Retail and Travel & Tourism

Women's Expo arrives downtown

March 11, 2015
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West Michigan Women's Expo showcases women-owned businesses at DeVos Place
The West Michigan Women’s Expo at DeVos Place features hundreds of women owned and women-focused businesses and stage presentations. Photo via

Fashion, beauty and delicious treats are some of the finds that will be available this weekend at the West Michigan Women’s Expo.

The annual event by Kohler Expos brings more than 400 women-owned and women-focused businesses and stage presentations to DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Women’s Expo opens Friday at 10 a.m. and runs through 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Pizza line debut

This year’s event will include a visit from New York Times bestselling author and TV personality “Hungry Girl,” also known as Lisa Lillien.

She will debut her new line of guilt-free pizzas from noon to 3 p.m. on Friday. Her new line of pizzas will be available locally at Meijer.

A self-proclaimed "mad scientist" in the kitchen, Lillien dishes out guilt-free recipes, supermarket finds and guides for real-world eating situations.

She writes weekly columns on and and hosts “Hungry Girl” on the Food Network and Cooking Channel.

“We’re delighted to welcome ‘Hungry Girl’ to this year’s Expo,” said Denise Kolesar, owner, Kohler Expos. “She enjoys a tremendous fan following.”

Exhibits and speakers

Another recent addition is Roy Hayes Studio, a British footwear designer who will bring his collections of stylish shoes to expo.

“The Wall Wizard,” Brian Santos, who is a bestselling author and decorative artist, whose clients have included Clint Eastwood, Joe Montana and George Lucas, will present “The Wizard’s Workshop.” Santos will take the stage daily with painting and wallpaper tips, green advice and guidance on how to use paint, faux finishes and wall coverings that add a “high quality, fresh new look to your home.”

Pinning on Pinterest will be discussed during the seminar “Something Pinteresting is Going On.”

Full Circle Design Studio will be offering ideas on how to give new life to old treasures. The local paint studio uses CeCe Caldwell Paints, which is a line of hand poured, American made eco-friendly paints, stains and finishes.

The Great Lakes Author Expo will feature more than 24 independent authors representing 63 books. Authors will be on hand to promote literacy and discuss their books and writing in general, from urban fantasy and the supernatural to mysteries, business and more. Author appearances and book signings will include authors Tom Rademacher, Charles Honey, Amy Henrickson, Joe Koenig, Susan Maciak and Tricia McDonald throughout the show.

Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort is bringing the casino experience to the expo, which will include giveaways.

Los Angeles celebrity stylist Michael O’Rourke, who is on a national tour, is making a stop in Grand Rapids for the expo. The mind behind the Big Sexy Hair brand of products, O’Rourke is in town to introduce his latest product line, Rock Your Hair. He will also show off styling ideas and demonstrations at the expo.

This year, Meijer returns with its Healthy Living Area and Cooking Stage. Meijer corporate dietitian Shari Steinbach will be among the speakers sharing recipes, easy meals for families and other cooking ideas and tips.

Art lovers can view “The Scarlet Cord” art installation by Grand Rapids artist Pamela Alderman, which was a 2014 Art Prize entry and most recently on display in Phoenix during Super Bowl XLIX to raise awareness for child sex-trafficking victims. The installation calls for understanding the complex issues that lead to trafficking, as well as compassionate action to end the practice. The artist will be at the expo to meet and talk with attendees.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to create their own works of art, thanks to Wine and Canvas Painting, which is providing interactive painting classes and sessions.

Event details

The West Michigan Women’s Expo is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday.

Advance tickets are $8 each and available at all area Meijer stores.

Admission at the door is $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 6 to 14.

Parking is available for a charge and is located under DeVos Place off its Michigan Street entrance.

Additionally, the DASH bus will offer transportation to DeVos Place all three days. 

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