Home (Shopping) for the Holidays

You might be wrapping up your last-minute holiday gift-buying binge, but for four QVC hosts with ties to the Hoosier state, shopping season lasts all year.

What do four reps for the world’s leading video and e-commerce retailer cherish about their ties to Indiana? Turns out, their shopping carts runneth over with Nashville trinkets, breaded tenderloins, and an enduring love of Cowboy Bob. While the rest of us wind down from the holidays, QVC’s Dan Hughes, Carolyn Gracie, Nancy Hornback, and Jill Bauer give some unsolicited Indiana endorsements.

Dan Hughes grew up on the north side of Indianapolis and attended Allisonville Elementary School, Eastwood Junior High School, and North Central High School. He moved to California in 1981 and currently lives on a farm with his wife of 14 years in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Pre-QVC: With a background in stand-up comedy, he was featured on the HBO special Comedy One Night Stand, which is where he was first spotted by QVC.

Indiana endorsement: The Brickyard 400 and the Indianapolis 500. “For many years, I hosted the QVC show For Race Fans Only. I had the chance to work with all the greats, and many have become friends. Indiana has been such a prestigious proving ground for professionals, including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and Steve Kinser. They really are down-to-earth Indiana guys.”

Hoosier shopping haunt: “There used to be a family-owned pharmacy at 62nd Street and Allisonville Road. I remember my mom taking me there. The candy counter was perfectly situated at nose level for a 5-year-old.”

Fried chicken or breaded tenderloin: Breaded tenderloin


Carolyn Gracie
Carolyn Gracie

Carmel native Carolyn Gracie attended Purdue University and worked as a radio announcer for 23 years, originally in Lafayette and later at Indy stations WZPL, WNAP, WENS, and KPWR.

Biggest QVC success story: Working with Ellen DeGeneres on her pet-food brand. “I hosted several shows with her. During one of them, I ate some of the cat food we were selling. It was actually pretty good.”

Indiana endorsement: The Covered Bridge Festival in Mansfield

Favorite Hoosier TV personality: Harlow Hickenlooper

Hoosier shopping haunt: Karma Records in Broad Ripple

Fried chicken or breaded tenderloin: Fried chicken. “The best fried chicken I’ve ever had was at Hollyhock Hill.”


Nancy Hornback
Nancy Hornback

Nancy Hornback, a 1982 graduate of Pike High School, attended Indiana University School of Music. Before leaving Indiana in 1991, she appeared locally in Indianapolis Civic Theatre, Indiana Opera Theater, Indianapolis Opera Company, and Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre productions.

Favorite Hoosier TV personality: Cowboy Bob. “I watched him every morning as a child. And Bobby Knight.”

Hoosier shopping haunt: “I shopped at Lafayette Square and worked at Dorothy’s, a clothing boutique at the mall, when I was 16. My friends and I used to ride our bikes into Clermont to the drug store for gum and to Dairy Queen for ice cream during the summers.”

Fried chicken or breaded tenderloin: Breaded tenderloin

QVC Secret Santa list: For Jill Bauer, an ornament from the Lawrence Family Glass Blowers in Nashville, Indiana.


Jill Bauer
Jill Bauer

Host Jill Bauer was born and raised in southern California but attended kindergarten at Crooked Creek Elementary School and spent childhood summers on her grandparents’ farm in Rochester. She was the weekend anchor at WLFI-TV in West Lafayette from 1989 to 1993.

Biggest QVC success story: Working with Joan Rivers. “She was a mentor and friend, and I miss her terribly.”

Indiana endorsement: Wolf Park in Battle Ground

Most memorable live-TV moment: “I was the host on air on 9/11. I didn’t know what was happening in New York but knew something was amiss, because my boss was hovering in the studio. I was informed of the situation during the break.”

Favorite Hoosier TV personality: Cowboy Bob

Hoosier shopping haunts: McCord Candies and Baker’s Peak restaurant in Lafayette, the Flagpole (for the Streamliner and a frozen custard) in Rochester

Fried chicken or breaded tenderloin: Breaded tenderloin

QVC Secret Santa list: For Dan Hughes, first-row seats to the Indianapolis 500. For Carolyn Gracie, a Purdue Boilermaker sweatshirt. For Nancy Hornback, a handmade holiday ornament from one of the cute shops in Nashville, Indiana.