Hey friends and neighbors! We’re a little bit behind schedule this week, so I thought I’d share a few pictures and information as to why.  Next week we may venture even further about these events, and the process that led to them, but for now, here’s some pre-turkey day dressings!

It’s not easy to do, in fact these will be some very broad strokes, but here it is in a nut shell.

On Sunday morning, November 7th, we left Joplin with three tractor trailer loads of gift items and displays, headed for Houston, Texas to the prestigious Nutcracker Market which is sponsored by The Houston Ballet.  We were one of over three hundred selected merchants featured at this year’s Market.  It’s a fabulous Christmas shopping experience!

“Set-up” for our booth at the Market started on Monday, November 8th, the exclusive “preview party” started Wednesday evening, November 10th, and the Market opened to the public on Thursday morning, November 11th.  Six loyal friends and employees set sail with Vicki and me for the voyage!

The “Best of Show” award is a fun and competitive way to keep the participating merchant’s displays and merchandise fresh and exciting each year.  We are always honored to win “Best of Show”, it’s especially hard to accomplish in consecutive years, but we took the prize again this year!  It was a very rewarding Market not only in sales, but unexpected surprises.

Receiving the “Best of Show” award from the Nutcracker volunteers, I was disappointed that Vicki was detained at the time.  She should be the one receiving the silver bowl, not me, but it’s a team effort to say the least.

We were asked, and accepted the opportunity to have Houston’s KTRK Channel 13 News do a live remote from our booth at the beginning of the Market. (We’ll all have to take Channel 13, and the Nutcracker’s word on this one…we still hadn’t had our morning coffee yet!)

The line of customers waiting, extending around the east corner of the booth; the Nutcracker volunteers said at times the line 40 people deep.

Joel Ponce (in the middle left with the three boxes) scurries to get more goodies into the booth for the waiting customers.

The next morning before the show opened, the Market management brought former First Lady Barbara Bush by for a visit.  A special thanks goes out to our great friend Scott Snider for his help with the show, and for being quick with his camera to snap these pictures.

Sharing some photos with the First Lady, of Sandstone Gardens the store, that you our customers keep making a success.  Her personal body guard is in the background.

The First Lady was very kind, receptive, and gracious.

The Market ended on Sunday, November 14th, we didn’t finish “tear-down” of the booth until Monday afternoon, and then arrived back home Tuesday afternoon, November 16th, when we started scrambling to get ready for Candlelight Shopping, which started Thursday evening, November 18th.  From the time we left for Houston until the lights went down at the store on Thursday night, we all were averaging 12 to 14 hour days to bring it all together. 

Thanks for your understanding in the delay.  When I get a little more time I would love to walk you through our booth, the elaborate displays, and some detail to the other layers of Sandstone Gardens that many of you don’t know!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

4 Responses to “ Shining Bright in the Lone Star State ”

  1. Mary says:

    Congratulations on “Best of Show”! I love, love, love the Nutcracker Market – there’s none better! So many vendors, with really great treasures, who participate each year at this annual Houston event. So the recognition is quite an honor I’d say. Going to Sandstone is “An Event”! You never want to go alone, instead you want to take all your favorite friends to soak in all the beauty together! Always a standout and favorite of all! Also loved hearing about Barbara Bush and her surprise visit, she’s such a gracious lady!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jackie says:

    I would love to go to that show do you know when it will be next year. My sister and I from Oklahoma just visited your store in Joplin a couple of weeks ago and were wowed. We were there for OVER 4 hours. You sure have an eye for beautiful things. Can’t wait to come back.

  3. admin says:

    Not sure of the dates for next years show Jackie, but if you follow our website next year, we have a new “calendar of events” page that will list the dates in advance. Come visit us again soon!!

  4. admin says:

    The Nutcracker Market is an annual treat for all of us…Shoppers and Vendors!! Thank you Mary for all the kind words about our store, we really love hearing from our customers! See you soon!

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