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.
Brandon Farran might look familiar. He's both a professional fighter and fitness model. Plus, he's one of the trainers who helped Lance and Melissa Morgan stay fit after they finished up on season nine of The Biggest Loser. At Future Fitness Team, Brandon, his wife Channing, and partners Jason and Shawndra Haak collaborate to whip the average Joe into shape at a variety of workout sessions, from boxing and jiujitsu to yoga and stability classes.
Twice Upon a Time's collection of children's clothes and toys have all been previously owned—although it's hard to tell. Since 1999, the shop has ensured that every item looks as good as new, whether it's apparel for newborns—size-20 kids, or furniture, strollers, and books. The owners have also created a designated play area, which keeps young kids entertained as parents shop.
A spacious smoke shop situated in downtown Abilene, The Leaf offers an aromatic array of cigars, pipes, and other smoldering smoke accessories. Let experienced tobacconists take you on a tour of The Leaf's walk-in humidor that features thousands of cigars, including Oliva brand ($4–$9), lauded on many occasions by Cigar Aficionado, and fragrant pipe tobacco, such as Samuel Gawith and McClelland ($4.50–$6.50 per ounce). Caffeine cravers can pair their purchase with a pound of quality java ($10.50), packaged by local roasting company Duncan Coffee. The Leaf also provides an extensive selection of elegant tobacco pipes for those desiring to look dignified in spite of the Groucho Marx mustache that’s tattooed to their face.
Bucketheads furnishes Texans' turfs and torsos with an extensive selection of clothing, jewelry, candles, signs, bumper stickers, and more. Direct wayward thrill-seekers with a party sign (starting at $20) or force onlookers to confront your moral code with a "Peace, Love, Faith" T-shirt ($20). Colder evenings are sufficiently warmed up with long-sleeve burnout shirts in zebra-striped and plain varietals (starting at $20). Cars' rear ends can be decoratively adorned with a selection of bumper stickers ($5). Bucketheads' rubber watches ($12.99), meanwhile, make great gifts for lonely wrists or people who regularly backhand brick walls.
The shelves of LifeWay Christian Stores brim with books, Bibles, and all manner of faith-based items to challenge minds and encourage souls. Customers can delve into books from a wide range of scribes, including a series of fictional fables by the New York Times bestseller Karen Kingsbury and the passionate, everyday theology of Crazy Love, penned by Francis Chan ($11.99). Beth Moore's James: Mercy Triumphs study bands women together to partake in deep discussion and to plan synchronized swim routines, and a plethora of Bibles in 10 translations includes study, children's, and gift Bibles, such as a faux leather pink-and-brown Zondervan ($16.99). In addition to finding Christmas gifts, customers can find stocking fillers for hard-to-please tots with a VeggieTales nativity, which allows kids to embrace the meaning of Christmas and use vegetables for something other than reenacting Star Wars battles on their plates ($22.99), and Willow Tree holy family figurines add serenity to December décor ($39.99). LifeWay Christian Stores are closed on Sundays.