Jennifer Hudson sang her little heart out at the recent Art Van Furniture store grand opening party (themed the "Art of Wow") in Lombard (1021 Butterfield Road). Over 2000 guests attended this by-invite-only party that also included a meet-and-greet with Hilary Farr (HGTV host of "Love it or List It") and handsome fashion photographer/author Nigel Barker.
The Downer's Grove location is the largest of Art Van's 8 Chicagoland locations at 112,000' ft. (a former Home Depot) and every inch was covered with something fabulous. Founder and chairman Art Van Elslander spared no expense for this over-the-top affair even documenting the evening with drones flying back and forth in front of the massive floor to ceiling windows as guests waved in delight. Candles flickered among cool home accessories as waiters scurried to and fro serving delicious hors d'oeuvres.
Before Hudson's performance, CEO Kim Yost welcomed guests and introduced Mr. Van Elslander. And then the show....Jennifer looked chic in a form fitting white gown with her hair slicked back, wearing a large silver choker necklace and sky-high heels.
All of her songs were wonderful as she went from soulful to joyful, but the crowd-stopper occurred during her homage to Whitney Houston, who she was close to. Chills went up and down my spine as she performed "I Will Always Love You." (To perfection...)
Dancing followed onstage and in the audience.....it was a memorable night for Mr. Van Elslander, who loves the Chicago market and plans on building 16 stores by the end of 2016. Van Elslander founded the Michigan-based, 89-store chain in 1959.
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