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After moving our family to Texas from southern Indiana, my parents found themselves tinkering at craft shows to supplement their income. The Elf Factory started in 1985 in Wylie, Texas. My mother was sewing elves and blistering her fingers on a hot glue gun while my father was building ladders in the garage to sell at small craft shows in the Dallas metroplex; then short trips to San Antonio and Houston. After a day job in construction, Dad was working at night all week to build up inventory that would deplete on the weekends. They started personalizing the elf hats with names of family members which boosted the business. It didn't take long to realize there was great potential for the Elf Ladders. Before cell phones and the "world-wide-web", I remember walking through the World Trade Center in Dallas while they carried a ladder with two elves, searching for a vendor to promote their product. Making a 100-200 elves each Fall soon blossomed into a full-time job, making over 20,000 elves per year.
Spiegel's catalog kept them busy through the off-season, but each September started travels to nationally renowned Christmas shows from Tacoma, Washington to Frederick, Maryland, and everywhere in-between. The personalized elves introduced a unique Christmas tradition to the holiday season.
I was 13 years old when I tried to explain to my teachers and classmates that I was the son of an Elf Maker. Needless to say, I was a little embarrassed of the title at the time. Now some 30+ years later, I get to speak with customers from all over the country who share their stories and memories of their Elf Ladder at Christmas time. Mom and Dad have finally slowed down with their travels but the internet has made it possible to keep sending these little guys to families all over the world.
Thank you ALL for your continued support over the years!
Elf Makers: Denny & Penny Flowers
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