Winter 2017
Editor’s Letter: Dreaming Big By Julie McCallum

Where does a dream begin?

It starts out small, like a little nagging thought that won’t go away. And the more you think about it, the more excited and happy you get. You get brave and start writing ideas down or sketching your visions, and you might even share them with someone important to you. Pretty soon, this little dream of yours is no longer a dream — it’s a plan.

Owning a store is an exciting journey many of you are on. It probably started as a dream, became a plan and, with a ton of hard work, is now your reality. We at Gift Shop are here to celebrate you and inspire you. In this issue, we celebrate the retailers in Waco, Texas — a special place that is enjoying some extra attention thanks to a woman with a dream of owning her own store. Joanna Gaines started her journey 14 years ago with a little shop. Today, she and her husband, Chip, have created the shopping mecca known as Magnolia Market at the Silos that attracts 35,000 visitors a week. The ripple effect through the community is benefitting all of the specialty retailers in Waco. We call it the Magnolia Effect. Take a tour of four wonderful shops in Waco, including Magnolia Market, starting on page 59.

I can hear the bells — wedding bells of course. This mega-million-dollar category is showing no signs of slowing down, and we have a roundup of products beginning on page 90 that are perfect for gifts, favors and more. Our oldest daughter recently became engaged and I’m so inspired by the beautiful products to help make the big day perfect.

Giving back is more than just a good deed — it’s become a business practice for many companies. In the “Products with Purpose” feature on page 134, we are proud to feature several companies that are finding unique ways to make a difference in the world. One company that has a long history with helping others is Bridgewater Candles. This past September, trends editor Sarah Schwartz was fortunate to travel to Haiti as part of Bridgewater Candle’s Brand Experience. They visited several orphanages and communities that are benefitting from their Light a Candle Feed a Child program with Rice Bowls. Sarah shares her first-hand account of the life-changing trip along with stunning photos on page 126.

Yes, this is the winter issue, but that does not mean it’s too early to think about outdoor living. Connecting with our outdoor spaces is more important than ever. Our special section on page 149 previews some of the hottest trends for gardens big and small.

So, let’s ring in 2017 with good wishes for a successful year full of dreaming and planning and working. You, our readers, inspire us and we celebrate you.



Julie McCallum

Julie McCallum is publisher of Gift Shop Magazine. She is formerly the editor-in-chief of the publication, as well as editor of Museums & More, and she has more than 25 years experience in publishing.

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