Seventeen-year-old twins Sydney and Shea Hinckley of Dallas share a lot in life, including a business. The teenage entrepreneurs started UPwords; a clothing, accessories, and home goods business geared towards spreading positive messages.
"It just started with something we thought we needed," Shea said. "With social media especially being so prominent in our lives, you see a lot of the comparison and you feel like you need to look like them, or be different to be enough, which is a lie that I feel is constantly being told to us in our generation."
The twins started with one affirmation, 'I'm enough and so are you.' Their little home-based business grew from there.
"Growing up, our mom always said whatever you say to your mind matters. It's like the most important thing you can do," Sydney said. "And so if you say a positive thing, your mind starts believing it and creating it, and so when you have it all around you, you're able to see it and start saying it to yourself."
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Their business has positive affirmations on t-shirts, hats, mugs, stickers, cards, pillows, and more. The sayings are 'beautiful', 'love', 'feel good', and smiley faces to name a few. Each order is packed by hand with a hand-written thank you note.
"I hope when they open our package or wear our stuff that they feel overwhelming love about themselves and that they feel love from others as well," Sydney said. "We want a safe community. We want to change the world one shirt at a time."
The twins say their business has also donated about 1,000 teddy bears so far to children's hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House through their Stuffed Hugs charity.
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"I feel like if you approach life with that positive mindset, it starts to change how you treat people and how you feel about yourself," Shea said.
The twins' UPwords business has grown since they started. They hope to move into a warehouse space one day.
"My mom probably wants her guest room back," Sydney said laughing.