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Unique Experiences At The Home + Housewares Show

Matt Hamilton, gold medal,

HomeWorld’s Greg Sleter with Olympic Gold Medalist Matt Hamilton.

The Housewares Show.

Utter that phrase to anyone who worked the annual event held recently in Chicago and it will conjure up a multitude of feelings that range from excitement in seeing new products to exhaustion after a long week at McCormick Place.

Heading out of the Lakeside Center to catch a cab to O’Hare with the HomeWorld team on what ended up being quite the snowy Tuesday afternoon, while tired I also felt rejuvenated as the many housewares suppliers and retailers I met with over the four days at the show had much to discuss.

From a journalist’s standpoint, news is good news.

While product is the centerpiece of the Home + Housewares Show, to me, it’s also about the many relationships I’ve developed over the years, and the opportunity to develop new ones.

Often times, the conversations I have with suppliers and retailers alike meander from new product to discussing family, sports, travel plans and other important aspects of our lives that fall outside the walls of the housewares business.

While each show always brings the unexpected, there were some unique moments for me this year.

During the recording of HomeWorld’s Daily Wrap video on Sunday, Joy Mangano video-bombed me to say hello. I had received a veiled threat earlier in the day from her daughter, Christie, that this would happen but was unsure if Joy’s busy schedule would give her enough time to follow through.

Well, she did.

Just prior to the show, the folks at Spectrum Brands called to gauge my interest in interviewing Matt Hamilton, who works in Spectrum’s R&D department. Matt is better known for being part of Team USA’s Gold Medal Curling team from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Was I interested? You bet!

I spoke with Matt for a few minutes about curling and air fryers. A wide-ranging interview to say the least.

These two moments, to me, sum up what the Home + Housewares Show is all about. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, suddenly the unexpected happens.