Dwell with Dignity’s fall Thrift Studio is finally here!

Dwell with Dignity is a non profit group of Interior Designers and volunteers that create homes for families that are struggling with homelessness and poverty. It’s a great organization to get involved with in the Dallas community and really benefits those in need.

The Thrift Studio is dear to our hearts as we were invited to participate last Fall as one of the designers of their vignettes-

 

This year they have a whole new lineup of designers creating fabulous room designs-

CYNTHIA COLLINS, COLLINS INTERIORS

BRECKINRIDGE TAYLOR

JOHN PHIFER MARRS

LAURA LEE CLARK

LISA LUBY RYAN

STELLA DALLAS

PEACOCK ALLEY

I can’t wait to see what they have come up with!  

As you might remember, the vignettes are mostly made from what Dwell with Dignity has in in their inventory and other donated items.The even better news? All of the products are for sale, benefit Dwell and can be bought on the spot!

And now onto the parties…every year, they host two “pre-sale” parties before the Thrift Studio officially opens to give designers and the general public first dibs on the amazing finds!

This year we were asked to be on the host committee for the Thursday night party.  Here’s info for that- we hope to see you there!

PREVIEW PARTY – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2012

SPONSORED BY:
DOUG BOSTER CATERING, FROMENTAL, GEORGE SMITH,
KETEL ONE, LUXE MAGAZINE, PEGASUSABLON, POGGENPOHL

TIME: 6:30PM – 9:00PM

ADDRESS: Dallas Design Center, 1100 Slocum Street, Suite 280, Dallas, 75207

TICKETS: $125 per person

If you can’t make it Thursday, definitely be sure to pop in on Friday’s soiree for some fabulous music, food, drinks and of course SHOPPING!

SHOPPING EVENT – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2012

SPONSORED BY:
LAURA LEE CLARK DESIGNS, LUXE MAGAZINE,
PEGASUSABLON, REPUBLIC TEQUILA,
SANTANDER CONSUMER USA

AND once again we will have fabulous finds from Marburger Farm!

TIME: 6:00PM – 9:00PM

ADDRESS: Dallas Design Center, 1100 Slocum, Suite 280, Dallas, 75207

TICKETS: $25 per person

Click HERE to buy tickets!

{all photos taken from prior and existing Thrift Studio vignettes}

 

Thrift Studio runs from October 13th until November 10th, so be sure to stop in!





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We had the great opportunity to recently interview HGTV’s Design Star winner, Danielle Colding! I’d been following Design Star season seven ever since it began and was on pins and needles at the end to see who was going to take home the title.  Ultimately, Danielle’s name was called and ever since, her whole life has changed! Read to find out how this former professional modern dancer ended up with her own show and a Design Star title to boot!

Q: How did you get started in Interior Design? Did a specific situation spark your interest?

A: There wasn’t a specific situation that sparked me going down the interior design career path. But, when I look back home design is always something that’s been a part of my life. I grew up doing home repairs and changing rooms around with my mother on a regular basis….  And we loved to shop! When I decided to move on from my career in dance, I kept coming back to design as something I would love to do every single day. When I was contemplating a new career, I focused on choosing something I was passionate about, something that constantly changed (I hate to be bored), and something that forced me to grow and learn new things regularly. The chance to travel and shop all the time didn’t hurt either!

 

A Place to Lounge

 

Q:How long have you been a designer and what is your personal design style?

 A:I have been a working designer for eight years… gulp! My personal style is pretty eclectic with a definite bent towards the classic and elegant. In general, I love modern and traditional furnishings with clean lines and elegant detailing, accented by global and contemporary accessories and art. For me, it’s all about layering and mixing it up. I have always resisted defining my style in one catch phrase because I have been exposed to so many different styles that I love and always want my designs to evolve and respond to the project at hand with new eyes.

 Q: How did you go about getting on the show?

A: I was encouraged by friends to try out for the show. They insisted that I could do well but to tell you the truth I wasn’t so sure. I never thought of myself as a public figure and didn’t know how I’d fair in front of the camera. During the audition process my mother was in the hospital at the end stages of her fight with cancer, so in many ways I simply felt I had nothing to lose. I went to the open call and it escalated from there. It just felt like everything lined up perfectly for me to have this experience on Design Star. And I’ve never looked back.

 

Complete Kitchen Makeover

 

Q: What were the best and most difficult parts about being on the show?

 A: The best part of being on the show was being in a very creative environment. All we did was design 24/7. The other great part of the experience was being with the other designers. I was shocked by what a supportive environment it was and how we all helped each other out. And, we laughed non-stop which really helped keep us sane. The hardest part was the sheer intensity of being in a competition AND making a TV show at the same time. It was non-stop. We did not have any time off and had to just keep producing and being creative. There were times that we just wanted a day to sleep or veg… but in the TV world that just wasn’t possible.

Q: How did you feel when they called your name as the winner of HGTV’s Design Star?

A: I still pinch myself thinking about that moment. It was truly a dream- confetti fell from the sky, a studio of people smiling at me with expectation, and a rush of emotions from shock and awe to gratitude and sadness. It was absolutely incredible. I had thought through both possible outcomes but really was not prepared for the experience of winning. It’s just not something you can fathom until it happens.

Dark and Moody

Q: How has your life changed after winning HGTV’s Design Star?

A:  The funny part was that initially my life didn’t change very much. After Design Star ended, I couldn’t tell anyone anything about my experience or the outcome. It was a strange let down because I had this amazing secret that I had to keep completely to myself. Once I finally started shooting Shop this Room, the real change came about. My life became different because my career became different. I went from being a full time designer to being a TV personality who happens to shoot a design show. And unlike being a working designer, it’s not all about the design. It’s about shooting a show that is interesting and entertaining and brings something new to the table. From that perspective, it’s a whole new world. And…. I can finally talk about my experience! Woo hoo!

Q: You’ve started filming your new show, Shop This Room- what can we expect from the show in the future?

A:  I am so excited about Shop This Room. It is a reflection of my design approach and who I am as a person and a designer. The show focuses on my life as a New York interior designer and my approach to designing highly personalized spaces. It’s about finding inspirational items- that speak to the home owners in some way- and designing spaces around them. The viewer gets an inside view into where I like to shop, my design process of developing a design plan, and the artists and craftsmen I work with on a regular basis. And we have a blast shooting- I have such a great team. Design should be fun and we try to bring that to the show as much as possible.

Dramatic Vignette

Q:  What is your favorite space you’ve designed so far?

A: Whoa that’s a hard one. There is one on my show I absolutely love but cant talk about that just yet…. You’ll have to be patient and watch all five episodes!

I would have to say my favorite space I’ve designed is a home I have been working on for about one and a half years. It’s a gorgeous colonial house in Westchester and it just feels like the design has evolved over a lifetime. The thing that’s great is that every room is different and tells its own story. My client is one who is amazing to work with. She is thrilled by beautiful things and has a passion for art. We push each other to make the house as incredible as it can be. I simply love it!

Q: In your opinion what element should a room have to give it a designer look?

 A: What I love to do in every space is focus on the decorative accessories. I love creating small vignettes by pairing decorative accessories with practical items. Creating moments in a room where interesting things are paired together with a focus on scale and textural interest achieves a designer look. Bookshelves and console tables are places to go wild!

 

Modern and Minimal

Q: Our blog is called Material Girls so of course we have to ask you what is your material of choice?

A: That’s a great question. All the materials I’m drawn to in my work are natural elements. Its so hard to pick a favorite since I’m an equal opportunity material lover. But to answer, finally, I will say Belgian linen- I love it! Printed, plain, glazed… I don’t care. It is elegant and relaxed at the same time- the feeling I love to create in my work.

Q:  What trends do you see coming to the forefront of design in the upcoming seasons?

A: The trend that I see and love is the willingness for people to take risks with the spaces they inhabit. Design has become such a part of our lives I think people realize that an overly designed, matchy matchy space is not desired. Instead being a collector of beautiful things over a lifetime is the goal. I like that this quirky approach to design is catching on and people are inspired to make their homes reflect who they are.

 

Multi-Use Living Room

Good luck Danielle on your future endeavors! Us Material Girls (and boys) will keep a look out for your upcoming HGTV show, Shop This Room!





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Hello everyone!  What an honor it is to be selected as the Material Girls Blog’s very first Material Guy contributor! First, I would like to take a moment to thank Mrs. Emily Larkin for bestowing this distinctive position to me!

For your entertainment and reading pleasure, I will be enriching the Material Girls Blog each week with posts devoted to delicious design, decor, and fabulous, fanciful fashion.

Before we get to the good stuff, I would like to give you a brief background about myself.  My name is Nathan Vincent Hejl, and I have a massive appreciation and passion for good design, fashion, and all things luxury!  I grew up in the small central Texas town of Crawford, and moved to Dallas in June of 2010, shortly after my graduation from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.   While getting my “feet wet” in the Big D, I lived for a short while with my gracious aunt, uncle, and their three daughters at their lovely home in Lucas, Texas.  After meeting my life partner and love of my life in October of 2010, I promptly moved to the historic Kessler area of Oak Cliff in Dallas.  My partner and I share our home with our two Miniature Schnauzers, Columbus George and Nina Maria, and the most recent addition to our family, Magnolia Mae-Mobley (Maggie), a Basset Hound.

Having a healthy appetite for the finer things in life, my goal is to bring our readers and patrons further insight to the marvelous world and culture of interior design and fashion.  Stay tuned for more decorative decadence!





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In honor of tonight’s Oscars, I wanted to share a very exciting and personal interview that I was fortunate to have with the designer of the Oscars Greenroom!! For this year’s 84th Academy Awards, Architectural Digest selected Waldo Fernandez, designer to the stars, to design their backstage greenroom! We were given the chance to have a private phone interview with Waldo, and Emily generously passed along the opportunity to to me (her assistant, Taylor) and I was so thrilled to do so! I could not wait to talk to Waldo about his glamorous design for the Oscars greenroom, but little did I know he would share amazing, personal stories about his relationships with some of Hollywood’s biggest names (including Elizabeth Taylor and Brad Pitt!!)

Here is a little background information on Waldo - Waldo Fernandez is one of Hollywood’s legendary interior designers. He came to the United States from Cuba to explore his passion for design and love of the arts. Waldo’s career began as a set designer for 20th century Fox, and his involvement in the entertainment industry led to his very successful career and large list of celebrity clientele. Fernandez’s impressive portfolio, spanning more than three decades, not only includes homes for an incredible roster of clients—Elizabeth Taylor, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, and Darren Star among them—but also a number of commercial projects, such as the Beverly Hills Hilton and the West Hollywood Soho House club. So you can imagine how excited I was to talk him!!

Waldo was just as friendly and humble as he looks in the picture above!

Take a look at his fabulous design for the Architectural Digest greenroom, inspired by 1930′s and 40′s Hollywood glamour. Oscar greets you as you enter the gorgeous space! -

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Waldo has a passion for furniture and said that for this space he wanted to start with only good quality furniture – no reproductions. To achieve the 1930′s and 1940′s Hollywood look of the greenroom he went back to his sources and selected only the highest quality furniture from the 20th century. He carefully selected Schumacher fabrics for the upholstery and told me that, “if you select beautiful fabric and good quality furniture, the whole room comes together.”

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest partnered with Caesarstone, California Classics Reserve Collection Flooring, Circa Lighting, Feizy Rugs, Giati Designs, HP, Questroyal Fine Art, Samsung, and Schumacher Fabrics to furnish this beautiful space and provide it with the latest technology!

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

The color palette of the greenroom was inspired by his love of gray – specifically a cool gray wall finish from Donald Kaufman Color. From there, Waldo layered the color throughout the room in different tones and then added in the cream color with Schumacher upholstery fabrics. In all of Waldo’s designs he uses a neutral color palette because he believes that the art, furniture and fabric are what give life to the room. He believes the walls should be a soft color because it goes with anything and “walls without art are dead.” – We couldn’t agree with him more!

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Waldo used rugs from Feizy to soften the space.

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

In a smaller sitting area, Waldo centered a Ruhlmann-style dining table beneath a simple chandelier from Circa Lighting. This is a perfect example of Waldo’s refined, glamourous style and his appreciation of quality furniture.

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

The custom bar features a CaesarStone countertop.

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

The outdoor space is furnished with Giati Designs “Castillo” metal furniture.

Here is Waldo lounging in the Oscars Greenroom with the amazing HP ENVY Spectre laptop. HP provided ENVY Spectre laptops for the greenroom so the celebs could keep track of the action online during the show!

Be sure to check out this video tour of the greenroom provided by HP!

Waldo was one of the nicest and most inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of speaking with, so I am very excited to share this interview with you all! Here are more highlights from my amazing chat with Waldo -

Of course I had to start the interview with MG’s favorite quesiton: “What is your favorite material?”

Waldo replied that his favorite material would have to be fabric. He loves textural fabrics that are woven with beautiful materials – he does not like plain fabrics with prints. For the upholstery in the greenroom he selected an ivory Schumacher fabric that was a mix of cotton, rayon, wool, and silk – VERY luxurious! Of course Waldo could only select the best for the Oscars!

My next question for Waldo was whether or not he was going to attend the Oscars this year. Waldo replied that he was not attending, and that he preferred to spend the night at a friend’s house watching the show with a cocktail in the comfort of their living room. He said the bar was way too crowded at the Oscars! In past years, he spent the evening at his dear friend, Elizabeth Taylor’s home, just the two of them, watching the show. Then we talked about his history and friendship with Elizabeth Taylor – I was so star struck I could barely speak!! Here is Elizabeth Taylor in her home designed by Waldo Fernandez -

Firooz Zahedi for Architectural Digest

Waldo told me that the most memorable experience of his design career was his opportunity to work for Elizabeth Taylor and the close friendship that developed between the two of them over the years. He met her for the first time many years ago when he was “fresh out of Cuba,” he said he was shaking at their first meeting because he couldn’t believe he was talking to THE Elizabeth Taylor – I couldn’t even imagine! He recalled that, “She was sitting by the pool in a bathing suit with a reflector on her chest” – so glamorous! She told him that she was leaving for the Cannes Film Festival and needed her house finished in two weeks!! Like any designer would say, Waldo said, “That is impossible.” (Here was one of my favorite moments from the whole interview…) Elizabeth Taylor replied, “Nothing is impossible, my love.” – And amazingly Waldo finished her entire home in two weeks!

See the tour of Elizabeth Taylor’s home in Architectural Digest HERE!

My next question for Waldo was, “If you were going to the Oscars who would you be most excited to see?”

Waldo told me that he would love to see his clients Angie and Brad!! (As a huge fan of both, I could not contain my excitement!) He told me that “Brad was fantastic and a pleasure to work with.” He said that he and Brad were a perfect match because, “Brad has a passion for architecture, good furniture, and art” just like himself! He said that Brad reads about design and architecture and really gets into it. – So from what Waldo told me, Brad really is perfect!!

I asked Waldo what his favorite room to design for Brad was and he simply said “the whole house.” I can imagine it would be hard to pick just one!!

Waldo also just finished a project for the writer of the Sex and the City movies, Darren Star! This project was featured in the February issue of Architectural Digest! Here is Darren’s living room -

Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

You can see the full tour of Darren’s Bel Air home HERE.

To wrap up the interview, I asked Waldo, “What is one piece of advice you would give young, aspiring designers like myself?” He told me, “Never be scared talking to your clients, but still listen to them, and stick to what you believe is right.” Such wise words! He also told me that the most important aspect of interior design and being a designer is knowing scale – Once you understand scale you know how everything in a room works together! Thank you so much Waldo!

It really was a dream come true talking to Waldo and getting a behind the scenes look at the design of the Oscars greenroom! Thank you HP for this amazing opportunity! Be sure to watch the Oscars tonight and be on the lookout for the greenroom and Waldo’s beautiful design!





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We’ve always been charmed by the beautiful, hand-painted Chinoiserie, Japanese, and Korean wallpaper created by de Gournay but, as impressive as these designs are, don’t think of this NYC company as a one trick pony.

In addition to admiring their knobbly slub silk, hand woven silk damask, Indian tea paper, and striking metallic wallpapers, we’ve recently been intrigued by de Gournay’s extensive fabric collection.

The talent behind these romantic designs can paint any of their looks onto fabrics of different qualities and weights. Upholstery, bedspreads, curtains, blinds- whatever your need- the designers at de Gournay will help you complete your room in the best possible taste. Even porcelain can be used as a canvas to create the harmonious interior of your dreams!

Take a look at just a sample of their hand-painted work!

For those of you in NYC, look out for the re-opening of their showroom on 59th and 2nd avenue in the design district before the summer months!





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Every now and then two powerful and talented forces come together in collaboration and make us wonder- why didn’t this happen sooner?

Combining FABRICUT’s  dependable name in residential fabrics with the luxurious visions of Southern-born Charlotte Moss, couldn’t be more brilliant.

Charlotte Moss’ philosophy to “live passionately, decorate luxuriously and entertain beautifully” shines through in her recent partnership, resulting in some beautiful designs. Check them out!





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I don’t know about you, but I find accessorizing one of the most challenging parts of the design process.  It’s partly because you have to get the right “mix” of accessories. There has to be a balance between textural and smooth, shiny and matte, colorful and neutral, etc.  It can also be difficult because you might find the perfect accessory, but the scale is totally off…or maybe it’s the fact that it’s the last step in the process and if you are anything like me, you are a perfectionist and won’t quit until you find those amazing last touches for the space.

But above all, I truly believe that accessories can be so frustrating because of the lack thereof.  Of course there are a lot of accessory showrooms in Dallas, but  not very many that will let you take things on approval to test out and that is KEY with accessories (buying more than you need, playing around with the arrangement at the residence to get the perfect balance and then being able to return anything that just didn’t work out).  This past year I re-discovered IBB Design Group, a 40,000 square foot showroom who lets you take on approval, has up-to-date/ stylish accessories and has a warehouse FULL of them!

And if that’s not enough to convince you, here is proof-

Shay Geyer and her mother, Beth Rafferty are the brains (and beauties) behind the thirty year old showroom.  The duo’s knack for creating inspiring commercial and residential interiors, as well as stocking their showroom full of goodies from markets around the world, has kept their clients coming back for more.

{Shay in front of one of her favorite pieces}

Not only do they have accessories galore, but they also stock furniture from tons of different manufacturers such as Baker, Henredon, Lee Industries and Vanguard.  The best part? Everything is available for purchase off the floor!

As you can see, they have tons of mirrored pieces. I recently bought two John Richards mirrored etageres from them that are to die for!

Their colorful, patterned vignettes are constantly changing as things move off the floor very quickly (and I have to say this keeps my visits really interesting!)  You never know what they will be up to next

They also have great abstract giclees at amazing prices for the size!  Most of them are really large and already come framed.  You get a lot of bang for your buck with these.

They use really fun patterned fabrics on their pillows and accent pieces….

They sell tons of lighting too…lanterns, drum shade chandeliers, crystal lamps- you name it.

See what I mean about the art?

Did I mention the bedding yet? So luxurious! All you need is a matching silk sleeping eye mask to complete this relaxing scenario.

I’m normally not a huge fan of leather chairs, but I could totally do a pair of these-

Their chairs never lack detail.  Whether it’s a back with a contrasting fabric, a shiny set of nailheads or patterned tape trim, you can count on them to give you designer quality furnishings.

This one here is from their own line…isn’t it great? I love the gray fabric mixed with the gold nailheads. Very unexpected yet so chic.

On my last visit, I snuck back to the warehouse to look at even more inventory and came across this turquoise chest with fabulous oversized hardware-

I love these chairs because they are traditional but with a modern funky flare.  You’d expect the chairs to be all neutral right, but a patterned ikat back?  Only at IBB!

Come visit them! Monday through Saturday- 10-5pm

5798 Genesis Court, Frisco, TX





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Our Material Girl dreams are coming true… Schumacher has announced that they are collaborating with THE Mary McDonald to create a fabric collection for 2013!! It is such a shame that we have to wait so long, but we thought it would be fun to predict what her amazing line will look like!

For those who don’t know, Mary McDonald is an acclaimed interior designer based out of L.A. and was recently on Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators. Her signature style is timeless, elegant, and modern all in one! There will definitely be some greek key, bold colors, black & white, luxurious silks and velvets, and funky animal prints in her line (at least we hope so!!)

There’s a little greek key in almost all of her designs. As you all know, we can never have enough greek key! She uses a lot of bolster pillows with greek key tape trim on the ends.

More Greek key pillows!

Gorgeous navy and pink room. Did you spot the Greek key bolster?

Her line is sure to have some bold geometric prints- possibly in black and white? She is the master of black and white color schemes with bright pops of color!

She uses black and white chevron patterns a lot too! See the rug above and the amazing floor below-

This is a room Mary designed on Million Dollar Decorators. I am so obsessed with that floor.

Another great example of Mary’s layered black and white patterns.

She’s not afraid to throw in a little animal print here and there, and we hope she includes some in her line!

She really loves that zebra, and we do too!

Leopard wallpaper, so fab! Just wait until you see the whole room…

Wow, lots of leopard!

She includes stripes in a lot of her designs, so there are sure to be some in her Schumacher line. (And I do believe I see Schumacher wallpaper in the background!) I would just love for her to create a wallpaper line as well.

This room is girly in pink with chinoiserie accents. She frequently travels to Europe and the Far East, so we’re guessing that her line will contain ethnic prints and global influences.

We like to think that we’ve got her all figured out, but Mary McDonald is full of surprises.  All we know is that her line is sure to be ahhh-mazing! I guess we will just have to wait and see in 2013!





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Last night Kelly Wearstler came to Neiman’s in Dallas to promote her new fashion line.  When I heard she was coming, of course I had to go check out her creations in person! Needless to say, they did not disappoint.

Of course the first thing I noticed was that she used her Tracery rug that she designed for the Rug Company in her “store within a store”.

Remember my client Stacey who stayed at Viceroy Anguilla a few Spring Break’s ago?  Well, she is equally as smitten with Kelly as I am, so she joined me on this little fashion adventure-


Stacey almost walked out with this pink chair…too bad it wasn’t for sale!

I noticed Kelly used a lot of blues in her collection. Super cute jacket-

LOVED all the jewelry, especially the cuff bracelets!

More cute jackets for Fall…

Leslie Pritchard from Again and Again chatting with Kelly..I’ve always thought they looked like sisters so it was too weird to finally see them right next to each other!

These scarves would make great winter gifts for someone who loves bold colors and prints-

And more of her fabulous jewelry-

Even her models were gorgeous!

I wonder if anyone else caught on to the fact that this mannequin’s outfit was so careful coordinated to the colors in the rug?

And then right before she departed, we managed to squeeze in a quick photo with Mrs. Wearstler, which was a fun ending to the night. She was wearing a jacket from her new collection and looked very pulled together (as usual)…





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Now that we have entered the month of November… tasty holiday drinks are back on the menu, stores are stocking shelves with holiday decorations, and it is finally time for the once-a-year Dallas Sample Sale!! Trust us you don’t want to miss it!

This fabulous event starts with a preview night this Thursday, November 3rd, from 6-9 p.m. and lasts all weekend! The Dallas Sample Sale takes place at the Dallas Market Center (see directions here).  This is your chance to get a head start on all of your holiday shopping and get amazing gifts at wholesale prices! There is something for everyone on your list… Jewelry, toys, children’s clothing, home accessories, holiday decorations, furniture… you name it there’s a showroom for it!

Also, the Salvation Army Angel Tree program will kick-off during the preview event on Thursday! Shoppers can make selections for their angel and drop them off that night, if they’d like!

The sale takes place Thursday evening from 6-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Last year’s sale drew more than 15,000 people! Tickets are only $20 at the door so don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity! See you there!

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