A Personal Interview with the Twins: Ashley & Amber
Jodie and I first connected with Ashley and Amber through Instagram and had an immediate connection and bond because of our “twinness.” We soon learned that not only are they darling and sweet, these two are in a class all their own. The more we learned the more our love grew. We feel their commitment to each other, to their family, and to the business, and we sit in awe. We knew we had to share them and their story with you. Prepare to fall in love with the heart behind Familylaser. This is a sponsored but still comes from the heart! The ideas and opinions are 100% our own!
(Be sure to see the bottom of this post for a special limited-time coupon code for 15% off your entire purchase for our readers only.)
J & J: How did your business get started? Give us the back story as a way of introduction.
A & A: As a family, there has never been a topic that we haven’t discussed together. Our entrepreneurial dad always included us. We previously owned and operated a successful fly-in fishing resort, then a car wash/detail shop that we started from scratch, and now Familylaser. The idea was there when the oldest sister of our family married Derek Kern. Derek’s dad started Kern Electronics and Lasers. The Kern story, the quality of the machines and the outstanding potential these machines held, supplied the seeds which grew into Familylaser.
J & J: Who makes up your team and what are each of your roles?
A & A:
First, we have our mom. Supermom to all, truly, the maternal heart behind Familylaser. She cooks, changes diapers, reads bedtime stories, gives baths, quilts, sews, helps takes pictures of products and often times shares a favorite song with a little one at 3 in the morning. Supermom for sure.
Our dad’s work shifts are long and productive, usually starting somewhere around 5am and going until someone shuts the lights off. While he is motivated by the opportunity to build a business, there is nothing that motivates him like his family. From his time with Supermom to the youngest grandchild, it’s all about family.
“One” of course is Amber, elder twin by 10 minutes. She is proud mamma of Kaden (age 4), Reid (age 2), Gabby (born in May) and lifetime companion to husband Derek. Amber handles Familylaser’s website and the social media end of things when she isn’t changing diapers or fixing meals. In her spare time, Amber is a dental hygienist.
“Middle” is Ashley, twin to Amber. Ashley has her masters in Speech Pathology and works in Fargo, ND at Independence Elementary. She and Adam are proud parents of Jackson (3 years) and brother Eli (1 year). We like to call her Ms. Creative and works on graphic designs, hand lettering projects, and helps with social media and marketing. She is a taskmaster and one to hold you accountable.
“Little” came into our lives last. Amie is a Special Ed teacher by trade, but in our world, she is the GLUE! “Little” holds the fort down. She is 100% Familylaser and she is Ms. Multitasker. Quickbooks, sublimation, lasering, graphic design, inventory control, shipping, ordering from our suppliers. You name it, it has her name on it. Amie and her hubby Matt are proud parents of Camden (2 ½ years) and their newest family member Nolan (born in July).
Together we make up the heart behind Familylaser. We are a team with a super supporting cast of husbands, other family and friends. Whatever talents each of us bring to the table, the one common denominator is our combined effort to produce as a team. While we design, laser, customize, personalize and sublimate, it’s worth nothing if we can’t do it together.
J & J: How do you feel being a family sets you apart from other businesses?
A & A: We are so respectful of each other’s roles and lives that it drives us to build this business based on what’s most important in our lives: FAMILY. We defend each other, pick up each other’s slack, and coach each other. Listening always to each other and sometimes sharing a tear with one another, motivating are each other along the way. We put a high value on protecting our family structure. Respect and communication are number one. We believe that those two values carry over to our customer relationships as well. Our customers are everything to us, and we treat them how we treat each other. We like to think a “sale” is more about building a relationship. At Familylaser, these values set us apart.
J & J: What motivates you?
A & A: Truly, we are motivated by each other. While we all want success, we first want to find balance. Hence, family and family relationships stay at the top of the priority list, followed closely by our business. We believe if we are happy in our family lives it will carry over to our business. Our checks and balances are each other. Together we motivate, coach, prod, hug, cheer or whatever it takes to keep us going as a team. Our customers also motivate us. We do nearly 100% customization. That means it’s personal. So, when we take a customer idea and it transfers into words of praise, our hearts are happy! There really is tremendous heart behind Familylaser.
J & J: Tell us about the 2 of you. A little twin history.
A & A: To wrap up our twin history in one sentence:: Being twins for us has always meant having a best friend. Since we can remember, our love of sports, dancing, piano, and friends have always been shared. Our twin bond grew even stronger as we lived together in college. We worked through our first transition of living apart when Ashley got married. While don’t look as much alike as when we were younger (proud winners of one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals from the “most identical” competition held in Twinsburg, Ohio) we still manage to have a heck of a lot of fun!
J & J: How does your twin relationship play out in your business?
A & A: We love working anywhere we can meet people in person, shake hands, make eye contact, and hug. When we do this as twins, the energy and the excitement is doubled and it’s just pure people fun. We complement each other in this setting. We both love being around happy people.
It’s so much fun to finish each other’s sentences and have such ease in communicate. Our twin relationship makes working together easy and enjoyable in every way possible!
J & J: That’s so fun! You really remind us of ourselves!
J & J: How does spirituality play a part in your business/lives?
A & A: We believe there is one thing that keeps us grounded. The core value in building all that we do in our lives is having faith in God. Like many people, we have been tested through difficult life experiences. Our faith has made all the difference. As followers of Christ, we try to lead lives full of kindness, forgiveness, faithfulness, love and joy. We hope these qualities are actions seen in both our personal lives as well as how we handle everything that comes with our business.
These are my kitchen floating shelves, and they are graced by many of the gorgeous handmade Familylaser creations. All the wood plates and platters add such beauty and warmth. Laser customization makes them true treasures!
J & J: We feel your hearts so much, so what does “heart-led” mean to you? Explain the heart behind Familylaser.
A & A: We have a quote laser engraved on a sign that reads “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business,” by Henry Ford. It sits in our laser shop, giving us a daily reminder that more than anything, we want to build a business around doing what’s right.
To us, heart-led means doing the right thing. We occasionally have hiccups in our business where something doesn’t go 100% according to plan. But in the end, the goal remains the same. Do what we need to do to get it right for the customer. For example, last Christmas we sent a custom gift with a prominent delivery service only to find out from our customer that it was delivered to the wrong address. The delivery service wouldn’t help in a timely fashion. On our end, there was no hesitation. We customized another product and got the job done. The point is, it wasn’t about pointing fingers or adding up pennies and dollars, it was about fulfilling a customer’s needs. That comes from the heart.
J & J: We definitely feel your true heart behind Familylaser. What is your favorite thing about being a part of a family business?
A & A: We love the satisfaction that we get from happy customers. Furthermore, we love the satisfaction we see in each other’s faces and hear in each other’s voices. That comes from being respectful of each other and having great communication. We work as a team and put each other above all else. It’s a great feeling.
This fall vignette in my home is graced by an incredible driftwood platter created by Familylaser. The custom engraving adds to the beauty and creates very special meaning as well. As we walk by we are reminded of our many “Blessings”. Each platter is one of a kind just as every one of their beautiful products.
A Final Message from Ashley & Amber
True Heart Behind Familylaser
One of the greatest blessings in our business journey is who we have met along the way. Being from small town Warroad, Minnesota, social media has been such an important way of getting our products in front of people. Even more importantly, social media (Instagram in particular) has led us to friendships that we know will last our lifetime.
From the moment we came across Julie and Jodie’s Instagram accounts, we knew they were something special. Being twins, there was an instant connection, but after getting to know them, we know that it wasn’t a coincidence they came into our lives. We are meant to know each other, and we thank God for it all! We were able to visit with them via Facetime recently, and it was a dream! Their contagious energy, sweet personalities and hearts of gold were no surprise.
For those who know them, you already know that the design twins are the most genuine, loving, uplifting women who are inspirations to us all. Their talent for designing is obvious. But their love for our Lord and passion to live life full of joy is the truest inspiration. We are so fortunate to be connected to such incredible, encouraging women. We cannot wait for the day when we can share a hug in person.
Thank you beautiful ladies for featuring us on your new, exciting chapter of blogging. We are completely humbled and grateful for this opportunity. We hope we conveyed our love for our family and growing business with everyone who reads your blog.
All our readers can receive 15% off their entire purchase for a very limited time by entering coupon code: THEDESIGNTWINS at their shop. Click HERE to shop their huge custom collection.