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.
The product creators at EcoSage Company prepare and package their all-natural items with the planet in mind, just as they have since 2008. The group’s sustainable practices extend to their entire inventory, such as their natural soap—the original product made by the company—that comes in scents such as basil-sage mint and cullowhee. Each item is also packaged using recyclable or reusable materials, from soy candles to baby products and body silk lotions. Originally a hobby that started in a modest college apartment, EcoSage’s soaps and other chemical-free products still reflect that initial passion for creating products that are both natural and pleasant-smelling. The EcoSage product makers are also members the Texas Soapmakers Association, a guild that unites its artisans for some of the best-smelling meet-ups this side of the Mississippi.
Versatility lies at the heart of Closet Envy Studio’s fashion philosophy: the mannequins who pose coyly across the spacious shop floor wear fashions designed to take women of all sizes from daytime through evening occasions. The staff extends personal-shopper-style services to customers, and might help weigh the merits of various ruched dresses, fluttery skirts, and ultra-high heels during a tête-à-tête on a pair of red leather mod-style chairs. Limited collections, in sizes from small to 3XL, change often based on the season and the fashion trends predicted in the Farmers' Almanac. Many evenings find the shop still aglow as models of all body types strut the latest styles during fashion shows or customers chat over free drinks at a weekly happy hour.
After receiving her Zumba certification in 2006 and inspiring her mother to board the fitness-dancing bandwagon, Jennifer Diaz and her mother, Esmie Megee, founded ZuMama Fitness in 2009 to help motivate people on their health and weight-loss journeys. Today, a staff of 18 certified instructors helps manage the robust schedule of classes that cater to all ages and ability levels. In the citrus-hued studio, students mimic teachers through easy-to-follow steps set to upbeat Latin tunes, sometimes under the twinkling lights of a disco ball that enhance the party-like atmosphere and contain outbreaks of Saturday night fever.
When it comes to cell phones, Texas Cell does not discriminate. The shop fixes and repairs all major brands, including iPhones, Samsung, Nokia, and Motorola. It also keeps its shelves stocked with popular parts and accessories, such as USB cords, cases, and dashboard mounts for in-the-car charging. Aside from phones, Texas Cell’s techs can also rid computers of spyware and viruses or install hardware and software updates.
Familiar brands of jewelry, watches, sunglasses, and shoes abound at Premier Outlet. Customers can browse items from designers such as Armani, Casio, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Kenneth Cole. Since Premier Outlet has a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, customers can return gifts that don’t fit their taste or rings of power that they don’t have time to cast into Mount Doom.