Incarceration doesn’t stop Lynnwood couple from launching clothing business

Lane and Julia Phipps with their daughter. (Photo courtesy Phipps family)

While stories of married couples going into business together are not unusual, it’s less common that such a partnership involves a spouse who is incarcerated. 

Lynnwood resident Julia Phipps, 28, launched a clothing business in March 2023 with her husband – Lane Scott Phipps, also 28 – who is currently in Snohomish County Jail awaiting trial on charges that include first-degree assault, kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm. The couple was married on Aug. 8, 2018, and they have a 7-year-old daughter.

Heart of Gold 24K Clothing is a streetwear clothing company that caters to individuals and businesses, making T-shirts, beanies, tote bags and hats with customized logos. Currently, all the clothing and accessories are created by Julia at her home.

“My husband and I don’t see this just a business. It’s been something we wanted to do for years,” Julia said. “We want to open our own store. When we do get big and have that ability to open a store, we want to hire people who have struggled to find employment due to incarceration, charges that they had. Eventually, we want to open a nonprofit [for that cause].”

Heart of Gold 24K Clothing had a soft launch at Waffles in Paradise, a boutique store in Bellingham on Valentine’s Day. Now Julia and Lane are looking to collaborate with businesses in Lynnwood, Seattle and Everett. 

Julia is a student at Shoreline Community College, majoring in criminal justice. “The main reason I’m going to school with the plan of being an attorney is because I want to bring my husband home,” she said. “I want to make a change in our criminal justice system and I saw first hand our system failed my family, and I want to be able to do everything I can to change that. Finding an attorney for my husband has been the most difficult thing due to finances, so I decided to go to school.”

Lane had spent five years in prison before being paroled in August 2021. He was arrested Aug. 3, 2022 in Yakima, facing multiple charges after fleeing from authorities in Whatcom County and Lynnwood. At the time of his latest arrest, Lane was out on $50,000 bail, awaiting trial in Whatcom County Superior Court on charges of attempted second-degree murder, possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful possession of a firearm. Julia said that her husband is now looking at life in prison.

“He gets out of his cell two hours a day, one in the day and one at night. At nighttime, he uses that time to talk to our daughter,” Julia said. “And we usually get about an hour to come up with ideas, talk about designs, marketing, people whom I’ve been connecting at the college, different businesses. So it’s really just trying to cram everything into one hour of video visits everyday. His way of helping to provide for me and his daughter was to start this business. For him, it was to find a way for him to live.”

Julia said that the couple has been able to get a lot accomplished in designing their brand and she markets it on TikTok, where they currently have more than 6,600 followers. She would like to have 10,000 followers by the time she graduates from Shoreline in June and 30,000 to 50,000 by the end of 2025.

“I’m hoping by the end of this year, we’ll have a lot of sales and connections with businesses in the local area,” Julia said. “And helping a lot of nonprofits as well. We’re trying to help people who are incarcerated. I hope that down the road we’re able to use incarcerated individuals’ artwork to help put on our T-shirt designs and help others. Hopefully by the end of next year, we’ll have a brick-and-mortar store in Lynnwood.”

A Heart of Gold design.

Julia said that the name of the business – Heart to Gold 24K Clothing – reflects that people can change and that someone who is incarcerated can continue contributing to their community. 

“Heart to Gold 24K represents purity, gratitude, loyalty and unbreakable bonds,” she said. “It shows people that they can do what they want to do. Dreams can be possible and not to let barriers and outside influences stop them.”

All the designs and lettering are made by the couple, who were inspired by Chicano art. Heart of Gold Clothing does not have a website yet, but you can follow their progress on TikTok and Instagram. To learn more, email Julia Phipps at

— By Nick Ng

  1. I have gotten a few clothing pieces from them
    .. good quality and so friendly .. 5 stars for sure

  2. I applaud this couple for staying strong under circumstances that can easily and irreparably break a person. People should not be judged solely on the sum of their mistakes, but rather the choices they make in the wake of the consequences for those mistakes and how they persevere in the face of adversity. This woman, as any single parent can attest, has a hard enough job raising a child on her own while her husband is away. But tack a college law education as well as creating, marketing and running a business almost entirely on her own…I don’t know how she is doing it. And let’s not forget standing by her husband and dedicating a portion of each day to making sure he gets a visit with his wife and child. Julia, I strongly suggest making a GoFundMe page for you and yours. Also, check out grants available for new businesses and CLEAR for legal assistance. And if you ever need any help at all I am more than happy to be a part of your very worthwhile cause and dream. Way to go, girl!

  3. Think and it will not happen
    To get in trouble
    You cause your own
    Trouble. I injoy my freedom. Never do drugs or beer.
    My son is same today .he has is his own business with 67workers.he is 44yrs old .I raised him by myself.

  4. As an ex felon I found it real hard to find a job so I opened up a second hand store of my own. I got married we had a son.I really felt good about my life. I got so much into my business that I forgot that I had a family that needed me too. All that I built I lost in the divorce. Don’t make that mistake I made. Make time for family. my life is good again but it took losing all to open my eyes. Bless you for your courage and dedication

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