Reader Mail

Country Sampler - - Country -

I wish I could ex­press in words how much Coun­try Sam­pler means to my son Brae­den. Be­cause of his chronic lung and liver dis­ease and de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties, find­ing par­tic­u­lar things that he likes has been a chal­lenge. My mom, Julie, has been col­lect­ing Coun­try Sam­pler for years, and on our vis­its to her home, Brae­den fell in love with look­ing at the mag­a­zines. Since he was 8 years old, we have used Coun­try Sam­pler as a life skills teach­ing tool. The best gift he’s ever re­ceived has been a sub­scrip­tion to the mag­a­zine as a Christ­mas gift from my mom. He gets ex­tremely ex­cited when he rec­og­nizes Coun­try Sam­pler and points to the lights, the doors, the beds, and all the pretty col­ors. I just want you all to know you’re do­ing a won­der­ful job, and it re­ally means the world to one boy. He will be so ex­cited to see him­self in his fa­vorite mag­a­zine. Thank you.

Cheri Chap­man, McCook, Ne­braska

At the age of 11, I fell in love with coun­try dec­o­rat­ing af­ter I vis­ited my aunt’s house in Texas. By the age of 23, I had my own home, but it was dif­fi­cult to find coun­try stuff in Puerto Rico. Af­ter the in­surance com­pany where I worked closed, I de­cided to rein­vent my­self and open a coun­try store. I trav­eled to the United States to buy mer­chan­dise at a whole­sale show and soon opened the doors to The Coun­try Shop—the first coun­try store in Puerto Rico. I bought my first Coun­try Sam­pler mag­a­zine in 1993 in At­lanta, and it has been a source of in­spi­ra­tion since then. My store started in a 10 × 10 space, but it soon grew as it be­came known through­out Puerto Rico. We con­tin­ued to grow and be­came the man­u­fac­turer rep­re­sen­ta­tive for 23 lines of coun­try prod­ucts. Peo­ple started ask­ing me to help them open their own busi­nesses through­out the is­land.

When Hur­ri­cane Maria passed through Puerto Rico in Septem­ber 2017, we suf­fered se­ri­ous dam­age in our home, and the store was a to­tal loss. We spent more than 80 days with­out wa­ter or elec­tric power, but I want to thank you, be­cause at night, with tears in my eyes, I used a flash­light to look through Coun­try Sam­pler and be­came de­ter­mined to start again. My many clients were very sad be­cause they had lost many of their things. As soon as I had ac­cess to the in­ter­net, I wrote to my sup­pli­ers and they started send­ing me mer­chan­dise. I was able to present our Christ­mas Bazaar 2017, and I started to re­store my house.

I thank God first and then Coun­try Sam­pler, the mag­a­zine that has ac­com­pa­nied me since 1993 un­til the present. Twenty-five years have passed, and we still keep coun­try, prim­i­tive and now farm­house style alive in the hearts of our cus­tomers.

Ivonne Grant, Puerto Rico

Let­ters may be edited for length and clar­ity.

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