Day One

aaaaaSitting here reading all these entries is like a flashback to when I had my old Typepad blog. I feel like I kinda have been sitting still as the world spun around me and I’m just re-awakening. If that makes any sense.

So the size 4 Flutter and Bag go to…

Brooke ‘Anderson’ Malko Having my entire family over to help decorate our tree and watch old home videos and feed them of course!

And the 5 prints go to ….I’m gonna throw in a gift card to get a frame for it at Micheal’s. I bought the one BELOW there, just off the shelf. Stunning.

Melissa Troedel I simply told the clerk checking me out to have a Great day. Instantly her face changed from bored to cheery. Sometimes it just takes a few simple words

Caroline Ruta Buying art supplies for a young lady for the angel tree at church

Mindy Heisner I already did, by waking my daughter with kisses and treating her like a baby, she loves it! She was beaming from ear to eat with her eyes closed acting like she was still sleeping.. Melts my heart!
Rebecca Todd Hendrickson Having my 4 year old donate her toys she doesn’t play with anymore to the Salvation Army

Heidi Anderson Adam I try to make eye contact with people and smile at them. It usually makes them smile back and I always feel really good when they do!

K, girls, just PM us at Might Acorns and we’ll get your goods out this week.
xoxo – Denise

And for flashback fun  just about 7 years ago my life was all about

December 11, 2007

I have spent the last 2 hours just googling for Xmas gifts and haven’t spent a dime. YIKES.   I have found lots of great shoes for the Beast.  Like he really needs shoes and like I have any money to spare on shoes.  My fabric bill is out of this world.  We won’t even talk about that.

So thanks to all for supporting the cause and helping me get rid of a ton of “end of the season stuff”. We still have a bit left and I have been getting quite a few emails, I’m trying to respond promptly but we are admist a workshop over haul. Yes, that little 5-600 sq feet workshop needs to fit 3 desk for next season plus inventory galore.  It’ll be a tight squeeze. We all love eachother SOO much that’ll it’ll be fine.  Though, I guess I should take showers more often!! Maybe  I will get some time for Xmas.


I just came across this pic, ( thank you Shannon) And OMG she looks just liek me when I was younger. It almost freaks me out.

Joe and I had a great trip to Omaha.  Our plane was delayed a couple* times on the way there.  As soon as we landed David called and said Pat was playing, and OMG we had to run so fast to get to the game buy the 2nd period.  SO fast that I bribed Joe with a camera.  It was a great game, as well as the game on Saturday. We left Sunday morning only to return home Monday afternoon after many more** delays!! The worst part was Joe loves to buy food for the hockey players and I was too tired to wait and give it to them.  So we had to bring it all home on the plane.  I looked like a complete idiot with  4 grocery bags of cereal,  macroni and cheese, and what not hauling threw the aiport.

Okay, back to googling. Sorry for the lack of communication lately.  You know, no excuse jsut the normal business. Hopefully, we can get the workshop in order. I need to post some pics without emberassing myself.  I’ll stage a few great desk shot and impress you all!!!

Just to share, here’s my old and latest addictions,, flora and henri, the curiousity shoppe and so on, and please if you have a little chick buy these. I love them and Gabe, well, he probably would not. Check out darly bird

“If it is both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it.”

Posted at 10:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


Oh my goodness, I rarely win anything. Thank you! I will email you with my contact info.

Brooke Malko

OH MY GOODNESS! I cannot believe I won the bag and flutter! Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness – not just now but all year around with this incredible foundation! Blessings to you!


Jamie Hicks

Muah! I have so missed a good ol’ Denise blog!!!!!!! I found e-mails the other day between us when I sent in pics of Aiden in MA. 🙂 Loves you!

Mama Hope

Congratulations, Winners!! How fun and special, right?
Love your amazingness, Denise!
7 short years ago … and now this!
Both times full of amazingness, but you live to give!
Add awesomeness to amazingness!!


Life is amazing. My life is amazing. Would I even have had the vision to dream this amazingness up when I was young. No. This type of amazing cannot be put into words let alone a vision. It just is. It is the kind of amazing that one must feel.
When you have a room filled with 12 of the girls that have stood by the sweat, the blood, and the tears…the triumphs and disasters…the laugh and seldom outrage (yes, I do have a temper though it is rarely seen)…the girls that you know have lifted you up to become the person you never envisioned yourself on becoming…when you put them all in a room there is not a single word that needs to be said.

The heart, soul and eyes say it all. It is a love. A sisterhood. A family that I am truly blessed to have.

I often ask myself who would I be had I not stumbled upon these amazing girls. Where would I be. I am pretty sure I would be nothing…nothing close to who I am today.

I think about it. I think about the company we built. The company that changed lives and moved mountains. The foundation that they believed in. The foundation that empowers, restores and fulfills the lives of so many. The Face of Beauty Campaign that they jumped in to be part of. Chelsa’s birthday, even without her, they still celebrate FOR her. These are the girls that let me soar but keep my feet on the ground.


xoxo – Denise

And cuz this quote reminds me so much of this past weekend, how about the everyday we throw a few into the 12 Days of Christmas?


“she believed she could so she did” <—— that's YOU!!


Just thought maybe you’d like to see part of the presentation we did today at the Boys N Girls Club, Smart Girls Luncheon. Yup, Sam and I were the Brilliant Women speakers. It was so AMAZING. The girls were so SPECTACULAR

Here’s my opening…well, my notes…you can ramble through…
PS they are just little notes we read from know…lots of typos.

I’m still wondering why I was asked to talk. My guess is that Heather thinks I’ve done great things by building a beautiful company, starting an orphanage and being generous and kind.

Truth is, I’ve only done what I know how to do. I’m not anything spectacular.

I just wake up every morning, try to gather myself so I can make others smile even if I’m not smiling inside,
then I go about my day trying to make others happy cuz that is the one thing that creates a spark in my heart.

For me to me standing here today is probably close to one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. So When I was asked to speak I said no. I said no way.

I got home thought about it for a couple weeks. I had recently just left my job at Matilda Jane Clothing. A company I founded all based upon a guy telling me I would never amount to anything.

For the past 7 years to many people that’s all I’ve been is “Matilda Jane”. I had lost my identity.

I was time to become Denise DeMarchis again.

I also knew I would never stand here alone.

There’s a girl named Sam McDonald that is muse, inspiration and side kick. Sam helps me to stand up here a little taller, a little braver and a lot more true to myself.

When you look at us you may see us as mother and daughter, coworkers, or a young girl and a very old lady. But what you do not see and I hope that you will feel by the end of this talk is the love we have for each other.

I was looking for extra help to pack orders. Sam walked in wearing jeans, a simple white t-shirt, her eyes sparkled and she rolled in like a ball of sunshine.

And this girl Sam is exactly what I needed in my life.
Little did I know I’m exactly what Sam needed in her life.

There’s a song, that goes ….

“When all of your flaws and all of my flaws
Are laid out one by one
A wonderful part of the mess that we made
We pick ourselves undone”

And it was so true my whole life I was embarrassed of my flaws. I was constantly looking at others comparing myself. Comparing myself to my friends to my family to you and to Sam. I was never smart enough, skinny enough, funny enough… My teachers thought I was never good enough to be in art class . I struggled for so long that I was never to complete package, the amazing package that so many of my friends were.

The package that Sam was when she walked through the door that day.

As I got to know Sam I saw her wearing her flaws upon her sleeve. She showed me it was okay to be me.
Sam showed me that my crazy little flaws made me who I was. These flaws defined me.

I am Denise DeMarchis and this is Sam McDonald.

And of course Sam’s BEAUTIFUL notes….
Memories are like little lasting impressions you make every single day of your life. I have a thousand that I’m proud of and probably a little more than I’d like to admit that I want everyone to forget. One of my fondest memories is when I started at Matilda Jane. I walked in for the first day of work and was trained by Chris to make every single package feel incredibly special. From the tissue it was wrapped in, to the way the sticker was placed on the brown paper bundle, it had to have heart and all of that taught me that the little things matter just as much is the the order itself. I think that’s partially, actually I think that’s TOTALLY why Denise was so successful with Matilda Jane. She never underestimated the little things. The power of the smallest detail can change the way you feel, or in Denise’s case, change the world.

Relationships have always been something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Whether I was hanging out with my best friend enough or if I spent too much time with my boyfriend or if I ever saw my family. Have I spent any time with them lately? Am I a horrible daughter for being away so much? These are things that I’ve always thought about, constantly worried about and never felt like I was doing correct. I have a best friend of 15 years, I have Denise and so many others who loves me and value my relationship but I just worry so much that I don’t give enough of myself to the people who give of themselves to me.

It’s funny to talk about talent when I stand up here next to my mentor, one of my dearest, bestest friends who just happens to be an absolute creative genius. So yeah I’ve felt like I wasn’t talented enough a lot in the past, but how is that this person that I hold on the highest of pedestals (sorry Denise) sees something so valuable in me? I think that’s talent. I think talent is what you have inherently in you that with the help of someone else you can really showcase it and share it with others.

In the video you saw that I slid my way through high school. I wasn’t saying that to be cool because I don’t think it’s cool. I was just too embarrassed and too nervous to be the best at anything. To be good at sports or to try to be athletic was a chance to let someone on the team down. Being smart in class gave me a chance of failing. It’s frightening to be good at something. Because the moment you are, that’s when you start comparing yourself to others. So I took a different route. I took the path of being nice and goofy. I was approachable and shared my silly self with everyone around me. It wasn’t the typical way of succeeding in high school, but it is the way that’s made me who I am today. And I dont think I’d change that for anything.

If you would’ve asked Denise and I a year ago if we liked Pinterest we would’ve said no we don’t use it, we don’t go on it, it’s just kind of scary and makes us feel like “well dang we thought we were doing a good job but look at that”

Being authentic isn’t easy these days. Everyone’s talented or cool in their own way, and you see it on the Internet, if you don’t see it in real life. But how do you find your own way? You’re own way to prove yourself. To prove that you have something to bring to the table. Well, Denise has taught me to listen to my gut and my heart, which have more than once been the same thing. And we all know your conscious always knows best. So my thoughts are…be silly, be outgoing, or be quiet and listen or be the humorous one that everyone is inevitably drawn to, but no matter what just be yourself and never compare who you are to someone else. We’re all just different and that’s how we were made. It’s what us unique and special. And I think that’s pretty darn cool in itself.

Ha ya I just Check my Instagram right before I got on stage 🙂


What a great big blessing to so many you, Denise DeMarchis, and Sam McDonald are!


beautiful women with beautiful souls doing beautiful things felt daily by so many…

Bridgette Lott

LoVe it!!

Erica S

In tears. I love your hearts. The line about learning to give your entire life is what choked me up the most. I feel like such an inadequate mom most days. The house is a mess. I rarely pull things off the way I envision them in my head. I’m getting older and wider (no typo) and don’t look like myself when I look in the mirror, but the one thing I can say is that I know my kids learn to give. It’s an example I try to set every day. If they carry that with them through life this journey will all be worth it. Thank you for reminding me of that.



Theresa Lakin

Thank you for the work you are doing. I recently found out about this organization and I am in awe.

Lauren Marcu

This nearly brought me to tears. What a beautiful difference you are making. Thank you so much for all you do.

Melissa T

Blessed to know about such a wonderful team!

Ashley E

I love this! You don’t have to be “special” to do something great. We all become special by the work and love that we put into life. God bless!


Love this story… I feel blessed to of found Denise and her team ~! 🙂

Sandra K

What beautiful words from two beautiful ladies. Thank you for sharing your not with us!

You Can Take Part


Watch as the auction unfolds at then on November 4 it’ll be time to bid on your favortie items. New items are being listed almost daily while we get ready.

This time around, we are focusing on a state-side project. Gigi’s Playhouse serves children and adults of all ages by providing therapeutic and educational programs at no charge to families, focusing specifically on individuals with Down’s Syndrome. All programs aim to maximize self-confidence and empower individuals to reach their achieve potential….a mission that falls right in line with the mission of the Mighty Acorn Foundation.

Seventy-five percent of the proceeds of this auction will go to Gigi’s Playhouse located Tinley Park, IL. These donated funds will be used to help offset the costs of the services they provide to their clientele. The remaining 25% of the auction proceeds will be used to sustain our continued efforts at the Mighty Acorn Orphanage in Kitale, Kenya.



I am dying for a creative project. It seems I’m caught up doing wedding, political signs, contractor signs, and funeral place mats. Yes a wide array of lots of silly things. But all very important at the same time. I am dying to be creative again.

Luckily the Mighty Acorn/Change the Face of Beauty Auction is coming up and I’ve had a chance to make some pretty cool items. I was able to go into Matilda Jane and make a few dresses, bags, just cute stuff. I did a little crafting at home and I’ve been surrounded by beautiful donations from so many artisans. But I’m really dying to get back into the swing of things. I’m not sure what is going to be but something’s got to give.

I get to go over to Kenya over Thanksgiving with one of my really good friends since I was just a little girl. I’m pretty excited about that. Oh and Becky. The girl I’ve known forever, will also have some pretty cool TOMS in the auction. We both painted several pairs. Maybe she’ll have a creative game plan for me.


You know I have to fully admit being scared, feeling a little nervous of competitors back in the day when I worked at Matilda Jane. I was always confident of the company and what we stood for, for giving, but sometimes I was self conscious of my designs and I would see others and their amazing beautiful pieces and it kind of stressed me out. I think it’s just me.   I sound like a fool, but to know there are people out there who are way better than me. People who could put me out of business in 2 seconds. And therefore I felt threatened by them.

Doing this Auction has taught me a lot. Doing the Changing Face of Beauty has also taught me a lot. But what they have both taught me,  is that you are much stronger when you embrace all the people and competition around you. As I’m photographing, uploading, or just folding all the clothing from so many different companies I am honored to be part of this. I am flattered to see so many people join forces to help Change the Face of Beauty.

So with that said, let’s not busy ourselves watching and comparing ourselves to others. Let’s be the best we can be. lets be the best we ever imagined and then let’s go out and join forces and do some pretty amazing things. We only get better by surrounding ourselves with great folks, great talents and great hearts.

Thank you to all those (you know who you are) for participating in this auction but equally so, thank you for helping me to set aside all those jealousies and replace them with admiration. Crazy how we grow each day. Thank you.

– Denise


Great post! So excited (and very jealous) you are going back at Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to get back there, it’s like a part of me is missing since I’ve been back. I simply can’t wait.


…always saying what needs to be said/read. Love you.

What a wonderful post! I’m so thrilled to be able to donate something handmade to such a great cause. And yes, I can totally identify with you Denise. The auction is going to bring smiles to present and future who really need Gigi’s Playhouse. With respect and tons of admiration ~ Kim

How do I donate? What do you want? Clothing, pillow, blanket? What can I do?


You say so much about all of life. Be the best we can be and join others to help others be the best they can be. Hugs……even though you are not the hugger, I am.

tracy thomson

This post was so absolutely perfect!!! If you only knew the trauma I went through trying to get my dress ready for the auction!! When I was asked to be a part I had NO IDEA!!! and I do mean NO IDEA of the amazing artists that would be involved and I only had a couple days to get something together…I was and still am a nervous wreck but this post helped.. we are each individuals and I am honored to be a part of such a great auction.. I don’t need to compare my items or worry about no one bidding!!!! Thank you for having me!!and thank you for this wonder post!! Tracy

Carolina Gonzalez

Such a powerful message.

Jay Conley

“If it is both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it.”