For the ninth straight year, the Dearborn Women’s Expo will be returning tomorrow to the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave. (at Greenfield Road).
The 108 exhibitors at this year’s 10 a.m.-5 p.m. show will display a range of products including auto, cooking, fashion, travel, finance, health, home, jewelry, food, bridal, spa, accessories, fitness and other products.
“There’s a lot going on,” said Julie Sullivan, owner of JMS Productions, which promotes the expo. “I’ve changed it so it’s like a ‘fun-day Sunday’, there’s 108 exhibitors, and they run the gamut from home improvement to fashion pampering, all kinds of retail therapy.
“Women like to shop, so the new buzz word is retail therapy. So instead of a woman saying I’m going to the mall to shop, she’s going for her retail therapy. So she can shop for clothes, she can shop for home furnishings, I know we have M.H.I. Interiors there and Everdry Waterproofing (does waterproofing for basements), so we can provide even home-improvement type things, finance (and) salons will be there, so there’s just a lot going on, lots of retail therapy,” Sullivan said.
There will also be activities taking place on stage during the expo. From 10 a.m.-noon, the Sweet Adelines will be performing, while Soft Rock 105.1 FM sets up at its booth a lottery machine, in which expo attendees can spend some minutes and catch as many Michigan scratch-off lottery tickets as they can.
At noon, Zumba will be conducting fitness session of “all kinds of fun exercise for all different exercise levels,” according to Sullivan. At 1 p.m., One Stop Wedding Shop will be putting on a bridal prom show.
“That’s always very popular,” she said. “We have standing-room only, and the gowns are gorgeous, and they do a very nice job.”
The Clever Container will be coming on stage at 2 p.m. Since this will be that company’s first appearance at the expo, Sullivan has not seen their demonstration, but she knows it will show people how to get organized, whether drawers, closets, offices, “anything to get organized.
“Everything’s happening in the dome,” Sullivan said. “Studio A used to have all the stage stuff, but it pulled people away from the dome, and exhibitors couldn’t take advantage.
“We did that the past two years, so for the first six years, everything was in the dome, there was a lot of energy, and people fed off that energy, fun and excitement. When we pulled that out, we kind of lost that from the dome, so this year we’ve put everything back in,” Sullivan said.
Other activities in the Hubbard Ballroom this year will include a silent auction, 50-50 raffle, and duck pond. For $5, people can pick a duck for prizes. The 50-50 raffles will be conducted three times for prizes, with half the money going to the winner, and half going to the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.
For the silent auction, the donated prizes include a hotel overnight stay, a paddle boat ride from Frankenmuth Water Wheels, tickets to the zoo, autographed football from the Detroit Lions, a hockey puck autographed by Red Wing Niklas Kronwall. Exhibitors have also contributed items from their product lines, such as massage tickets, oil change from LaFontaine, toy baskets and different types of gift baskets for “pampering.”
All proceeds from the sales of this wide variety of auction items, the $3 admission at the door, duck pond, and exhibitor’s booth fees will go toward the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. Sullivan said that the show originated from her niece being diagnosed with leukemia at age 16 and died in December 2002.
“We were looking for something that would be fun to do for the area, for women, and to put the twist on it for raising money for Children’s Leukemia Foundation, because they had helped us so much when she was going through the treatment and everything,” Sullivan said. “So there’s a way for us to give back.”
Among the area merchants and organizations which are participating in this year’s March 4 show as exhibitors are Sophia’s Giftique on Mason Street in west downtown Dearborn, Rugenski Chiropractic (across from the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center on Michigan Avenue), Z-Coil, Aplomb Salon, Milan’s on Monroe, The Massage Room on Monroe Street (performing massages at the show), and Akler Eye Center (at Monroe Street and Outer Drive). Diamond sponsors Henry Ford Community College and LaFontaine will have booths at the show as well, and Henry Ford Health Systems at Fairlane will be performing health screenings during the event.
“We have a lot of food people, which is always fun, especially since the restaurant is closed at the center now,” Sullivan said. “Women like to snack while they’re doing some retail therapy, get some pampering, have some sweets and chocolate and stuff like that, so that will be fun.”
These food vendors’ offerings include cake pops (cakes that are like lollipops), a nut company’s cinnamon nuts, B.C. Sweets, Champagne Chocolates, and Lindt’s chocolates. Sullivan said that the expo is already booked for 2013, and future exhibitors can reserve their booths for that March 3 show now.
For further information on the Dearborn Women’s Expo, go to www.showforwomen.com.