We are Teazled, Dina and Dom. Our children, families, friends, and co-workers are Teazled. You are Teazled. You’re families, friends, and co-workers are Teazled.
Dom and I decided to open Teazled in April 2011. The 50 million dollar question is why.
The short story:I realized there were missed opportunities to tell my loved ones how I felt. I realized that we live life thinking there will be an opportunity to share our feelings or make things right at some point. And I decided I wanted to create a way to help families and friends say the things they don’t know how to or can’t find the words to say.
The long story: I had a bilateral mastectomy in November 2009 and spent most of 2010 in recovery. It was during that time that I realized how very precious life is. And how we never know how much time we have on earth. I wanted my life to have meaning and positive impact. Fortunately for me, Dom has always been very supportive of my hair brain ideas (including Teazled) and for that, I am truly grateful.
When Dom and I decided to plant the Teazled seed and open in August of 2011, all we had to rely on to prove our business model was personal experience and our knowledge as nurses.
Our family had waited long enough for cards to give to each other and if we couldn’t readily find cards to communicate for our family, neither could other LGBT families; and our children wanted us to fix that.
That was a footprint Dom and I could create.
The footprint that validates who we are as people, parents, children, siblings and friends.
We set out to learn all we could about the greeting card industry. We also set out to learn all we could about the greeting cards and gifts readily available that accurately depict the experiences and lives of those in the 9 million strong LGBT community as well as those that love them. Along the way, we discovered that more than 87% of the American population have family members, friends and co-workers within the LGBT community.
That’s a significant amount of lives impacted by the inability to effectively communicate through the coming out process as well as the everyday holidays and life events we all experience.
We set out to plant a seed that would one day become a living breathing legacy touching more lives than we could ever imagine. That seed was to become Teazled.
It is our knowledge and insight in to the LGBT Community that provides our strength to continue to branch out and touch the lives on the Teazled Family Tree.
What we once thought would be an on-line greeting card company has had many life cycles, each encouraged by the lives we support.
Time and again we have requests to be more readily available. Time and again, customers ask for us to be in their local stores. It is their requests and pleading that pushes us to grow.
I look back to the first Pride Festival when customers had the opportunity to view the cards (and we could watch their responses) and I continue to be amazed and humbled by the responses.
Fast forward to watching customers read our cards in grocery store aisles, knowing we had accomplished what we were once told would never happen (we actually had people tell us we should sell our cards in adult stores~ I can’t imagine Dad, Mom or one the kids going to an adult store for a Mothers’ Day or Christmas Card).
Fast Forward again to April 2015 when we opened our brick and mortar Teazled Greeting Cards and Gifts in Downtown Las Vegas. With little to no advertising, we had customers come in from all over the country and the globe saying: “I can’t find any cards like these in……(name any city), or “Can you open one of these in…..(name any city).
Talk about humbling and powerful all at one time.
One of the most interesting things I learned from working in our retail space at Teazled Greeting Cards & Gifts was just how many family members stumbled in to the store not knowing who we are or what we do and yet, ultimately, sharing their own family coming out stories.
I can’t tell you the number of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends who said they had waited for what seemed like an eternity before their loved one “came out”.
I can’t express the feeling of awe knowing that you seek us out for a safe place to share your stories and ask how you can keep communicating with your parent, and your kids. Imagine the honor of sharing an 86 year old grandmother’s joy after driving an hour because she heard we had cards and gifts for her granddaughter who was “becoming her grandson”; and how she wanted to show her support.
Time and time again I watched people read the greeting cards, tears streaming from their eyes. Time and time again people commenting that “I wish I had this when…”
This is the Teazled Story. This is why we do what we do. Because as nurses, lesbians, moms, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends we understand just how very important communication is. We understand all too well and have seen first hand what happens when there is a breakdown in communication, not because there isn’t love in a relationship but because people can’t find the words to express their hopes, fears, and concern.
I humbly ask that you help us spread the word, help us grow the Teazled Family Tree, help us continue to touch lives in a positive and impactful way.