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Authors Posts by Megan Baker

Megan Baker

Megan Baker
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Events and Editorial Intern - Megan Baker is currently pursuing her Bachelor's in Marketing with a minor in Journalism at the University of Cincinnati. As an editorial intern, Megan is responsible for writing bi-weekly articles for various categories, in addition to working several events hosted by Cincy Chic. She aspires to work as an editorial wardrobe stylist for a high fashion magazine such as Vogue, to one day become a successful, published author and also to travel the world. Aside from working hard toward achieving her goals, Megan lives her life as a fashion connoisseur, coffee addict, and cherishes time spent with her family and close friends. Contact her at mbaker@cincychic.com.

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Learn about new, fashion-forward developments at a Cincinnati-based eco-friendly clothing company, and what they have in store for the summer months.

lur apparel is a unique eco-friendly clothing line based in Cincinnati.
lur apparel is a unique eco-friendly clothing line based in Cincinnati.

Warmer weather is here, and so are new sustainable styles at lur® apparel. Based in Cincinnati, lur® apparel is one of the city’s most unique clothing brands due to its eco-friendly products and its mission to make an impact on the world by supporting women’s entrepreneurship. lur® apparel’s production process is unique because its products are made from 100% recycled materials. The clothing line’s soft fabric is made by blending pre-consumer cotton scraps and post-consumer plastic water bottles. Founder and current CEO of lur® apparel, Mark Heiman, began his journey as a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in forestry.

“After starting his first business in the timber industry, Mark took a position at the family’s textile business. During his final year with the company, he lived in South East Asia and traveled throughout the continent,” explains Lukas Snelling, who oversees marketing and outreach for lur® apparel, adding that Heiman discovered an inner passion of his through his own experiences working with the environment and interacting with people throughout his traveling.

With a noteworthy philosophy in mind, Heiman soon developed a unique recycled fabric process with the parent company’s first brand, Repair The World, and in the year of 2012 he launched lur® apparel. Due to the brand’s unique production process, lur® reused more than 6,500 pounds of post consumer plastic water bottles and 6,500 pounds of pre-consumer cotton scraps in 2014 alone. Since the process saves 60-70 percent of the water normally used in traditional apparel manufacturing, lur® saved more than 6 million gallons of water from entering the waste stream.

“The lur® brand supports women entrepreneurs by giving one week of vocational training to a woman of Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala for every item sold on the brand’s website and by funding microloans through non-profit partner Friendship Bridge,” Snelling says. Friendship Bridge is a non-profit that provides microcredit and education to help impoverished women establish their own businesses and to help themselves, their families, and their communities to rise out of poverty.

Today, the brand’s items are carried in more than 700 stores throughout North America. Just within the past year, lur® has launched 26 new clothing styles, in addition to a variety of unique color options on existing products.

What’s next on the horizon? “The brand forecasts continued growth throughout North America for the rest of the year and into 2016,” says Snelling, adding that lur® apparel looks forward to introducing their latest batch of new styles.

“The lur® brand continues to grow; along with the impact it has by creating better opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship,” Snelling says. To learn more, visit http://lurapparel.com or “like” them on Facebook.

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010515CAREER2You don’t get a second chance for a first impression. That’s why Anne Schmidt is so passionate about her work.

As the founder and owner of Blu Design Shop, she helps start-ups and small businesses – locally and nationally – with their branding and graphic design needs. “We offer fully customized brand identities that accommodate a start-ups budget,” explains Schmidt, “and allows them to get up and running quickly.”

Schmidt’s love and enthusiasm for design is initially why she launched her business. “I started my career at a marketing firm in Washington D.C., where part of my responsibilities involved creative design for marketing and grassroots advocacy projects,” she explains, “From there, I dabbled in recruiting and HR, but I really wanted to get back into designing.”

A few years prior to her company launching, Schmidt created her very own wedding invitations, pregnancy announcements for her children and birthday cards. Requests for custom stationery from friends and family soon followed, and then referrals from that business.

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Anne Schmidt, founder and owner of Blu Design Shop

In 2009, a California based photographer discovered Schmidt’s website that she created for her line of custom stationery. “The photographer loved my work so much that she asked if I would be willing to create a logo and website for her, and the rest is history,” Schmidt says, “I fell in love and became obsessed with creating logos and web designs, and I began learning as much as I could about the design industry.”

Schmidt’s initial work transitioned from designing custom stationery for consumers, to creating custom stationery systems for businesses. Since the company’s official launch in 2009, 30 vastly different clients have been added to Blue Design Shop’s portfolio.

Some services offered include logo design, WordPress web and blog designs, business cards, flyers, car/truck decals, social media images and much more. Schmidt says Blu Design Shop has earned a respectable reputation because of its award-winning customer service in addition to its wide range of start-up services. In addition, Schmidt says, Blu Design Shop’s prices are geared to help startups and grow with their businesses.

Since she, herself was once a start-up, Schmidt understands where clients are coming from, and believes that a company’s branding and web needs shouldn’t be one of the obstacles holding them back from bringing a great service or product to consumers.

Schmidt says her passion for her clients’ ideas and and her team’s designs that bring client visions to life is what makes Blu Design Shop unique. “We are flexible with our service offerings, as we understand each client is different,” she adds, “We approach our clients’ businesses from more of a customer service standpoint versus a technical one, which allows for mutually beneficial partnerships.”

Starting this month, Blu Design Shop is offering a new service that focuses on social media support for clients, helping them grow their online presence, while giving them more time to focus on other aspects of their business. “Most of our clients are start-ups, which means they are insanely busy with every detail of their business, and it’s difficult for them to make time for social media; let alone afford it,” explains Schmidt.

Schmidt and her team also plan to give back to the Cincinnati area and its economy. One way in which they currently do that is through their content contribution to Bad Girl Ventures, a local company that helps entrepreneurial women achieve success.

To learn more, visit www.bellabludesignshoppe.com or “like” them on Facebook.

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Tasha Riekstins, Managing Director for The Living Room

Is your boring old fluorescent-lit conference room leaving you less than inspired? Take your next meeting from drab to fab with Living Room.

Located in Norwood, Living Room offers three unique “living room” inspired spaces that offer the perfect ambiance for business meetings, personal gatherings and even a state of the art market research facility.

Launched in mid-2013, Living Room and its team of engagement specialists are offering a fresh approach to research services and meeting spaces. “From start to finish, appetizers to dessert, we are the experts on hosting memorable experiences,” says Tasha Riekstins, Managing Director for The Living Room.

Riekstins, a Cincinnati native, moved away to the west coast after college where she went to work for a media company that cooperates with Carnival and Princess cruise line. “I’ve been back in Cincinnati for the last seven years, but stayed in the cruise ship industry, so I have traveled a lot,” she says.

Having always wanted to find a great company to work for locally, Riekstins began her search for the perfect company that leveraged her skills. “In October of this year, I was blessed to land the position of Managing Director at Living Room,” Riekstins explains. “I have done event coordination on my own on the side for years, so finally getting to take all I have learned and focus on it everyday is a dream come true.”

When asked what inspires her, Riekstins says she loves being a connector between people and making some sort of impact on their journey. “I’m also passionate and blown away by the start-up community in our city. I find their energy and ambition completely inspiring,” she explains. “My company is also part of that community, I want to support start-ups and local businesses as much as possible.”

Everyday offers a new challenge and opportunity at Living Room, Riekstins says. “Since we host all types of clients and events in our space, you just never do the same thing twice,” she adds.

Living Room is a 100-year-old building, doubling as a house and also a church at one point before Riekstins’ team gained ownership. From the moment you walk in, Living Room immediately feels like home, offering cozy features like exposed brick walls, a beautiful fireplace, and plants hanging from the ceiling.

Currently, Living Room is the upcoming host to a variety of events. “A yoga class is planned for Monday Jan 12th at 6pm, the Mix & Mingle Networking Event will be held on Thursday January 22nd from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm, and in February we will host our first blood drive,” Riekstins explains.

As far as long term goals go, the team is planning to open a Living Room in Chicago within the next 18 months and hopefully renovate another space in Cincinnati, according to Riekstins.

Living Room is located at 2368 (Meeting/Research Spaces & Offices) and 2369 (Focus Group Facility) Norwood Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45212. To learn more, visit www.hellolivingroom.com.

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As everyone prepares ring in 2015, it marks the start of a special year for one local organization, giving them even more reason to celebrate.

“The upcoming year will be a very special year for [us]. A group of dedicated Cincinnati women, and men, that serve as representation of a just and tenable community,” says Susan Noonan, president of Woman’s City Club. “We’re celebrating 100 years of educating, empowering and engaging citizens of Greater Cincinnati to participate together in improving the common good.”

Founded in 1915, the Woman’s City Club (WCC) of Greater Cincinnati gave civic-minded women a place where their voices could be heard and where they could find support while working together to bring change to the City of Cincinnati. Since then, the club has played the role of advocate for minorities, children, families, low-income women, and other victims of social and economic injustice.

The WCC also serves as a very important role to the administration of Cincinnati. “We are a stimulus in the development of the City Planning Commission, Better Housing League, the Cincinnati Girl Scouts, the Public Recreation Board, Citizen’s Public Library Committee and Women Helping Women, amongst many others,” Noonan explains.

The Woman’s City Club has several initiatives in place to reach their goals. “We have six short term goals that we have been working on since 2010; governance, financial stability, membership, programs, civic engagement and visibility,” says Noonan, “although our membership has steadily increased in the last few years to over 200 members, historically the membership has decreased and increased depending on leadership, current events, women’s role in the family and community, and other factors that influence most non-profits.”

As a member, there are no required meetings or further restrictions. You are free to choose what subjects interest you and can attend those forums or events specifically. Also, for current and prospective members who like a regular meeting time, the WCC offers “City Conversations,” a small group of members discussing a particular topic which includes expertise from invited speakers, that are held on the third Tuesday of every month.

The WCC offers membership for $50 a year. However, as a non-profit organization, all of the forums, city conversations and other events are open to the public.

In addition to its regular meetings and events, the WCC will be hosting a Centennial Dinner on March 6, 2015. Located at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, the event will include a delicious dinner along with a recorded presentation of some of the WCC’s esteemed long-time members such as Marian Spencer and Louise Spiegel. As well as Dan Hurley, who will be talking about the history of club and the City of Cincinnati. Live entertainment will also be provided during the celebration.

To learn more, visit womanscityclub.org or “like” their Facebook page.

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Inbox overflowing, to-do list multiplying, and not enough hours in the day to tackle it all? If moments like this have you wishing for an assistant, but you think you can’t afford one, think again.

Rhonda Holscher, owner and CEO of Rhonda’s Virtual Office, says she can make you more efficient and profitable with her profession and passion. “I’ve always wanted to do my own thing and be my own person. After my mother passed, life’s journey took me down some roads that led me very far away from being myself,” she explains. “One day I woke up and realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life, so I made plans to figure out how to get back on track.”

Holscher decided to pursue a profession that she enjoyed, that also allowed her to give back to the community. She had the idea of creating a company that takes over the basic office tasks to help small business owners focus on the “big picture” without paying big bucks for an in-house staffer.

“Immediately, I started taking a class, which helped me to define my message, create my first business plan and learn how to work as a virtual assistant,” recalls Holscher, adding that after gaining the necessary training and experience, she launched Rhonda’s Virtual Office on February 4, 2010.

“Our preeminent goal is to help clients connect with the right people needed for their business to excel, relieve stress by assisting with common and tedious office tasks and to teaching them new business skills if needed,” Holscher explains. “Rhonda’s Virtual Office thrives on our clients’ success. There is no better feeling than being an instrumental part in helping someone achieve his or her goals and dreams.”

Primarily partnering with businesses owned by women. “As women, we often take on many rolls in our lives, leading us to feel stressed and become overwhelmed,” she says. “We need an extra hand and yet we are the ones who are less likely to ask for or receive that extra help when it is most needed in our lives.”

Rhonda’s Virtual Office works with clients to create systems and strategies that work for them. “Every business is unique and we seek to discover what makes them unique and how we can best serve them where they are now and where they want to go,” she explains.

Holscher says she offers a variety of services with which entrepreneurs and business owners often lack support, such as administrative support, administrative consulting, desktop publishing, project management, and web design via WordPress. If you require a service that Rhonda’s Virtual Office does not offer, Holscher connects you with someone in their network that does offer that service.

Prices vary depending on the type of service, but can range from $50 to $150 per hour. The average client pays $60 per hour, typically done via a retainer plan of $600 or more per month.

As for what’s on the horizon for Holscher and her team, they’re currently working on developing training courses for clients. “I do a lot of one-on-one training and video training for my current clients and I’m working on ways to bring this to a wider audience so that I can help more people,” she adds. “I want to be able to bring this training to people on their level and keep it simple.”

To learn more, visit www.rhondasvirtualoffice.com.

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Michelle Vondrell, founder of White Board Solutions

It’s tough to find time to make new business connections, but everyone has to eat, right? That’s why Michelle Vondrell, founder of White Board Solutions, launched her “Brunch with a Purpose” events.

In 2013, Vondrell forged the path to make White Board Solutions a reality, to help individuals reach their goals through step-by-step personalized plans. “The purpose of White Board Solutions is to connect ideas with action, people with people, and companies with ideas,” Vondrell explains.

Vondrell has always been passionate about making successful connections between people and companies, she says. “I love to hear about people and their dreams, their thoughts, what makes them tick and I love to create ideas and work on action,” she adds.

To help you take action, Vondrell is hosting a Brunch with a Purpose event Dec. 20 from 9:30am – 11:30am in room 105 of the CMC building complex, on 10945 Reed Hartman Hwy.

Vondrell says the event will offer attendees the chance to network with others while enjoying brunch. Purposely planned for a Saturday morning, Brunch with a Purpose accommodates men and women who hold full time jobs and can’t find time during weekdays to get out and engage with new people as often as they’d like. “Saturday morning, from 9:30 to 11:30am gives folks a great opportunity to eat a healthy brunch, connect with others and leave with a lesson about someone working in the community,” says Vondrell.

For Vondrell, as well as fellow organizers Deb Hackett and Nancy Baxter, 2014 has been a year of commitment to find more and more opportunities for people to connect with other local people. Vondrell says they work to encourage attendees to network with others and learn about common interests and make business connections.

In addition to informational speakers, Brunch with a Purpose also gives local vendors the chance to showcase their business and offerings with a vendor booth set-up for $25, which includes brunch.

“Feel free to bring your friends for a round of browsing and holiday shopping,” says Vondrell. “There will be a rummage sale hosted at the event as well.”

To learn more about this event, visit the event page. Also, “Like” White Board Solutions on Facebook to stay updated on upcoming events.

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Hair/Makeup by Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa

 

From banishing dry skin to giving your look some trendy tresses, Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa has just what you need to beat the winter blahs.

According to Robin Drake, Esthetic Department Manager at Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa, they keep their products and practices on the cutting edge with a simple strategy. “We have a very strong corporate and management team that is constantly striving to provide our clients the best service and products on the market,” she explains, “and our customer service is second to none.”

Throughout the summer months, waxing and the self-tanning services are where the business lies, Drake says, but clients migrate toward peel services for the fall and winter months. “You really don’t want to have peels done in the warmer months because it makes you more sensitive to the sun,” explains Drake.

For the young, dewey-skin look, Drake recommends not only the peels but also a few other non-surgical options, such as fillers, dermaplaning, micro current services.

There’s also been a shift toward organic and natural products. That’s why they use product lines such as Jane Iredale mineral makeup that are natural and nourishing. “[We’re] partnering with two of the best companies, which are Glymed Plus and Jane Iredale,” Drake says. “Both companies are very cutting edge and keep experts at Mitchell’s up to date with in-house training.”

Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa is also the place to go for keeping your tresses on-trend, says Vivian Moore, Managing Vice President at Mitchell’s Salon. “Hair and beauty trends always follow fashion trends,” she explains. “Winter 2014 is the season for textured fabric mixes worn in layers with a pop of color and adding one bold statement piece to your wardrobe.”

Moore says her team translates this trend to hair by adding layers to both cuts and color. “By shifting traditional highlights to a more layered placement of color, your tresses gain a more modern look,” she says. “For those who want to take it one step further, adding a bold single placement of a vivid bright color makes it super trendy.”

Have long, luscious locks? Moore says you can add layering to your length to update your look while also give yourself more wiggle room for styling options. “Also, never hesitate to ask your stylist to share some ideas about layering your color to give you anything from subtle to bold dimension,” she adds.

Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa also offer Keratin smoothing treatments and long lasting hair extensions, both of which they began offering ahead of the curve. “We are fortunate to have industry relationships and recognition that results in almost anything new and/or improved being sent to us for feedback and consideration,” says Moore. “This means we often know about upcoming products or technologies before they are made available worldwide.”

One thing that’s always in style is saving money, Moore says, which is why they’re offering their annual gift certificate sale that runs now through the end of the year. “With it, you can get $100 gift certificates for $80, $75 for $60, and $50 for $40,” she explains, “available in-store or online.”

To learn more, visit www.mitchellssalon.com.

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Leah den Herder, esthetician, certified beauty nutritionist and owner of Studio L Skincare

 

Cupcakes and macarons might make your sweet tooth happy, but what about your skin? Leah den Herder, esthetician, certified beauty nutritionist and owner of Studio L Skincare, has been in the skincare industry for 17 years and knows a thing or two about making – and keeping – skin beautiful.

June of 2013 marked the official launch of den Herder’s local skincare-focused business, Studio L Skincare. “My studio is a unique skincare-only studio,” she says. Utilizing her experience as a trained esthetician, den Herder can provide clients with a customized treatment plan.

“I love helping others overcome their skin challenges,” she explains. “I opened Studio L Skincare because it was the only way to provide a unique kind of service where everyone is looked at as an individual with specific skincare needs.”

What inspired den Herder to pursue her passion? “Taking my Beauty Nutritionist course, a course specifically for estheticians who want to offer a full body approach to skincare and taught by Dr. Traci Williams of Beverly Hills, was my inspiration along with finding Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare,” she says. “Those two things helped me realize the crucial need for a whole body natural approach to skincare.”

In fact, den Herder herself is living proof that acne can be positively impacted by a healthy diet, along with taking supplements and the use of all-natural Osmosis Skincare.

“Studio L Skincare uses a full body approach to skincare, including an all-natural line of products called Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare,” den Herder says. “We provide a special kind of one-on-one service that’s hard to replicate at a large spa or chain and I guide my clients to help them track down the source of what is causing their skin issues.” For example, she adds, dairy is often a cause of acne, without the person even realizing it.

Offering up a wide range of services to give your skin a healthy glow, some of Studio L Skincare’s most popular services include natural Osmosis facials, dermaplaning, full body waxing, expert brow sculpting, eyelash and brow tinting, all natural customized airbrush tanning and makeup lessons/applications. Services range in price from $18-$120.

As for the future, den Herder is working on a new VIP Facial Club. “We’re adding an exciting VIP Facial Club with special perks to being in the club,” she explains. “Some of the VIP Club perks include services, such as a hot stone foot massage and a special complimentary add-on during the month of your birthday.”

With plans to expand into the office next door of its current location at the Red Bank Center, Studio L Skincare’s future remains bright. In addition, den Herder is hoping to possibly add spa manicures along with a reflexology pedicure.

The most recent event hosted by den Herder was “Makeup & Mimosas,” which included a complimentary makeup application, free gift with qualified purchase, mimosas and light bites. Be sure to keep an eye out for more fun and exciting events hosted by Studio L Skincare in the future. To learn more, visit www.studiolskincare.com, or “like” them on Facebook.

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Barbara Jentzen (center) office manager and the staff at Associates in Women’s Health


In 1993, Dr. Ellen W. Feld and Dr. Richard G. Valido acquired Dr. Stephen Hornstien’s medical practice when he retired and Associates in Women’s Health was established. Since then, Associates in Women’s Health has evolved into an advanced and patient-friendly practice, encompassing all phases of gynecological care and first trimester obstetric care.


Recently, they have added laser aesthetic procedures, have been named by InControl as a center of excellence for treating incontinence in women and are the local site for JanMarini skin care products.

 

The changing environment in the medical insurance industry and the demands of hospital participation has inspired the doctors to keep their independence, according to Barbara Jentzen, office manager at Associates in Women’s Health. “They wanted to be true to their ethics and offer their patients a more valued health care experience,” she adds.

 

Over the years, other practitioners have joined the practice. “We are steadily changing the way we do business to accommodate the medical and personal needs of our patients,” explains Jentzen. “So, to help realize our vision for our practice, we brought on three new practitioners. Dr. Lisa Gennari joined the practice as an owner and partner. Connie Rudolph, CNM and Dr. Preeti Ghatora also came on board to be part of the new concept.”

 

Business for Associates in Women’s Health has grown over the years. Jentzen credits the fact that the practitioners are motivated to help their patients with all their needs, from medical to their self-image issues. “We also have a very high patient retention rate,” she adds. “Our patients have followed us with every move we have made as we increased our size.”

 

Associates in Women’s Health offer an array of traditional gynecologic services as well as many unique options to the patients. For example, Clearlift, a laser skin treatment, along with the Jan Marini skin care products, which assist with the restoration of your skin’s appearance and helps reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and pigmentation issues. They also offer Femilift, a painless laser vaginal rejuvenation procedure, pain-free laser hair removal and much more.

 

Doing everything on location, Associates in Women’s Health is one of the few privately owned practices that carry women’s aesthetic services and provide minor in house surgeries.

 

Jentzen says they are mindful that their patients are busy women. So, they recently launched their “Same Day Solutions” program, where no appointment in necessary 8am-10am every Monday and Friday morning. Current patients and new patients can come in without an appointment and be seen by a practitioner for yearly exam or minor gynecological issues if they sign in by 10am.


Associates in Women’s Health frequently hosts event at their Montgomery office. One of their upcoming events will be hosted in the month of December, where information about laser treatments and all other services will be provided, along with food and drinks.


To learn more, visit www.aiwhcincinnati.com or like them on Facebook.

 

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Your skin is your largest organ, and Define. Skin Care and Esthetics is here to help keep it healthy.

 

Candace Matsuda, Jamie Matsey, Emily Gallagher, founders of Define. Skin Care and Esthetics met in beauty school where they studied the field of esthetics. They’ve since become close friends, and now business partners.

 

“The three of us love everything beauty related and enjoy educating others,” says Gallagher. “Candace has been an aspiring make up artist for years. I have been doing freelance make up applications and filming beauty videos via YouTube, inspiring girls to be confident and showing them how to apply makeup in a more basic manner as well as different styles.”

 

Matsuda, Matsey and Gallagher wanted to reach out to people who were interested in learning more about the upkeep of their skin’s overall well-being. So, they created a serene environment for people to relax and receive a healthy dose of pampering. “Candace and I came up with the idea for the brand last year. That’s when we started discussing the notion over lunch, generating names, figuring out our vision and brainstorming what services we could offer to the public,” Gallagher explains. “Finally, we just said ‘Let’s make it happen!'”

 

Define. Skin Care and Esthetics officially opened in July 2014 with a grand opening event for the public that offered gift bags, door prizes, skin readings and chair massages.

 

Since then, business for Define. Skin Care and Esthetics has been booming and is off to a great start, according to Gallagher. “In our first two months we have accumulated a good client base,” Gallagher adds. “[They] seem to be eager to try out their high standard services and learn more about how to maintain the healthy glow everyone seeks.”

 

The day spa offers up a wide variety of services, including facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, make up and lash application, waxing, and relaxation massages. Prices range from $10 to $150. “We educate our clients during every service, striving to teach them all about their skin and what they can do to target their concerns,” adds Gallagher. “We also promote different products that they can use at home to maintain a good complexion, outside of our facilities.”

 

What makes Define. Skin Care and Esthetics unique? “Some spas tend to be cramped and full of commotion,” says Gallagher. “One aspect that makes our day spa unique is the tranquil and calming environment; in addition to our exclusive focus on skin care services.”

 

To learn more about Define. Skin Care and Esthetics, visit www.defineskincareandesthetics.com or “like” them on Facebook.

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