T. Hee Greetings and Gifts — a tiny shop that opened in a relatively rundown shopping strip in Lake Highlands in 2008 — doesn’t carry a thing anyone needs.
Nope, the whimsical mugs, frilly stationary and peculiar party supplies are nothing you can’t live without.
But, oh, how you will want everything.
Heck, a mere jaunt through the store is enough to make the Scrooge-iest of us smile.
If a goofy or sassy or sentimental product doesn’t lighten your mood, the sweet store owners Tony Doles and David Farris (Lake Highlands residents) will have you giggling (and spending) in no time.
Despite opening their first T. Hee store on the eve, practically, of the economic slump, the Lake Highlands duo has managed to thrive. They opened a second store in Lakewood in 2010, and they just announced that a third location in Preston Hollow, on Luther Lane in Preston Center, will open this month.
What’s the secret?
The magnificent merchandising? The uplifting aura upon entering the store? The proprietors’ peppy personalities?
Doles says it’s all about loyalty. They are loyal to local manufacturers and designers. They support neighborhood organizations, and, in return, they have built a loyal following.
“Despite the bad economy — and the fact that gifts and stationery are usually among the first things to go when purse strings get tightened — we developed a strong following that allowed our business to flourish,” he says. “We take great pride in being champions of the Shop Local movement, both in supporting our local community and showcasing products from local designers. I think that’s played a big role in our ability to grow in bad times.”