The year that was…


Hi girls.  I know you’ve all been waiting.  You’ve all been wondering.  And you’ve all been such an amazing part of past Art Fairs. But we knew it was going to be hard to keep Art Fair growing and keep Art Fair true to its roots.   

I remember the first time we opened up 435 to you.  Crazy.  I had never been so nervous.  So nervous that I might disappoint you. So nervous that maybe no one would come.  And so nervous that you’d realize I’m really not all that cool. Ha, it’s my girls at MJC that pull it all off and let me look like the star.  What would I do without them? What would we do without you?

We moved MJC to 4031 last year and David decided to sell 435.  I was much against it but knew we couldn’t afford for it to just sit empty.  That place we called 435 has a huge place in the MJC story.  A huge place in my story. I wanted that building for so long.  Could never afford it.  Dwelled on it. After 2 years was finally able to rent the first floor.  Rented the second floor.  Rented the 3rd floor.  Bought it. Had our first art fair.  Had our second.  Had our third.  Sold it.

Now what? Sam, Kayla, Allison and I all were a little shocked last week after several months of searching for a new location for Art Fair.  Shocked that there are few choices out there to hold such a huge event. And a little shocked at how many brides wanted to get married in June and fill up all the great locations.  Come on, an Art Fair should trump a wedding right?


So we pondered over it. Chatted with Matt, Lynette and Jeff over what to do.  How not to disappoint you.  We came up with lots of ideas.  But when it came down to it at the end if the day I, myself, just could not alter the “Art Fair”.  I couldn’t turn it into something it was not meant to be. I couldn’t be ok with only allowing 100 people to come because we couldn’t find a place big enough.

You have no idea the thought that was poured into this decision.  And I admit a few tears as well.  I didn’t know what to do.  Art Fairs have always been my love, my living, the start of MJC.  It really is a huge part of me.  I couldn’t imagine doing something other than just a crazy old Art Fair. Rain or shine.  Frigid temps or 90 degree humidity that made you sweat tears.  It’s what it is.  It’s standing all day, working harder than you ever thought you could but loving every little human interaction that you make.  It’s a little chaos and a whole lotta love.

I could go on and on but I guess I can’t beat around the bush any longer. At the end of the day there’s no way to change it and I need to own my decision.  We won’t be doing Art Fair this year.  It will continue next year ABSOLUTELY. But this year we just can’t pull it off.  Kayla and Allison have tried and tried to find a space large enough with the right amenities but it’s just not showing itself or someone is getting married that weekend.  Aghhhh June.

I’m so sorry.  And I wish I had a beautiful way to tell you but I don’t.  All I got is the truth and it is that we just can’t find a location that’s available and that we like.  I know. It sounds so simple.  But if it were that simple, we wouldn’t have spent the last 3-4 months searching, discussing, problem-solving and just hoping it would come together.


Aghhh. The story must go on. And in 2015 it will. I guess this will just have to be the year that Art Fair slept silently.

Loree Wheeler - April 4, 2014 - 4:49 pm


You have absolutely made the right decision. Even if you could have found the perfect location it’s just too much for one year. You and your family have been through so much. This will give you some extra time with your boys and extra time to enjoy life without feeling the pressure of creating the most perfect Art Fair ever. You are strong, brave, and driven. Most of us would have fallen to pieces by now. I think your decision tells moms that it is ok to not be everything to everyone all the time. We constantly feel like we are too much yet not enough. Always doing, doing, doing but at the end of the day feeling like it is never enough. We need to stop that thinking and be proud of what have accomplished and look forward to the future without fear. We love you, support you, and care more about you than the art fair. Don’t get me wrong, Art fair is beautiful and amazing but it’s not everything. Hugs your way 🙂

Melanie Martin - April 3, 2014 - 7:37 pm

Houston has large venues. Come to Texas where we will make room for you with southern charm.

Amber - April 3, 2014 - 1:37 pm

I can’t wait until next year!! It’s going to be Amazing 🙂

Aubrey L. - April 2, 2014 - 6:06 pm

This post brought tears to my eyes, so beautifully written!! I have never been to AF but have always wanted to go, but alas will never get to go BUT I LOVE hearing about it, seeing the pictures, everything. The excitement spills over to all of us! There will always be another year & everyone will be ready & waiting to book their rooms, travel etc, no worries!! I think everyone understands the importance of it to all of you! <3

Patricia - April 2, 2014 - 8:12 am

Like the rug rats say ” a baby got to do what a baby got to do”. Just means next yr will even be that much more amazing and hopefully it will be my first. ( keeping fingers crossed) y’all are amazing. Keep up the great work. God bless!!!!

Nikki - April 1, 2014 - 10:12 pm

So sad. This was going to be the first one I was able to attend. =( Will be excited for next year!

Susan B. - April 1, 2014 - 9:59 pm

Plymouth, MI has my vote.

colorado - April 1, 2014 - 9:59 pm

This makes me think of an orchid-so beautiful, so precious. They bloom their hearts out but then they need a rest. You cut them back and eventually they come back and surprise you all over again with their beauty and majesty. You are like the orchid. Take a break and renew your energy and you will be back and even more beautiful than before.

Christina - April 1, 2014 - 9:49 pm

You know, there is such a fine line with this company. It is one thing to be a crazy MJC mama – I fully embrace a certain level of nuttiness over these clothes (holy moly, release 3!!!!!) but the thought of you catching any flack for this announcement is seriously disheartening. Even without venue issues, you all deserve (need?) a year off. I, too, have great passion for my work and put in lots of hours. However, it’s becoming all too clear to me that my work is fruitless if I do not get to enjoy my loved ones. With no art fair prep, I hope all MJC employees, who are so hard-working, can take a few weeks just to lay low (ha – as if that’s actually an option!) and focus on what really matters. No special online events, etc….just a spring/summer of family and memories for ALL of us – dressed in Platinum and Wonderful Parade, of course! Seriously, anyone who demands anything else is not thinking straight. You are so generous to us; the least people can do is avoid attacking you about art fair!

Courtney Puhl - April 1, 2014 - 9:16 pm

We’ll miss you this June! I’m sure this decision has been weighing on your mind for far too long..know that it’s ok, we’ll miss you, but it’ll make it that much more special next year 🙂

Enjoy your summer! We’ll be here next year!

Robin Moore - April 1, 2014 - 8:59 pm

Denise, I am so sad to hear there will be no Art Fair. I understand, but it’s disheartening. As I read the blog I can hear in your words what the 435 building meant to you. And with the year you’ve had I can truly understand how no venue felt “right”. Denise, we all love MJC. For us, it’s never been “just kids clothes”. If you put up a tent in your back yard…….we will come. If you did a Traveling Art Fair Bus……we would come. Do you know why??
Today I went to a ladies house I had never met. A complete stranger. She’s a new TK in my area. Within 30 seconds of being in her home I felt the “connection”. Now my husband laughed uncontrollably when I told him this. I’m reserved with strangers. But she hugged me when I walked in!! I realized she wasn’t a stranger, She was another MJ mom. Yes we get to buy beautiful clothes at Art Fair. But it’s those “connections” we get to make with other MJC mommas that has us sad for no Art Fair this year. I can’t even imagine what you’ve had to deal with this year. I didn’t tell you this to instill guilt. I just wanted you to know, we love this company you’ve built. We love getting to enjoy the beauty of your dream. We love the “connections” we make. So even when things aren’t perfect, we will always show up. See you Art Fair 2015!!!

Alicia Burns - April 1, 2014 - 8:19 pm

For one who can only dream of attending art fair.. not sure how i feel.. yes i love to see all these pretties for sure!! But its just as heartbreaking when you cant have any of them!! Sorry im feeling gloomy today!! We still loooovvee you Denise!!

Shelby - April 1, 2014 - 8:13 pm

I just love the picture of all the pretty dresses. What a dream to have all those pretties in one place 🙂

Katherine Merritt - April 1, 2014 - 8:08 pm

I was looking forward to my first art fair this year. But, I understand wanting to preserve the integrity of the experience. I will plan on next year…and stalk Platinum in the meantime. 😉

Kathy stockdale - April 1, 2014 - 6:43 pm

I totally understand, this is not a simple Tiny party that can be thrown anywhere and to compromise any section of it…well, that just wouldn’t be MJC. I was hoping to get to come (would be my first art fair) but like the MJ family…its been a tough one for my family. I respect the idea and the time to regroup and do it full blown MJC style.
Your resilience and strong spine to get out of bed everyday throughout your battle with cancer and even though it might not be the day you expected, it is still YOUR DAY. Honestly you have given me a lot of strength to handle my own life. The power to wake up and put one foot in front of the other even on days when im not sure i can…as your extended family of MJC soldiers who want our little girls to be little girls, and want them to have self confidence and smiles through out the day, we fully support your decision. Our baby girl ( isnt a “baby”anymore she will be 6 in july) we were able to adopt right before her 2nd birthday, she was a foster child that came with a heart-breaking background (that still pierces my heart and tugs at my soul daily) she still has a few ramifications from her treatment in infancy, as silly as it sounds, I feel people are more forgiving for her behaviors when she is in MJC I know as a parent that sounds TERRIBLE but I’m talking about strangers that make assumptions based on her outbursts/behaviors (wish I could send you a pict of her closet). I also have a son that has Aspergers and panic disorder and my oldest son is a loving, caring angel to his two siblings that need special attention. You sharing your fight this year wAs a really amazing, touching thing. the loss of Chelsa recently wAs heartbreaking, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Thank you for everything. So much respect for you and your company. We love you so much!!! Thanks for letting us know!!!

Sarah Linker - April 1, 2014 - 3:56 pm

You deserve a summer off… Rest, recharge and enjoy some great times with family and friends. We know that y’all will make next art fair worth the wait!!

Rachel Linton - April 1, 2014 - 3:32 pm

Darn those pesky brides using up all the good spaces! I vote for online Art Fair!

amy - April 1, 2014 - 2:58 pm

you’ve made a wise decision…blessings!!

Jennifer Dashner - April 1, 2014 - 2:55 pm

I’m so honored that you think enough of your business (and customers) to not want to ‘settle’ for something. This would have been my 1st Art Fair, but I am anxiously waiting for 2015! Thank you for all you do, and have done to make MJC and amazing place!

Melissa Scamuffa - April 1, 2014 - 2:50 pm

You all deserve a break, you have had a rough year. I know I will miss it, but you all have to do what is best for all of you. I wish you all continual healing and a great rest of this year! I still remember the art fairs where there were no lines and we got there maybe 15 mins or so before opening time. It has always been one of the best things I do during the summer and will miss you all as well as the festivities.

Portia - April 1, 2014 - 2:50 pm

I have never had the privilege of attending an art fair….but was defiantly looking forward to trying this year. As a business owner I understand the difficult dissions that need to be made. The plus side to all of this??????? More time to save more money!!!!!!! I hope to see you next year!

Amanda B - April 1, 2014 - 2:17 pm

It’s been quite the year for the MJ family; maybe some well deserved time for a rest!

natalie - April 1, 2014 - 1:22 pm

Let’s hear it for an online art fair!

The heart of it all is to bring unique clothing together with the unique girls that make them come alive!

online lets you reach even further than you could before!

Kathy Hoy - April 1, 2014 - 1:19 pm

Many things changed this year, it’s good to take a step back and heal spiritually, emotionally & physically. Come back renewed. Namaste

Denell - April 1, 2014 - 12:58 pm

Possibly by then it will be in the cards for us to come. It has always been so entertaining to watch from afar, and dream about going.

Brittany Moore - April 1, 2014 - 12:49 pm

While super disappointing for everyone, we know you made the best decision possible for everyone involved. Don’t you worry your pretty little head one bit, we all still love you and MJC. Just gives us time to save up more to spend next year 🙂

Stephanie Ervin - April 1, 2014 - 12:15 pm

Good for you! I admire you even more. It’s hard being a business owner & trying to meet expectations. You have a healthy & wise mind to do what’s right for the company. We want what’s best for our favorite company and an owner that knows what’s best! Long live Matilda Jane!

Heidi - April 1, 2014 - 12:10 pm

Wow, I’m so, so sad and disappointed. I’ve never been to a MJC Art Fair and I was planning for this year to be my first. I’m so deflated at this decision so I can only imagine how Denise and the MJC team feel. I guess I’ll have to look forward to 2015!

susie - April 1, 2014 - 12:04 pm

Denise….I know Art Fair is your heart, and I understand your decision, and how hard this year has been on all of you. It has to “feel right”, for you, and I trust that:)Your excitement and zeal for AF is what makes us all love it so much!!Happy to have the lst 3 years of great memories and looking forward to 2015!

Laurie - April 1, 2014 - 11:51 am

I am sure that this was a very difficult decision and appreciate all that your company does…planning events takes A LOT of energy and time and I agree with the above posts that you have had so much turmoil and you and your staff deserve to just have a minute to breathe!! Love you and your clothes and can’t wait till 2015!!

Christy L - April 1, 2014 - 11:50 am

Gives me more time to plan 😉

Amy Hanley - April 1, 2014 - 11:43 am

Phew! I am barely recovered from last year!!! I left Fort Wayne with a severe case of “Shopper’s Arm” (from holding tons of dresses on hangers for hours) which has healed nicely and now I have another year to build up those muscles! Thank you!

Lisa Kelly - April 1, 2014 - 11:41 am

“Best is yet to be , AF will be ”
AF will happen again ! We love every bit of Mjc year round AF is just icing in the cake 🙂
Bless ya !

Amber Renner - April 1, 2014 - 11:38 am

Xo, this will make one amazing and unforgettable Art Fair for 2015! You guys have had one heck of a year!!

Samantha G - April 1, 2014 - 11:38 am

I was looking forward to my first fair but I am now looking forward to next years art fair. I have seen past year clothing and the beauty is amazing and worth the wait. Thank you for wanting to please all those who love your designs and I can not wait to see what else you design.

Amanda Bacon - April 1, 2014 - 11:24 am

I am saddened, but ultimately you have to do what is best for you and your family! The last 2 were amazing and it will be next year as well! If you are given an entire year to plan, I know it will be fabulous! Denise, take some time for yourself for once, instead of trying to “do” for everyone else! Hugs and best wishes to everyone! We can all take our excitement for this year and turn it into excitement for 2015!!!

Danielle - April 1, 2014 - 11:23 am

I am so, so very sad. This may be the last year my daughter can fit the clothes, and the first year I was able to attend. Any chance of an online art fair? Or seeing MJC pop up at the local art fairs? Plymouth, MI anyone? 🙂

Luvmi Webber. The only one!) - April 1, 2014 - 11:19 am

I can’t wait that long;(. Lol. Thanks for trying. With everything that happen this year…. Waiting till next year only makes since any how. You have done such a great job keeping up with everything. Tytyty. Patiently waiting 440 ish days. Teehee

Nicole - April 1, 2014 - 11:17 am

“Patience is power.
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is “timing”
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.”
Fulton J. Sheen

We will all wait to see te beautiful pictures of next yeta art fair.

Susan B - April 1, 2014 - 11:16 am

I’m sure you made the best decision you could…even if yours and our hearts are let down. However….There are so many of us who can only dream of having the fun of actually being there…and hope that some sweet momma would loosen her grip on her precious cargo and share (sell) something to those of us on the sidelines. At the end of they day, isn’t it all about the beautiful clothes you all create? What about a virtual art fair? Maybe you can do it like the plat passes…sell passes for incremental time slots where only so many have passes for that time slot…when that time is up, you reload goodies and the next group of passes has access..and so on…over a 2-3 day period. Limit people’s cart value to something similar to art fair…use the plat pass ticket price as a fundraiser for Mighty Acorns. Everyone wins and so many others would have a chance to participate. Call it something else if you need to..whatever…just get us those pretties!!!

Jen F - April 1, 2014 - 11:14 am

I’m sad but maybe 2014 was supposed to be about healing and we can celebrate next year.

Kathleen - April 1, 2014 - 11:14 am

Why post this today??? If this is all true, I totally understand, everybody would. But did theses news have to come on April 1st? Months of waiting to hear anything and yesterday or tomorrow was/is not a good day to let us all know.

Jennifer Vess - April 1, 2014 - 11:14 am

While the news is sad since I was really hoping to go this year, I say, “Way to go!” Such a wonderful way to stay true to yourself. That’s so hard to do sometimes, and I have nothing but respect for you. I appreciate your wanting this up to as many people as possible and not settling for less than what you consider perfection. AWESOME release today by the way. Can’t wait for this order to arrive!

Kendra - April 1, 2014 - 11:13 am

Totally understand but was planning to attend my first AF this year with a friend. Hopefully, there will be something awesome online instead?????

Stefani - April 1, 2014 - 11:04 am

So sad… But completely understand! Gives us something to look forward to next year! You all do an amazing job! Thanks 😉

christy - April 1, 2014 - 10:55 am

I know you are all disappointed 🙁 That means more Plat though right?! 😉 🙂

Lindsey - April 1, 2014 - 10:54 am

Sounds like this was a beyond difficult decision. Anxiously waiting for 2015…

Julie C - April 1, 2014 - 10:51 am

Denise, it’s no secret that you and the gals at MJC have been through quite the year. 🙁 I am sorry to hear that Art Fair won’t happen this year but I hope that you and the girls take this time to take it easy and come back in full force in 2015.

Stacey C - April 1, 2014 - 10:51 am

If there is one thing Matilda Jane DOESN’T do, it’s disappoint! You are fabulous! And the one thing your company does over and over again is make us smile… Your hearts are so full, your passion so true… This had to be such a hard blog to post…. Thank you.

Melissa S - April 1, 2014 - 10:48 am

Well…I think an ONLINE Art Fair is in order….

Kristin - April 1, 2014 - 10:47 am

Thank you for this post. I had no idea how much these gorgeous clothes, this awesome company, my amazing MJ friends meant to me, until the tears starting streaming down my face as I read this post. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful vision, even if I have to wait another year to attend 🙂

Aimee Bowlin - April 1, 2014 - 10:43 am

There is a reason and a season for everything. I could only dream of going to an art fair and seeing it for myself, but I know 2015 will be fantabulous. 2015 will be the best one yet. Hugs.

JoEllen - April 1, 2014 - 10:35 am

This was to be my first Art Fair, and while we are all disappointed, I know it will make attending next year that much more exciting. Looking forward to my first one next year!

Tammy Barnett - April 1, 2014 - 10:31 am

I know it’s probably not but it is April 1. Many of us are hoping in the back of our minds that this is an April Fool’s joke? I just can’t bring myself to call and cancel the hotel. Or even try to call and deal with the airline to see if I can do anything about the plane ticket I purchased. No chance this is an April Fool’s joke?

Shanna S. - April 1, 2014 - 10:28 am

My birthday weekend won’t be the same, but I look forward to next year!!

Sarah L-B - April 1, 2014 - 10:25 am

You have all been through A LOT this year!!! I was actually hoping you would allow yourselves the break. You need and deserve it. Take the time to enjoy and draw strength from and give strength to each other.

Amy S - April 1, 2014 - 10:25 am

I agree with Michelle- bring on 2015!!

Andrea M - April 1, 2014 - 10:24 am

Greatness is worth waiting for 🙂

Erin Mar - April 1, 2014 - 10:23 am

I wish you had chosen to formally announce this on a day that isn’t April Fools Day, because now there is still a thread of hope that people will cling to.

Lisa Wiersma - April 1, 2014 - 10:20 am

Thank you for sharing yourself and staying true to your love for Matilda Jane.

Brittney B - April 1, 2014 - 10:20 am

I’m so sad, but I can also understand. Looking forward to 2015!!!

Michelle Gresham - April 1, 2014 - 10:17 am

No worries, Denise! You have got a lot on your plate right now; no one should have to go through what you have gone through, especially all within a year time frame. =( It looks like I will just have to meet you and your amazing crew at AF 2015 instead of this year! =) Don’t beat yourself over this decision! Now back to stalking Plat I go… =D

Rachel hess - April 1, 2014 - 10:15 am

Disappointed does not even begin to cover how I feel…. I am heartbroken.

Abby - April 1, 2014 - 10:15 am

It makes sense. Take a year, regroup, and out on the best AF ever… In 2015!!!