Visit one of The Peddler Show Tour's events, and you'll likely see some smiling faces among the other shoppers in attendance. It seems like there's nearly always someone grinning widely, having just discovered a perfect gift. It might be a necklace from Nan's Precious Pearls, a bottle of lotion from Salve All Natural Skin Care, or a tin of indulgent sweets from The Caramel Candy Co. Or maybe it's all of the above.
The Peddler Show Tour has been connecting Texan shoppers with boutique gifts and housewares for well over three decades, but the show has never been stronger than it is today, with 26 events hosted annually across the state. Even frequent shoppers can find something new on each excursion, since hundreds of different merchants and boutiques apply to participate. While many come for the clothing, jewelry, and household items, others stop by to sample gourmet foods or purchase a bed frame made of fudge.
Scattered across the globe like so many building blocks in the playpen of a toddler architect-to-be, Gymboree Play and Music provides wee ones up to five years old with a safe place for enriching, educational play. At more than 500 facilities across 30 countries, grown-ups come along to observe art, music, and sports classes for toddlers up to five years old, as well as their signature Play and Learn sessions.
Maria Bernal developed her international eye for snapshottery over three decades and continents, swiftly earning the 2009 and 2010 Photographer of the Year awards from the Austin Professional Photographers Association after establishing her studio after she moved to Texas in 2007. Specializing in domestic depictions of infants, children, families, and more, she and her expert staff capture relations just as they should be remembered: well-groomed and organized by height. The camera crew's 30-to-40-minute scenic family portrait sessions deftly capture their subjects' personalities, and the infant images provide adorably embarrassing blackmail fodder for tween years to come.
Kids 'R' Kids nurtures the development of its tiny clients by providing a secure, educational environment. Each kid-friendly employee is certified in first aid and CPR, and many have training in areas such as early-childhood education and classroom management, helping them react with aplomb to classroom conundrums such as students running with scissors, juggling scissors, or selling counterfeit scissors on the black market. Kids 'R' Kids extends its brain-boosting educational offerings to kids from 6 weeks to 12 years old, including curricula such as an infant program, a toddler program, and a before- and after-school program for kids age 5–12. A variety of specialized programs focus on topics such as health and fitness, foreign languages, and computers—three growth industries in a world increasingly dominated by Spanish-speaking, baseball-obsessed robots.
Mane Tamers' hair aficionados have treated stressed tresses with a combination of aesthetic and pampering services for more than a quarter-century. During a thorough headscaping, male and female follicles undergo a scalp-massaging shampoo, which soothes strands while convincing them to confide world-domination schemes and aesthetic ambitions. Then stylists cut cranial carpet to specifications ($35 women/$25 men) before gifting scalps a deep-conditioning treatment ($25) to help imbue locks with a healthy sheen. For women, the one-hour salon stay concludes with an eyebrow shaping ($13), where facial terraformers sculpt eye adornments in accentuating arches, dashes, or lightning bolts. Meanwhile, a grooming package shears ($13) male facial manes to appropriate lengths. Mane Tamers makes up the haircut cost difference with a $10 gift card for the next manly follicle feng shui session.