After five years, Houstory heading off to first trade shows!

It’s hard to believe our little company started in early 2007. That seems a long time ago. But here we are.

And now, after loads of research and development — and just plain hard work —  we are excited to be attending our first trade shows, starting this next weekend. This trip will be a lot of fun — kind of like showing off a project at the science fair. The blood, sweat and tears have already been spilled. Now it’s up to the judges. 🙂

Our first stop will be the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show & Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Va. (March 4-6). Attendees from all over the East Coast will be on hand. We’re  looking forward to meeting a lot of innkeepers, and hearing the interesting stories behind their properties.

The following weekend, we travel to Philadelphia for the Designer Craftsmen & Historic Home Show (March 10-11). Check out our profile for the show. If you live in Philadelphia, or will be in attendance, please stop by our booth and say, “hi.”

These are only the first two of many conferences we will be attending in 2012. We’ll write more on future plans at a later date.

Finally, we want to say “thank you” to everyone who has supported us along the way. We couldn’t have arrived at this point without the support of our family, friends, colleagues, vendors and — of course — loyal customers.  This especially goes out to our lovely wives — and much better halves — Tasi and Patty!

As we will be on the road next week, I’m not sure if we’ll have a blog posting or not. I hope to give some updates on how things are going from the road via our Twitter and Facebook accounts, so please make sure to follow us there.

Wish us luck!

This week, a little less home history and a little more hamburger

By Dan Hiestand — Houstory Publishing Marketing Director

Like everyone else these days, I don’t seem to have  enough time. Which is why this week, I’m taking the ‘easy road’ when it comes to a blog post. Mike —  my brother and business partner — and I are preparing for our first trade shows next month, so I’m having to cut back a little on social media output. I will be back next week, but this week it’s a holiday from home history.

Yes -- I will do this again. Gotta love the jelly oozing out!

And what better way to take a break then with some good food? I recently moved to Austin, Texas to start Houstory operations down south  (although the company is still based in Ferndale, Wash., where Mike lives). It’s been a lot of fun. Last weekend, my parents came and visited me and my wife so of course we had to show them a good time, Texas style. And like any trip down to the Lone Star state, it included a lot of history (tours of the state capitol, a visit to the supposedly haunted and historic Driskill Hotel, etc.) and — perhaps more importantly — food excursions.  Go big, or go home, right?

I’m pretty sure I’ve gained about 10 pounds since moving down there — between all the Tex-Mex cuisine, barbecue and southern cooking I’ve enjoyed. Well, the debauchery continued last weekend with a stop at Smitty’s Cafe and Bakery in Brenham, Texas. With portions the size of human heads, there is plenty of food to go around. I’ve included images of two of their specialities: a hamburger featuring peanut butter and it’s good friend, strawberry jelly — as well as chicken fried steak covered in queso and salsa.

Hanging on the wall at Smitty's...

My parents split this masterpiece. This is just one half!

For good measure, I also included the  “Cowboy 10 Commandments” which was hanging in the restaurant.

Enjoy, and see you next week for more home history. 🙂

Houstory heading to Williamsburg & Philadelphia; Twitter time; baby, it’s cold outside

Before I begin this post, I first want to say I hope our readers in the Pacific Northwest are staying warm. My niece posted on Facebook that it was 17 degrees where she was in Ferndale, Wash. Ouch! Looks like I got out just in time.

It's always Texas.

Until recently, I was living at the ‘Houstory World Headquarters’ in Ferndale with my brother Mike (the Houstory Publishing founder) and his lovely family — but in late December I moved back to Austin, Tex., to be with my beautiful wife and to start the ‘Lone Star’ division of our company.

As I look outside my office window (it’s a rather pleasant 76 degrees and sunny) I have to say I think I made a pretty good decision to skip winter. Sorry, that was just cruel. At least you folks up in Washington state don’t have to deal with ‘Cedar Fever‘ — a gem of an ailment I’m suffering from that strikes Texans during the middle of winter. I suppose that’s justice, though.

One more thing before I get to the news: If you are not following us on Twitter, I would recommend you do so. Lots of great info is being shared there by genealogy experts from across the world (stuff that you’re not seeing if you are only following us on Facebook or reading our blog).

Additionally, we will no longer be updating our Facebook page with tweets. As I’ve been learning, the two platforms are truly apples and oranges. Twitter will be a more ‘real-time’ resource — with a lot more conversational tone and a steadier stream of updates — while Facebook will include more substantial posts (but not as often).

You can find us at

Tweet tweet.

Now the big news: We are very excited to announce that we will be attending our first two trade shows in March. The first one will be in Williamsburg, Va., at the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show and Conference (March 4-6). It should be a lot of fun, as relatively very few people have had a chance to see our books in-person. My wife Tasi will be joining me for that trip.

The following weekend, Mike and I shall be in Philadelphia at the Historic Home Show, sponsored by Old House Media Group. That show runs from March 10-11. If you are in the area, or know anyone who would like to see our offerings, please stop on by.

We have several more trade shows to attend throughout the year, so we will keep you guys aware of things. Well, thanks for reading, and hope ya’ll have a great week! (See, I’m becoming more and more Texan every day.)