The Ellis family traces its history of working with plants to the late 1800s, when they operated a pottery-manufacturing company in Texas. Current-generation family members build from their familial expertise at all five of their store locations, spread between Louisiana and Texas. Twice a year, the Ellises travel overseas to identify upcoming horticulture trends decided by UN meetings in The Hague. This has expanded their decorative focus to include all aspects of home décor to complement greenhouses filled with tropical blooms and locally grown shrubbery. Clocks, lamps, and vases score homeowners extra credit in interior-design classes, and fountains and outdoor furniture make gardens hospitable for warm weather. For those who want to get ahead on holiday decorating, they offer an extensive selection of seasonal decor and accents year round. The Ellises encourage creativity with hands-on classes in subjects such as making centerpieces, weaving wreaths, and tying ribbon into perfect bows.
Lazy B General Store combines the welcoming atmosphere of a familiar small-town general store with the endless possibilities of a big-box genie-lamp outlet. Offering an extensive range of products including men's and women's Western apparel, produce and preserves, and accouterments for equine or canine friends too broke to do their own shopping, Lazy B keeps one booted foot in the good ole days with its rustic storefront and one in the flashy future with its online catalog. Multitasking browsers can pick up a Chesney-inspired cowboy hat ($29.95) and fill it with 10 gallons of Mayhaw jelly ($7 for 16 oz.). Men might grab a weekday Riggs Workwear by Wrangler shirt ($29.95) and weekend camo pocket tee ($19.99) for outdoor exploits. Cowgirls' jeans from Wrangler run as low as $13.49, and an offbeat Cruel Girl lace-trimmed tank top ($10.12) keeps ranch hands' heads turning like a horse in need of shoe rotation.