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.