She Said–Le Trade Show


To set the record straight, I need to first say that it would never have happened without the two people in the photo above.  They are my parents, and they were a HUGE help.  They watched all four of the kiddos for six days.  In a city.  Eating every meal out.  At museums.  At the American Doll Store.  At Navy Pier.  At meeting/church.  On the “L”.  Early in the morning.  Late at night.  And all the times in-between.

Thank you.

And because Grandpa and Grandma focused on the kiddos, we were able to focus on the Trade Show.

This building is Merchandise Mart in Chicago.  I believe that at one time it was owned by the Kennedy’s and it is beautiful inside and out.  However, our first view of Merchandise Mart was of the basement where we unloaded.

We arrived later in the day, so most people had already unloaded.  But here we are pulling in.

The flat-bed contains all our worldly goods.  At least, it contains what we hope to sell for the good of the world.

And here are our worldly goods being whirled away–hopefully not for good.  There were all these men in Union Uniforms slapping stickers on things and slapping each other on the back and slapping forms in my hands.  Things appeared and disappeared, and I never knew if I would ever see any of it again–including The Hunni who had to head out and find a place to park the U-Haul trailer.  Everyone was yelling and pointing, and eventually I found someone who was willing to yell and point at me and then yell and point in a direction.  I was so thankful to be yelled and pointed at!  I followed the yelling and pointing and finally found the service elevator to the seventh floor.

Now you would think that getting to the seventh floor would be an easy thing to do, but not so.  Since the Kennedy’s previously owned the building, I am betting that there was a conspiracy theory at work because, not all elevators serviced all the floors.  EVEN IF THE SIGN SAID THAT THE ELEVATOR WENT TO THE SEVENTH FLOOR, IT DIDN’T. In fact, Madeline had such a time trying to get to the seventh floor that we finally had to ask the security guard to find her.   But while one security guard was trying to find Madeline, she found us.  Then they had to send another security guard to find the security guard that was finding Madeline.  At this point, we decided to leave.

But the next day, I did offer to buy the security guard a Starbucks.

And the day that my mom came we got on an elevator that would only take us to the 6th floor.  No problem, we thought.  We can hike up a set of stairs.  But when we got off at the 6th floor and started climbing the stairs, all the doors were locked until the 10th floor.  At the 10th floor the elevator would only take us to the eighth floor.  So we exited at the eighth floor and finally found an elevator that would take us down to the seventh floor.

So here is my Kennedy Conspiracy Theory.  As you wander the different floors looking for an elevator or a set of stairs or a security guard that can get you to the right floor, you pass all of these wonderfully, lovely, displays.  This floor had shop after shop of tiles.  This bathroom was my favorite–even the “wallpaper” was tile.


And look at these  mannequins sporting the latest styles.  Wait.  Look again, because their entire outfits are all tiles–even the belt.  So as you get lost on the different floors, you also get lost in the beauty of the displays, and ultimately (so the Kennedy Conspiracy Theory goes), you lose money from your bank account as you decide to purchase large amounts of beautiful worldly goods.

But if you ever did make it to the seventh floor on Move In Day, this is what you would see outside of booth #1610.  Or was that #1016.  Despite my dyslexia, someone in a Union Uniform discovered my mistake and slapped a form for me to sign when they delivered our flatbed of worldly goods that had been whirled away.  With a the help of Madeline and The Hunni and some fairy dust, we changed that into. . . . .

Now I know fairy dust was involved, because that is The Hunni sporting a bow tie, so you see, it had to have been magic.

You probably recognize these chairs.   As the Trade Show went on, I appreciated these chairs more and more.  The first day, I stood the entire day, but each progressive day, I sat down more and more.

The 13 minute video of the Ypsi Doll playing on the big screen is permanently ingrained in my mind, but not in a negative way.  I love the Ypsi Dolls.

And most of the people who stopped loved them too.  We now have 14 outfits for the Ypsi Dolls to wear.  We plan on adding more each season.  You can visit the Ypsi Doll website at  .

The days were full, and the evening were fun.  On the first night we all went to Rainforest Cafe.  It was fun, and Little Man liked the gorillas that beat their chest.

Another evening, we met up with our long time friends Steven and Rene.  Rene grew up knowing The Hunni, and I grew up knowing Stephen, so there is rarely a time of our life that didn’t overlap in some way.  Every time we get together I think, “Why don’t we do this more often?”

Here’s our kiddos making their friendships.

I also attended my first Fashion Show.  I felt very “Oh-la-la” snapping photos from the audience.

Madeline and I visited during all the “in-between” times.  She know WAY too much about me now.  I will always have to be nice to her as she is loaded with information.

For the most part, photographs aren’t allowed at the show.  Designers are revealing new collections and don’t want anyone to “steal” their ideas.  I must say, that the Trade Show was a very energetic and creative place to be.  Everywhere you turned there were colors and textures and creative ideas.

I saw jewelry being displayed on paper plates.  Now you would think that would be tacky, but the repetitive white circles on a deep blue drop cloth with a piece of jewelry in each circle was mesmerizing.  Since Trade Shows are always a season ahead, I saw fur hats, scarves with felt roses, scarves backed in fur, and scarves in every shade and texture.  The purse section smelled of leather and all the colors were bright.

All the creativity and texture and colors were amazing.  I kept thinking, and GOD gave us creativity.  HE gave us Art.  HE gave us Texture.  HE gave us hues.  In a sense, creativity is infinite–combine a different texture with a different hue, organize notes in a slightly different sequence,  add a different mixture of spices.  etc. . .  Our CREATOR gave us this gift–Creativity.

Thank you.

Here we are on our last night together.

Here is our waitress making guacamole to order.  MMMmmm!!!

Here are my kiddos with their best restaurant manners.  (The arrow shows the place where Little Man bonked his head.)

Here is The Hunni and I.

And here we are moving out.

Here is the end.

Thanks for coming along,


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21 Responses to She Said–Le Trade Show

  1. Dad and Mom Whit says:

    Gorgeous display! What creativity! We are impressed! When is the next show? Bring your kids out here. We would love to watch them!!!


    • whitsendmom says:

      There is a kids show in Seattle, but right now we have been advice to “hit the south”. Our product is “cute” and “cute sells best in the south.” I am keeping my eye on the Seattle show, though. It might not be this year, but I would like to someday go. And thanks for offering to keep the kiddos. I know that they would love the time.


  2. Penny says:

    Wow, what a monumental project! Amazing!


  3. Bel McCoy says:

    Guess “it pays to advertise”…. and you paid to do it, too…. work, work, and work!.
    Lovely display… well planned and so attractive!… Bet you will have a time keeping up with all
    the orders!!! Let me know when I can order, please.


    • whitsendmom says:

      Thanks so much. We are down to only about eight shirts in the house. I will defenitely let you know when we get another order in. Thanks so much, but all my blog readers will also get a chance at some give-aways.


  4. Brooke says:

    Oh, I’ve been so excited to see this post. Your display looked perfect. And the picture of the two of you is fantastic–I never would have guessed it was taken at the end of all that mayhem. Now normally, Maddie getting lost on an elevator would just be, well, Maddie, but it sounds like it was a common problem this time : ) Sorry, Madeline : ) Praying for lots and lots of orders coming your way!


    • whitsendmom says:

      The kiddos think Trade Show = a great time with the grandparents. Reality will hit after the next one. We had great ideas of this being a family business where the kiddos went everywhere with us, but it is too much for them. Maybe I can take one girl, but that would be all.


  5. natalie says:

    So fun to see this post! Your display looked great and I hope it all worked out well for you. Oh, and thank goodness for grandparents! : )


  6. Kerry says:

    Oh what fun! I’m thoroughly enjoying reading about your adventure! I wish I had a girl to buy these darling outfits for but instead I buy dumptrucks, diggers, firetrucks, etc! No dolls here. But I do have a granddaughter and another granddaughter coming so I will just buy it for them! What fun. Parents/Grandparents are the best…mine come tomorrow so Paul and I can go help with the conference in France.


  7. Lisa Buchanan says:

    What great job! Fun to see and hear about!


    • whitsendmom says:

      Thanks. I still don’t have sample to give away, but when I do, rest assured, those who have been with me on this journey will get one.


  8. Laura says:

    LOVED the display, LOVED the picture of you and the Hunni…you are a BEAUTIFUL woman! So I don’t say this very often but I wish we still lived in Chgo so I could have seen you all! HE is on your team so you’re surely going to be successful!


  9. Kathy Tanner says:

    Well, I wish I could think of something intelligent, memorable and creative, but alas, I can just say WOW. My kids have been involved with trade shows, from the other side ( they get to do the ordering ) so they know how much this involves and the competition out there. If I was your mama, I would be pretty darn proud of you – guess I can be proud anyway.
    Blessings to you and your family on this great adventure!

    Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.
    (ASK! )


  10. Debbie says:

    So impressive!!! Will pray that your creativity pays off “sooner than later” =) Looks like a lot of work but also a ton of fun in the process!


    • whitsendmom says:

      Thanks so much for the prayers. I really mean that!!! As I will be working more and more (from home mainly), I want to keep that balance in our family life and not let the things of the LORD slip to last place. I am having fun, though!!!


  11. dgharman says:

    Love the display! Very creative and cute. Love the product too and the darling little models. You’re one talented woman! I live vicariously through your artistic ability…of which I haven none! 🙂 Fun to see pics of the family…tell them to stop growing so fast!


    • whitsendmom says:

      Blah. blah. blah. I know about you and your creativity!!! Now no more talk about having none because I KNOW better! Went to you blog and got the giggles over the “horsey sound.” 🙂


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