“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.” Louisa May Alcott.
The past two months of my life have been filled with surprises. I’m constantly reminding myself that no one can predict the future and focusing on staying in the present. It’s not easy surviving a pandemic that no one expected.
Everyone manages stress differently. My sleep patterns are disrupted and I often have difficulty going to sleep these days. I’m not alone. How do I know? From late night emails to DM’s, my clients are often awake too. The time stamp on their correspondence is often after midnight.
Last night one of my balcony wedding couples sent me a text regarding the video my friend Angela had taken of their wedding. Thankfully since I’ve upgraded my phone and lost a number of photos and videos that weren’t backed up on iCloud I had uploaded the video to my YouTube channel. It’s hard to believe that a month ago I was officiating ceremonies from my balcony. It’s hard to believe that so many of my clients were cancelled by the venue or the Unit.
It’s difficult to comprehend that Covid-19 has affected so many lives and so many plans but it has.
I’m often contacted by my clients for any number of things outside of what they initially hired me for. My relationship with all of my clients supersedes a business agreement. They become my friends and reach out for advice and insight on a regular basis.
One of my clients, Bridget had contacted me about a divorce a month ago. Yesterday she sent a text regarding a second chance. I’m concerned about Bridget because from what she’s told me this marriage may be irreparable. But, I understand her desire to salvage it. I stayed in my first marriage far too many years trying to salvage it. Bridget is going to “give it another go.” I hope that things work out but I worry they won’t.
My other former client, Deanna asked me to write a recommendation letter for adoption. She as well as me were duped last month in an apparent adoption catfish scheme. Apparently these types of con games are far more common than one would imagine. A friend of hers was also duped out of thousands of dollars. It’s sad to me that people would take advantage of people wishing to adopt. In my opinion these con artists should be prosecuted.
Sheketress contacted me regarding a Letter Of Support. These types of letters require quality rather than quantity. I will once again remind everyone considering buying a mass produced LOS not to do so. Contact me instead and I will provide free information. Save your money.
Cindy and I after numerous attempts to buy masks decided to produce our own with help from our unemployed California prison brides who are also seamstresses. The quality of having a professional create these masks as opposed to the sloppily crafted designs Cindy and I purchased online is why we decided to “team up” by providing fabric and offer masks for sale. Our clients needed our social media following and fabric. We needed their expertise. The combination provided a winning formula. The number of people selling items they don’t have in stock is alarming. It appears that a pandemic has brought everyone out of the woodwork. If you’ve purchased something from someone you didn’t receive you know exactly what I’m talking about. Links on FB and Instagram hawking products that never ship are an everyday occurrence for buyers these days. Buyers beware.
Last night while scrolling FB, I saw a video of a woman in her underwear that caught my attention. This ad was unlike any other than I had seen in a flood of advertising ads that are now on both FB and Instagram. A woman in her underwear selling jeans? It sounds as interesting as it was for one reason in particular being that she wasn’t skinny or physically perfect. Whoever came up with this ad was a genius. They took an average woman with a personality and created an ad that was effective. She tries on jeans that literally slide onto her body with a perfect fit. I’m a hard sell regarding buying online after two months of orders being cancelled on Etsy, EBay and Amazon. Sellers that didn’t refund and forced my hand to file a claim. Sellers that literally came out of the woodwork to profit during a pandemic. I’ve never encountered so many sellers not shipping items as I have in the past two months. Fake tracking numbers. Fake photos. If they do ship the product it’s so sloppily crafted that it was a waste of money. Quality never goes on clearance.
There were a number of negative comments posted regarding a heavy girl wearing a top and panties to pitch those jeans. Haters that apparently expected a model to be hawking plus sized jeans. Unrealistic and not buyers either.
Who cares about these “Negative Nancy’s” that aren’t going to buy and aren’t interested in buying posting comments? I’m familiar with derogatory comments by people who don’t matter to me or my clients. How so? I delete comments on a regular basis. People who don’t approve of LBGT Marriage or Inmate Marriage. People who post nasty comments about a post that doesn’t affect them one way or another attempting to redirect attention to themselves. Still others attempt to “piggyback post” on my posts to redirect my audience to them. Shocking and rude but true. One post on FB for our new inventory of Chanel masks had a comment from Linda that states “I’m selling masks for $8.” Cindy told me about the comment that I had missed. A friend or frenemy using my large following to promote herself? People are so damn unpredictable these days. If they can’t sell something on their own they spam or backlink someone else.
I’m frequently tagged in posts on Twitter, Instagram and FB. The people tagging me have no idea how social media works.
Social media is tit for tat. Are you liking or sharing your connections posts? If you aren’t there’s a reason that they aren’t liking or sharing your posts.
Social media takes work and effort. If you aren’t putting the effort in you won’t be getting the results out of your social media campaign but don’t piggyback my posts.
On LinkedIn, there’s a man who consistently comments on my posts regarding his doves. These spamming Backlinks annoy the heck out of me but every-time I post something he does it again. I sent him an email on LinkedIn advising him to stop promoting himself on my posts. He continued to do so anyway. I blocked him. I’m opposed to dove releases and told him so.
My first socially distant ceremony at Belltower went well. People who wanted to wear a mask were encouraged to do so. Many of the staff members did wear masks. As expected, someone contacted me to advise me that a photo of myself with the couple “wasn’t six feet apart and therefore not socially distant.”
We were outside with the wind blowing at us and facing in the same direction. Some people will find fault with anything. In fact they look for fault. You can’t make everyone happy. Miserable people stay miserable.
As many of us have turned our homes into offices, school rooms and gyms, our homes have become multifunctional.
My home has also become a wedding venue for clients unable to follow through with their plans to marry at a venue. From offering cake and champagne to photos and video, my home has become multifunctional.
We are all going through adjustments we didn’t anticipate and could never have expected. We are all learning that we are capable of far more than we believed ourselves to be two months ago.
Next week the clerks offices open in Tarrant County. For many of my clients the need to replace their marriage license exists.
For over a month now I’ve been sending checks to cover 1/2 the expense to replace a marriage license to all of my clients in numerous states who had planned to marry at a correctional facility and couldn’t due to Covid-19. A number of vendors have asked me why I’m covering 1/2 the cost of a new marriage license?
Planning a marriage is an exciting time. My clients were excitedly looking forward to their wedding day. They’ve budgeted and planned for months. They could have never expected something like Covid-19 to affect their plans.
My clients and I are “in this together.” I can afford to help them and decided to do so. While this may seem shocking to others it’s common sense to me. Loyalty never goes out of style.
A number of people trolling Texas Twins Events might be shocked to learn just how diverse we are. A few of them may be offended or have opinions about our client bases. That’s their luggage and their trip. We were diverse before it was cool or trendy. Cindy and I are pioneers that address any and all economic levels and creative requests. One persons Dream Event might not be another’s.
Since I’ve been asked about the “Two Headed Three Eyed Fox” we took in trade through The Pawning Planners client, she was married in Huntsville last week and living happily ever after. Not all flips are flops but that one was. Not all trades are treasures. But meeting amazing people with unique requests is our speciality. She needed photography to set up an online profile. Her deceased husband was a taxidermist. She had a unique trade but it wasn’t something we could flip at Texas Twins Treasures. Cindy and I decided to help her anyway. We aren’t in this business solely to make a buck. We are in this business to give people hope. To help a stranger. To find creative ways to make their Dream Event a Reality.
I recall a few years ago a lady who contacted us because her fence fell down. She didn’t have the money to repair her fence. I posted ads on Craigslist for second hand fence poles and posts. I then rented a Home Depot truck and picked the poles and posts up with Cindy and delivered them to her home. A few hours later she sent me a message asking “when are you going to come put up the fence?” I was alarmed by this question. After all, a stranger had contacted me. She didn’t have a trade or barter. She had a problem. She wanted us to fix the problem. I never offered to fix the fence. I suggested she host a “fence fixing party” to find people to repair the fence using the materials we had provided.
On occasion, I teach people to fish. They may want me to clean and cook the fish. That’s not my role. My role is to help you not raise you. I will help anyone but my time is valuable and my husband couldn’t understand why someone would contact me to fix their fence. He’s a custom homebuilder and developer. He’s also aware of the cost of fence. He was also surprised my ad on Craigslist netted not only poles but also panels. But even he was shocked that someone would expect his wife to repair their fence. My husband is consistently surprised about some of the things people contacting me ask of me. From someone asking me to send them a full set of bridal floral designs “because I know you make them and we don’t have a floral budget.” Ask the vendor you hired to provide them Pal. We loan our inventory to booked clients not strangers.
Production companies contact me because they are casting a show. I’m not a casting director or a paid agent. People will take advantage of you as long as you allow them to.
I was recently contacted by someone who saw how successful our joint venture mask endeavor was. They wanted to know where we obtained our fabric? Hmm. Creating competition we don’t have? No thanks. People will ask for anything these days. I’ve been asked to teach people how to do what we do. How to become a prison officiant? How to flip and barter items? How to market their products? How to have a successful social media campaign? There isn’t a magic button. Success takes effort. Success takes creativity and ingenuity. Success takes dedication, passion and resilience.
It’s easy to sit on your butt and think or assume that success is easy. If it were actually easy wouldn’t everybody be successful?
No one expected to have their hours cut or lose their job. Most of the people contacting me were probably laughing at me a few years ago. A people over profit based events business? Bartering? Prison weddings? A creative niche that no one thought would or could be profitable and much less successful with zero advertising investment.
How would you market to our clients? It would be impossible to even consider marketing. Cindy and I have never marketed. Yet we are consistently flooded with connection requests on LinkedIn to “build our business.” Hilarious. We don’t need to build our business buddy. We’ve rebranded and expanded twice. We are national and not limited to Texas. Our clients “find us” from happy referrals.
We are often rehired by previous clients too. From vow renewals you baptisms to funerals, our clients are a be back business that even we couldn’t have expected. Our clients are the fabric of our success. We aren’t interested in building our business. The people pitching such a concept have failed to understand who are clients are and how we help them. Connect with me but don’t pitch me on marketing. I’m not interested in marketing.
Returning to normal will be different for all of us. There won’t be any handshaking. There may not be any hugs. We will survive this stronger and wiser.
For many people who never considered cross training their employees the idea will materialize. For others the value of loyal employees will surface.
For venues that cancelled events due to Covid-19 there will be a ripple effect. Only the strong will survive.
For clients that were determined to make love last they will and they will be the winners in a love story no one could have expected to last…