Four thousand shoppers can't be wrong. That's how many poured through the turnstiles at NRG Center Wednesday night for the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market, the multi-million dollar cash cow that has provided more than $43 million for the ballet academy since its founding.
Nutcracker Market chair Philamena Baird and her committee selected "Putting on the Ritz" as this year's theme, meaning that arrivals were swept up in a glitzy holiday tableau complete with crystal chandeliers, sophisticated black and white draping and black sequined tablecloths.
Among the more than 300 curated merchants who filled the vast hall were newcomers Mirta Tummino Studio proffering handcrafted one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, CaseOrama with fab custom-made phone cases, and the Charleston Shoe Co.
Of course, many shoppers made a bee line for the familiar favorites, including Donna di Domani with its homemade marinara sauce, Brookwood Community and the ever-popular Paul Michael Co., all three of which have been on board for at least two decades.
The preview party, for which the ballet crowd turns out in cocktail attire while the early shoppers are dressed for loading their totes, was chaired by Leisa Holland-Nelson, Rachel Regan and Ileana Trevino.
The shopping fun continues through Sunday, highlighted by today's Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and Luncheon and, on Friday, Macy's Fashion Show and Brunch.
Wednesday night's ballet crowd included Patsy Chapman, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones, Grace Kim, Susan Sarofim, Kelly Krohn, Sandy Barrett, Dr. Fred Aguillar, Lara Bell, Tiffany Hallik, Roz Pactor, Annette Strake, Sam Malone and Allison and Scott Brunasso.