There aren’t too many things in the world better (in my opinion) than to give someone a tour of the city that you love. I had that wonderful opportunity to do that this week when there was a Graphic Artist Conference at the Hyatt Regency. Let me give you a little background.
5 years ago, I needed business cards made for my boyfriend. He is a Union Electrician, and I am sure you all remember 5 years ago the construction business was barely holding on. So, to make ends meet, he thought he would try to get some business going for himself and I offered to get him some business cards made. Since I am a design person, I knew what I wanted them to look like, but I wanted a Professional to design them. I got on the internet and started looking for a printing company, and low and behold I found one called “Printing for Less”. The Designer I talked to was wonderful and I ordered a thousand of them, had her design them, and print them on both card stock and magnetic stock and it was all good! I was happy, he was happy and when he hands them out, customers love them.
2 years ago, one of my best friends needed business cards. He had been looking online, and I told him about this wonderful company from Montana. I explained to him that they were wondeful to work with, and that I talked to a Designer, but couldn’t remember her name. It was different, but I just couldn’t place it… but that was okay, he should just call and have them design his cards and that he would be happy. So he called up Printing for Less and talked to a Designer, and pretty soon, they were sending JPEG files back and forth and coming up with a unique concept for his business cards. He was very happy with them. I looked at them, and they were gorgeous, with the same high gloss card stock as I had used. I asked who his Designer was, and he said Sloane. I laughed and told “That was her name!” I had no way of remembering her name, but when he said it, I remembered immediately that was who I spoke with when I ordered business cards back in 2010.
I have been a Matchmaker for over 20 years, but it has been on a completely amateur basis. When I was in High School, I would match people up for dances, and find people for some of my friends to go to Prom with, because I loved to do that. In the 1990’s I started matching up European men with American woman with a small business called International Affairs and through out the years I have thought of many ideas to do with my Matchmaker business. I have thought here and there, and after each success and marriage, people have always told me that I need to it for a living. I have always just brushed it off. I work as a Polysomnographer in several different Hospitals here in the city, and I am happy. Even though I went to school for Film, I also studied Psychology, and every time I would think of something unique to do with my Matchmaker business, I would get scared and decide not to pursue it.
Well, this year, I decided that it was going to be different. I started working very long hours on my Matchmaker business, and I started putting together a name and a Production company, and without a doubt, I decided on December 31st, 2014 that 2015 was going to be the Year of the Matchmaker! Yep, I took a big gulp of champagne, gave my awesome boyfriend a big kiss and decided that this was going to be the year that I did everything that I could to make my dream of being a Matchmaker a reality. I already have a proven track record, I have couples that have gotten married, and the part that I am most proud of is that I have ZERO divorces! So as we sang “May old acquaintance be forgot” I was thinking that I needed to call Printing for Less get some business cards!
I called Sloane and told her who I was, and that I had referred my friend Cory to her a few years ago. She remembered him, but couldn’t remember doing my boyfriend’s business cards previously. That was okay, I didn’t really care, I just wanted to see if she could make a logo that I liked and get me set up with some business cards. We worked together, and it was our turn to send JPEG files back and forth. After 2 weeks, we came up with a logo that I am in love with. I love the logo for my business. It represents me and what I do perfectly and I couldn’t be happier.
Sloane mentioned in January that she would be coming to Chicago for a Graphic Artist Conference. I told her that was really neat and that she should definitely try our deep dish pizza. I had only talked to her a few times, so it didn’t even occur to me that I could meet her. That would have seemed odd, since I had only talked to her a few times in 5 years, but I was happy to tell her some great places to go while she was here.
A few months passed, and it was March, and I found myself calling Sloane again, and working with her. I asked her if she knew of a Web Designer, and she had someone in mind that would be wonderful, and so then our circle grew. I found myself over the next few months talking to her more and more often, and so when it came time for her to come to Chicago, I made sure that she knew this Chicago Girl was going to be her Tour Guide even if it was just for a day! I was really excited to meet someone that I had a many conversations with, but had never met. I will say though, it did seem like we were friends, and I was really looking forward to it! I called my friend Cory and he wanted to meet her too, so we found last Wednesday to be the perfect time and we made it a date!
Sloane had her friend that she has known her whole life fly in from Pennsylvania to spend some time exploring the city together, and she asked if I minded if she brought her with. I was excited to meet her as well, and so Cory and I were introduced to Carol right outside of the Hyatt Regency on Wacker. Do you remember how beautiful and perfect the weather was last week? It was amazing and I explained to Sloane what a rare occasion that was. We were on our way to the restaurant and I was explaining the wonderful phenomenon that happens in Chicago when we get our first taste of Spring after a long hard and grueling winter. I explained to her that we are actually nice. She said she thought it was kind of funny that everyone was so nice here, and I said, “Well, we’re nicer than most people from New York, but you are seeing Chicagoans being extra nice because the weather is so beautiful and we are all so happy.” I explained to her about “dibs” and how we as a people can get a little aggressive if certain things don’t go our way when it’s freezing cold outside. We laughed, and just enjoyed the warm breeze while we made our way to the restaurant.
We talked over dinner, and for a brief moment, I forgot that we weren’t old friends. I forgot that I hadn’t met her until that night. I forgot that 5 years ago, I couldn’t remember her name and that this meeting would have taken place if it were not for a multitude of tiny events that brought her here. She came to our city, and I was so proud that the weather was perfect, that the sky was clear and that we could see our stunning metroplis before us. Chicago is breathtaking, and I got to see it anew again through someone elses eyes.
And that’s why I love giving a tour of Chicago. It’s not that I don’t know that State and Madison is the center. It’s not that I don’t know about the Marshal Field clocks or the history of the Wrigley Building. It’s not that I haven’t been to the John Hancock Building more than once. It’s that when you show someone Chicago who has never seen it before, they show you things you’ve never seen before and you get an entirely new perspective. I was explaining where this was or that was, what movie was filmed here or what movie was filmed there, and Sloane and Carol were showing me things that I never saw before. It was incredible, and it was exciting!
So, my name is Amy and I’ll be your Chicago Tour Guide! I will be happy to give you some insight and perspective to our great City! It’s a brand new place when you see it through someone’s eyes, and they show you a view from the Signature Room that you never saw before. I could hear “Sweet Home Chicago” playing and I knew without a doubt that I was home. I hadn’t felt that way in a long time, and it took someone from Montana to show it to me…
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