The Good Ones Blog » Blog

The little things

Let me start with a thank you. Thank you for your messages, comments, and kind words. I can feel them lifting my spirit ever so gently, and hopefully David and the the boys are feeling it too.

I’ve read that these things get easier and I’ve also read the opposite. Generally I’m an optimist so I’m going to hope for the first one. But what does “it gets easier” even mean? That I won’t miss her laugh? That I won’t miss her affectionate push on my shoulder when she thinks I’m being an immature clown? Does it mean I will forget her smile or her voice? As much as I want to be positive even the “getting easier” part sounds insanely hard and just terribly unfair. I don’t want to stop thinking about her. I don’t want to stop hearing her voice. I don’t want this world without Denise in it.

As I come to terms with…whatever coming to terms means.. I’m asking myself (begging myself) to remember the little things. There are big things that I’ll never forget, but I worry I’ll forget inside jokes and car rides. We did so much of our talking in cars. Driving to and from Michigan, or to McDonald’s, or to go pick up her one true puppy love, Franklin, from Wisconsin. I want to remember she gave me my first real raise in her car. I want to remember how many times she complimented the lady at the window of the drive thru. These are the little things I’m worried will slip through the cracks of this awful mess in the end.

So today I ask you to think of the little things just like the big moments. Don’t underestimate your first handshake with someone that could be your best friend someday. Hold onto the small jokes that hardly make sense at the time, let alone now. And while trying to keep all these tiny memory bubbles in your brain, share them with those you love or those you just met. Denise built so much of her life, companies, and story on relationships. The human connection was at the core of everything she touched. Don’t be afraid to share yourself, your heart, and your stories with others. It’s scary but…it’s human. And being human is all we’ve got.

I’m trying to keep up with the writing. Cross your fingers that “I’ve got this.”



July 8, 2015 - 11:23 am

Lindsay - You said it just lovely!

July 8, 2015 - 11:31 am

Brenen (Payton Jo) - Your spirit is contagious Sam, please continue to share it with us. Keep inspiring, keep shining, and keep SMILING. I don’t know about the ‘getting easier’ thing either. It gets different, and different feels better. I encourage you to write about the little things just as you did here, those are the things that are so important to remember.
Hugs to you and the team

July 8, 2015 - 11:41 am

Kristin - When my sister in law and nephew passed away, I had many of the thoughts you are having now. I was so worried I would forget how Jett pronounced my name, or how he used to run around my house saying “popcorn, peanuts, cracker jacks…COLD BEER” after we took him to his first baseball game. I pulled out a legal note pad and wrote down every minuscule little memory. I can still pull that list out when I need to. There are still new memories that pop into my head. It doesn’t necessarily get easier (I always hate that phrase because I feel like that means I need to block those memories out or think about them less) it just becomes different. Something inside of you changes…not a bad or good change…just a change. Keep writing it will help. ((Hugs))

July 8, 2015 - 11:45 am

Rose Kadri - I can absolutely see how much Denise has had an influence on you and your view of life. So you see, you are already sharing her lessons and stories with the world, and that in itself will keep her legacy and name in the hearts and minds of people. Time does heal heartbreak and loss, but it doesn’t mean it will make us forget. Hugs from Canada

July 8, 2015 - 11:46 am

Katie Driscoll - Sam- just love to hear your voice through your writing. Denise said you were good with words and she was right. Keep writing, keep dreaming and keep remembering. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for The Good Ones and for you! Ox. Katie

July 8, 2015 - 11:48 am

Tiffany B - I needed to read this. I have a hard time sharing myself. So afraid of doing something wrong. But the best people I know are the ones that are real. Not perfect. I don’t know why I struggle with this, but good to have a reminder today. You, Denise, and MJC have always been so kind to my family and I. Don’t worry how you make people feel will never get lost. It’s ik everything. Peace and love to you.

July 8, 2015 - 11:49 am

Lois Owen - Yes, Sam, “you’ve got it” Love, Hugs……

July 8, 2015 - 11:50 am

Stacey C - Thank you for sharing such beautiful words Sam…. You’ve got this….

July 8, 2015 - 11:53 am

Kelli - Oh, Sam. I wish I had wise words to offer you. If it does get easier, it won’t be because you’ve forgotten those memories. By writing these posts, you’re ensuring that. Love and hugs for you!

July 8, 2015 - 12:21 pm

Lisa - Amazing and wonderful advice. You do got this. And if you don’t there are tons of us to turn to. Keep writing. We want to read it.

July 8, 2015 - 1:35 pm

Patricia - Losing a love one is the most terrible pain there is. Imo the pain never goes away, it’s always there, you just learn how to live with it. Part of your heart is missing and it will never be replaced. In my case I don’t want that pain to be gone, I don’t want to forget the love, joy and comfort I once had. That’s the way they live forever, remembering their laughter, finishing their goals, spreading their love. I pray for comfort for Denise’s many friends and family. She will always be with each and everyone of you. God Bless!!!

July 8, 2015 - 1:50 pm

Michelle Huesgen - I love you. I love her. I love you both.

July 8, 2015 - 2:25 pm

Wendy - You won’t forget any of it. The easier part of this just means you won’t cry every time you think of her. You’ll cry, but you’ll smile more because those memories are yours forever. And you, like Denise, will keep on teaching people to appreciate everything and everyone. I hope all of us who have been touched by her will do the same. What a legacy that will be. <3

July 8, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Jenni - This is perfect. And yes, keep writing!

July 8, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Holly V - As time goes by, our memories do fade… write everything down…everything. Someday, you will be happy you did. On the super hard days, even years from now, you can read thru them and all those things will come alive again. Her voice, her face, her laugh and yes, you will cry but maybe, just maybe they will be happy tears. xo

July 8, 2015 - 3:11 pm

Daphne - We ALL KNOW “you’ve got this”!

July 8, 2015 - 4:38 pm

Nicol - You got this and you may never, ever in your whole life be ok with Death of anyone or anything. talking, sharing and working through all your inner emotions will help lighten the sadness. I feel like sadness never ends when a special person leaves you but I will keep sending love and prayers to everyone that was close to this amazing artist and humanitarian.

July 8, 2015 - 11:34 pm

Brittney Bell - I truly believe you’ve got this. Be patient with yourself. Don’t give yourself a timeline for what everyone else in the world thinks as “normal,” for letting go or saying goodbye. You are a spark in this world that Denise saw, and she held her hands around you to allow the welcome of fire within. She was your counterpart. I can’t even imagine the hurt in your heart that you’re feeling. No one can understand, we can only try. We can only hope to lift you with a fraction of what Denise could do, but with hundreds and hundreds of hearts combining to lift you, we might be able to do a fraction of what she could. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose the little things. She will be proud of you for all of your life, no matter what you do. Keep following your heart. Peaks and valleys. Just believe. It isn’t going to get easier, it might even get harder, but I truly truly truly truly believe that you’ve got this.

Timelines and tears

Blogging has been on mind. Amongst many other things these days…

2 weeks ago today the unimagineable happened. Denise DeMarchis passed away.  And the world broke, along with my heart and so many others.

It was 9:30am when I stopped at Denise’s house to pick up the movie “The Count of Monticristo.” I packed up a DVD player from my house to surprise her at the hospital with a movie, make up, and nail painting day.

It was 9:45am when I was asked to hold off on visiting her just yet.

It was 10:10 when I asked Matt and Olivia to meet me at 433. I told them I had a horrible feeling and needed a hug.

And it was 11:20am when David called me with the news.

The timeline of these events keep going through my brain. How a little over 2 weeks ago, on Saturday, Kayla and I went together to see her for the last time. I think about how I didn’t see her Sunday or Monday. How I knew she would have so many guests and I didn’t think a little space would be a big deal. I knew Tuesday would be our day. We would see each other and we’d melt into the bubble of Denise and Sam, our very own little world.

But it was a big deal and I’ll never have that little world again.

I didn’t see it coming. No one did. Her heart beat so strong for so many years and on Tuesday, two weeks ago, it stopped.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I needed to start somewhere. I needed to start sharing and speaking up or else I’d be silent forever. I need to be stronger than I am. I need her to know I’m not giving up even if I really, really want to. I need to keep her dreams, OUR DREAMS, alive.

I’ll have more to say soon. More about Denise. More about The Good Ones. And more about getting married the same week I lost my mentor and best friend.
Until then, please keep Denise’s family in your thoughts. Send them all the positivity and love you can muster.



July 7, 2015 - 5:08 pm

Betsy - No words, other than just yes, keep sharing. Keep telling your story…her story. Peace, peace, peace to all of you.

Been watching from afar, thinking of you guys and wishing I could make it all go back to normal for everybody.

Much love,


July 7, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Emily C - Thinking of you all and sending lots of love, Sam.

July 7, 2015 - 5:16 pm

Lisa Kelly - Dearest Sam , loved forever by your amazing sister forever BFF & mentor , Denise !!
So blessed ….
We all love you ! Anyway we can help please shout out !!
Praying always

July 7, 2015 - 5:20 pm

Julia - Sending you all lots of prayers and love.

July 7, 2015 - 5:21 pm

Katie Jo - Thinking and praying for you Sam. The love that Denise had for you showed in every photo of you two together. You were an amazing friend to her too. She loved you so much <3 Hang in there! Hugs!

July 7, 2015 - 5:25 pm

Kristin - Bless your heart Sam. It’s hard when your world stops spinning and you see everyone else still turning. You are in my thoughts.

July 7, 2015 - 5:42 pm

Renae - oh beautiful we are sending you guys every bit of Love that we have. It’s such a sad reality and breaks my heart for so many and in so many ways. Know that Emilia and I love you all so very much. This fabulous woman connected all of us in this wonderful life that she created for us just by being in it. Xoxoxo Renae and Emilia.

July 7, 2015 - 5:47 pm

Nancy H. - Sending lots of positive thoughts and hugs to you and everyone effected by this great loss.

July 7, 2015 - 5:58 pm
Mama Hope -
July 7, 2015 - 6:17 pm

JenF - Hugs.

July 7, 2015 - 6:28 pm

susie - Sam….I think of all of you everyday. I can’t imagine how sad you must feel. I ran across one of Denise’s emails last week, and I’m so glad I saved it. She always started my emails with “hey you”:) It was right before AF 2013, and she was so excited for me to see the MA bag that she designed for the dinner guests. It doesn’t seem real to me either, that she is really gone:( I am praying for you and David and the boys everyday.

July 7, 2015 - 6:43 pm

Dana S. - Hugs from afar and virtual love to all her family

July 7, 2015 - 6:50 pm

Rose - Oh Sam. It is OK to cry, be upset, and to express every feeling you have. Every feeling matters and should be acknowledged. I have a feeling that Denise loved and cherished you, and every moment you spent together. She was a friend and mentor, and now she is a guardian angel watching over you and her loved ones. I have no doubt that you will continue to make her proud. Every step of the way, you will make her proud. (Hugs)

July 7, 2015 - 7:05 pm

MES - You are strong! So incredibly strong! Thank you for sharing your thoughts of these tender and most difficult moments. You have our support in helping keep alive the vision that you & Denise had for TGO! Sending lots of love to you, Denise’s family and the TGO family. xoxo

July 7, 2015 - 7:08 pm

lisa moline - It is so good to “hear” your voice again, Sam. Thank you for sharing. You are loved beyond words.

July 7, 2015 - 7:16 pm

Jennifer - Many prayers for Denise’s family but many or prayers for you, too. This made my heart ache more for you all. She was an inspiring woman.

July 7, 2015 - 7:31 pm

Ingrid - Oh Sam I love you my heart is broken too. Thank you for writing

July 7, 2015 - 8:57 pm

Ati K - I’m so sorry.

July 7, 2015 - 9:13 pm

Shari - Thanks for sharing Sam – LOVE ((hugs))

July 7, 2015 - 10:05 pm

Carrie - much love to you!

July 7, 2015 - 10:18 pm

Michelle - Keep sharing as she should be celebrated! What was the best you ever had with Denise? The one that makes you smile and warms your heart?

July 7, 2015 - 10:24 pm

Wendy - You can do it. She knew you would. Keep sharing, let it out, heal and grow. You are loved by many and definitely have been on my mind during these sad days. Thank you for posting.

July 7, 2015 - 10:34 pm

Michelle - My heart aches for your loss! Cherish the memories you have and keep them close! Sending you strength as you continue your journey ♡

July 7, 2015 - 10:46 pm

Carli - Sam, you are stronger than you know. One day you’ll look back and see it. XOXO

July 7, 2015 - 10:49 pm

Hi Melissa - I love you Sam
You are constantly on my mind. You are going to continue to do great things! I can’t wait to see them. Thanks for being aw3sam ;)

July 7, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Candice - :( Sending love…

July 7, 2015 - 11:27 pm

Holly V - Sam, sending you hugs and praying you find whatever it is that will get you through this …just know that she will live on you <3

July 7, 2015 - 11:42 pm

Steph - Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings! So many people are grieving for Denise. What a huge void she has left in so many hearts! It’s ok to fall apart. Stay true to yourself. Prayers to all of you, her 3 boys and family!

July 7, 2015 - 11:52 pm

Stephanie McCormick - They say time heals… but I sadly disagree. I DO think time makes it a little easier…maybe we get more acclimated to the changes…so we can talk about more…who knows. But Denise was such a precious gift to everyone, and an especially cherished gem for those close to her. It’s going to be so very hard to get through this without leaning on each other, and drawing on the strength of the masses who loved and will always love her.
Sam, I can only imagine how this must be for you as close as you girls were, PLEASE KEEP WRITING! Anything at all… it helps you, and we love to read it. Keeping you, her family and all of those who were near and dear lifted in prayer!

July 8, 2015 - 8:40 am

Megan - This warmed my heart to read. The love around you all is incredible. Lets keep dreaming! XoXOoXoOX Lots & Lots of love!!

July 8, 2015 - 10:38 am

Janette Puskar - I just want to give you a big hug!

July 8, 2015 - 11:34 am

natalie - you have an army of people willing to listen anytime you need it. people who support you when you can’t be strong and cheer you on when you get back up.

so many people who haven’t meet you, Denise or her family in person yet LOVE you all the same.

close your eyes and feel the love coming from all of us as you mourn the love you miss.

July 8, 2015 - 11:53 am

Lois - Keep on thinking of “Penny Lane”, of that smile, of the love.

July 8, 2015 - 1:25 pm

Andrea - Sam,
I know what you are going through, my mom and my Best Friend, passed away 5 days before Denise’ passing. It is hard every day! I sure cherish all the memories that I had with my mom as you will with Denise. You live one day at a time and keep her legacy alive!

July 8, 2015 - 1:44 pm

amy - So sorry! Sending some {{{hugs}}} your way!

July 8, 2015 - 4:30 pm

Lisa Doan - I have been thinking of all of you. I sent you some pictures via e-mail last night. Let me know if you did not receive them. I will send them again. Sending you love and hugs!!!

July 8, 2015 - 7:17 pm

denise - Hi Lisa! I received the photos and immediately sent a few to David. They are so beautiful. Thank you so much.

July 8, 2015 - 10:04 pm

Amy - Thank you for sharing your heart. Hers will continue to live on through yours and so many others who she touched. I never met her in person…but I miss her too.

Be Courageous

Celebrating Denise’s birthday, we’re releasing one of her favorites from our forthcoming Fall 2015 collection—the Be Courageous tee.

This shirt was designed by Denise and Sam, Emma, Matt and Olivia. Matt wrote the words and, as he revealed at Denise’s funeral reception on Friday, it was written about Denise, like pretty much all copy and words we wrote for The Good Ones and Matilda Jane over the years—Denise, who “lit fireworks in our souls,” who “smiles with pride, acts with heart and lives with soul,” who “is here to shine,” who owned that “the best lesson ever is that it’s perfectly great when we’re proud to be exactly who we are” and “because the entire world is overflowing with soul, and she’s at the center” and on and on and on.

The same is true with “Heart like a lion, soul like a star.” 100% pure Denise DeMarchis.

All proceeds from the sale of this shirt will support Mighty Acorn Foundation.

Be courageous.

– The team at TGO

Heavy Hearts, Strong Hearts


Our founder and leader Denise DeMarchis passed away this morning, June 23, 2015.

This day has been the year’s most beautiful day in Fort Wayne, and in particular our little neck of the woods, Bricktown.

We can feel Denise looking down on us, warming our hearts like the sun, inspiring us with her beauty and her brilliance.

This inspiration has fueled each and every one of us since the moment we met Denise.

While absolutely overcome with sadness, we know that Denise’s wish for us is that we all stand tall, with confidence, and lead generous, creative lives. Denise’s unwavering and contagious spirit will guide us for the rest of our days.

As you remember the way Denise touched your own life, we invite you to join us.

Denise DeMarchis changed the world for the better, and in such a short time. She wasn’t done. Together, and each in our own way, we can help finish her work.


The entire team at The Good Ones Clothing and One Lucky Guitar


June 23, 2015 - 9:47 pm

Lo - ❤️

June 23, 2015 - 9:56 pm

Maryann E - She wasn’t only a good one, but a GREAT one! Praying for her family.

June 23, 2015 - 10:19 pm

Jennifer Fox - I know this simply lovely tribute will be just one of many to come. I imagine The Good Ones will continue to celebrate Denise long in to the future with love, laughter and so much creativity. She will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

June 23, 2015 - 11:16 pm

Shari - We LoVE you all ((hugs))

June 24, 2015 - 10:53 am

Michelle Huesgen - There are no words. I miss our girl.

June 29, 2015 - 11:32 am

abby - So lucky to have met Denise & Sam even if it was for a short few. Following the blogs & facebook you felt like you knew her even if you didn’t…and meeting her was like she was someone you’d known for years…even the first time. She will be forever missed, but her spirit and love will continue on through all good things… oh and of course the twirling.

And the winner is…

Hello again! I’m here to announce the winners of the karaoke song contest! We haven’t sang all of your great requests just yet but definitely plan to. It’s tough to break out new material when your go-to tunes are by Celine Dion, Madonna and Tina Turner… you’ll have to guess which TGO gal sings which.

So without further ado, I give you the winners!

Please contact me at with your child’s size and shipping address and I’ll send your prizes!


Thanks again for all your great song recommendations and keep rockin’!