“DON’T Attempt To Blend In- Be The RARE Breed That Stands Out”
In a world where everyone tries to be like everyone else, being different is perhaps the greatest gift of all. I have an open heart and open mind that have kept me from fitting into any box. My twin sister shares my views.
I’m guessing if our childhood had been more traditional, we might be more reserved but, it wasn’t and we aren’t. My grandfather was full blood indian and my grandmother full Irish. Most of my family members are a melting pot of nationalities.
Cindy and I were also raised without a mother and became the mothers we never had to people we meet from all walks of life.
Selling is our greatest career success. Why? Because establishing relationships is key to selling anything especially if you are marketing yourself and/or your services.
I haven’t advertised in years. That’s right- YEARS. I don’t have to. Happy customers refer their friends and coworkers. If you are doing business the right way, word of mouth is the best advertising you can get and best of all, it’s FREE.
For most of my life, I tried to “fit in” but, being an identical twin, we were already viewed as different. Because of this, in our twenties, Cindy and I hung up the trying to fit in and decided to celebrate our diverse views and beliefs.
My twin is my best friend, business partner and lifelong buddy. Cindy is also the creator of hilarious #Cindyisms often posted on Say Quotable.
My sisters quick whit is a gift I don’t possess because we are Compensating Personality twins. What this means is that while she’s great at some things- I’m great at others.
We work together at Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures and The Pawning Planners as well as traveling together across Texas for my TDCJ Wedding Ceremonies at Texas Prisons.
There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for my twin but, Friday I accidentally knocked her beloved cell phone into my diet root beer causing Cindy to be more than a little upset about losing her photos. Cindy LOVED that phone. She wouldn’t even upgrade and get a new phone for our birthday because “her phone has everything she needs and 6k photos that could never be replaced.”
Not being technology savvy, I had no idea we could save her photos tons computer and neither did she. My website guru, Michael handles all aspects of my websites and also screens odd emails here and there when I have questions. Michael is priceless to me and has been with me for years.
Cindy’s iPhone photos are often used for her #Cindyism Quotes, we aren’t giving up trying to save Cindy’s photos although there are hundreds on the internet.
My sister is famous for her Redneck Granny based Life Quotes– Cindy Daniel Has Something To Say About Everything- Cindyism Quotes. My sister has a flair for words and a few years ago, I had an idea to use her comic talents on Pawning Planners Apparel to raise money for clients who had nothing of value to trade. Pawning Planners Apparel is now sold worldwide and available in numerous languages.
From road trips to rest stops, Cindy and I have laughed our way down dirt roads headed to Appraisal Appointments and client meetings.
We don’t always “hit a lick” but, we’ve always found a way to help our clients. Occasionally, finding solutions involves a meeting with my son, sister, niece, grandnieces and I to “bounce around” ideas when a creative request is unique.
From fixing a broken fence to liquidating a storage unique a client couldn’t afford to keep to handling a baptism for a baby who had only hours to live and later, the memorial, we are determined at “working problems into solutions.”
Now and again, we’ve had to turn down trades we never expected anyone to offer. From a case of moonshine to a horse or prized cow or even rifles, we don’t barter liquor, firearms or cattle. Sorry. We can work something else out with you but, I don’t have a firearm license to resell or a farm to house cattle or the ability to effectively “flip” moonshine. I’m certain someone would buy these items but, they cannot buy them at Texas Twins Treasures where our trades are sold.
Furniture items are stripped, stained and reupholstered which is how we turn “trash to treasure.”
Cindy and I have seen a few surprises on location at Appraisal Appountments. The old saying “one mans trash is another’s treasure” isn’t always true. There’s a difference between a marketable item and trash. Knowing the difference is key to successfully bartering.
Because of continued requests to flip items that the seller can’t get rid of, I recently wrote a blog about an Appraisal Appointment that didn’t exactly pan out the way the client had hoped. Why? Cats and lots of them.
If you have 5-20 feral cats in your home, I cannot accept furniture trades. Why? Because even completely stripped, furniture “holds” scents that make the items unsalvageable.
If the Salvation Army won’t pick it up- we won’t either- More Trades, Trash And Treasures. We worked out another option for the “cat crazy client.”
Custom Quotes are so popular that even in surprised by the sales featuring Cindy’s views on life. Finding ways to generate income is never easy but, we are a Twin Team that work well together. If there’s a problem- we find a solution.
My clients also treasure photos which is why I provide complimentary photography to TDCJ Clients as well as Pawning Planners Clients as a courtesy. Texas Twins Events Clients pay for photography.Last Thursday, while my sister was busy watching her three granddaughters, my niece, Leigh Ann joined me in Fort Worth for a photo shoot. My December bride had an amazing dress and matching tiara that we instantly fell in love with. Too much bling is never enough in my opinion. I love glitter and bling.
When I’m headed to a Texas Prison, whether it’s Cindy or Leigh Ann joining me to help with photography, they wait near the Unit at a cafe or thrift shop and I ride in with my client.
My December Bride wanted photos in her amazing dress and then we headed to TDCJ Hutchins Unit to meet beautiful Rita.
Stacking Events is and always will be stressful due to the timelines involved. Bouncing from point A to point B and occasionally, point C is a delicate balance to ensure we aren’t late meeting the next client in line.
I’ve been stacking Events for years and always leave “wiggle room.” Rita had a great time. I’m adding winter bouquets to my loaned inventory for a fresh spin. Loaning inventory for photo shoots and events is unusual but, I believe everyone should have everything they need to pull things together in photos as well as at weddings.
Rita was wearing fabulous heels that had a back story. Her 65 year old sister had never had a Quincinera and for her 65th birthday asked her sisters to dress up in fluffy dresses and high heels.
Rita recycled her shoes for her wedding. Her sister was pregnant at 15 and always wanted a Quincinera so at 65 she had one and amazing memories too.
I love happy stories and my husband is thrilled about breaking ground on a dream home for a military family in Willow Park.
It’s rare that a homebuilder gets as emotional as my husband but, he’s an emotional guy.
Matthew is the sole reason that I’m able to do all of the things I do. My husband supports me in every aspect of my life.
My husband and I sold our Dream Home to downsize and I used my half of the profit to start Texas Twins Events. The rest is history.
Passion and perseverance “pulled the plow” on an idea to create affordable alternatives for people who wanted an event but couldn’t afford traditional cost points.
My concept was to offer low cost services and while in the beginning I never planned on funerals and other creative requests, I was always open minded because I’ve always been different.
My twin sister, Cindy was my first team member. I realized that it was impossible for me to perform the ceremony and take photos at the same time and asked her to join me taking photos at events.
This idea worked well because by working with me Cindy who has custody of her twin granddaughters, Maryssa and Makenna brought the twins with us to client meetings and events. Clients loved the idea of twin flower girls, ring bearers or ushers at their wedding and hired the twins for tips.
It became a “family affair.” The twins were hired by clients as ring bearers and flower girls at events while I officiated and coordinated and Cindy handled the photography.
My twin grandnieces have worked for Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners for eight years. They now work as princess characters at birthday parties as well as assisting with photography and set up on location.
For three years, two sets of twins were the Texas Twins Events Team. It was during a client meeting rolling into my fourth year that an idea to barter came up. My client couldn’t afford to pay for services but had an antique sofa she wanted to offer.
Merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create The Pawning Planners opened a window for ANYONE regardless of their income to enjoy a Dream Event.
Four years after starting Texas Twins Events, new business bookings from The Pawning Planners required me to add additional family members to address the “boom” to our bookings.
My son and daughter, Robert and Stephanie Hafele came on board as photographers. My son is also an Officiant as is my twin sister and my niece, Leigh Ann. We now had a full Texas Twins Events Team.
Cindy and I have been floral designers for years so o decided to create an inventory to loan Pawning Planners Clients who couldn’t afford to provide their own bouquets or bouteniers. Over the years I also added ring pillows, flower baskets and more. Loaning inventory and providing complimentary photography to clients who couldn’t afford to pay for photography set us apart from any other vendor.
Bartering event services was unheard of when I decided to rebrand and expand but as others watched to see if the concept would work, another opportunity for expansion came through my email.
A creative request for a Prison wedding was the sole reason that I went through the process to become a Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant. I expanded Texas Twins Events to include TDCJ Weddings and our bookings exploded.
While I had no idea there was such a demand for prison weddings two years ago, the truth is that my bookings are now 75% Prison Weddings and 25% traditional bookings. Shocking right? Monday through Friday I’m at Texas Prisons or county jails when not meeting new clients for Texas Twins Events or Pawning Planners Clients trading for services. Cindy and I also deliver Texas Twins Treasures sales items within the DFW area.
If you had told me two years ago that I would be driving to Texas Prisons five days a week, I would have never believed it. But, it’s given me an opportunity to meet amazing people while “changing the wedding and events industry one family at a time.”
Our story is unique because no one could have anticipated the changes that we never planned on but by being open minded, we experienced.
My niece Leigh Ann now also handles photography for our clients. Leigh Ann enjoys working with our wide array of clients and like Cindy and I, meeting people from all walks of life.
I’m somewhat infamous for my belief that Love Is Love and my client base of over 50% same sex couples. Since I’ve been asked, the answer is yes I also perform LBGT Prison Weddings.
My variety of bouquets and props keep our photo shoots fun and varied. Why have one bouquet when you can use 5-10 of my bouquets at your photo shoot? I love variety!My best selling multi color brooch bouquets will be back in stock in December. I sell worldwide and require a deposit on any custom order.
Please allow 8-10 weeks in season and 6-8 off season for your order. If your event is stacked, it’s essential to arrive on time. Due to continued “tardy parties,” I’ve added late fees to my contract to limit late clients.
If you’ve hired one of our photographers, your fee is $75 an hour which is far less than our competition and you can buy all of your photos on a cd for $25. We make photography affordable to our clients which is why photographers are booked months out. All Bookings require a deposit and contract.
I’m at TDCJ Crain Unit this week as well as Estes and Stiles so it’s another busy week with my sister and I having our 54th birthday this Tuesday.
Hopefully, we can find time for dinner but, with our schedules, it’s debatable. Unlike our children and grandchildren, birthdays aren’t that important to Cindy and I although the gift Cindy really wants are the photos off her phone which I’m praying Apple or Leigh Ann can get off the phone for her.
I’m also buying Cindy a waterproof case and kicking myself for not getting a lid for my fountain drink. My niece, Leigh Ann worked for Microsoft and thinks if we can get it to turn on, she can pull the photos. I’m hoping she’s right. My son and Leigh Ann are far more technically advanced than Cindy and I.
My pink multi brooch bouquet has alread sold out. I will be restocking in January on pink multi and the nude multi bouquets.
My grandniece, Maddy pictured below loves to jump in on photo shoots with our clients. Maddy is as far from shy as a child can get and such a ham that all of our clients the past year or so have a photo with young Maddy in their wedding pics.
Our purple multi will be available later this month. The two tone bouquets are often the best sellers that are regularly stocked. My niece, Stephaney has been moved from JPS/LCA to a group home and I’m hoping she finds a job soon.
Yesterday, my son ran into her walking since he lives four houses away and called to tell me she’s stable and doing well. Of course, my son is pretty shocked there’s a group home in his neighborhood but, they don’t exactly put a sign in the yard advertising to other neighbors.
Cindy and I went to visit Stephaney Friday at the group home on our day off to buy clothing and food. Stephaney has a pretrial hearing later this month and I’ve removed her as our bilingual translator until we know she’s back on track and reliable.
We currently DO NOT HAVE a bilingual translator on staff. Stephaney is the only bilingual person in our family.
Cindy and I have had a rough year with Stephaney and her choices. We’ve replaced her phones more times than I can count. Her relationship with my entire family has been shattered. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Stephaney.
Monday kicks off with another whirlwind week of activities that include a trip to Apple for me so I will try to catch up on my social media retweets, likes and shares when I can. Cindy will be catching up on Twitter retweets as soon as her replacement phone arrives.
I’m off to Bell Tower Chapel this morning and thankful we put out our Christmas lights early this year as it’s already chilly in Fort Worth.
My prayers are with everyone in California dealing with the fires. It’s so hard to believe that I was just in Calabasas last month.
Santa Monica and Malibu are my favorite cities and hopefully, the fires will be controlled soon.
Thankfully, my sister, Tammy and her family are safe in Lompoc…