Spotlight on Van Alstyne - Rock’s Heart of Restoration / Trinity Sisters
When you walk in the door, it’s not hard to miss how beautiful this house is and it’s undeniable the serene presence that comes over you. We took a few minutes to walk into each room of the house where Rock’s Heart of Restoration and Trinity Sisters operates their businesses and just take it all in. Then we sat down with Devit Rock and learned how all of this came about.
Tell us what brought you to Van Alstyne.
“We were living in Allen, Mark was working in McKinney at the time. He was looking to get a little more ‘out in the country’. He’s from a small town. I’m a city girl! Allen was small when we moved there, but 11 years later it was growing. He wanted a place for the kids and to have a little bit of land. One of the ladies in his group told him about Steeplechase and that’s where we moved. We love it there! We moved here when Jared was in second grade, so he went almost all of the way through school in Van Alstyne. It’s a wonderful community, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. We love Van Alstyne and raising our children here has been such a blessing, and then experiencing losing a child, the community was awesome, the people just rallied around us. We have felt the prayers for eight years.”
How did all of this get started and which business came about first?
“Trinity Sisters was first. We lost Jared in June of 2011, so Sept 2012 we started Trinity Sisters. It was a really great way for me to deal with my grief, being creative. Trinity Sisters is the creative side of the business, it’s also a ministry because we do a lot of church groups, we give our testimony and share what all God has done in our lives. Originally, I had two partners when we started and we would hold work workshops at Cherry Berry’s yogurt shop in Sherman. They’ve since gone on to different things. Rock’s Heart of Restoration came about in June of 2013 after we purchased this house. We were looking for a location for Trinity Sisters. We wanted to be able to have a store and have space to do our workshops. Initially we had been looking at another house near here, but determined that it was going to take a lot of work and after lots of prayer, we felt we were going to have to walk away from it. That was on a Friday night. On Sunday my husband, Mark, told me ‘Hey, Johnny Johnson’s house is for sale.’ I knew what house he was talking about and I’ve always loved it. When I would take the kids to school and drive by, or go to the post office in my heart of hearts, or I would even say it out loud to God, “Lord, I love that house.” It was always in my heart, never dreaming that He would give us this place to use for His glory and to keep Jared’s memory alive. We later learned that this house wasn’t even supposed to be here. It’s had been built in Canon and later moved here by oxen and mule. But it’s original destination was Howe!”
There are several rooms downstairs and upstairs, how do you utilize all the space?
“We purchased the house in June of 2013. We had a store downstairs, Karen Murray had a studio space upstairs, and Trudy with Rain Lillies was upstairs also. Later, they both moved out and got bigger locations and we decided that the venue part of it needed more space down here because we were renting for showers and things like that. So we moved the Trinity Sisters store upstairs, and eventually closed the store completely. Now we mostly focus on the workshops, and that part is really good for us.”
How did you get into doing the workshops and what kind of workshops do you put on? Who are they geared toward?
“I’ve always loved crafts. The whole creative part of it has always been in my blood; I get that from my Aunt Barbara who was very creative. After Jared passed away, my ‘go to’ was the crafting and that sort of thing. It was good therapy and it took my mind off of things, being able to be with my friends, fellowshipping with people, doing all the creative stuff, it was enjoyable. It was meaningful because we always do a devotion and prayer and give a little bit of a testimony about what God has done in our lives through losing Jared. I feel that has purpose and meaning and I knew that I had something to offer others.
Retail is my background. Before kids I did clothing retail, and optical retail. I was an optician prior to having children. We do workshops for children and adults. We do art on canvas and on wood. The summer is very much geared toward the kids; however, we do have some adult workshops in the evenings. We do private parties as well, private paint parties, church groups, children’s birthday parties, adult friend parties. All our kid’s camps are done here. They have a lot of fun and we always do cookies and lemonade for them. We will go to churches for private parties because they usually have more people than a regular workshop.”
Do you teach the workshops, or do you bring someone in to teach?
“Elise and I do the workshops together. I do have some other people that work with me from time to time. Theresa Auch does our advanced classes, she was one of the original partners when we started Trinity Sisters. She helps with church groups and that sort of thing. She loves women’s ministry as well, so that works out nicely. I have other people that have helped that are really creative. Elise is a full time teacher, so during the school year it is hard for her to work on this type of stuff. She can do more in summer.”
We’re always interested in how a business comes up with their name! Tell us how these names came about.
“Trinity Sisters; there were three of us when we started. It also references the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
For Rock’s Heart of Restoration, of course, our last name is Rock, but the true meaning is that Jesus is the rock and He restores our hearts. When we got this place ‘restoration’ was the word God kept giving me. ‘Restore’ over and over, so I knew that had to be in the name. It’s a very long name that says nothing about being an event venue, and of course everything you read about or see when you’re naming a new business, it should have part of that name in it, but we just totally went against that because it’s so much of what this place is about.”
Tell us how Rock’s Heart of Restoration came about and what kinds of things you do with that side of the business.
“The plan when we bought the house wasn’t to do events, but we thought ‘Hey, it’s got a great back yard, let’s do weddings.’ We’ve had several weddings here, including our daughter’s in 2016. It’s a real special place, a place where we can give glory to God and honor Jared’s memory, since there are so many happy things that happen here. We enjoy the celebrations with other families and being a part of that. We do all types of events here: weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, showers, birthday parties, anniversary parties and even children’s first birthday parties. It’s really neat when a mother had her baby shower here, then comes back for their first birthday party. We’ve had three of those, and we love being able to see the baby. We get a lot of repeat people doing events here.”
This place is just beautiful! We can definitely see both the inside and outside as a gorgeous space to hold weddings, tell us more about that! How do you prepare for them? Are they held outside and if so, what do you do in case of bad weather?
“It really depends on the size of the wedding, we can hold 40 in our main room. If it’s over 40 the ceremony and reception are typically done outside. We’ll do the food inside, a photo booth and stuff like that. They can do kind of an inside-outside event. In case of inclement weather, we have two large tents that we set up. We have actually set those up in 7º weather, while it was snowing, a couple of years ago in January. The bride did a small ceremony inside, and then had a hundred outside for the reception in the tents. We had the propane heaters out there to help keep them warm. It was really beautiful.
We have options, but we usually pray hard that there’s no rain. It’s stressful, because you want that person’s day to be exactly how they planned and want it to be. You want it to be perfect for them. Last year we had several weddings through the summer and fall. There was a time where it rained for about two weeks. Luckily it didn’t rain on the wedding days, but the ground was a little wet. We do everything possible to ensure they have the day they envisioned.”
Between workshops, weddings and various events, that’s a lot of work! How many people do you employ?
“It’s a family business, so just Mark, our daughter Elise and myself. All three of our hands are in it. He does all the physical work. He enjoys doing it and he’s good at it. Mark and Elise do the technical duties. Elise and I hold the workshops.”
Who do feel is your target audience and do you see any growth for either of the businesses in your near future?
“It varies, for Trinity Sisters its kids in the summer, and adults other times of the year. We don’t do as many weddings as we would like to, so we’re still trying to see who our target audience is there. When we got this place, Mark said ‘cast a broad net and see what areas you need to be in.’ I’ve asked the Lord many times ‘do we need to go in this direction, or this direction?’ and it just keeps being all of this. We continue with Trinity Sisters, like I said, that is really the heart of the business because we can do so much ministry through it, and the creativity part of it is so awesome. I call it the heart because I believe that’s where my heart is, I love the fellowship and the creativity. Through Trinity Sisters events I get to have my hands ‘in it’ more so than when someone else is having their own event here. I’m not as involved. I sit in the office listening to them having fun, and I always enjoy that, but its not the same as being involved, being right in the middle of everything like we are when we host a workshop.”
Aside from your business are you involved in any other community activities?
“I host coffee here on Tuesday mornings for the LOVE Ladies group - Ladies Of Van Alstyne Exchange. It’s open to anyone that wants to come, they don’t have an agenda. They’ve been around for seven or eight years and used to meet for coffee at the Durning House. When the Durning House closed I offered to let them continue the coffees here. We also do community type events and have hosted several fundraisers, and some praise and worship nights.”
How would you like to see VA grow/change?
“It has already changed since we moved here 21 years ago, but so far so good. I like the way it’s going, the way the city is being run; I think it’s very positive. I would like to see more support of local businesses from people that live in Van Alstyne. We’ve always enjoyed the small town feel, and the community feel of this town, and I don’t want to see that change as VA grows. I think people are very conscious of that, and we all have enjoyed that, so we want to keep it that way. I’m not from a small town, so I didn’t get that before, but I really love it.”
What would you like people to know about your business?
“That we care about what we are doing. We enjoy working with people and families, being able to provide a space where they can enjoy fellowship together. And we love sharing our Christian based/family owned place with the community. Through all of this we want to honor our son’s memory and glorify God.”
Be sure to check out Trinity Sisters for all of their upcoming classes – lots of kids camp going on this summer! And if you’re looking for a beautiful space to hold your wedding or next event, then Rocks Heart of Restoration is the place for you!
Rocks Heart of Restoration / Trinity Sisters – Devit & Mark Rock
130 W. Waco St, Van Alstyne, TX 75495