About Byers' Choice

Byers Story

It was the late 1960's and Joyce Byers, an amateur artist with a degree in fashion design, was disappointed in what she was finding in stores: tinsel trees with blue lights. She was trying to find holiday decorations with warmth that showed respect for timeless traditions and her own memories of Christmas. The first Carolers adorned the Byers' dining room table that Christmas. On a limited budget, Joyce knew what to make for gifts the following year. A neighbor recommended taking some to a local store, where they sold quickly. The store was part of a federation of Woman's Exchanges and introduced the Carolers to other exchanges around the country. Soon a number of stores around the country were asking Joyce to supply them with Carolers. Joyce encouraged her husband, Bob, and their two sons into helping produce the figures each fall. It wasn't long before the Carolers inundated the dining room table, where the family worked together. "Every year the house would be a total wreck, and I'd say that we're never doing this again!" remembers Joyce. But when a decline in the economy hurt his construction business, Bob looked around and saw some potential in the Carolers. He decided to dedicate more of his energies to the young business, and in 1978, the couple hired their first employee, and turned the garage into a workshop. The distinctive appearance and handcrafted quality of the Carolers quickly gained a following. Each year, Bob & Joyce would work with their team of trained artisans up until Christmas Eve putting the finishing touches on Carolers. The two sons joined the company upon graduating from college and have played an significant role in the growth of the firm, with Bob working in production and Jeff helping with marketing and design. "We always say that mom's hobby has gotten a little out of control," jokes Jeff. Together, the family now manages a team of 180 artisans in Pennsylvania who handmake those same creations that started out on the dining room table many years ago. And although the Carolers are sold in thousands of fine gift stores around the world, the company still holds to its roots: manufacturing a quality product, at an affordable price, and dedicated to serving its customers and the community in the spirit of Christmas.