Lorenzo and Kendra Jordan are taking partnership to a whole new level. The married couple of 11 years share a story which is both reminiscent of a serendipitous moment, as well as testament to their birth signs: Gemini.
Their initial meeting however, might be one scripted as a Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy as Lorenzo was a customer and Kendra the business owner called to tend to a disgruntled customer.
A love story/business partnership which started 11 years ago as Kendra was called to calm Lorenzo when her crew lost his stuff which had been dropped off for custom services. One dinner date, church date, movie date and three short months later the “opposites” said “I do” and have been working on their empire ever since.
“He came right on in full speed. The things I didn’t know how to do he stepped right on in,” Kendra said of the early days of their business, Geminiz Creationz, which they relocated to Oakdale in 2015.
The couple’s custom embroidery, screen print, customization business quickly got attention thanks in part to their oldest son playing Oakdale Mustang football his junior and senior year. With his family proudly donning custom shirts showing off their Mustang Pride for their favorite player, inquiries on where they found their gear began.
“It went from there,” Kendra said of the family’s swag, as well as their son’s customized letterman’s jacket which was a bit different from all the others on campus.
“Those coats can be customized from the beginning to the end,” she said. “They can customize the buttons, the collar, to the sleeves, everything you can think of.”
Fortunately for her, Lorenzo not only has the creative eye, but the skill it takes to create such a jacket.
“He does all of the work,” Kendra said of her husband. “Unlike most shops, we do everything in house. Everything is done here, with letterman coats, all they have to do is get their school letter. We can even customize patches. We even order the jackets or they can bring them to us from somewhere else.”
But letterman jackets are just the beginning for the local shop. While the demand for Mustang gear does keep them busy, so do requests from out of the area as well as for other products they specialize in at Geminiz.
“We can do anything from letterman coats, biker vests, designing them, customizing them,” Kendra added, noting they also do embroidery for car rugs, seats, even baby car seats. “There’s nothing really we cannot do.”
Recognizing the balance in their business as well as partnership, Kendra offered kudos to her husband for his artistic talent.
“It’s been a blessing because he can draw anything,” Kendra said. “He’s talented. As his wife I’m very, very proud of him and how he’s advanced with his skills.”
Now that skill and talent is expanding beyond the 730 E. F St., Oakdale space as the couple ventures across the driveway to the Tattoo You suite space.
In July of this year, after four years of serving as landlords to original/well known tattoo artist and Tattoo You owner Ray Hoot, the Jordan’s bought the business.
According to Kendra, Hoot had first approached her seeking some help with selling the business as he had some personal matters that were taking him away from the business. As the two talked, Hoot also shared he felt she and Lorenzo should purchase the business, most especially because he knew of Lorenzo’s skill and passion for drawing.
“I love drawing. I’ve been drawing since I was a kid,” Lorenzo shared, admitting he was hesitant when Hoot first approached him.
Yet with the reassurance and teaching of the longtime master, Lorenzo caught on and became certified for piercing and tattooing.
“Ray went and did basically all the re-certification and made sure everything was up to date,” Kendra said of the transition. Ray’s son Steve Hoot has remained on to do tattoos and piercings along with Lorenzo.
While business has been a little slow to start, the couple believes that’s mainly due to the month to month-and-a-half that the building was closed before Hoot made the decision to sell.
“It’s like any other business, when you start out it’s slow because you have to build your clientele,” Lorenzo said.
“Even though Ray gave us the blessing, he still has to prove himself in a sense,” Kendra added.
Proving not to be intimidated, but rather excited, Lorenzo shared he’s enjoying his newfound spot across the driveway from his bride.
“I always wanted to be an artist,” Lorenzo said, sharing his early days of drawing began in church, sketching the pastor to stay focused on the sermon.
“That was my dream. I didn’t know it would go to this level. I went to school for a lot of skills and I love it. If I love it … it’s not a job, but did I see myself here? No. Honestly no,” he stated candidly of the tattoo shop, “but I wouldn’t be surprised, because this is what we do. We draw, so when Ray asked us, I knew I could do this all the time. I love it.”
Now with each of them doing their thing in separate ways yet with the same shared goal, Kendra said the Gemini effect is definitely at play in their success.
“After 11 years, we’ve learned kind of how to stay in our lane,” she said. “We know what each other is good at. We know his strength and weakness and we know my strength and weakness. We know how to come together and work together.”
Mostly the couple know how to keep the focus and the service on the customer, a shared passion which brought them together now brings them success.
“Customer service is our biggest thing. We’re big on making sure our customers get what they want and need,” Kendra concluded.