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Learn about a local fashionista who’s opening a personalized styling business that not only helps women in Cincinnati but other women around the world.

Storyteller Stylist, LLC shares your story through fashion. Photos: Leah Brady Photography Makeup: Cinci Makeup

When it comes to fashion, your personal style is your own story. To help you tell that story is Carrie Hagee, the owner of Storyteller Stylist, LLC.

“Storyteller Stylist, LLC is a personal styling service for women, local to Cincinnati, but also offering virtual styling services for women across the globe,” she says. “I work with women struggling with their day-to-day style, trying to make sense of what looks best on them but on their own, just can’t seem to find it.”

Hagee believes that Storyteller Stylist allows her to be the teacher that tells the story of an individual’s style..

“A storyteller is a teacher, someone who provides direction, the narrator,” says Hagee. “How does this relate to women’s style? I believe we all have an authentic style, meaning no two styles are alike. What works for one woman may not work for another. Yet finding our authentic style can be much more challenging than we expected it to be. We see something we like online or in the store because it looks great on the model or the rack, only to try it on and find it doesn’t make us feel wonderful.”

Instead, we often end up feeling “blah” when we look at ourselves in the mirror while trying on clothes. When this happens, according to Hagee, we often overspend on clothes, end up frustrated, give up, and go back to the few outfits that we’re OK with.

“But, your style should tell your story, the uniqueness of you,” she says. “It should demonstrate the beauty of who you are because you deserve to be the best version of you.”

Hagee’s history with fashion goes back to her college years, when she worked in fashion retail. “It was so much fun styling women when they would come into the store,” she explains. “Showing them the latest styles, what looked best on them, and helping them find the best version of themselves.”

Hagee would research the latest fashions to help her in styling her friends, family, and referrals from friends and family. She’d even make her own mood boards with cutouts from her fashion magazines to help her feel inspired. “I feel personal styling with something I have always had a natural talent for, I know it is something I am just meant to do,” she says.

In terms of credentials, Hagee is a certified personal stylist. She attended the Fashion Stylist Institute where she was mentored by Gillian Armour, a well-known icon in the fashion industry who’s worked on projects in Hollywood, Paris, Amsterdam, and London with celebrity clients and luxury brands. Hagee is also a member of the Association of Image Consultants International and holds other certifications in professional wardrobe/closet edits, principles and elements of clothing design and coordination, color analysis testing, skin undertone analysis, photo shoot styling, wardrobe styling, line rack organization, jewelry and accessory styling and consultation, fashion blogging techniques, and marketing strategies.

At Storyteller Stylist, you’ll find three different styling packages available to fit your needs.

“For my virtual styling packages, we first need to chat so I can learn about what is ailing you about your style, your current wardrobe, what you want to change, and how we can find your authentic style, the style that tells your story,” says Hagee. “I will put together a mood board based on our 1 hour conversation and provide some suggestions for pieces you might be missing. I will also teach you how to put together outfits in your current wardrobe and have a second call with you to discuss styling your new pieces. As part of my packages, I provide a 30 day on-call styling service where you can text me or email me questions you have and provide additional support. I think this is really helpful because during this time, people start to become confident and comfortable with what I have taught them. And once they find their authentic style, it becomes much easier.”

Those who are local to Cincinnati and choose the closet overhaul package will find Hagee visiting their home and doing a 2.5 hour overhaul of your closet with you. “This is in addition to the initial call and mood board creation, follow up call, and 30-day on-call styling service,” she adds.

Later in the 2019, Hagee says that she will offer an additional, unique styling service that she encourages customers to keep an eye out for.

Hagee’s plan has always been to launch a styling business. But first, she wanted to make sure that she had the most experience as she could gain before launching rather than just relying on her personal styling experience.

“It’s important to me that my clients feel they are getting the best service and support for their money,” she says. “I value what they are putting into hiring me as their personal stylist as much as they do. I want them to walk away with the feeling of success and that the experience was totally worth it.”

Storyteller Stylist officially launching on Friday, January 18.

To learn more about Storyteller Stylist, visit www.storytellerstylist.com. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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Our Editor-in-Chic tells the story behind a brilliant resource for local parents, offering everything from babysitting and dog-sitting to house cleaning and errand running services! Read on for more.

I love telling stories behind area businesses and the ways they help local women. That’s why I wanted to start the Storyteller series on Cincy Chic. The next one up hits home for many reasons. Not only is Peggy, the founder of BabysitEase, a personal friend of mine, but her concept also literally hits home.

As a working mama who runs a business, I know what it’s like to need a babysitter unexpectedly but you don’t want to ask the flaky teenager down the street just because you’re in a bind. There’s also a lot of other things (especially now that I’m preggo and about to have another little human running around soon) I just need help with to keep the house together and my mind somewhat sane.

That’s where BabysitEase can help. They’ve already done all the background checks and all the other vetting a parent wants to do when they have more time to do their research. And there’s a database of babysitters and home helpers just waiting to lend a hand when you need it.

That’s right, BabysitEase isn’t just for babysitting. For parents that need help with running errands, getting the house tidied, spaces organized, laundry run or grocery shopping check off their list- they have a team of organized, clean obsessed women that know how to make life easier for active families. For $12-20/hr you can get projects completed, and make some good headway on that never ending to-do list. Register at BabysitEase.com or call 859.442.7487 to find out how they can make life simpler for you.

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A local mom helped her child’s dreams of modeling and acting come true, and now she launched an agency to help others break into the business. Keep reading to learn her star-studded story of success.

 

“It’s not just about looks, you have to have a good heart. I believe in putting positive vibes out there – because that’s what’s going to come back to you.”

At Loft Talent, this is the way they operate.

Diane Werner, owner and agent at Loft Talent, was inspired to start her company when her son, age 22, was discovered at Butler University in Indianapolis three years ago. After taking interest, she began sending his photos out until they were approached by several agencies in the Cincinnati area, all of which offered to sign him.

“From there, Kory got signed in L.A. through the agency we selected and we lived out there for a time,” says Werner. “I actually starting helping them and I really loved what I was doing. I found that I was good at it and other parents were telling me that I should be doing this for a living because I was a ‘natural’.”

Once returning to Cincinnati, Werner decided to take this advice. “I realized that there was so much more creative power that I wanted to have, so I created my own company,” she says. “We opened our doors March 10, 2015 and hit the ground running.”

Since that time, Loft has gotten three (potentially four) of their people signed in L.A. with agencies. “One of my actors is in a $100M movie, Allegiant Part 1, which hit theaters March 18,” Werner reveals. “We also recently got one of our guys to meet with the executive producers of a major cable TV network series, where he’s probably going to be on a reality series.”

As for the agents that Loft clients have signed with – they have talent on the Twilight series, Hunger Games, Modern Family and CW shows – just to name a few. “We’re looking at people from Cincinnati who could potentially end up in some really big roles,” says Werner.

What is the secret behind Werner’s success? It’s her ability to look at situations from not only an agent standpoint, but also a mother standpoint. “The difference between my agency and other agencies in the area is that I’m a mother of an actor – someone who has the same dreams and goals of those that I represent,” she says. “I’m able to put myself in their shoes and talk to them about the same concerns and overwhelming feelings I had while sitting in that same chair.”

For Werner, it’s all about helping kids achieve something that they love doing. “They always tell me that they want to inspire people the same way famous actors have inspired them,” she explains. “It’s a really cool feeling to be able to help them do that.”

As for the future of Loft Talent, Werner’s main goal is to continue helping her clients achieve whatever it is that they want to achieve. “It feels really good to help them be happy with what they do,” she says. “I absolutely love my ‘job’. I get to work with so many creative minds and talented people every day. Who gets to do that?”

For more information on Loft Talent or how to become a Loft model, contact Werner directly at LoftTalent@gmail.com, give her a call at (513) 707-8733 or check out their website at www.LoftTalent.com.

Their client base ranges anywhere from 5-years-old to adult.

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Watch our exclusive Storyteller video with the co-owners of Alba Organic Beauty Studio

From parabens to formaldehyde, the beauty industry is full of not-so-beautiful toxins. But one local business has been providing non-toxic beauty services and products since way before it was trendy.

Andrea and Ashley Lauren have been offering all organic, natural and non-toxic services and products at their co-owned businesses Alba Organic Beauty Studio and Cincy Style Bar (CSB) since 2012. Alba is an expansion of the production makeup and hairstyling business that Andrea began in 2003. Alba Organic Beauty Studio was officially opened in October 2012 as Cincinnati’s first non-toxic salon spa offering non-toxic hair, makeup, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, airbrush tanning and massage.

The sister duo also launched Cincy Style Bar, the Midwest’s first and only blowout and makeup bar. “We are happy that we introduced the region to the concept of a blowout bar long before most people had even heard the term” added Ashley.

(l-r) Ashley and Andrea Lauren
(l-r) Ashley and Andrea Lauren

“We have worked hard to create a non-toxic, relaxed, unpretentious sophisticated atmosphere that allows our team and guests to feel welcome and at home,” says Andrea.

To help get you even more relaxed while you enjoy services from Alba and CSB, the facility has its liquor license, allowing guests to select a cocktail from the specialty menu with happy hour prices ($3 off) during your services. “Whether it’s for a bachelorette party, birthday party or a girls night out, we love having groups get ready with us,” Andrea says.

Aside from making your visit to the salon an enjoyable one, the team is also dedicated to Continuing Education and staying up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques. “Whether it is a full makeover or just a freshen-up of your signature look, all of our talented artists can be counted upon to deliver results customized to your individuality,” says Andrea.

The Alba Production Pros also does makeup and hair for film, television, commercial and print work for Cincinnati and surrounding areas in the Tri-State. “We have had the privilege of working with dozens of top-tier companies such as Food Network, E! Entertainment, MSNBC, Nickelodeon, People Magazine, Disney and even Sir Paul McCartney,” Andrea added.

In addition to Alba Organic Beauty Studio and Cincy Style Bar, the Lauren sisters also own Cincy Bridal Beauty, where they offer Big Day services to brides and their wedding parties.

“Our talented and professional artists have been beautifying brides since 2003,” explains Andrea. “We are unique in that we offer both in-studio and on-location bridal services. Additionally, we have a bridal suite for brides that need a space to gather and hang out in while they’re getting ready.”

Whether it’s everyday salon services, bridal beauty services or creating looks for television and film productions, Alba Beauty Studio has you covered – with organic, non-toxic services and products.

Learn more about Alba Organic Beauty Studio here. You can also like them on Facebook or follow along on Instagram and Twitter. You can also visit www.cincystylebar.com and www.cincybridalbeauty.com to learn about the Lauren sisters’ other booming beautification ventures.

 

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Next up in our Storyteller series is Carissa Barbee with The Silver Diva. See how she turned her legal career into a passion for personalized fashion.

From juries to jewelry. That’s the turn Carrissa Barbee took with her career when she walked away from her attorney career to take care of her two children.

Once her kids were older, she found more time to pursue her passion for personalized accessories. That’s when she realized an unfulfilled niche she wanted to reach, offering something less expensive and more personalized than what was currently offered on the market. She eventually launched her business “The Silver Diva” as an online-based store in 2009, and then in Jan. 2014, opened a brick and mortar store.

The store, which is the only one of its kind across the nation according to Barbee, is a concept that allows clients to personalize their own jewelry by choosing from the variety of designs offered in-store or by stamping their own jewelry. “The retail store allows clients to come and stamp your own jewelry — no experience necessary and always free unlimited instruction,” Barbee says. “Our store also has a retail section where you can order something for our stamping experts to make for you.”

Not only does The Silver Diva provide a fun and creative outlet for clients to create personalized accessories for their loved ones, where ages 6 and up can participate in hand stamping, but items are also available online for purchase.

What is hand stamping? According to Barbee, it’s an art form where you take steel stamps and stamp them into the metal using a hammer and a steel stamp to create letters, words and designs. “The art of hand stamping involves striking metal with steel stamps that have letters or designs on the end with a hammer into metal. You come into the studio and get free instruction to learn how to do it,” she says, “After your piece has been stamped, we finish the jewelry and assemble it for you to pick back up or mail anywhere you wish.”

Barbee’s personalized jewelry line offers everything from hand stamped necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and key chains to men’s cufflinks, men’s money clips, men’s tie bars, bookmarks, drink tags, napkin rings and holiday ornaments. Products can be made in sterling silver, aluminum, pewter, copper, brass and gold filled metals and range in cost from $3 to $60. “For example, an aluminum ring is $10,” she explains.

The Silver Diva is also the perfect place to host your next party. “We can accommodate 24 people for a party or event,” Barbee says, adding that they also do fundraisers and classes.

“Everyone thinks it’s a fantastic idea to be able to come in and do your own hand stamping. It’s kind of like the paint your own pottery places, but with jewelry,” Barbee explains. “The ability to put your own personal names, dates or sayings on jewelry is the ultimate creativity! The parties we offer are really fun for scouting events, birthday parties, lady’s night out, showers and date nights. It’s something unique that no one else is doing!”

The Silver Diva, according to Barbee, continues to inspire their clients with their jewelry because the clients are able to make the jewelry with love and their own two hands. “We have been moved to tears by the fun stories from our clients,” Barbee says. “Whether it’s a new baby boy on the way and the mom is getting a new piece of jewelry to a beloved grandma who is getting a birthstone necklace with the names and birthstones of all her grandchildren.”

This concept allows clients to personalize their own jewelry by choosing from the variety of designs Barbee offers or by stamping their very own designs on their jewelry. “We decided to open a retail store where you can come and stamp your own jewelry — no experience necessary and always free unlimited instruction,” Barbee says. “Our store also has a retail section where you can order something for our stamping experts to make for you.”

The Silver Diva is located at 9797 Montgomery Rd. Ste F Cincinnati, OH 45242. To learn more, or to shop now, visit www.thesilverdiva.com.

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Cincy Chic is teaming up with a local videographer to launch a new Storyteller multimedia package. Click for all the details and to see example videos!

We’re teaming up with the talented videography team at True Artists Studio to launch an exciting new program here at Cincy Chic. It all started with some staggering stats we found… like 80% — that’s the percentage of Internet users who recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days, according to the Online Publishers Association. Of that 80%, 46% took action after viewing, such as:

  • 26% looked for more information about the subject of the video
  • 22% visited the website named in the ad
  • 15% visited the company represented in the video ad
  • 12% purchased the specific product featured in the ad

That’s when we decided we had to start offering a package that includes beautiful and powerful HD-video production, shot on-site at your business. But it gets better — because we’re an online publication with a built in audience of 25,000 subscribers, we’re not just giving you a great video, we’re also giving it an audience because the package also includes: 400-600 word story, video embedded, about your business run with premium placement in a Cincy Chic issue selected by client; posted on Cincy Chic’s YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter channels (28,000+ fans); and a posting, video embedded, on Amy Scalia’s blogs. It also includes an issue sponsorship of ads the week of your run date, rights to the video, and a copy of the video file without the Cincy Chic intro/outro for your use outside of Cincy Chic channels (great for embedding on your site, expos, social media campaigns, etc)

Typically, something like this would cost thousands to produce, let alone also promote it for you. But, with us, it’s only $1,500! Below are a few examples of Storyteller videos we recently produced for clients. Hopefully YOUR story will be the next one we tell through this exclusive Storyteller package! Please email ascalia@cincychic.com if you have any questions, and for more video marketing stats, click here.

EXAMPLES

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Check out a recap of the small and local businesses we've featured this week on our new sister page Spend With Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic recently launched a new sister account called Spend With Cincinnati. The goal of Spend With Cincinnati is to share how the public can still support small and local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a recap of what we’ve featured this week:

Strings Attached 216: Calling all my plant lovers! How cute are these succulent and Ohio inspired string art pieces! @strings_attached_216 creates beautiful string art of all kinds to make the perfect home decor! Check out their page to see all their amazing pieces! Head to their website and DM/email to purchase!

The Kidd Coffee Co: Did you know today was national s’mores day? Celebrate today with @thekiddcoffeecos’mores latte! This latte is filled with flavors of chocolate, graham, and marshmallow to bring your Monday right to a campfire!

Stop in the shop to get your hands on one of their delicious creations! You can also shop online! PLUS: their having 15% off storewide!

Handzy Shop: How adorable are these face masks ? With schools and campuses opening up so soon make sure to stock up! @handzyshopstudiohas these amazing masks and so much more for you! Bffs Brittney and Suzy opened their shop to bring you clothing, accessories, gifts, and more! PLUS: they just announced that they will be opening a new location!

Shop online or visit their shop to get your shopping on!

The Empanada’s Box: Everyone has those days where they just don’t feel like cooking! Having one of those days? Discovery the world through empanadas! Try out @theempanadasbox empanada box filled with flavors from all over the world!

Check their page for where to find them! You can also contact them via phone or email!
– 909 670 8108
Info@theempanadasbox.com

Meranda-Nixon Winery: It’s Wednesday which means.… wine time! @merandanixonwinery is a family run vineyard offering a variety of delicious wines for all wine lovers! Head over to their website for more details on how you can enjoy a beautiful and delicious wine tasting with them!

The Learning Kitchen: How fun does this sound…a cooking class with your kids! @thelearningkitchen is hosting a parent child date night cooking class coming up! Discover your inner chef while getting hands on and learning how to make the perfect steak and more!

Head to their website for a full class schedule and to sign up! PLUS: check out their other classes, camps, and more offered!

Sarah Scripts: Covid is definitely a perfect example of a time that we all need to “just keep swimming!” Sarah Droder, owner and artist of @sarahs.scripts , creates these beautiful custom lettering for you! Looking for the perfect gift, a sign for your home, weddings, and so much more these are perfect!

PLUS: everything is custom! From the frame, color, background, sizing, it’s all made just to your liking! DM for more details and make sure to check out her website linked in bio!

Wing Champ: Wings, drinks, and cheesecake…doesn’t get much better than that?! You need to get your hands on @originalwingchamp mouth watering wings and more! PLUS: they’re more than just a restaurant! They’re a juke joint! So stop in and not just enjoy amazing food, but amazing music as well!

The City Flea: Looking for a fun Saturday activity this weekend? Head over to @thecityflea TOMORROW! Support local artist, foodies, and so much more! Make sure to grab your mask and support local from 10-4 in Washington Park! Check out their page for more details!

Gomez Salsa: Drinks, turtle shells, homemade salsa… @gomezsalsa has your Friday night plans covered! Get your hands on their famous turtle shells and don’t forget a signature cocktail to go with! PLUS: take the party home with a marg-to-go!

Click the link in their bio to get your order started or head over to one of their locations!

Comeback Photo: Have an old photograph that need repaired? @comeback_photo has you covered! Just look how amazing it is that they can make old photos come back to life! Petra Semikova, creator of come back photo, uses a customized approach to each document to bring them looking their best! Head over to their website for more details on how you can enjoy these amazing services today!

The 86 Coffee Bar Uptown: Good morning and happy Sunday everyone! Looking for some delicious Sunday pick-me-up coffee today? @the86uptown has you covered! Coffees, teas, baked goods, and more they have it all for you! Stop by today!

Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7-6
Saturday: 8-6
Sunday: 2-6

Storyteller Stylist: Find yourself confused and feeling “lost” when it comes to fashion? @storytellerstylist is your fairy godmother here to help! Carrie Hagee is passionate about “helping women build confidence and self acceptance through style education!” She is here to help you not only look your best, but feel your best! Click the link in their bio to see all the services offered and check out their blog posts!

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    Father’s Day is almost here and as we emerge from quarantine, fire up the grill, and pour some drinks, read on for some great gift ideas that know the way to his heart.

    On Cincinnati’s East Side is a grain-to-glass craft distillery called Karrikin Spirits Company. 

    “We specialize in bottled craft spirits including Base vodka, Shuga rum, Emerge gin, Blaze agave spirit, and more, with barrel aged products coming to the taproom and retail shelves soon,” says Karrikin Storyteller Matt Groves.

    With a variety of offerings in their line of products, Karrikin’s most well-known are the sparkling spirits. “We take those distilled spirits and infuse them into sodas, which are handcrafted from real fruit juice to create a spirit-based canned beverage that has the alcoholic content of a beer with the mouth-feel of a seltzer,” says Groves.

    The sparkling spirits come in a variety of flavors including key lime, blueberry, citrus tonic, and punch in area grocery stores, bars, and gas stations along with our two canned beers, Pils and Citra IPA. 

    You find Karrikin’s distributed products in area Kroger stores, liquor stores around the Greater Cincinnati area, Jungle Jim’s, Fresh Market, and countless gas stations, bottle shops, bars, and restaurants around the area.

    In addition to alcohol, Karrikin Spirits Company is home to The Hearth at Karrikin, a culinary branch led by Executive Chef Chris Davis. “The Hearth’s farm-to-table menu features many local ingredients that go into made-to-order dishes like our delicious Double Double burger, our local meat and cheese board, and more,” says Groves. “The Hearth at Karrikin includes our main dining room, taproom, patio, and barrel room for full service and also offers catering plans for our on site events and large gatherings.”

    Karrikin is hosting a special event in honor of dads for Father’s Day. They’re teaming up with Goofy Dads to host a special “Day Drinking with Dad” collaboration. “This family-friendly and fun event coincides with a visit from The Peach Truck Tour out of Nashville,” says Groves. “We’ll be featuring plenty of peach-themed drinks and food items.”

    When it comes to finding the perfect gift for dad, Karrikin offers a variety of products. Groves recommends the Karrikin’s barrel-aged Ora gin for the gin-drinking dad in your life. He says notes of orange peel and vanilla bean explode through the slight smoke of a Buffalo Trace bourbon barrel. “The 375ml bottles, along with a Karrikin rocks glass would be the perfect way to celebrate dad this Father’s Day,” says Groves. “If gin isn’t their thing, try any of Karrikin’s bottled spirits or maybe even a six-pack of our Pils or Citra IPA to enjoy on the patio.” 

    As we find a new normal in the aftermath of COVID-19 shutdowns, Karrikin has worked to mass produce and donate hand sanitizer. “Within hours of Ohio’s bars and restaurants being shut down or limited to carryout and delivery during the pandemic, our team devised a plan to begin producing the alcoholic base of what our hand sanitizer would be,” explains Groves. “And while we knew there would be a great need, we never could’ve imagined how strong that need would be. Within moments of our hand sanitizer announcement, companies and individuals from around the U.S. and some parts of the world began calling, emailing, and reaching out on social media to secure Karrikin’s homemade hand sanitizer.”

    Through the sales of hand sanitizer, Karrikin has been able to support many organizations directly involved in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and the flattening of the curve. 

    “Locally, many non-profits and critical businesses staying open during the spread have been able to put the product to good use,” adds Groves. “On our end, hand sanitizer has kept our lights on, our doors open, and health insurance plans still active for our employees.”

    Now that Karrikin has reopened to guests, they’re looking toward the future. They’re offering many promotions, new drinks, and expanding dining options. Plus, there is a new product hitting stores throughout the summer and fall. “We’re not quite ready to release full details yet, but it’ll be the talk of the town in early to mid-July,” he adds. 

    Additionally, CHAR: a Karrikin Barrel-Aged Collective will be announced in the coming months as the official launch and club for Karrikin’s barrel-aged spirits.

    To learn more about Karrikin Spirits Company, visit https://karrikinspirits.com

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    Learn about a Cincinnati based non-profit that creates space for crafted storytelling with an “electric sense of belonging.”

    Bespoken Live is a Cincinnati based group that creates space for crafted storytelling, genuine story-listening, and story-driven mindfulness in order to experience belonging.

    Bespoken Live is a Cincinnati based group that creates space for crafted storytelling, genuine story-listening, and story-driven mindfulness in order to experience belonging. The Bespoken Live team does their own live shows as well as partnering with organizations to do shows and experiences. They teach storytelling and story-listening workshops, do videos, podcasts, and have storytelling card game called Storycards. 

    Brad Wise, Ryan Eten, Sarah Buffie, Laura  Buffington, and Joey Taylor are the people behind the current “Leadership Team” for Bespoken Live. However, there are many other band of creatives, storytellers, and supporters that make it all happen. 

    “We did our first live show under a different banner, “Rebel Storytellers” at the Woodward Theater around Valentine’s day of 2015,” says Brad Wise. “Our inspiration was just to get our talented friends together to create something cool on stage.” 

    The group told KISS stories, played improv games to get the crowd involved, and had music. “The whole thing was magic,” Wise adds. “The best word we had for those early shows was ‘transcendent.’” 

    Wise describes the combination of storytelling, music, and crowd interaction of feeling like they were tapping into something bigger than themselves. The mixture of humor and vulnerability created an electric sense of belonging. 

    “Since those early days, we keep experimenting with different ways of using story to make space to experience that electricity,” says Wise.

    Wise is excited about Bespoken Live On Campus run by Joey Taylor. Taylor goes into schools, after school programs, places of worship, and facilities storytelling, story-listening, and mindfulness programs for high school students. 

    “We believe students finding their voice together and experiencing belonging is the best way to address social isolation, depression, and anxiety,” says Wise. “Amazing things are happening wherever Joey goes.”

    Wise is also excited about the newly redesigned Storycards. The “Leadership Team” has seen these cards break down walls and connect people in corporate settings, schools, family gatherings. Wise says that he has even heard of someone taking them on the Bourbon Trail with his friends. 

    Bespoken Live has a podcast series called the BOON Reflections (http://boonreflections.com) that is an 8-part contemplation series designed to help people make their ideas happen. The series takes listeners through the stages of the creative process and uses story-driven meditations to help you find the courage to step out and stay on the path of creating something uniquely you. Different organizations are using this content for retreats and team-building. People have quit their jobs and started new ventures because of the BOON Reflections. 

    From the start, the Bespoken team has been intentional about getting everyone involved. They never just wanted to be a stage show where the communication is only going way. 

    “I’m proud of how we keep finding ways to test our theory/belief that we are ALL storytellers,” says Wise. “The most powerful nights of storytelling we’ve experienced are when we lead the audience in a simple reflection and then open up the mic for the group to share.”

    Wise believes in some ways, in the current climate, that we’ve forgotten that we’re all humans, and we’re in this together. Bespoken Live has t-shirts and stickers available as a reminder to Be Human and Be Curious because that leads to connection. 

    This ties into the Be Kind 2016 campaign that Bespoken Live did during the election. (Watch “#BeKind2016” on Vimeo). They made stickers that look like they were from a campaign and put them in coffee shops and bars all over town. 

    “I still see cars driving around with them,” says Wise. 

    Wise believes that responding to what’s happening in culture makes Bespoken Live unique. When the violence in Charlottesville took place last year, Bespoken Live did a pop up HATE show. They pulled the show together in a couple days and gathered for stories and discussion about love conquering hate. Wise describes the show as “beautiful, messy, and hopeful.” 

    Currently, Bespoken Live is beta testing a small group format using their Story Cards. Wise recently took Bespoken Live through a fellowship program called Common Good. It uses content from Peter Block, Walter Bruggeman, and John McKnight who teach the power of small groups and neighborliness. Bespoken Live is finding ways to combine story with that power.

    Bespoken Live is also looking to start combining storytelling with the enneagram, a personality typing system that’s rapidly growing. The Bespoken team plans to do a series of shows and a contemplation podcast series. 

    To learn more about Bespoken Live follow their Facebook page and website.

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    Inspired by telling the stories of local business owners, the founders behind Women of Cincy launched an empowering new initiative. Keep reading to learn more.

     

    Notice tells the story of female entrepreneurs in Cincinnati.

    Cincy Chic: What is Notice?
    Kiersten Feuchter, Managing Director & Founding Partner Women of Cincy Collective, LLC: We are an agency run by the founders of Women of Cincy and powered by its community members. We specialize in shaping the stories of women-owned, women-led, and women-empowering businesses and initiatives. Our city is home to so many passionate, innovative, and talented individuals who just might change the world if given the opportunity. Often, that opportunity starts with a story, and that’s where we come in. We offer a range of branding and communications services designed to help clients turn their ideas into an identity, to say to their community, “My work matters, and here’s why.” We’re passionate about every element of our clients’ stories, including graphic design, photography, copywriting, social media, and more.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Notice?
    Feuchter: There’s a gap in the realm of small business branding – especially for women entrepreneurs. It’s no secret that women are generally less invested in – just ask Harvard Business Review, Marketplace,Fortune, and more. Women received just 2% of venture capitalist money in 2016, despite owning 38% of the country’s businesses.

    As designers and storytellers, we play a role in changing those numbers. You need a story to attract money, and in the branding world, you typically need a lot of money to shape your story.

    Yes, quality branding costs money. But for us, it’s not about the big client with a wad of cash. It’s about the ideas that make us get up out of our chairs and say yes. The world needs that. It’s about working with our clients to make sure those ideas come to light, even if it means starting small. And of course, starting small is only the beginning.

    Chelsie Walter and Kiersten Feuchter of Notice

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
    Feuchter: Notice is run by the founders of Women of Cincy: Managing Director Kiersten Feuchter and Creative Director Chelsie Walter. Feuchter has a background in creative writing and journalism, and a passion for using words to capture the essence of people. She also loves keeping the people around her on their toes and organized. Walter is a graphic designer and photographer who believes in the power of design to elevate great ideas and in turn, elevate communities, and has a passion for using photography to capture the heart of someone’s story.

    We’re also powered by the Women of Cincy community, so we call on the talent of our 45-plus incredible team members to work on Notice projects as needed.

    Cincy Chic: What do you hope to accomplish through Notice Agency?
    Feuchter: We want women with big ideas (or anyone focused on empowering those women) to know that they should, can, and must get those ideas out there. Women get caught up in the what-ifs or I-shouldn’ts far more often than men, whether it’s because of our own self-doubt or the doubt of those we need to support us. If we can open the door just an inch wider by making sure that awesome, innovative women get to tell their stories in a real and meaningful way, then we’re doing something right.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Notice unique?
    Feuchter: A lot of it comes down to two major points: One, everything we do rests on the idea that people matter. We believe that every time someone makes the conscious decision to simply elevate or support other people, our community becomes a better place. So what does that look like coming from an agency? We’ll treat you like a person, not a client. We’ll always have coffee with you and listen to your ideas – whether you need us to run your Twitter while you’re on vacation or you want us to build your whole brand from scratch. (We also really like coffee.) And when we say we’re in, we are all in. You’ll be a part of our community long after our work together is finished.

    Two, every business decision we make is made with women’s empowerment in mind. The power of where we spend our dollars is often underestimated, and yes, we want to put our money where our mouth is. If we’re printing business cards or getting financial advice or hosting a party, you can bet that we’re putting money in the pocket of a badass woman somewhere along the way.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
    Feuchter: Well, we just formally launched in mid-January, so every day is a bit of a new adventure. We’ve already teamed up with some amazing clients, so we’re excited to see what happens when we reveal those stories to the community. We’re also hosting a get-to-know-us day on Friday, February 23, where anyone can sign up for a time to come grab coffee – or a mimosa! – with us and share their ideas. That’ll be at Union Hall, and you can find more info on our social media.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Feuchter: Visit www.noticecincy.com, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and of course, check out our sister site, www.womenofcincy.org.

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