A Bi-Coastal Company

Posted by Kristen Suraci on

 Most family members would give words of affirmation and try and be there for a sibling diagnosed with a complex mental illness, but CEO of Twill, Zac Halloran, did much more than that.

“Twill was inspired by my brother's journey to rehabilitation. When visiting, I observed many patients not having the warmth of a cozy blanket or the love and support of family members nearby. A fire burned inside me and I knew I wanted to give back to my local community anyway I could,” said Halloran. So his journey, along with his older brother Jeremy, began. The two raised $11,000 in thirty days and started to invest in inventory. For every blanket sold, one was donated to a local friend in need.

Fast forward three years later, and Twill is a quickly growing small business. Quickly growing, because Zac made the decision to move across the country, to Los Angeles, California, in hopes of making the company bi-coastal. That wasn’t the only reason he left Albany, New York. The big reason, and my personal favorite, is this: “I met this beautiful woman nearly three years ago at my friend's wedding. The first time I saw Lauren, I knew my life was going to change forever. It is like one of those scenes out of the movies where everything is in slow motion. Something brought us together and we made a long distance relationship of 3,000 miles work for us.”

Everyone loves a happy ending right? But, in all good stories, there are of course hurdles to get there. I for one was anxious to see how the company would work with the CEO thousands of miles away from the rest of his team. As always, Zac’s positive outlook pulls us through, “I am blessed to have a loving family who has been there for me when times became difficult and challenging. I didn't expect building a business would take so much from me, however I didn't realize how much it would give me either. I have been able to face challenges head on because of the people I surround myself with. My team is filled with passionate, hard-working individuals who are striving for a purpose in life. I can't ask for much more than that.” As an employee of the company, I can confidently say what he says is true. Each one of us joined the Twill team for a personal reason, and because of that strive to make the company the best it can be.

So where does Twill go from here? How do we plan to make the company work on the East and West coast? Zac says it all starts with having a physical presence in the two markets. “It starts with local events and getting to know our customers. Face value is extremely important to us at Twill and we want to shake hands and hug our customers. We want them to know we are a brand that you can touch and know we are helping the local community.” As the fall season begins, and the end of 2017 slowly approaches, Zac says you can expect a collection that is dynamic for all four seasons. “Having a west coast presence instantly allows us to design products that are a great fit for the spring and summer seasons all year round. A NY presence allows us to tap into our more cozy products like blankets and beanies. Having offerings that fit any direction a customer chooses is extremely important to us and we plan to have that functional by next spring.”

So there ya have it folks. Twill is officially making its mark on two major areas, and putting smiles on faces along the way.

 

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The Three Life Lessons Students Can Teach YOU

Posted by Kristen Suraci on

When I moved home a year ago, I never thought I'd end up being a teacher, especially for a whole year. I took a job thinking I'd be there a few months before moving on, but I'm so glad that wasn't the case. A group of 3 year olds completely stole my heart and taught me more than I could have ever imagined. So often over the past year I was hearing "thank you" or "how'd you teach my son to learn all his letters.. that's amazing", along with many other comments. As heartwarming as all those compliments were, I couldn't help but stop and think at the end of it all "wow, they were really the ones teaching ME". With our back to school sale in full swing, I wanted to take the time to talk about just how special these young souls with backpacks heading out the door are. I think we can all learn a thing or two from the younger generation.. so I came up with a list of the top 3 things I felt we should take with us in our day to day lives.

1. Patience

Let me tell ya, the term "terrible twos" is just dead wrong. I think it should be "terror threes". I'm not so sure what happens in those 24 hours when they age from two to three, but wowzers is it a shock. Their tantrums are a little bit louder, their attitude is a little bit stronger, and their words.. well their words become real people words and they can use em! Learning to stay calm and not get sucked in to the drama can be a challenge. It definitely didn't happen overnight, but eventually I learned patience is such a virtue. The second you get annoyed they feed off it. So why does having patience with 3 year olds matter? In my opinion, in any career path you choose, you're going to come across people or situations that may test that patience of yours, and I for one firmly believe if I can keep my cool with a group of three year olds, I can probably keep calm in just about any situation I encounter.

2. Laughing at yourself is okay (and welcomed)

Maybe I'm alone on this one, but growing up I was always so concerned about what other people thought about me and doing what was "cool" at the time. That basically all gets thrown out the window if you want to survive in a preschool. I've gotten what feels like pounds of snot smeared on my shirt, had kids pee their pants while in my arms, and the best yet, having a kid mistakenly go number two and then stick his hand on his back finding it on his hand and smearing it on my shirt/arm (thanks Sean). If you can't laugh at yourself and the situation, you may leave crying. Seriously though, if a kid smearing poop on you isn't a funny enough story to tell your friends when you get home from work, I'm not sure what is. The best part is, you'll get to laugh with them (then maybe wave the shirt around at their face if you're a little evil like me).

3. Be kind to everyone around you

This is pretty self explanatory, but I don't think I have ever felt more loved than I did by my class full of kids. Between the hugs, compliments, and "I love you Miss.Kristen" comments, I always knew no matter how bad of a day I was having, they would run up to hug me, do something ridiculous to make me laugh, or tell me they loved me until I cried tears of happiness. Kids pick up on our emotions even at the age of 3, whether you decide to believe it or not.

So take a deep breath, laugh at yourself, and give someone a compliment today. What these kids are doing every day are things I think we as adults could pick up on every now and then when "real life" gets the best of us. You may be surprised how things start to turn around when you take a few life lessons from toddlers. I hope one day (when they can read) my previous students will read this and realize just how big of an impact their actions made.

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The story you didn't hear

Posted by Kristen Suraci on

 

So I’m sure by now you’ve heard Nickelback is in town and their drummer seems to be cruising the town via Uber (pictured above). We’ve all seen the selfie..and if you’ve got the same taste in music as me you’re probably a little jealous. I mean come on, it’s not every day you meet a famous drummer. Pretty cool!

But here’s the story you DIDN’T hear...and if you ask me, it’s a lot cooler than getting a selfie with the drummer.


You’re looking at a picture of my cousin Ben and his girlfriend. Ben became a certified Uber driver June 30. Just yesterday, he started his first round of pick-ups through the app around the Capital Region. Ironically enough, one of the people he picked up that day was Daniel Adair, the drummer from Nickelback! Even more ironic, Ben dropped Adair off at Colonie Center, where another Uber driver ended up picking him up later and taking the selfie we’re seeing all over the internet. Unfortunately, Ben didn’t think to take a selfie with Adair, but in my opinion, he got something much better. Before leaving Ben’s car he asked for his name and told him he’d have two tickets for the show at will call. 

Talk about a great way to give back. Much better than a tip (or selfie) if you ask me. Ben commented, “He was a really nice guy.” Well, obviously Ben, look at the view from these seats! You may not be in a position to give away concert tickets, but any small act of kindness counts. How can YOU give back today?

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Safyre, the Super Survivor

Posted by Kristen Suraci on

Back in May of 2013, Safyre was the sole survivor of a fatal arson fire that took her father, sister, and two brothers from her forever. She was 5 years old at the time. The blaze burned 75 percent of her body and eventually claimed her right arm and left foot. At 8 years old, Safyre said the only thing she wanted for Christmas was cards from all over the world. Her aunt, Liz Dolder, who now has full custody of Safyre, posted the request to Facebook, which soon turned viral. Safyre ended up receiving so many Christmas cards during the 2015 holiday season, the post office couldn’t keep up!

Now, Safyre is looking to give back in a special way, just like so many people gave to her when she needed it most.That’s where Twill comes in. We teamed up with Safyre to provide care packages to local families impacted by trauma.Together, we designed two Survivor Snapback hats.The ball caps are adorned with Safyre’s inspirational message on the front and Twill’s logo on the back. For each hat sold, a special care package will be given through Safyre’s Angel Network for burn victims similar to Safyre. Safyre wants to bring hope and love to those families impacted by such trauma and provide a little comfort during a challenging time.

We are so excited to be teaming up with Safyre Terry here at Twill...and that’s putting it lightly. Working with someone as inspirational as her is one thing, but the fact that she’s from the Capital Region makes it even more special for us. Over the past few months, our entire team has gotten the chance to know Safyre and spend time with her, which has been a true blessing and we are so grateful for all the memories. Although many people in the Capital Region know Safyre’s story, as well as millions across the country, we wanted to make sure EVERYONE knows just how special she really is.

 Be sure to check out our latest addition to our collection, the Survivor Snapbacks inspired by Schenectady, NY’s very own Safyre Terry.

 

 

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Sponsor of Warmth

Posted by Zachary Halloran on

Mohawk Honda of Glenville, NY and Twill have teamed up to provide warmth and inspiration to local families in need. The auto-dealership is the Official Sponsor of Warmth and helps Twill deliver warm blankets and beanies to local hospitals and family organizations. Mohawk Honda is no stranger to giving back, as each purchase has a purpose when buying a vehicle.
Together we have been able to donate more than 600 blankets and beanies to local children's hospitals and family shelters. Mohawk Honda is a leader in the community and always reaches out a helping hand. We are thankful to have them aboard and excited to continue our wonderful partnership.
 To learn how you can join arms with Twill and join our Partnership Program, please email us at Hello@myTwill.com. We would love to connect with other brands, companies, teams, schools and non-profit organizations to help spread our mission of giving back. 
#GiveWhereYouLive
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