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Nicole Harrison displays three of the Christmas Star tree ornaments she’s had trouble keeping in stock at Pure Roots in Uptown Westerville.

Nicole Harrison displays three of the Christmas Star tree ornaments she’s had trouble keeping in stock at Pure Roots in Uptown Westerville.

Christmas Star ornaments celebrate Westerville

State Street ornament for the tree

Nicole Harrison displays three of the Christmas Star tree ornaments she’s had trouble keeping in stock at Pure Roots in Uptown Westerville.

She first began selling the acrylic ornaments about three weeks ago when the artist, Gary Houtz, added them to the collection of etched items he sells through the store.

The ornament, modeled after the Christmas Star than hangs across State Street at Main Street, is etched with the words “Westerville’s Holiday Star” and “Since 1935,” the year the star first hung above the city.

Houtz originally made 20 stars not being sure of how they might sell. It was two weeks before things began to get out of hand.

Former Westerville City Councilman and retired Chief Fire Marshal John Bokros bought one for his tree and featured it in a Facebook post. Twenty minutes later the store was sold out of ornaments and Harrison immediately ordered another batch of 32 which were already sold when delivered. Harrison ordered more.

Customers bought as many as six at a time with most intended as gifts to family and friends who had moved away from the city.  Houtz expressed concern that he might not have enough material for many more. Within five days the store sold all that Houtz could make.

Eventually, he found material for a large batch of ornaments and the store is fully stocked. Harrison and Houtz are pleased to have a fresh supply but fear that they might not be able to handle another rush of customers.

The ornaments sell for $15.

About The Author

Gary Gardiner

Former newspaper and Associated Press photographer. Instructor at Westerville Center for Photography. Owns SmallTown Stock, the Reasonably Rights Managed stock photo agency. Founder and Director for The American Scene Project, a heritage project dedicated to exhibiting and preserving photography of everyday American life.

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