Over the next few years, they began to open a small chain of stores, featuring high-end plush animals, handmade dolls from around the world, and other types of exclusive collectibles. As lovers of vintage and handmade creations, the McCalls began hosting a yearly gala to showcase and share their love of these collectables. Each year, its success grew, with customers showing up hours before the event to get “first choice”.
One year, it occurred to Shelie, who had always had a wonderful imagination and gift for sculpting and painting, that she should try her hand at making a Santa Claus figure for the show. It sold immediately, and customers asked for more. It was very exciting to know that her creations were appreciated by others. It was also the beginning of Stone Soup Santas.
Within a few years, it became clear to the McCalls that they could turn their love of making the holidays joyous for others into a full time operation by making more handmade Santas. The first challenge was finding materials that measured up to their exacting standards. According to Shelie, “It was exciting to search for just the right fabrics, trims and stuffed creatures that we were going to need”.
Now, with suppliers from around the country, the McCalls are able to use their creative vision and draw upon inspiration from days gone by to design a new line of Santa figures each year. Every Santa is one-of-a-kind and signed by the artist, herself.
According to Richard, “We feel very blessed to bring our love and celebration of Christmas into the homes of people from all walks of life and from every corner of the world”.