Artist Jackie Cruse began building his reputation for unique design and unequaled workmanship over 10 years ago. Most notable of his accomplishments include having his work featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogue and sold in Neiman's stores. His life-size Santas have been exhibited in the Bush White House and the Texas Governor's home. In 2007, a life-size Santa was exhibited alongside the massive Christmas tree in the rotunda of the Texas State Capitol Building.
State Capitol Building Austin, TX- 2007
Vatican Exhibit, TTU Museum - 2002
While touring the Vatican Exhibit in Texas, her native state, Lady Laura Bush posed for a photo with Bishop Nicholas.
A creative mind coupled with a desire to earn money prompted Jackie Cruse to begin baking and decorating cakes during high school. Initially, he sold his creations to family and friends, but it wasn't long until the word spread and orders began to pour in.
During his busy school schedule Cruse found time to enter a Branch Candy contest that was advertised in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. For the contest, he designed a Southern Colonial Mansion Gingerbread House and won the top three categories out of more than 100,000 entries. His entry was later reconstructed and featured by Texas Country Reporter.
The Branch Candy Awards plus exposure from Texas Country Reporter helped Cruse earn a scholarship to New England Culinary Institute of Montpelier, Vermont, which is one of the finest private chef and culinary art schools in the United States.
While attending the institute Jackie was elected to serve with six other students in preparing former President Bill Clinton's inaugural cake. The young teenager's passion for cake design led him from designing and baking cakes for family and friends in Post, Texas, to the prestigious honor of producing a cake for the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States in Washington, D.C.! Following graduation from the Institute, Cruse worked as a chef at Lubbock Plaza and Lubbock Club, a fine dining private dinner club.
In the mid-nineties, Jackie Cruse began to design and sculpt Santa Clauses, elves, Easter bunnies and other seasonal characters. His mobile life-size Santas stand almost 6 feet tall with the hands and faces personally hand-sculpted by Cruse. The eyes are crafted by a special affects Hollywood eye artist. Beards are made of Tibetan lamb's wool and the clothing of expensive velvet.
Cruse's artistic sculpting has been marketed, commissioned and featured by: Neiman-Marcus Jacobson's Department Stores Boscov's Department Stores Washington Redskins football organization Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones QVC Vatican Museum Collection of Medieval Frescoes art exhibit at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas (sold on auction for $10,000) The United States White House and Governor George W. Bush (donations)
In 2001 Cruse sold his first company to Boyd's Collections, LTD. and continued to design Santas for Boyd's during the following three years.
Today, Jackie is launching a new upscale company called "Creative Concepts by Jackie" which will market Father Christmas figures, hand crafted collectibles and decorative accessories. He will continue to offer custom designs and is excited and energized by the tremendous possibilities of the new business.