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.
Results Personal Training enlists certified male and female trainers to piece together personalized fitness and nutrition plans that target time-specific fitness goals and allow for anytime onsite access. When paired with a client, each trainer crafts a program geared toward desired results—such as muscle gain or weight loss—and an ultimate end date, which can correspond with upcoming weddings or long-awaited preschool reunions. One-hour workout sessions then draw on an armory of free weights and Pilates balls to activate different muscle groups and prevent bodies from adapting to the routine. With trainers always on standby, clients can walk in on the hour to start a training program without an appointment and report to the center an unlimited number of times per week.
Before each patron’s first workout, an on-staff nutritionist outlines a healthy meal plan customized to his or her needs. Each menu includes the amount of calories that they should consume per meal and day, a list of foods that rev up metabolisms, and arguments to convince tomatoes that they are vegetables. Clients can visit their nutritionists at any point during their membership, and weekly analyses of their progress ensure that they are staying well on track to meet their health objectives.
While there are chickens strutting around on the Chickenfarmer's Greenhouse property, they’re mostly for decoration. For the experienced gardeners on staff, the real focus is organic plants and the equipment and accessories needed to grow them. Everything sold at the greenhouse is designed to nurture organic plants, from the locally sourced exotic plants to the house-brand soils and fertilizers to the stunning aquaponic gardens that experienced staffers can install in clients’ homes. The nursery even boasts an all-organic, GMO-free produce stand, stocked with produce sustainably grown onsite. The veggies are grown from heirloom seeds provided by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which features decades-old strains of flavor- and nutrient-rich plants. For more decorative needs, the grounds are filled with tropical plants and palms such as hibiscus and plumeria, all sourced locally or created in the greenhouse's plant-cloning replicator pod.
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.