John and Rebecca Gall at their downtown TWIGS & TIN.
TWIGS & TIN named Small Business of the Year
by Kelly Daniel, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce
Within a short two-year span, TWIGS & TIN owners John and Rebecca Gall have quickly become a part of the community with a unique retail business they created offering handcrafted gifts, home goods and apparel.
Armed with the goal to build a business they could call their own and faith that God would lead them through their challenges, the Galls made the decision to leave their busy and demanding lives in the Northeast. They set their sites on Nacogdoches, where Rebecca grew up and where family would be close.
"Our concept was to showcase products from local artisans and craftsmen who may not have an outlet for selling their goods. We wanted to help them market their products and understand the wholesale process," Rebecca said. "When we first opened in June 2016, we didn't have those direct connections or sources, but we stayed true to carrying handcrafted products that captured people's attention. As more customers came in to the store, they shared information about relatives and friends who were creating the type of merchandise we wanted. We were able to build our inventory from those contacts."
Nacogdoches Police Chief Jim Sevey happens to be one of the notable artisans that supplies a variety of beautifully crafted home good items to TWIGS & TIN. Handmade items from our area's locals can produce special moments as well as providing practical uses. Imagine the conversations that could come from a family dipping ice cream with one of Chief Sevey's handmade scoops!
From the start, the Galls had buying flexibility and were able to shift inventory purchases to match the demand they were observing from their customers. "We choose items that fit the culture and character of the town," John said. "An interesting aspect of the store would be that it continues to evolve and change based on the work of our suppliers."
The couple pays attention to what appeals to both their tastes and to their family's liking. John took the lead on stocking items that would appeal to "the guys." He appreciates the moments when he sees "a guy pulling his wife or his girlfriend in to the store, and heading straight to the knives, axes and fishing lures. We've also noticed that they become repeat customers."
Rebecca and John consider the business to be a part of the future development of Nacogdoches, and look for ways to make their contributions that include volunteer involvement through the Main Street Advisory Board and the Rotary Club of Nacogdoches.
They both are grateful for the level of support they receive from the City, the Chamber and the community as a whole and acknowledge that benefits come directly from their business neighbors Shipp Law Firm and Laura Culpepper, Architect. All three share the 311 E. Main St. location.
Through TWIGS & TIN, young adults including SFA students are finding employment and learning from the Galls' expertise. "We have fabulous employees who have made a big difference through referring their friends and stretching our reach into that market," Rebecca said.
John and Rebecca have a strong personal partnership that has stemmed from life experiences, and they stake their professional success on their complementing talents. She declares "he's the 'techie guru' and heavy lifter and can manage family and business responsibilities," and he calls her "the rock and the leader that keeps this business going."
The Galls have exciting plans for expansion and growth through the TWIGS & TIN online store at www.twigsandtin.com and the soon-to-open new downtown business GALLS' CAFE.
Recognizing the business's contributions and notable success, the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce board of directors has named TWIGS & TIN as Small Business of the Year, a Gary Justice Business Excellence Award sponsored by Heritage Land Bank.
The Galls will be honored at the 97th Annual Meeting & Membership Banquet on Sept. 25 at The Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center. Sponsorships and tickets are available. Contact the Nacogdoches County Chamber for more information, 936-560-5533.