The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

Authors Posts by Sara Elliott

Sara Elliott

Sara Elliott
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Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Sara started as an editorial intern before working her way up to assistant editor and then editor. She also serves as the Director of Strategic Communications, running Cincy Chic's social media sites. When she's not working for Cincy Chic, Sara is a mom to her toddler, Audrey. To contact Sara, send her an email at selliott@cincychic.com.

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    From Peru to the Queen City, a local lady was inspired by a sense of adventure and the unknown when she launched her own leather-carved brand. Read on to see where you can shop locally to find her products and to hear about the apparel she’ll launch soon.

    Denisse Zavala-Rosales was inspired to launch her business Antlers & Leathers from her love for adventure.

     

    For some, the unknown sets off a feeling of uneasiness. For Denisse Zavala-Rosales, it inspires. It was a sense of adventure, the unknown, the gypsy, the wild, wanderlust, the overall rugged beauty of nature, the lost, living authentic and true to yourself that inspired her to launch Antlers & Leathers.

    Zavala-Rosales is the Western and Boho-obsessed Peruvian behind Antlers & Leathers, which she says is more than just a brand but a way of life that sells eclectic leather pieces full of style and individuality. “The main focus of my brand is ‘tooling’ leather, which actually means carving leather and the main goal is creating pieces of wearable art that are as unique as the people who will be carrying them,” says Zavala-Rosales.

    When it came to launching her own business, Zavala-Rosales wanted to show off her love for leather in a business name that expresses uniqueness, reinvention, and beauty. “Antlers are unique to each animal, though they grow in symmetrical pairs,” she explains. “They shed and regrow each year, and I just think they are beautiful and give animals such characters.”

    This one-woman show is run by Zavala-Rosales and officially launched on June 4, 2017, while she was still working a full-time job at a publishing company. However, as of mid-November, she quit her 9-5 and began dedicated her life to her dreams and is now running Antlers & Leathers as her full-time venture.

    When you shop Antlers & Leathers, you’ll find that all of the products are leather goods and include vintage cuffs, carved cuffs, clutches, crossbodies, dog bandanas, purses, bags, and so much more.

    Price points vary depending on the product you purchase. Zavala-Rosales says that vintage metal hand stamped cuffs run from $40-$50, carved cuffs are $60-$70, clutches run $150-$390, and bags run from $280 and up.

    The quality of the product is certainly reflected in the price. Zavala-Rosales says that it is all 110% handmade. “I design, cut, sew, too, paint, dye, combine different types of leather, and style it all one at a time, resulting in a one-of-a-kind piece that will be truly one of a kind and unique,” she adds. “If you are looking for that heirloom-quality piece that will set you apart from the crowd, Antlers & Leathers is for you. You won’t find that at your local mall.”

    While she prides herself on the handcrafted bags, cuffs, and other unique pieces, Zavala-Rosales says she’s also working on bringing apparel to the brand, too.

    You can shop Antlers & Leathers’ newly launched website, or you can visit BlumeHome Shop in Lebanon and soon find the brand’s carved dog bandanas on display for made-to-order at Earthwise Pet at Harper’s Point.

    To learn more about Antlers & Leathers, visit antlersandleathers.com. You can also follow along on Instagram and “like” their Facebook page.

     

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    Want to get your little one swim-ready? Learn about holiday specials and winter swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School in West Chester, and watch as we test the waters with our kiddos. (Hint: they LOVED it!)

     

    Winter is here, and with snowfall on the ground, pool time might seem far away. But to prepare your little ones for successful swimming this summer, experts say now is the best time to get them in the water.

    Goldfish Swim School in West Chester provides swim lessons to children between the ages of 4 months and 12 years old. 

    “We offer classes in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student to teacher ratio), shiver-free 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system,” says Goldfish West Chester General Manager Jen Deis. 

    When you take swim lessons with Goldfish Swim School, you don’t have to worry about crazy time slots that keep you at the pool all day long. According to Deis, families with kids of different ages and skill levels can conveniently have all of their swimmers int he pool during the same half-hour time slot. 

    Deis says the most important part about getting your kids in the pool, and signing them up for lessons at Goldfish Swim School, is to teach them consistency and repetition for when they hit the pool next summer. Giving them these lessons now will also help them to develop the skills they need to safely enjoy the water as well.

    Goldfish Swim School offers more than just swimming lessons. They also offer weekly family swims for both members and non-members in addition to party packages. This allows you to get in the pool with your children and enjoy a little swim time together, adding to the overall swim experience for the whole family.

    At the West Chester facility, you’ll find that the facility has an air conditioned viewing gallery for parents to watch lessons, a spacious family dressing area with private changing rooms, a snack bar, a retail shop, and plenty of warm, tropical decor to make you feel like you’ve been transported to a much warmer part of the country!

    To encourage you to get your kids in the pool and to teach them water safety, you can call Goldfish Swim School West Chester to schedule a free trial class and to check out the facility for yourself.

    If you have a little one you want to get in the water this winter, check out the limited-time-only holiday packages. “Each gift basket includes two months of lesses and the annual membership fee for just $185,” says Deis. “There’s also an option to customize retail items in the basket.”

    For more information on the holiday package, or other swim lessons, Deis says you can reach out to Goldfish Swim School Wester Chester, or shop the package online.

    Goldfish Swim School is located at 7058 Ridgetop Drive in West Chester. You can register for lessons or learn more about swim lessons by clicking here or calling 513-857-1700. You can also connect with them on Facebook and check out their YouTube channel.

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    Inspired to give others more time doing the things they love, one Cincinnati-based man is helping busy moms with a new on-demand concierge service.

     

    Ever wish you had more hours in the day to complete everything on your to-do list? THat’s why Bryce Maynard launched Queen City Concierge.

    “Queen City Concierge is an on-demand, full service, personal concierge that is based in downtown Cincinnati,” explains Maynard. “Our mission is to give busy moms and professionals more time to do the things they love.

    Maynard was inspired to launch his own concierge service because he knows that there are so many out there who have things going on that we never get around to because of other responsibilities.

    “Queen City Concierge is going to change that,” he says. “I want to be able to give my clients something none of us can ever buy back, time.”

    He wants busy moms to spend more time with their children, spouse, friends, community, and whatever else it is that they’re passionate about. “I grew up in a family of incredibly strong women who all had an inherent drive to take care of everyone around them,” he says. “It did not matter who you were or where you came from, if you came to our house, my family would do anything and everything to make our guests comfortable.”

    This family philosophy had a major impact on Maynard, so much so that it’s had an influence on everything he’s done in his life. He says it made him the hard working and detail-oriented person that he is today.

    “As my great-grandmother always told me, ‘If you have the ability to help anyone, you’re the luckiest person in the world,’” adds Maynard.

    Maynard is the sole founder and operator of Queen City Concierge. He’s lived in Cincinnati for the last five years after moving to the Queen City from Springfield, Ohio. “Cincinnati was starting to become the hot spot for startups and I had to get in on the action,” he says. “I’ve worked as the Marketing Manager of Cincinnati for Uber as well as for Jimmy Gibson of Jimmy G’s as his marketing and sales manager.”

    When you shop for concierge services from Queen City Concierge, you’ll find a variety of services such as grocery shopping, light housekeeping, entire home deep cleaning, “wait for” services, home organization, pet services, shopping, special and emergency delivery, party and event staffing, new parent help, home checks and house sitting, moving assistance, and anything else you may need help with.

    Maynard says that what makes Queen City Concierge unique is its “on-demand” services and the business model it utilizes. “Our clients aren’t locked into a contract and call us only when they need us,” he says. “I will have to say that this is pretty unique for a person my age to be doing something like this, let alone a young guy starting a concierge business. Being the new guy on the block only gives me that much more of a reason to go above and beyond for my clients.”

    Queen City Concierge will continue to help locals accomplish the tasks they need done without sacrificing time with the ones they love. Maynard says Queen City Concierge recently started their gift wrapping services for the holidays. They’re also currently in the process of developing a virtual assistant service for clients that includes answering phones, researching for purchases, client emails, managing schedules and travel arrangements, and more.

    Maynard says you can learn more about Queen City Concierge at www.queencc.co. Or you can follow along on Facebook, send an email to bryce@queencc.co, or call 513-268-6890.

     

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    A single mom of three is using her creative skills to brighten up homes and workplaces through her watercolor art and originals, graphic design and photography.

     

    Lucrecer Braxton, Founder and Owner of Lucrecer Braxton Creative

    Cincy Chic: What is Lucrecer Braxton Creative?
    Lucrecer Braxton, Founder of Lucrecer Braxton Creative: Lucrecer Braxton Creative is a design business where I specialize in watercolor art and originals, graphic design and photography.

    Cincy Chic: What inspired you to launch your own design business?
    Braxton: I am inspired by stories. I have always been an artist and I always have a story. I use art to tell and express my story and the stories around me.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
    Braxton: Me! I am a single mom of three and my kids inspire me to express myself through my art and creativity.

    Cincy Chic: When did you launch your business?
    Braxton: I officially launched Lucrecer Braxton Creative in the Fall of this year, but it is not my first business.

    Cincy Chic: What types of products do you create for clients?
    Braxton: Watercolor florals and word art as well as acrylic paintings.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Lucrecer Braxton Creative unique?
    Braxton: My floral watercolors are authentic and free-flowing. I am a perfectionist and watercolor allows me to freely express myself while creating something people will love. A lot of people are doing calligraphy, but I make a point of using watercolor to create unique pieces of art that look good while inspiring you to be your best you. I want to make custom art accessible to anyone who wants to have something unique in their homes and workspaces.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your business?
    Braxton: YES! I am planning a few calligraphy and watercolor workshops in the new year. Really looking forward to sharing and encouraging people to embrace their artistic side.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Braxton: I am most active on Instagram and share a lot of what I am doing there. I also have a Facebook page for the business.

     

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      Want to hit the road for the holidays? If you have young ones, you might be thinking twice because of all the bedding, strollers and other kiddo equipment you’ll need to make a trip possible. We chat with the local lady behind a new baby gear rental service that’s taking a load off (literally) for families nationwide.

      When it comes to preparing for a trip away from home, it can be stressful in and of itself. Add in kids and the stress levels can really start to hit the ceiling. However, there’s a nationwide company with a Cincinnati representative that wants to help make your travel experience a little easier: Babierge.

      A combination of the words baby + concierge, Babierge is the leading baby gear rental service and marketplace that offers traveling families the opportunity to rent the baby equipment they’ll need while staying at hotels, vacation rentals, or even private homes.

      “The company leverages gig-economy baby gear rental entrepreneurs, called Trusted Partners, who deliver, setup, pickup, and clean quality baby gear that they own,” the company’s website states. “Trusted partners, mostly moms, build a business on the Babierge platform and receive insurance, as well as ongoing coaching and business mentoring, from the company.”

      In Cincinnati, that Trusted Partner is Lindsey Brown. Brown says that she was inspired to become Cincinnati’s Trusted Partner for Babierge through the stress she experienced while traveling with children.

      “My goal [through Babierge], is to help families travel with less and make more memories,” she says.

      Brown says that the way Babierge works is similar to Airbnb. You find your location, choose your gear from a wide assortment of available items, from full-size cribs to jogging strollers, car seats, and toy boxes, and then make your reservation.

      Lindsey Brown, the Cincinnati Trusted Partner for Babierge.

      “Our gear is delivered exceptionally clean, safe, and is also insured,” she adds. “The gear is delivered and set-up prior to arrival of the kiddos and I come back once they leave to pick-up.”

      This rental service allows families the freedom of lugging bulky baby gear through crowded airports while avoiding high fees and other stresses of traveling with children. The service can also be used by grandparents, friends, and other family members who don’t want to purchase expensive baby gear and store it between visits from their loved ones.

      Brown says that the most popular items rented from Babierge are a full-size crib and high chair. “We all know that kids eat and sleep a lot,” she says. “Other popular items are the white noise machine and toy package.”

      She also provided a list of items typically rented from Babierge and their prices:

      • Full size crib with mattress and linens: $14/day
      • Car seat: $10/day
      • Toy package: $10/day
      • Pack n’ play: $8/day
      • Stroller: $8
      • High-chair: $7/day
      • Video monitor: $7/day
      • White noise machine: $3/day

      While the idea behind a baby gear rental business is already unique, it’s the quality of the products from Babierge that make the company stand out among others in the industry.

      “Not only do we provide quality gear, but our customer service is extraordinary,” says Brown. “My goal is to make traveling with kids easier by providing all the comforts of home. My customers have included grandparents hosting grandkids, friends hosting out-of-town friends with kids, and those visiting Cincinnati for weddings and other activities. My customers love the fact that I can deliver and set up all equipment prior to their guests’ arrival so that they don’t have to worry about it, they just get to enjoy the company!”

      Brown says that Babierge is looking to increase its location throughout the United States in 2018 before moving to the international stage. In addition to expansion, Brown says the company also hopes to enter into more strategic partnerships with leading travel brands, similar to the ones it already works with such as Destination Hotels, Kid & Coe, and HomeAway.

      To learn more about Barierge, click here. You can also “like” Brown’s Babierge Facebook page.

       

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      Head north for a mini-getaway in a castle! Read on to learn more about this historic bed and breakfast, complete with award-winning spa, nestled in a nearby small town.

       

      GreatStone Castle in Sidney offers spa treatments, a bed and breakfast, and a lodge to get you off the grid for a weekend.

      Head about 90 miles north of Cincinnati and you’ll find the small town of Sidney. Situated on Interstate 75, Sidney has that small town feel with modern day amenities. It’s also home to multiple castles, one of which was converted into a lodge and spa that lets you escape the stresses of everyday life for a time.

      “GreatStone Castle is an elegant and unique venue for private and corporate events and meetings, a bed and breakfast, and a day spa,” says GreatStone Resorts Day Manager Elizabeth Evans.

      GreatStone Castle’s history dates back to 1895 when the Victorian mansion was constructed by owners William and Fannie Goode. According to Evans, the castle is now run by retired Lt. Col. Frederick and Victoria Keller.

      The Castle is available for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, family gatherings, business and organizational meetings, showers, graduations, anniversaries, and celebratory of all sorts.

      However, when you’re looking for a place to go to escape the busyness of the city, GreatStone Castle has you covered. The bed and breakfast as well as its spa offer relaxing accommodations and services.

      It terms of its spa services, GreatStone Castle offers relaxation, deep tissue, and European stone massages as well as a variety of body rubs, mineral whirlpool baths, and facials featuring Repechage products. Evans says that all spa services are available by appointment to both bed and breakfast guests as well as walk-ins.

      “The Spa at GreatStone only offers the finest face and body treatments with Repachge products,” says Evans.

      Skin care services include OptiFirm Eye Treatment and a variety of facials. Spa treatments at GreatStone include mineral baths, hand and feet masques, hand and feet treatments, body rubs and polishes, which are between $25 and $105 and range in length from a half hour to an hour and a half.

      Aromatherapy can be added to massages and there are also packages available for individuals as well as couples. Evans says that stays with the Castle can be booked alongside spa services to get everything scheduled at once.

      Lodging options at GreatStone Castle includes the Windsor and Brighton suites and the Victorian room. “The suites are a bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom en suite,” says Evans. “Both feature king-size beds, original gas fireplaces, and flat screen televisions with cable.”

      Meanwhile, the Victorian, which is popular with groups of ladies, has both a queen and a full bed and television with cable.

      “Breakfast at GreatStone Castle is served from 7:30 am to 10:30 am and is cooked to order from our menu and served in the Conservatory,” explains Evans. “We are always happy to accommodate special dietary needs if notified when reservations are made.”

      The Castle also offers Wi-Fi, but if you’re looking to go off the grid for a weekend, the Canal Lake Lodge just outside Sidney is an ideal place to visit.

      The Canal Lake Lodge, which is a separate facility about 10 minutes from the Castle itself, is built of log and stone. “It’s a mile off the road, surrounded by 100 acres of farm and woodland,” says Evans. “The Lodge sits on a wooded plateau overlooking a private 8-acre lake.”

      For those in search of a relaxed getaway, the Lodge is the ideal spot, according to Evans. “Guests that bring their fishing gear can take one of our rowboats out on the well-stocked lake. There is also a much-used shuffleboard court.”

      “The Lodge is available for overnight stays for a couple, group of friends, or a family. A king, queen, and three twin beds are available. It has a huge wood-burning fireplace, gas grill, and fully-equipped kitchen,” she explains. “A flat screen television and BluRay player are provided but the Lodge has no cable or Wi-Fi, making it the ultimate ‘get away from it all’ destination,’”

      The cooking and cleaning at the Lodge is up to the guests, although breakfast foods are supplied. Evans says for the ultimate stay at the Lodge, you can book massages there, too.

      Evans says a weekend getaway to GreatStone Castle and Canal Lake Lodge is ideal because it’s geared to adults that wish to have a quiet, pampered getaway in unique surroundings. “It is our goal to make every guest feel welcome, while affording them the privacy they crave,” she says. “Many of our guests are now ‘regulars,’ returning again and again.”

      Plus, the Castle itself is unique. Constructed of an 18-inch thick Bedford Indiana limestone, it features a wraparound porch supported by stone columns. “Three turrets give the massive structure its castle-like appearance,” says Evans. “GreatStone is finished in rare hardwoods from various countries, transported by ships and rail, to their final destination stop a hill in Sidney.”

      Within the Castle is an extensive collection of stained glass and antiques, which are displayed throughout the mansion. “With over 4,200 square feet on each floor, there is plenty of room to explore,” says Evans.

      Plus, GreatStone Castle is just a few blocks away from downtown Sidney, a small town that is in the midst of a revitalization with booming shops and eateries, and also features architectural gems such as the county courthouse, its Gothic revival Civil War memorial building, the Big Four Bridge, and the famous People’s Federal Savings and Loan building, designed by Louis Sullivan, a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright.

      GreatStone Castle is located at 429 N Ohio Avenue in Sidney. To learn more about their services and pricing information, or book your stay, visit www.greatstonecastle.com or call 937-498-4728. You can also “like” them on Facebook.

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      Inspired by her childhood passion, a Kentucky woman created a treehouse village with her husband and father, making for a unique weekend getaway experience!

       

      Earth Joy Treehouse Village offers a secluded getaway in a treehouse.

      If you’re looking for a world of outdoor adventure, you’ll find it at Earth Joy Treehouse Village. Located in Brooksville, Kentucky, about an hour southeast of Cincinnati.

      Owned by Shelly Byrne, alongside her father and husband, Earth Joy Treehouse Village is what Byrne calls a “world of adventure in one place.”

      The Village has two tree houses, both of which are available to rent, in addition to 200 acres of trails with surprises along the way like a three-person hammock, hobbit tree houses, creeks, ponds, and an abandoned frontier cabin open for exploration.

      “Plus, you can sign up for guided tree climbs,” says Byrne. “Bill will take you step-by-step to the top of the trees, and we’ve partnered with a local horseback company to offer horseback riding as well.”

      Shelly and Bill Byrne

      Earth Joy Treehouse Village opened in 2007, and was a long awaited dream of Byrne’s. “My older brother, younger sister, and I would spend hours in our woods pretending we lived in tree houses,” explains Byrne. “We built borders with twigs and used rocks as our furniture.”

      It was also a way for Byrne to deal with things that were going on in her life, such as her grandmother losing her battle with cancer. So, Byrne wanted to open up a place of treehouses that would help guests get out and enjoy the outdoors in the same way she did when she was younger.

      There are two treehouses at Earth Joy Treehouse Village: The Pete Nelson and The Aliyahs.

      Byrne says the Pete Nelson treehouse is famous and is known as the Kentucky Climbers Cottage, and the story behind the build was shown on Treehouse Masters more than 20 times.

      The house is comprised of a timber frame that sleeps two adults and four children. “It features an upstairs full loft with a Casper mattress,” says Byrne. “Large barn doors open to bring the outside in and there’s a cozy wood burning stove and large deck. It also has a full kitchenette and an outdoor propane grill.”

      The Aliyahs treehouse features a big red oak tree in the middle of the living room. It has a loft that sleeps two, a swinging bridge that leads you to the “snuggle palace” that sleeps four, and has quaint patio furniture, a fire pit, a full kitchenette, and is propane heated.

      When you stay at Earth Joy Treehouse Village, you’ll find that the treehouses can be combined with guided tree climbs. The 5-star facility is privately owned and also offers retreats for women, health care professionals, couples, and other team building programs.

      Although they recently added The Aliyah to the compound, Byrne says that she and her husband and father will be adding another treehouse to the property as well as all-terrain golf carts that can take guests from the treehouse to the front of the property.

      To learn more about Earth Joy Treehouse Village or to book your stay, visit climbky.com. You can also check out The Aliyah and Pete Nelson Airbnb listings.

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      When touched by the world’s refugee crisis, a local Miami University professor was inspired to open her own store selling Fair Trade items from makers around the globe.

       

      SoulCraft Middletown sells Fair Trade items from makers around the world.

      Cincy Chic: What is SoulCraft Middletown?
      Lauren Matus, Owner of SoulCraft Middletown: SoulCraft is a fair trade store location in revitalizing downtown Middletown. We sell only fair-trade verified, handmade products from artisans across the world.

      Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the store?
      Matus: The recent refugee crisis was the inspiration for opening SoulCraft. I had been teaching a course on nonprofits and NGOs at Miami University and the topic of fair trade came up. My students suggested that I open a store, so I did! Really, the store is a way to encourage conscientious consumerism and to education customers about a fair trade standards. Every item in the store tells a story, and preserves the cultural heritage of the artists who handcraft it.

       

      Cincy Chic: Who’s behind SoulCraft Middletown?
      Matus: I am the sole owner of the shop. I am a former writing instructor-turned-entrepreneur. I moved to Middletown about four years ago and was excited for the opportunity to be a part of the positive changes in downtown.

      .

      Cincy Chic: When did you open SoulCraft Middletown?
      Matus: SoulCraft opened on November 26, 2016 – Small Business Saturday

       

      Cincy Chic: What makes SoulCraft unique?
      Matus: SoulCraft’s name reflects the spirit of the store – the artists who make the items I sell have perfected their craft and put their souls into creating beautiful pieces.

      Cincy Chic: What types of items do you carry in-store?
      Matus: We sell jewelry, clothing, home decor, and unique gifts.

      Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
      Matus: We haven’t launched our website yet, but readers can follow us on Facebook!  

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        A locally-owned, female-led marketing company is helping women succeed with happy careers, valuable work-life balance, and lengthy tenures. For our annual "Working Moms" issue, we chat with Empower's inspiring Vice President about its mom-friendly policies and new OTR digs.

         

        Ashley Walters, Vice President at Empower.

        Formerly Empower MediaMarketing, a rebranded Empower is a family-owned, certified woman-owned business. It’s also one of the largest independent U.S. media agencies left in the country with  more than 170 employees.

        Headquartered in Cincinnati, Empower prides itself on a culture that is driven by trust and transparency.

        “Empower’s expertise includes media, creative, word-of-mouth marketing, and digital marketing communications,” explains Senior Specialist Laura Arnold.

        Breaking ground at Empower’s new OTR office location

        Empower also prides itself on Vice President Ashley Walters, who leads the agency’s business development efforts. “As a media agency that engineers relationship chemistry, Ashley tackles every client challenge with the heart of a matchmaker and the precision of an engineer,” explains Arnold. “Ashley’s leadership and ability to match Empower’s strengths to a brand’s challenge has helped steer Empower into its best year in revenue in its 32-plus year history and grow a robust client portfolio across the food, home, and retail categories.”

        According to Arnold, Ashley’s resume includes working with several P&G brands in the retail and home industries like Febreze, Chiquita, Kroger, La-Z-Boy, and HGTV over more than 10 years of experience. All of that hard work has also landed her nods from AdAge for “Top Marketing Campaign of the Year” and “Best New Product Launch of the Year” in addition to several other industry awards from PRSA, PRWeek, and WOMMA.

        Inside Empower’s new OTR-based offices

        Arnold says that Ashley also recently joined the Forbes Agency Council, which is made up of an eclectic group of thought leaders. “As an APR-certified, results-driven public relations and marketing professional, Ashley was hand-selected as an authority in media strategy, PR, and advertising,” says Arnold. “She has contributed to more than a dozen stories in Forbes with other key industry experts.”

        Aside from a #bosslady who has made a name for herself, Empower is dedicated to helping women succeed. More than 71 percent of director-level and above positions at Empower are held by women. “Having such talented role models helps to encourage others and ensure they are equipped to further their careers,” explains Arnold. “Empower’s culture of people, and their families, first manifests itself not only in the statistic above, but in the average tenure of Empower employees.

        In an industry that’s known for high turnover, Empower employees have an average tenure of nearly eight-and-a-half years thanks to a supportive and encouraging work environment, with policies like 10-week full pay maternity leave with an ease-back-in option of working four days a week at full pay for up to eight weeks.

        Empower also offers unlimited PTO and flexible work schedules and a private health and wellness room for nursing mothers to easily maintain their work and pumping schedules.

        Empower’s new 64,000-sq-ft office in OTR offers views of the city and a space to rent for local businesses

        With a maternity and PTO policy that helps women succeed, Empower is also a close-knit family despite its large size. “You are known on a first-name basis by leadership and management,” says Arnold. “Empower’s CEO meets with every single person to discuss company values in detail.”

        Following a rebrand, Empower says that it will head into the new year with its forward momentum as the top leading female owned agency in a new 64,000-square-foot office in Over-the-Rhine. They’ll also be using their fourth floor space to rent out for a business that’s interested in downtown views and unique balcony space.

        To learn more about Empower, visit www.empowermm.com. You can also follow along on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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        To spend more time with her daughter and pursue her passion for fashion, a former P&G spokeswoman just opened the Tri-State’s premier boutique with all the best designer labels under one roof.

         

        Felisa Insignares of Designer Items & More

        Felisa Insignares is about empowering women to look and feel their best at work and play.

        “It gives me so much satisfaction to empower women to feel and be their most confident whether in the boardroom or office, in front of the camera, at a special event or simply living every day moments,” she says.

        Insignares took what was a hobby of selling clothes on eBay and turned it into a booming new career with a brick-and-mortar boutique, Designer Items & More. Located in Olde West Chester, the store specializes in high-end, new, pre-owned, and vintage couture designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. But what makes the store even more special is her approach to serving customers through private consultations.

        “I try to learn what each woman’s roles are and what kind of message they’re trying to convey, and what investment pieces are already in her closet,” says Insignares. “After I have that information, I pull together wardrobe pieces and when she comes in I have canapés and pink champagne waiting for her. She gets a chance to try on the pieces I pulled out for her and we get to kind of learn together on the journey.”

        Insignares’ career hasn’t always been in the fashion world, however, as she was once a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble. There, she realized her passion for wearing, and then selling, designer clothes online. She eventually left the company in 2012 when she became a mother and stayed home to take care of her daughter full time. She found her perfect work-life balance when she opened her boutique, which is by appointment only, so she can create a schedule that works for both her clients and her family.

        When you shop at Designer Items & More, you’ll find brands such as Moschino, Louboutin, Akris, Dior, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, and many more. “We sell genuine designer items that are new with tags or gently used and dry cleaned before we sell them,” adds Insignares. “Each item is checked for flaws and any significant imperfection is identified as part of our full-disclosure to our customers.”

        Prior to your appointment, you’ll chat with Insignares on the phone so she can learn about your style profile, and what you’re looking for. She then pre-selects items has has them ready for you to try on once you arrive. This not only saves time, Insignares says, but it creates a customized shopping experience for the client.

        Insignares says her clients are typically the women who have arrived. “They’re women 40-plus and they tend to be corporate executives or financiers, quite a bit of lawyers, entrepreneurs and business owners, as well,” she says, adding that since she opened her doors, she’s dressed women from Russia, Canada, England, Australia, Japan, China, and Switzerland.

        For the holidays, Insignares is making the purchase of gift cards easy. You can easily order online, and she’ll send the beautifully wrapped gift card and complimentary Parisian-themed ornament with free shipping.

        If you’d like to visit in person without an appointment, Insignares has special Holiday Open House hours on Dec. 3, 10, 15, 16, and 17. Click here for details.

        And as a Cincy Chic reader, you get an exclusive offer to book a shopping party with your fashionista friends, but it’s only if you call by Dec. 1, 2017. The organizer will receive a $200 gift card for a party of five or more total event attendees. Includes complimentary champagne, canapés, and a store-wide 10% discount. To schedule, email info@designeritemsandmore.com or call 513-349-2080.

        You can visit Designer Items & More at 8919 Brookside Avenue in Olde West Chester, or “like” them on Facebook. Watch below for a virtual tour of the space and shopping experience.

         

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