead helped me, encouraged me, and witnessed how the Lord picked me up and placed my feet on solid ground. Soon I began to run and to rebuild myself and my life with my children. This was the time Venita showed love to me as a sister and Venita and I fully developed our sisterhood. 

I do not have any biological sisters and the sisterhood I share with Venita, who I call my “Big Sis”, is very important to me. We have shared numerous ups and downs, highs and lows, but through those tough times in our lives collectively or individually, we have always maintained a sisterly relationship. We have supported each other and kept each other “in check” so that neither of us would fall away from the other and our God whom we love and serve.  

During this time, it was placed on my Spirit to create shirts that would support the Deaf community. I was actually tired of seeing the same clichéd type messages and developed two logos of what the Lord had revealed to me. Venita’s husband helped with the second shirt. We began to sell these designs and we sold almost all of the second shirts, “Signs of the Deaf,” with the manual alphabet on the back. I was thrilled and excited. 

Venita and her husband, whom I call Uncle Doug, helped me with both the design and printing of the t-shirts.  At that moment, I saw another avenue for business, as I knew that words of encouragement and empowerment were lacking in the Deaf community. This was a great opportunity; I could see where this t-shirt line would take me.  As time progressed, it was decided that I would develop my own t-shirt company. In 2018 or 2019, ASL ClothingLine was given to me from above. 

Though I continued and committed this name to a new business, it all slowly ceased. I was not sure what to do and found myself at a standstill. I did not realize that I needed to wait for what the Lord would say, that His ways are not my ways, nor His thoughts my thoughts. One day, as COVID-19 was engulfing our nation and Venita and I were sharing a catch-up conversation, the vision was revealed: let us develop a clothing line

Our business was manifested that day, all while Venita’s passion to service the Deaf community was evolving. With my knowledge and experience as a CODA in the Deaf community and her passion and experience with t-shirts, we knew we had found each other in a place that would take our lives to a different level. Venita’s desire to empower, work with the Deaf, learn ASL, and have a business partner, was the blessing she needed. I was blessed with the opportunity to help empower the community I was born into with a clothing line.

At that point, Venita and I began the process of establishing our business and the rest is where we are right now today, soon to launch, BASL ClothingLine. Todah Abba. That is Hebrew for “Thank You, Father.”

Our plan is to grow this business and to become a Deaf-friendly employer. 

As of the middle of 2021, Blessed ASL ClothingLine was producing 15 designs that would empower, encourage, motivate, inspire and integrate the Deaf and hearing communities. Through our designs, we are striving to enrich the Deaf community with a powerful voice.  Our plan is to reach out by showing inclusivity through various events world-wide, and to provide sign language classes for the hearing, virtual corporate events for the hearing impaired or on the behalf of the hearing impaired, employ additional Deaf staff, and to incorporate Deaf and hearing children in every aspect of our business for future growth.

Unity  *  Integrity  *  Faith  *  Fellowship  *  Inclusion