More than 30 years ago, husband and wife team Sam and Sylvia Wisialowski decided to turn their love for the Lone Star State into a unique business venture.
The Wisialowskis opened the first location of Y’alls Texas Store, a boutique gift shop, in Cy-Fair in 1985; in 1994, the couple opened a second location inside The Woodlands Mall. Although the original location in Cy-Fair has closed, The Woodlands Mall boutique has operated with a strong sense of Texas pride for the past 23 years.
“Y’alls Texas Stores have something for everyone,” Sam said. “We carry more things for men than most other gift stores, and [here] you’ll find truckloads of unique gifts of Texas origin, either produced in or around Texas.”
Both are native Texans and alumni of The University of Texas; Sam also taught Texas history in Cy-Fair ISD for more than a decade.
Now with two additional Greater Houston area locations, one in Willowbrook Mall and another in Old Town Spring, Y’alls Texas Store boasts more than 20,000 different Texas and Western-themed products, 200 of which are shaped like the state itself, and another 200 products that feature bluebonnets, the state flower.
“We work with more than 1,000 companies, craftsmen and artists across the state and the world, and have helped our suppliers develop and design many of the gifts and products that are sold in our stores and on our website,” Sylvia said. “Our custom-made products are unique, and many can only be found in our stores.”
Sylvia said some of the store’s most popular items include Texas-shaped waffle makers, wall crosses, pewter wine bottle stoppers, Texas Lone Star pecan pralines and the Truly Texas line of food products.
The boutique also carries Texas-shaped wall clocks, framed photography and artwork, silver and gold belt buckles and southern cookbooks.
Every March, the couple sets up shop at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to showcase Texas pride at the monthlong event.
Customers can also shop Y’alls Texas Store’s entire inventory online and place orders through PayPal, which can be shipped anywhere in the U.S.
In hopes of putting Texas deep into the hearts of more customers, the Wisialowskis said they have plans to open more stores in Northwest Houston in the future, however, specific locations have not yet been identified, the couple said.
“Many of our store’s customers are visitors from out of state or out of the country, but just as many are local Texans who want to take home a little bit of Texas or give a gift that shows off their Texas pride,” Sylvia said. “A trip to any of the Y’alls Texas Stores will tell you that celebrating Texas is an everyday event.”