Meet McHugh

Today’s Feature
Stephanie McHugh

Where did you grow up?
Born in Dallas, TX but grew up in Rockford, IL.
How many years have you been in the industry?  
 Officially with the company for about 4 years, but I helped my mom out a year or
so before that and also worked several markets as well.
Amy Matheny, Joseph Galza, Stephanie McHugh, Pam Wieland, steph’s mom
Favorite past time / hobbies? 
Aside from planning my wedding this year?  I love working in the yard, baking and curling up
 on the couch reading.  I also love to sew and get so inspired in all my shops, but by the time I get home,
I’m exhausted and don’t want to look at fabric!
Tell a funny story about being on the road… 
There are too many to count, but I guess a story that is “safe” to tell is regarding my tendency to forget items in my hotel room.  2 1/2 years ago, I was working an overnight week in Western WI.  I had worked from 7 in the morning and was finally pulling into the next hotel parking lot around 9 pm that night.  I get all my stuff out of the car and go to check in, but my wallet was no where to be found!  I dumped my entire suitcase in front of the check-in desk oblivious to any other customer that may not want to see my un-mentionables.  The car was emptied as well.  Still no sign of it.  I took a chance and called the hotel I stayed at the night before (which was now 3 hours away) and yes, they had it and were wondering when I was going to call.  I still can’t believe they didn’t call me, but that’s another rant.  I was out of gas at this point and the very kind front desk clerk offered me a $20 loan and I was on my way to drive 3 hours to get my wallet.  It was a freezing, snowy winter February night and I was exhausted.  I needed somebody to talk to so I would stay awake.  I had just re-connected with a friend from college named Tom and thought I’d give him a call.  He lived in Miami at the time so it was an hour later, but he stayed on the phone with me the entire ride there and part of the ride back.  Even enduring my many call backs since the calls kept getting dropped in the Wisconsin “dead zones”.  During that time, he asked me to be his date to his company trip in Jamaica, which of course I said yes considering my night.  The rest is history.  We started dating on that trip to Jamaica, I convinced him to leave sunny Miami for Chicago and all the winter glory it provides, and we are getting married this December!  That night, I finally pulled back into the hotel around 3 am and had to start my day at 8.  Needless to say I was exhausted and promised myself I’d never do that again…or would I since I got the man of my dreams because of it 🙂  So I guess it’s not a funny story, but still a good one.
What did you want to be when you were 12 years old?  
 A back up dancer for Janet Jackson or a photographer
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Growing up, my mom had a business making clothing, appliqued sweatshirts, quilted jackets etc and had her “studio” in the basement.  She was always down there so if we ever wanted to talk, we would sit on the stairs and talk loudly over the sewing machine.  I still love the hum of a sewing machine.  I find it relaxing and it always reminds me of sitting on the stairs talking with mom.  It’s a perk of my job to be able to be reminded every day of those talks.
Tell us about another job you had… 
 I bar tended kitty-corner from Wrigley Field for many years.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  I not only got to see my beloved Cubbies play all the time, but I felt like I was right in the center of the action of Chicago summers.  It’s an understatement to say my current job was an initial shock to the system.  I was used to going to work at 9 pm and getting home around 4 or 5 am.  Now I go to bed at 9 pm and get up at 5 am!  However, I love that I had my 20’s to “play”.  I wouldn’t change that for the world.  I’m a lucky girl that I love my job so much now.  It’s fun when my shops ask what I did before selling them fabric.  The look on their faces when I say I danced on a bar and poured shots in Cubs fans mouths is priceless:) The same look is on my former bartender friends faces when I tell them I now drive all over IL and WI to small quilt shops and sell fabric.
Tell us about your beloved?  
Since I’m getting married this year, I guess it’s appropriate to talk about the groom.  We met 14 years ago when I was a freshman in college.  His childhood friend Keri was on the college dance-line with me and became my good friend as well (she’s a bridesmaid and ended up marrying Tom’s cousin!).  She took me to her hometown one weekend and Tom was there.  His brother went to my college (WIU) so he was visiting quite frequently even though he went to another college (SIU and then Iowa).  He started asking me out on dates right away and I was absolutely having none of it.  I turned him down for years.  To this day, I’m not exactly sure why.  Maybe my conscious knew it wasn’t the right time.  We both probably needed our 20’s to ourselves.  He is in the Army and traveled pretty extensively in his 20’s living in Barbados and in Tampa and Miami, FL.  He also frequently travelled to South America and the Caribbean (cushy Army job, I know).  When he moved to Chicago, he transferred to the National Guard.  He’s been in service for 16 years and is deploying to Afghanistan July 2012.  We, believe it or not, are a great match.  It just took me a “few” years to realize it.  We both are morning people, both have a LOVE for travel, and we love to explore restaurants.  Together we’ve been to Jamaica, Hawaii, Spain, France, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Florida, and Arizona.  Our relationship is easy and natural and he makes me so unbelievably happy.  I can’t wait for our wedding this December and to spend the rest of my life with him.
How would you describe your job to a 5 year old? 
 I get to drive around and chit chat with ladies all day while looking at pretty, pretty fabrics.
Name 5 things on your bucket list… 
 Travel the world-(this whole bucket list could be places I want to go), Write a book, Skydive, Own a lake/beach house, Become a Mommy
Tell us something about you that most people don’t know… 
 I was going to be an actress.  I had the head shots, the agent, the manager, TV pilot auditions all lined up, and the beach apartment rented on Hermosa Beach near Los Angeles.  Two days before I was leaving I got a call from my mom telling me her cancer was back.  I cancelled everything and stayed in Chicago.  I never auditioned again.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me, but I have to admit, every once in awhile I wonder what could have been…
Name three things you never leave home without… 
 My I-pod so I can listen to my books on tape in the car, lip gloss and gum. 
My passion is…
I’ve always been called Suzy Homemaker by my friends.  I love to “nest”.  While I did have my crazy nights on the town (I still do, but they are far less frequent especially since the mornings after are getting more and more painful), I am perfectly content staying home baking, crock-potting, decorating the house, working in the yard, gardening, sewing etc.  When “Snowmegeddon” hit Chicago this past February and I was literally stranded in my house for an entire week, I thought it was fantastic!  Tom was getting a serious case of cabin fever while my only complaint was I was out of flour and couldn’t bake everything I wanted to.  It’s funny, I live in Chicago which is a major shopping hub to the rest of the world, but my problem is not expensive purses, shoes and clothes like most of my friends.  I spend most of my money at the grocery store, Home Depot and Target!
My motto is… 
 Everything happens for a reason.  There are many things I didn’t plan and would have initially wanted to do differently, but if I’m just patient, it all works out okay. 
You just drove your car through the garage door. What would you say to your spouse / significant other, to convince them that this is good news? 
I have beer and pizza is on the way.
Me & my: senior prom / wedding / bad hair cut / proud moment –
with trophy / school photo, etc.  
 I was such a dork growing up.  I had horrible vision which forced some pretty unbelievably awful glasses.  My hair was unruly and my grandma was always taking me to the next best place to get your hair done, I was pale as pale could be and I was wearing homemade clothing when it definitely was not cool to do so.  Meanwhile, my sister who is only 16 months younger, had no glasses and long beautiful blond hair that was never cut and my brother was a cute blond, no glasses wearing boy.  I don’t know why my family only “picked” on me, but man I stuck out in family pictures.  Attached was the picture I hated the most.  I’m showing it here since I’m sure my family is going to be doing something publicly embarrassing with it on my wedding.  This way I’m beating them to the punch 🙂
What fashion trend do you wish would come back in style & why?
  Big 80’s style hair.  Why you ask?  Have you seen my hair? 
 It would have been perfect!
(see above picture-remember she was born in Texas)
If you were not a sales rep, what else would you do?  
 I honestly have no idea.  Aside from acting, there is nothing else I ever really wanted to do.  In college, I wish they would have let me explore different classes a little bit more, but they made me declare a major first semester my freshman year.  I never would have guessed I would have a job selling fabric.  Not only that, I never would have imagined I would love my job so much.  I see people my age who are still struggling with their career and going through the motions to get through the week, and while I have plenty of times when I’m ready for the weekend to come, I can truly say I love my job more often than not.  Like they say, you always become your mother and “Everything happens for a reason”.
I collect… 
Shot glasses from every place I’ve ever been.  Ironically, this started as a child.  Whose idea it was to allow this I will never know.  It must have been an affordable souvenir.  What’s neat is my future hubby Tom did the same thing so we have plenty of shot glasses around our house for equally adventurous guests at our parties.
If gas mileage & space for samples, were
not a requirement, I’d be driving…
 A red VW Cabrio convertible or my little silver scooter that now just sits in the garage
If you choose a career as a XXX movie star & need a stage name, they say; use the name of your first pet & the street you lived on – what would yours be?
Fluffy Ellis

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7 thoughts on “Meet McHugh

  1. Thanks for a fun read (and laugh), sorry, but that grade school picture made me LOL.
    I always look forward to your visits, not only because of the beautiful fabric, but because I enjoy our talks!!

  2. Sure miss seeing you and/or your Mom coming through the door at Calico, Canvas and Colors. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! Linda

  3. Your hair is Lovely! All of us whose hair won’t cooperate wish ours could look like yours! I enjoyed meeting you Spring 2010, and I hope your wedding goes perfectly. Many thanks to your fiance for his service!

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