HOUSTON (KTRK) --The doors have opened at the Houston Ballet's Nutcracker Market at NRG Center.
Taylor Tessier and her business partner are made the trip from Aspen, Colorado to Houston for the first time. They're putting the final touches on their booth.
"One of our special pieces that really put us on the map is called our 'shred," Tessier said. "It's a leather wrap with gemstones, just a great piece to kind of mix into any collection, kind of dress it up, dress it down."
Self-described stay-at-home mom Tiffany Julius is also a first-time vendor. She's selling cups, hand-towels and other items stamped with fun sayings.
"I like to come up with products that when you see them, you smile or you think of a friend," Julius said.
Merchant Services Chairman Philamena Baird said some shoppers can knock out all of their Christmas lists in one trip.
"It really starts the holiday season for Houston," Baird said, "We welcome over 100,000 guests and it is an extroardinary shopping experience."
The market is open November 10-13. Tickets are for sale through Ticketmaster or at local Randall's stores for $18 per day. Customers can also purchase tickets at the market for $20.
The market is an annual fundraiser for Houston Ballet Foundation, the academy and its scholarship programs. 10 percent of all merchandise sales supports foundation.
Organizers shared the following tips for first-time customers:
1. Wear comfortable shoes
2. Use package pick-up (You can pick up large purchases in the back after you've finished shopping)
3. Avoid the crowds (go after 3pm; you'd still have 5 hours of shopping)
4. Avoid road rage by sharing a bus or limo with friends
5. Uber drop-off and pick-up are new this year