By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (September 13, 2016) – For months, Facebook fans and followers of Twisted J and Texas Homegrown Radio wondered what was brewing with the two Stephenville-based businesses. Now that the news has been revealed, fans await the next big day, Saturday, Sept. 17, when Twisted J unveils its latest ventures and the radio station shows off its new digs.
The whole package is no doubt a one-of-kind business for the Cowboy Capital – and most of the country. In addition to a new warehouse for the production and distribution of custom screen print and embroidery projects from Twisted J Custom and the Twisted J Apparel line, the Johnson family will unveil the new Twisted J Boutique, Twisted J Studios and The Twist at a “RE grand opening” celebration.
The boutique was previously located in the Bosque River Center, a short distance from the former screen printing and embroidery shop on Christy Plaza. The studios and The Twist bar are new ventures.
Meanwhile, Texas Homegrown Radio, which launched a little more than six months ago, is relocating from its humble offices on Graham Street into Twisted J Studios, according to the app-based radio station’s mastermind Jody Lee Caudle.
Caudle is not new to the world of radio, he has shared his love of music and panache for looping in listeners for a quarter of a century.
“It’s been 25 years this year,” he said.
After working for few Stephenville stations, Caudle founded KWBY Radio, which had a good run on the FM dial under his leadership. But his personality, listening audience and the droves of Texas artists flocking to the station’s studios outgrew the station. Not ready to silence his mic, Caudle dove head first into all-digital distribution.
That was also something that Stephenville had never seen before – a purely online, app-driven station with the ability to reach anyone anywhere with a wireless device. The station boasts listeners from across the United States and around the globe and has programs and hosts that are as mobile as its listeners.
Caudle will tell you more than a couple of people thought he lost his mind when he started sharing his big idea, but Texas Homegrown Radio came together much easier than expected. In fact, there were some people who not only liked the idea, they loved it. Cody Johnson, owner of everything Twisted J, was one of those people.
“We had Cody on as guest, talking about Janie’s Fund and the relationship between Twisted J and Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith), and he – we – really had a good time,” Caudle recalled. “He told me to come out to the new place on 377 because he wanted to show me something.”
The new place says nothing about the headquarters where everything branded Twisted J now happens. The Johnson family purchased the sprawling facility, built less than 10 years ago by Australian-born horse trainer Clinton Anderson to serve as the headquarters for Downunder Horsemanship. It’s located out toward the city limits on the highway headed to Fort Worth, at 2285 North U.S. Highway 377.
During their meeting, Johnson showed Caudle a large, empty portion of the new building and told him about visiting a boutique in Nashville, Music City, where live music greeted shoppers.
“He told me it would be cool to have the radio station inside the Twisted J boutique,” Caudle said.
Caudle agreed it was a good idea – and a smart business move for the growing radio station.
Of course, successful businessmen are built on big ideas and when Caudle and Johnson got together with Chad Decker, owner of Hard 8 BBQ, they started cooking up an even larger plan.
“Chad was talking about people flying into Stephenville to eat at Hard 8 and how they’re always asking where else they can go,” Caudle said. “So, the idea of the boutique and radio station grew to include a bar – an all-in-one destination complete with shopping and a place to grab a drink and enjoy some music in relaxed environment. Somewhere to ‘get a little twisted.’”
While mums (mostly) the word on other big plans for Texas Homegrown Radio and Twisted J Studios, Caudle said the growing list of expected guests for the grand opening celebration may include some individuals wanting to add video to all the audio the new partnership is producing. He also said the radio station plans to unveil other news for their listeners in coming weeks.
“There’s a lot going on, and it’s all happening really fast,” he said.
Meanwhile, Caudle said another of the Texas Homegrown Radio family, is getting also twisted. Sonya Hance, more widely known as his co-host on The Morning Ride, The Mouth from the South, will manage The Twist. The new venue has a concert stage and full bar.
The plan is for Texas Music artists and other musical acts to perform at The Twist, but the stage is also expected to welcome many events beyond music, such as standup comedy.
And, if all goes according to plan, the Twisted J brand will soon welcome another large facility to the rodeo-loving, music-listening family. In an earlier story, Johnson, told The Flash he has a contract out on Lone Star Arena.
Sources say the venue will continue to be the rodeo hub of the Cowboy Capital, while at the same time welcoming concerts to the mix.
About the RE grand opening
The opening of the new Twisted J Boutique and all the great things taking shape inside the facility will be held 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, September 17.
The first 50 customers through the door will receive a free goodie bad, and every $50 spent in the boutique will get shoppers a chance at a $1,000 gift card. Door prizes will be awarded hourly.
Live music will entertain the crowd throughout the event, and the Funky Money snow cone trailer and Hambone’s Redneck Paradise food truck will serve up lunch.
And a couple of nonprofit organizations are also getting in on the action. P.A.W.S. (Pets are Worth Saving) will be on hand for the event, and silent auction will benefit Erath County Veterans.
For party-goers have the option of parking at Lone Star Arena and catching a ride on a free shuttle to the Twisted J Headquarters. Shuttle service will be provided 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.