By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Home Improvement | Issue: August 2017
Torchwood Co-Owners Christi and Eric Danels with their Red Heeler companions, Zeus and Zoe.
Torchwood Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing & Electrical is co-owned by Eric and Christy Danels. The company has provided products and services to metro Tulsa homes and businesses since 2008.
Eric and Christy dated for nine months. One evening Eric told her, “I want my own business one day.” The discussion concluded with Christy offering to loan Eric $10,000 to purchase a van and begin his dream. Eric and Christy beam when they talk about Torchwood’s beginnings. “I asked Christy to marry me two months later and we were married two months after that,” said Eric.
In 2010 Christy quit her job and joined Eric full time at Torchwood. “He was trying to do it all himself,” said Christy, “office work, service calls, bookkeeping and advertising.” Using the Guerilla Marketing book by Jay Conrad Levinson, Eric began growing his business. He went house-to-house hanging flyers on doors, contacted people he knew and the Torchwood phone began ringing.
“I’ve always enjoyed fixing things and making people happy,” says Eric. “I’m a problem solver and it’s not unusual for me to get a call to inspect a home where there’s an unusual noise or smell.” One of Eric’s most comical challenges was after receiving a call from an elderly gentleman who was hard of hearing. Each morning between 2 and 3 a.m., he was awakened by an unusual noise that he could not pinpoint. He emphasized that it always happened precisely between 2 and 3 o’clock each morning.
Eric made repeated visits to locate the source of the noise. He checked AC/Heating, the water heater and each faucet to see if one was rattling. All to no avail, but he reassured him that the equipment was in great shape. “One morning the gentleman came in beaming to see Eric. He had a clock-radio in his hands. “This is it!” he exclaimed. He had purchased the clock months ago not knowing that someone had preset the alarm, but had not set it to any station. “Therefore,” said Eric, “at exactly 2 o’clock each morning the radio alarm would go off and emit the static you hear when a radio is between stations.”
“Our customers just love Eric,” says Christy. “He can fix anything. He’s loyal, he’s fair and a man of his word. In addition to air conditioning, heating, plumbing and minor electrical services, Torchwood does kitchen and bathroom remodeling. “We gut, redesign areas, replace surfaces, fixtures and appliances.”
The Danels also own Robertson Plumbing Supply in Tulsa. Both businesses office and warehouse together. “Relationships are what we’re all about,” agree Eric and Christy. “We hope you’ll give us a call next time you need our services.”
Zeus is always ready to go for a ride in the Torchwood Van.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
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