As customers pass through the doors of Spare Time, located on US Highway 67 in Glen Rose, it is obvious the business is full of Tiger Pride.
Since 1997, Nettie and Luther Slater have owned and operated the company, which sells arts and crafts, party supplies and designs Homecoming mums.
Since opening its doors, Spare Time has become a family owned and operated business. Employees and creativity come from the Slater’s daughter, Melissa Braswell, and their grandchildren Lauren, Christian and Daniel.
“My parents bought this acre in 1975,” Braswell said. “(It’s) where I grew up.
I love it (working with family). I built a house right behind my parents. Me and mom are really close.”
While Braswell and her parents are the main players in running the business, there are times when they must rely on others for help. And, of course, they turn to family members.
“My aunt and my husband take a week’s vacation during Homecoming to help us,” Braswell said.
Her aunt, Adell Newton from Little Rock, Ark., has begun assisting for two weeks each fall since her retirement.
The family takes all the help they can get during Homecoming weeks because it is much needed. During the last decade, it has seen major growth from the business including the purchase of L and M Wholesale.
“L and M Wholesale and Manufacturing, is the largest wholesale company for homecoming mums, trinkets and supplies - in every color available - in Texas,” the company’s Web site, mumsupplies.com, states. “We keep our wholesale open year-round, so it doesn’t matter if you are an early starter or a procrastinator, we will be here for you.”
L and M, purchased in 2005, sells garters, paper disc backers, lacquered Mylar ribbon and custom imprinted ribbon and custom buttons to wholesalers and individuals on its Web site, including florists in Glen Rose.
“Wiley’s and Creations are our customers on the wholesale,” Braswell said. “It is kind of weird being competition but not being competition. We have different people that are dedicated to us because we’ve all grown up here.”
Braswell said locally, Spare Time sells mums to the junior high grades, while the other florists sell to mainly the high school students.
Spare Time is known for selling trinkets to design mums and the ever-popular second grade shoe box floats.
“On Friday morning (of Homecoming) they (students) go into the gym and second graders parade their shoebox floats around” Braswell said.
The floats are supposed to stay small, the size of one shoe box, but they have been known to vary from several shoeboxes to small wagons.
“People go way out - it keeps getting bigger and bigger every year,” one third grade mother said.
While Spare Time supports Tiger pride, it also sells trinkets and prints ribbon for surrounding communities including Granbury, Tolar and Walnut Springs.
Homecoming mums are also produced year-round and shipped out across the state. So far this year, Nettie has made in the neighborhood of more than 1,000 mums.
“I can’t keep up (with how many),” she said.
Spare Time is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit www.mumsupplies.com.