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Authors Posts by gabriella russo

gabriella russo


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Learn about a quickly-growing local business that offers a variety of products and services to help you put your best face forward.

Face Forward Aesthetics is a concept that started in Columbus earlier this year, and is opening several other locations across the state.

“In our industry, it’s all about putting your best face forward and that’s where Face Forward Aesthetics was born,” says Elizabeth Boyden, the Marketing Manager for Face Forward Aesthetics. “We want every person to walk out of our office feeling confident, beautiful, and the best version of themselves.”

Its first location opened in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, in April 2018, followed by Cincinnati in October and the Cleveland location opens next week, Boyden says. “There’s no telling where you’ll find us in 2019,” she adds. “We are excited about the future and the growth of the company.”  

Face Forward Aesthetics offer a variety of non-invasive services ranging from Botox, microneedling, laser hair removal, Visia imager, Latisse, Kybella, and dermal filler. Lip fillers were the most used treatment in the past year, and remains popular, Boyden shares.

“Our mission is to combine science and art to enhance your natural beauty. Love yourself inside and out,” Boyden explains. “Our nurse practitioners have years of experience, and are highly skilled to deliver the highest quality service and treatments available. We cater to each patient by providing proper education, allowing us to deliver results in such a way that the patient feels confident and comfortable.” 

Boyden says they’re successful because everyone on the team is personally empowered. “We encourage collaboration and believe in empowering our employees to make decisions,” she explains. “We have very high expectations of our team because we want only the best for our customers. Because of the culture of our company, we really do have the dream team.”

Face Forward Aesthetics’ membership packages also make them unique in the marketplace, Boyden says. “Whether you’re looking to turn back time or add something DNA forgot, we can customize a treatment plan to fit your individual goals, facial structure, age, and genetic composition,” she adds. “We offer Botox/Dysport, Microneedling, Filler, Kybella, and specialize in facial contouring. We have an incredible membership for only $29.99 a month.”

Boyden says they’re amassing quite the loyal following. “We have people who travel from as little as five minutes away, to those who travel across the country just to see us,” she shares. “We really to have a loyal following who only trusts us with their aesthetic needs.” 

Face Forward Aesthetics’ Cincinnati office is located at 4759 Cornell Rd #4D, Blue Ash, OH 45241. To learn more, visit, call 614-382-4069, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

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A local fashion designer leverages her eye for style at an event that'll add some haute to your next headshot.

Professional headshot taken by Aaron Conway

From social media and Google searches to e-introductions and video conference calls, most first impressions are made online in today’s business climates.

That’s why Chelsea Cutrell is leveraging her experience and connections as a design/styling consultant to host a Headshot Event. Cutrell says attendees will leave with professional headshots that support that support their career and branding needs, as well as learning from experts in various image development fields.

“Each member of our team has experience with portrait sessions and events,” Cutrell explains, “but this is a new style of event hosted by a coffee shop that caters to business professionals who work on the go or need a change of scenery from the office.”

Example of a client headshot taken by Tracy Doyle

Cutrell wanted to focus on the convenience of taking headshots in this way. She knows how hard it can be to devote the effort and time it takes to curate the perfect image. She says she wanted to make it as simple as ordering a cup of Joe.

“This type of event highlights my work as a wardrobe and prop stylist, as well as a fashion design/styling consultant, and custom designer,” she explains. “It is a great way to introduce people to my areas of expertise and how those can support their personal career path and business marketing needs.”

When it comes to the members of her team, Stefani Carol and Tracy Doyle, Cutrell says, “Stefani is a licensed makeup artist and Tracy is a photographer. I respect their work in the industry, as we are all passionate about our craft and we enjoy showing people what we have to offer creatively to help them succeed and feel their best. Stefani has trained her team by instilling high standards for makeup and hair styling. Tracy and I have collaborated on many projects, including published work. Our team is always one step ahead of the clients’ needs on set.”

Doyle started Tracy Doyle Photography after 15 years of assisting some of the best professionals in the business in both commercial and event photography. She focuses on fashion, commercial, and portrait photography with a motto of “We can help tell your story in pictures.”

The headshot events are one-day in format, and participants can select a window of time during the day that works best for them. “Our focus for this headshot event is on business professionals who need collateral for their marketing materials and who may have other photography/styling needs in the future,” Cutrell says. “We decided upon this one-day event format, because it allows us to help many people invest in themselves. Our collaborative process reduces the clients’ stress about having a portrait taken.”

Example of Cutrell’s fashion design work taken by Tracy Doyle. Sabrina Ellison of Heyman Talent Agency.

Cutrell says she will leverage her wardrobe and prop styling experience at the event. “I will consult with the clients on which pieces to wear during our session and make sure everything is in place on set while the photographer takes the photos,” she adds. “We work as a team to help the clients feel comfortable and confident during the photo session.”

Cutrell graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program, studying fashion design. “I primarily focus on custom designed garments, working with small businesses to develop products, commercial and editorial wardrobe styling, and I create special items that are infused with healing energy,” Cutrell says. “I am selling a variety of garments, accessories, and apothecary products at local boutiques in Cincinnati. I enjoy using my craft to help others forge their own paths in life.”

All future headshot events are at Cocoon Coffee in Mason on January 4, April 12, July 19, and October 11. Their headshot event link for January is:

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Learn about the former local news reporter who decided to stop and smell the roses instead.

Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck will open in 2019.

After six years as a reporter, Megan Moore is hanging up her news hat, and putting on gardening gloves instead.

It all started when a friend visited Nashville and Moore saw a picture of the truck on her friend’s Instagram feed. “I thought it was so cute and could see that it brought people so much joy,” Moore recalls. “There are quite a few in other states around the country now. Having not seen any flower trucks in Cincinnati, I knew it was something I just had to bring to the Queen City.”

Fast forward to today and why she decided to jump into the floral business, she says, “When I started seriously thinking about taking the leap and starting a business I was focused on it being something that would be centered around positivity and would bring people joy when they visited. My hope is Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck will be just that. Whether they are flowers for you or a bouquet to give away, I hope it will be a bright spot in your day when you stop by.”

Moore just announced the career move from Local12 WKRC-TV, and says that Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck will be up and running in 2019. “The main offering will be my daily pop ups around town with the truck. Customers will have an opportunity to stop by and pick their own flowers and build their own bouquets,” she explains. “I also plan to rent the truck out for events. The other service that is in the works will be monthly bouquet subscriptions. There will be more information on that next year.” Flower offerings will vary based on the season, and will also consider customer preferences, Moore adds.

When announcing the shift from the station to entrepreneur on her social media pages, she said, “As a journalist I’ve covered a lot of tough stories in my career. I have seen a lot of people on the worst days of their lives. Through my experience as a reporter I have recognized the need for more positive forces in this world. I hope to spread joy around our city with this flower truck. I have always had a dream of owning my own business.”

Moore loves how flowers are able to be personalized and utilized in ways to help someone feel happier. She wants to remind her customers of the positivity of life through this new business. Moore also shares a unique touch she hopes to include with each order: “My goal is to have a card that goes with each bouquet that simply says ‘Because…’ I want people to fill that out before giving the bouquet to someone. My hope is they will share something thoughtful.”

Moore says her favorite thing about flowers is the innate joy they bring to both the sender and receiver. “I hope it brings a smile to your face when you see it, even if you are just stopping by to smell the flowers,” she adds. “I hope it is a symbol of joy and a reminder that it’s the little things that matter in life. I believe small gestures go a long way and I look forward to being a part of that.”

To learn more, visit

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A local expert, who works with some of the area’s biggest brands, is launching a rebrand and new services that help you communicate, collaborate, and be more productive.


Monica Scalf, Founder of the Work Well Group,

After years of experience as an entrepreneur working with a wide range of different businesses, Monica Scalf learned what works well. So much so, she rebranded her business as The Work Well Group.

Formerly the Playground Group, Scalf’s business offers three subsets of services for clients: customized workshops, live personal branding workshop and personality assessments and goal coaching. 

For its customized workshops, the Work Well Group supplies assistance in communication, presentation skills, personal branding, team building, stress management and more. 

To launch the rebrand and give the business community a glimpse into a Work Well Group Workshop, Scalf is hosting an “Authentic Personal Branding Workshop” on Nov. 16 from 8:30-10:30am. It will take place at the AC Hotel by Marriott Cincinnati at Liberty Center, located at 7505 Gibson Street, Liberty Township, OH 45069. The registration fee is typically $219, but you can use the code CINCYCHIC to save $20 here. 

“The class will be a small group so plenty of one on one interaction takes place,” Scalf says. “We do exercises and activities, look at examples, and each participant leaves with a list of action items they can complete to get started on improving their personal brands right away.”

According to Scalf, the Authentic Personal Branding workshop will equip participants with a roadmap for how to elevate and express their best personal brand. “A clear, focused and authentic personal brand can be key in attracting new clients and career opportunities,” Scalf says. “It’s tough to work on your personal brand in isolation – either there’s never enough time with all of the other tasks you have to do, or it’s overwhelming because you don’t know where to start or how to go about it.  This class will walk participants through a step-by-step process for uncovering their best personal brand and sharing it with the world.”

Prior to starting her business, Scalf was a professor at Xavier University. She also has experience in sales and is the author of “Live in the Little: 52 Ways to Find the Extra in the Ordinary.”

When referring to the personality assessment and goal coaching, Scalf says she utilizes the DISC Assessment, centering on four personality traits: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. Once these results are rendered, the workshops help participants understand the results and work better with co-workers. 

“In general, The Work Well Group provides workshops, consulting, and coaching that helps teams and individuals create positive and productive workplaces,” Scalf explains. “We have worked with clients including eBay, P&G, Great American Insurance, Deloitte, Lexis Nexis and more.  We have a passion for helping people learn how to better communicate and collaborate so that work is less stressful, more productive, and more fun.”

Scalf says the end result of her work is to strengthen the individual, which helps them interact with others at their best, which in turn strengthens a company’s bottom line. “When people learn the skills that help them to work well – how to communicate, collaborate, and be more productive,” she adds, “work becomes more fulfilling and more fun; individuals and teams get better results.”

To learn more, visit

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A local woman recently launched a business called Life Prep, offering just that: a preparatory experience offering lessons in manners, etiquette, and important life skills. Read on for more.

Life Prep offers manners and etiquette workshops for kids and adults in Greater Cincinnati

As a parent and professional, Shannan Combs saw manners and etiquette becoming more rare, but realized that made having those life skills more of an asset than ever before.

Enter, Life Prep, a business featuring Manners and Etiquette Workshops that Combs and husband, Jerry, opened on Sept. 24, 2018, based in Milford. “My background is that I taught for several years at Norcross First Baptist, in Atlanta. and I have raised two children. Cory who is 20, Collette who is 12. I have been a personal trainer, a scheduler at a Pediatric Therapy office, etc. while raising my children.” She knows first-hand the real-life skills needed for these two target demographics, and that’s what the business is based upon.

Shannan Combs, Founder of Life Prep

According to Combs, their team is dedicated to helping both children and adults reach their potential. “Through the fun, affordable, and cutting-edge, Molly Manners curriculum, children are becoming more confident, considerate, and respectful of themselves and others,” their mission statement shares. “Our life preparation services deliver adult workshops that refresh or teach skills to help better prepare for life. Our mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

The services offered range from students to adults. More specifically, the student age groups are broken down into three subsets: Nice is Right (ages 5-8), Kool to be Kind (ages 9-12), and Young Sophisticate (ages 13-17). Life Prep wants to make sure that student demographics are not limited to only one category when problems vary from one set age group to the next.

When it comes to the life skills represented at Life Prep, there are six different categories to choose from when searching for courses: personal finance, resume design, interview skills, basic vehicle maintenance, basic household maintenance and cooking/meal prepping.

“Anyone that could teach a specialized class for children or adults could work at Life Prep,” adds Combs. “We would just need to be able to fill the class. We look so forward to offering a wide variety of education options.”

“I really want to make the world a kinder place and we are starting here teaching manners, since manners are basically putting others before yourself and making sure that you are treating others with respect,” Combs says. “The best part of having a local business is we are in the Best Hometown In Ohio as ranked by Ohio Magazine. The local support has been amazing and we love the community feel.”

Life Prep is located at 1034 Main Street in Milford, Ohio. To learn more, visit, or call their office at 513-248-1034. 

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This local business is not your typical job placement or life coaching destination. Keep reading to find out why.

JoAnne Kennard and Molly Edmondson, co-owners of MoJo Advantage

Feeling stuck in your current job or feel like your career lost its mojo? That’s exactly why JoAnne Kennard and Molly Edmondson created MoJo Advantage. 

Prior to launching in February of 2017, they spent 18 months testing and tweaking this business idea with local professionals and businesses to maximize the effectiveness of their service offerings. They also used that time to get certified as career coaches, and in the DISC assessment as well. “We built a methodology around those skills,” Kennard says.

The DISC assessment is used as a building blocks with clients to understand their personal strengths and gain insight into their personal style and specific talents. This process helps them understand what type of environment will provide the highest odds of success for a client. 

Aside from this assessment, MoJo Advantage offers services that help clients decipher what they value in a career and their own personal lives. They help target certain skill sets clients may need further help with and discuss networking opportunities to help apply these new ideas into practice. 

“The profile of our client is someone who wants to take that next step but are not sure what they want to do. MoJo Advantage uses our assessment and coaching skills to help define that next step for a client and put a plan in place to make it happen. If you are someone just looking to get any job quickly, you are probably better served with a traditional job placement agency. We have received all of our clients through references,” Kennard explains.

According to Edmondson and Kennard, there is no set formula to help their clients, since they work with completely different people every single day. They like to help moms and students, especially, they share.

MoJo Advantage offers the following deliverables for their clientele: a relevant resume, an individualized “elevator pitch,” a LinkedIn profile and interview preparation. 

They structured the business to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. “Molly and I are equal partners and are currently the only employees of MoJo Advantage. We contract with our resume writer, and we also decided to outsource non-core business services such as accounting, tax preparation, marketing and social media to keep our focus on our clients,” Kennard explains. “As we grow, we would add people in the core business of coaching and consulting. We actually have previous clients that are interested in that role.”

MoJo Advantage is located at 9415 Montgomery Road (Suite C). To learn more, visit or contact

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See how this 31-year-old balances being a mom of two with her dream job at P&G, plus lifting up others along the way.

Jessica Hastings is the Brand Manager for Bounty at P&G.

Jessica Hastings was determined from a young age to work for P&G, a company she says is “cream of the crop” for young marketing professionals like herself. Today, she’s living out that dream at only 31 years old, as a brand manager for P&G. 

She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree of Spanish and Integrated Strategic Communications in 2008. She went on to receive her MBA from Ohio State University in Strategic Marketing Management. For the past eight years, Hastings been working on P&G brands that now, as a mom of two, she puts to the test in her own home.

Hastings recently began blending her roles of mom and manager to serve as a mentor for working mothers who are juggling responsibilities both at home and in the office.

“The greatest challenge I’ve faced in my career has been in the last couple of years when I became a mom,” she explains. “I’m incredibly blessed that I have had managers who have been amazingly supportive; however, in a promote-from-within company that is ‘up or out’ in my function, it’s an inherent disadvantage to temporarily leave the workforce to have children. It’s hard truth to stomach”. 

Hastings says a work-life balance is a daily work in progress for her. What helps her the most, she says, is maintaining open, continuous communication with her managers. It’s important to set boundaries and manage expectations to avoid overwhelm, she adds, and above all be kind to yourself and others. “In a world where you can be anything, be kind,’” Hastings says, referencing her favorite quote.

As part of her mentoring role at P&G, she helps others – especially women – discover and achieve their objectives. She says identifying an objective is essential so you can navigate your way to it. 

“If your dream job requires a little bit more experience or education, build a plan that gets you there,” she says. “Pursue the job right now that will help you build the skills you need to get where you want to go. I believe having a plan – a very specific plan – helps make the process of interviewing and looking for jobs much easier.” 

Secondly, she says, it’s important to use your network. An introduction from a mutual friend, mention a shared connection you noticed on LinkedIn, or reach out to that family friend who’s an executive at that company you’d love to work for —  are all helpful ways to leverage your network, which Hastings says can fast-track you to where you want to go in your career.

When it comes to interview preparation Hastings says to practice, practice, practice. “When I was interviewing for positions, I wrote out responses to common interview questions in gory detail and practiced aloud,” she recalls. “The watch out with this is to ensure you don’t sound rehearsed when you’re in the interview, but having a plan gives you confidence which is more than half of the battle. If you know what you want to convey, it’s easy to pepper in some authenticity in the moment.”

To learn more about P&G, visit To connect with Hastings on LinkedIn, click here.

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Learn about a new Norwood salon that wants you to feel welcome when you walk in, then beautiful and loved by the time you walk out.

Wild Honey Salon offers a variety of services and uses environmentally-friendly and humane products.

Inclusive, humane, eco-friendly, simple and relaxing. That’s the idea behind Wild Honey Salon in Norwood.

Established in June of 2017, Wild Honey creates a narrative of inclusivity. For example, rather than titling men’s or women’s cuts on the menu of services, the haircuts are classified by varying lengths of hair instead.

Wild Honey Salon is also humane and environmentally friendly, using R&Co. products, which are vegetarian, gluten-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free and paraben-free.

The salon is home to five independent stylists including owner, Melissa Leitru. “I wanted to create a space where each stylist could be their own boss, yet we all work together with the same vision,” she explains. “The other girls who work with me are so amazing. They’re all so talented and the fact they they saw what I was doing and wanted to work here is still so cool to me. I want the salon to be a place for everyone to feel welcomed and loved.”

Wild Honey Salon offers a variety of services, including haircuts, colors, waxes, style and special occasion looks. They also offer deep conditioning and keratin smoothing treatments. Both of these specialty services range in prices with the keratin treatment at $300, and the deep conditioning at $25. 

Special occasion looks by Wild Honey Salon include weddings, formal up-dos, and variations of blowouts.

“Design wise, the idea of Wild Honey Salon was to be minimal because of our small space. I love when people say that it feels relaxing and doesn’t feel cluttered,” Leitru shares. “I wanted a space where I could think and didn’t feel overwhelmed or distracted. It was always a dream of mine to open my own salon. Sometimes, with all the craziness of owning my own business and trying to stay on top of everything, I forget to sit back and realize that I’m living out my dream.”

Wild Honey is located at 3966 Montgomery Rd. in Cincinnati, Ohio. To find out more information or book an appointment, visit You can also follow along on Instagram or “like” them on Facebook.

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From teacher to golf course owner to life coach and blogger, learn about a local woman who is helping clients go from stuck to unstoppable, drawing on her personal experiences.

Melissa Kirkpatrick, Fonder of Find Your Own DRIVE.

When Melissa Kirkpatrick turned 30, she knew she loved teaching others but was unsure how to apply it. She decided to continue her studies and become a teacher. After a few years of teaching, her family got the opportunity to buy and own a golf course, and they jumped at the chance.

Talk about teaching, Kirkpatrick laughs, “I thought my next step should be to learn golf!”

As the owner of two Cincinnati golf courses, Kirkpatrick continued to progress her skills in golf, and started to teach others how to play. While she enjoyed this work, she was facing downward spiral in her personal life. “My addiction to food (up and down in size) and large consumption of alcohol along with smoking, all became increasingly out of control.  My need to go unconscious and numb out had become the normal,” Kirkpatrick says. “Golf was only the outlet I could turn to. That’s when I, yet again, taught myself something new to get back on course: how to find my own DRIVE.”   

Today, Kirkpatrick is a published author, motivational speaker, blogger, blogger and coach. “What I knew to be true for me was my desire to be a healthy, vibrant, powerful woman without all the excuses and coverups,” Kirkpatrick says. “I realized my life is not just who I am being but who I am being for others. I’m now a private and personal mentor/coach who has been on the training ground and is ready to support you, mentor you, and be your accountability partner.”

Kirkpatrick says she has a set of questions she asks perspective clients to help gage their needs. These questions include: “Are you ready to take control of your life and transform your current circumstances? Are you tired of numbing out and going unconscious to all the chaos around you? Are you tired of using food, alcohol, smoking, or other addictions to disconnect?”  These questions allow Kirkpatrick to ensure she will accurately and effectively assist everyone who requests her help.

Kirkpatrick’s offerings range from her Blog, which she updates weekly, her Ebook, and a 21-day email created to help with support. “I discovered many self-sabotaging patterns that kept me jumping in and out of my place of joy and fulfillment. I knew it was time for change. These beliefs are often running in the background and unconsciously controlling our thoughts, actions, and choices.”

In addition, Kirkpatrick has an upcoming workshop that’s available to the public at Aloha Yoga Center.

To learn more, visit

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A local UC DAAP grad has a passion for fashion and recently launched a popular platform to share her designs with the world.


Yanni Xiang is a fashion blogger and illustrator who draws her inspiration from the biggest cities in the world — Milan, Paris, and New York City — but manages her popular platform from right here in Cincinnati.

Xiang’s Instagram account shares her vision through multiple mediums with her followers. Her illustrations incorporate mixed medias, markers, watercolors, oil paints or digital devices to create textures and new styles.

These illustrations inspire her fashion designs as she works on her newest collections. “Working creatively is my biggest motivation,” Xiang says. “I love designing sophisticated with a little bit edgy looks, when people wear my designs.”

Yanni Xiang is a fashion designer and UC DAAP graduate.

Xiang recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017 where she studied fashion design in the DAAP program. She also decided to take the opportunity to study abroad at Central Saint Martins in London. In College, she spent time interning for Vera Wang in New York. “It has really been great opportunity for me to learn, the past experiences also surely inspired and encouraged me to work in the creative field,” Xiang says. 

Xiang says she tries to keep her Instagram updated with new inspirations and illustration at least two times per week. The feed ranges from pictures of animals to outfit sketches and fashion trends to taking pictures of surroundings, she explains.

“Working creatively is my biggest motivation, it gives me the eye to see great possibilities coming from even the easy little things in life,” Xiang shares.

To learn more, visit