Previously known as Heart of a Texan Shopper
How our publication began in 2007
And the launching of our new comprehensive online
Texas Vintage/Antiques Shops & Events Directory
Welcome to our brand new state-of-the-art online Texas vintage/antique shops & events directory: TexasVintageShopper.com.
We hope you will find it useful, fall in love with it and tell your friends.
It was the fall of 2006, my husband Randy Moore, had just returned from his third show selling advertising signs at Round Top Hill Antiques Show during the Texas Antiques Week Fair – a huge event featuring more than 5,000 dealers who set up as vendors twice a year in the spring and fall at the various shows in the small towns of Round Top and Warrenton, Texas. This mega-show also includes the small surrounding towns and is located halfway between Austin and Houston, Texas.
At that time, I was a journalism teacher at Odessa Permian High School. I was in charge of publishing a monthly newspaper with my journalism students, along with the yearbook. I took an interest in the antique news guide and considered how I knew how to put together and produce such a newspaper. What if . . . I thought, what if, Randy and I could start our own business with a similar publication? There were no such newspapers we knew of being circulated in the West Texas area . . . so maybe this idea would work.
I presented the idea to Randy and we both liked it. We added up the ad prices displayed throughout the antique guide and it appeared to be profitable, so the idea took flight. Randy told me, “If you can put the paper together, I can sell the ads.”
After a lot of discussions, we decided to try it and named it, Heart of a Texan Antiques News and Directory. Our thought behind the name was that people who go antiquing truly love it; it is close to their hearts and they have a passion for “the hunt” – the shopper is always looking for the next “big find.”
In January of 2007, we officially opened the business by registering the name at the Midland, Texas County Courthouse.
The first publication was black and white and began with free advertising to produce a “sample” issue to use as a selling tool to show potential advertisers what the publication would look like and what size ads were available. Following the antique guide model, the ad sizes offered were: 1/8th page, ¼ page, ½ page, and a full page.
We also offered the same special as the antique guide: “Buy two months, get the third month free” which proved to be very popular – customers could try the advertising for 3 months to get a better idea of whether or not it was working, for the price of 2 months.
Overall, the area shop owners were receptive and the publication was well received with store owners reporting increased foot traffic.
We distributed copies of the newspaper in local restaurants and hotels, as well as placed copies in every antique store that was and was not advertising with us.
Randy hand-delivered papers monthly to Lubbock, Amarillo, San Angelo, and Abilene, Texas. He felt like he needed to meet and get to know the people to whom he would be selling ads.
One feature we added to the newspaper was the addition of hand-drawn detailed city maps to guide potential shoppers to map out a route and find each of the antique stores within a particular city or town. The map feature also proved to be very popular.
Even in 2007, the online/internet business was coming on in full force and we knew that online advertising was overtaking print advertising. Still, we persisted with the print publication as long as possible. A boost in advertising during the spring and fall Texas Antiques Week Fair helped the print publication make it.
A small office was opened at Midland Business Center in the summer of 2009 and in the fall of 2009, Aimee Williams went to work for Heart of a Texan as the part-time graphic designer. Aimee designed the ads, completed the newspaper layout and submitted the pages to press every month. She continues to work for us today.
Still, it was difficult to pay for the printed paper and get out enough copies to cover the state of Texas. More and more customers would say “I am looking at online advertising options.” so we knew we had to find a way to take the publication online and make it popular enough to be found in the search engine.
The basic idea was to create an online Texas vintage/antique shops & events directory that modeled the old printed phone book with the white pages containing every name and phone number in the city, with the yellow page display ads paying the expenses to produce the book.
We began working with business coaches, as well as taking courses on our own, to get advice to guide the launch of our new online publication.
After working with several web developers, and restructuring the website several times, we were able to find a high-level web developer who was able to coordinate the placement of more than 770 Texas shops as well as multiple state-wide events with google maps integration.
Finally – a truly comprehensive Texas shops and events directory with a website complete with informational and feature stories to assist the average shopper.