We had the good fortune of connecting with James Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi James, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I haven’t quit. My entire life I have always up and quit once the going got tough or I faced any sort of adversity.
It is often mentioned that you will hear “No” 1000 times more than “yes” when you start a new business. I have found this so true and that it is often a test. A test of your drive and will.
If you truly believe in what you are doing and the purpose behind it, you will not allow a couple “No’s” to stop you, and eventually some of those people will come back asking for a chance back in.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am proud that Valor Fitness Clothing donates 1 item to a Homeless Shelter for every item purchased. To date it has been closer to 2 items donated for ever item purchased. I started this business out of a government funded rehab which I went into after being homeless. I started it with pennies and have put every penny back into it. I have had zero financial help.
You don’t become homeless because friends & family want to help you out. (I earned every bit of distrust in my active addiction). So the struggle in starting this business has been very real. I had no experience in this industry but I had a dream and renewed passion in life that has made me more determined than I have ever been before.

I want the world to know that addicts in recovery are capable of amazing things. Addiction is real but we do not have to allow it to define us. All the things we dream of as little kids are very possible, regardless of when we start working towards them.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We are blessed to live in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Despite what people see on TV & in the movies, Los Angeles is not just all glitz & glamour. Of course we would go visit the iconic Santa Monica Pier, eat a funnel cake and then drive to Malibu. But we would also experience the poverty of Venice Beach and the reality of Skid Row in Downtown LA.
Life isn’t easy and gratitude is a lost personality trait. Many of us work very hard to enjoy a good life, but we all need to be grounded and live a life of Humanity. Appreciate what we have, but to never judge others that do not.

After this eye opening reality of much of Los Angeles, we would grab a Dodger Dog then head to the top of the US Bank Building for a life changing view. We would end the evening with a wonderful, nighttime walk near the Walt Disney Concert Hall & Grand Park. Seeing all the beautiful lights around Downtown LA Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Phoenix House Transitional Rehab Facility in Venice Beach CA took me from the streets of Homelessness and gave me a renewed hope for life. Paul Jones was the counselor that impacted me the most and had confidence and faith in me when I didn’t even have it in myself.
Since establishing a decent amount of time of sobriety the IG Sober Community has shown me love and support that I hadn’t felt as an adult in decades.
Forever grateful and I have dedicated the rest of my life to helping/inspiring other addicts in recovery.

Website: www.valorfitnessclothing.com www.valorrising.org

Instagram: @jher76, @valorfitnessclothing, @vfcrising

Linkedin: Jim Hernandez

Facebook: Jim Hernandez

Image Credits
Quay Potts Chris Greenwell

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.