The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert
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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. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. To contact Sara, send her an email at selliott@cincychic.com.

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    Obstacles, entrepreneurship, mom life, human. These elements of one local businesswoman and author inspired a movement to help you see beauty from the inside out. Read on to see how she’s sharing the stories that helped her get to where she is today.

    Enjoli Gibbs, founder of Chic Life and “Triggered” author

    Life isn’t always an easy ride. There are trials, tribulations, and plenty of obstacles that we must overcome along the way. 

    To share the story of her life journey, Enjoli Gibbs of Chic Life wrote the book “Triggered.” 

    “‘Triggered’ is a self-help diary,” she explains. “It shares vignettes of my life’s experiences, how I overcame them; and gives readers journal space to allow them to overcome along with her.”

    Gibbs says she was inspired to write “Triggered” in part because she wanted to share pieces of herself as she also grows her brand as an entrepreneur. “I’m also hoping that my experiences will help someone else, too,” she says.

    Life itself is what has led Gibbs on the journey to writing “Triggered.” 

    “I experienced a few things in my single mom-young-clueless-adult life years,” says Gibbs. “I don’t believe God brought me through these experiences to be selfish with the info. The lessons I’ve learned along the way can help someone else who may find themselves in a position similar to what I went through.”

    The journey of writing “Triggered” was a process Gibbs says she thoroughly enjoyed. She says her favorite part was naming the different phases of her life, including names such as “Bitter Betty” and “Worthless “Wendy.”

    Gibbs says that when others read her book she hopes that they’ll take away at least a few nuggets of information and inspiration that will help them become the best versions of themselves. “The affirmations are and should be a part of how we speak to ourselves and others everyday,” she says.

    And while “Triggered” was just a snippet of a few experiences that Gibbs has encountered throughout her life, she’s already in the process of writing another book. “I have a lot more to share with all of you,” she adds.

    Currently, you can purchase her book on Amazon or on her website at www.getchiclife.com. “If you go to my website, you can purchase a special edition Triggered Affirmation Box,” she says. “It comes with a book, liquid lipstick color of your choice, and a compact mirror.” 

    To learn more about Gibbs, Chic Life, and “Triggered,” visit www.getchiclife.com. You can also visit the Chic Life Facebook Page or the Enjoli Gibbs Facebook page. On Instagram, you can follow Chic Life or Joli Renee, or see videos from Gibbs on Chic Life TV.

    You can also connect with Gibbs live with a free virtual webinar on Oct. 28 at 10am. “Attendees will learn practical steps for turning mental blocks into stepping stones and overcoming fear with courage that will empower dreams into reality,” she says. Learn more at www.cincy.live/events/triggered.

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    You don't want to miss this beautiful, English-inspired estate in this week's Listing of the Week!

    This historic beauty offers extraordinary features, thoughtful updates & grand room sizes. Every inch carefully crafted & cared for by devoted owners. Gorgeous architectural detail with pocket doors, millwork & moldings. Amazing new kitchen has Terra Cotta tile floor from Europe, custom cabinetry, honed granite countertops. Private rear yard retreat. This 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom home has more than 5,000 square feet and is listed at $1.3 million.

    This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

     

     

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    Read about how Hoxworth Blood Center is helping this Lupus patient with blood transfusions.

    There’s no stopping Alle Foster. A Cincinnati native, she is an avid volleyball player and actively pursues her many passions in her job and in her free time—like supporting conservation efforts, teaching children the importance of protecting the natural world, and reducing the stray feline population in her role at the Ohio Alleycat Resource.  

    But for Alle, chasing her passions hasn’t always been easy, after she was diagnosed with Lupus in May of 2019. She credits her medical team, and the support of local blood donors, for being alive today.

    “I was diagnosed with Lupus on May 10th, 2019. Which is ironic, since May 10th is World Lupus Day!” Alle recalls.  “I’ve been in and out of the hospital five times now in the last year. Each time, I’ve needed to receive at least one blood transfusion.”

    Lupus is a chronic, long-term disease that can cause inflammation and pain throughout the body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system — the system that usually fights infections — attacks normal, healthy tissue instead. Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, and damage to the joints, skin, kidneys, blood, heart, and lungs.

    In Alle’s case, her lupus flares “usually starts with something like my heart rate or blood pressure skyrocketing, along with feeling extremely weak or unresponsive. My parents are amazing, because they’ll jump to my side in no time at all and make sure I get to where I need to be ASAP. We actually have an emergency method down for any time that I feel sick.”

    On July 25th, 2020, Alle was admitted to the hospital for the longest and most serious stay of her diagnosis. In fact, she was still in the hospital receiving treatment during the writing of this story, in August of 2020.

    “This hospital stay, my kidneys have been causing issues and I’ve been having dialysis three to four times a week,” Alle says. “I was also in a coma for about five or six days this time. I am still trying to get everything under control and it is tricky. I have no idea when I’ll be able to get out of the hospital and go home.”

    Alle is grateful to her team of medical professionals—“My nurses are a godsend!” –but she also knows that donated blood products have made an incredible impact on her life. 

    “I believe I’ve received over fifteen bags of blood in the last year, and about ten of those were during this latest hospital stay,” Alle said. “I definitely notice a difference after each transfusion! I feel more warm and cheery, as odd as that sounds. I feel like it gives me my color back as well, and gives me more strength. I wish I had a better way to explain it. It is almost magical how much it helps.”

    Hoxworth is the only steward of the blood supply in the Cincinnati area, serving more than 30 hospitals in 18 counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana—and since blood products cannot be created in a lab, these lifesaving transfusions have to come from volunteer blood donors. Alle is grateful for those selfless individuals who make the time to give of themselves for patients like herself.

    “I would absolutely hug the person or persons who donated the blood I received. I would love to thank them in person and let them know that I am a living, breathing person that they helped with their short donation time,” she declares. “You have no idea how much receiving blood changes your life until you need it and receive it. I am so fortunate to have been able to receive blood from the local supply.”

    “So if you are a local donor, (especially O+), there is a chance I received your blood and am alive and feeling so much better with your donation,” she continues. “Thank you, thank you! Please continue to donate! Patients like me need you!”

    And if you aren’t yet a donor, Alle wants to encourage you to consider rolling up a sleeve—because she knows firsthand that it’s such an easy thing to do.

    “I actually started donating blood myself shortly before becoming ill,” she says, “and I wish I had been able to donate more before all this happened.” 

    And now, as a recipient, she’s making it her another one of her passions to promote blood donation in the community.

    “I completely understand being nervous to donate blood or platelets, but it goes by so much faster than you’d ever expect! The staff is so friendly and understanding and honestly, you ARE saving lives,” she says encouragingly. “Without donated blood, I could very well not be here. So, if you could do something as simple as sit in a chair for a bit, donate blood and save a life, then please do. Try it just once and see how it goes!”

    When you donate with Hoxworth, you are saving lives close to home—just like Alle’s. If you’re ready to schedule your next donation, call us at (513) 451-0910 or visit our Donor Portal. 

    Here is a list of upcoming Hoxworth Blood Center Blood Drives:

    September

    9/28/20 – Kroger Marketplace Lebanon

    9/28/20 – Kroger Oakley

    9/28/20 – Downtown Mobile at Fountain Square

    9/29/20 – Scripps Center

    October

    10/5/20 – Crossroads Church – East Side

    10/9/20 – Crossroads Church Mason

    109/20 – Crossroads Church – East Side

    10/13/20 – Crossroads Church – Florence

    10/13/20 – Crossroads Church – West Side

    10/16/20 – City of Blue Ash

    10/18/20 – Main Street Lebanon

    10/26/20 – Jungle Jim’s Fairfield

    10/27/20 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

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    We chat with the salon owner behind this vibrant, diverse and uplifting business that’s creating quite a following.

    Jessica Bernard, owner of Bombshell Beauty

    Jessica Bernard took a leap of faith in 2016 when she launched her salon brand Bombshell Beauty on a shoestring budget.

    “I invested heavily in online marketing in order to reach new guests and grow my brand’s reputation year after year,” she says. 

    Bernard offers high-quality hair services and skincare, as well as traditional beauty services. “I also write, albeit irregularly, about my business, posting my odd take on beauty trends and news on my blog titled Beauty and the Blog,” she adds.

    The inspiration behind Bombshell Beauty comes from the idea of creating a place that’s different from the norm. “I really wanted to break away from the traditional hair salon and offer another experience that included more personality with more diversity, more artistic ability, and give my clients more educated control on how they wanted their beauty experience to go,” she says. “In creating a salon and beauty brand, I get to redefine beautiful everyday, from weekly curling sets to rainbow hair creations.”

    Bernard’s experience in providing her clients with salon and beauty services goes back to 2004 when she became a licensed cosmetologist. She says that she never fit into the standard beauty mold but wanted to stand out and inspire other women to love and accentuate their beauty to their own standards. 

    “Through my journey over the past 20 years, I went from a careless teenager that took a chance on beauty school to a small business owner of an uplifting, and a little cheeky at times, brand that’s creating a following,” she adds.

    Bernard also takes pride in the fact that she’s running a business while living her best life as a momma. She says it was something she didn’t see as a possibility just five years ago, but knew she needed to take the jump to meet her family’s needs. 

    “After taking a six year career diversion from the beauty industry; learning through entry level positions in customer service, advanced opportunities with tech and sales teams, I really earned the confidence in my abilities to learn anything I wanted to,” she says.

    Those skills she learned on the outside of the industry came back to the salon with her and she started marketing her work on Facebook as an independent stylist. “My clients’ confidence in my work has been the ultimate payoff in creating a life for my family and the ability to inspire other women to pursue their passions,” she adds.

    At Bombshell Beauty you’ll find corrective and vibrant hair color services as well as texturing services such as keratin smoothing and permanent waving. She also offers hair shaping and styling for both men and women. 

    Most recently, Bernard began offering Hand Tied Weft Hair Extensions to her menu, of which she offers complimentary consultations. 

    Clients of Bombshell beauty can upgrade their color makeovers to include a self-empowering Boudoir Photography Shoot. “Hair and makeup are provided, three outfit changes, and nine poses all edited are delivered to your email,” says Barnard. 

    Barnard hopes to expand her salon to include an on-site photography studio, complete with a wardrobe to choose from to create amazing photos. 

    Bombshell Beauty is located at 244 E. Sharon Road in Cincinnati. 

    To learn more about Bombshell Beauty, visit www.bombshellbeauty.com. You can also follow along on Facebook

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    Get your kiddos into the Halloween spirit with new specialty boxes that include books and cookie decorating kits.

    My Bookworm Box is a subscription-based business that introduces your little ones to the world of reading. However, as parents and working moms, life can get busy and trips to the library can often become far and few between. 

    “That’s when I came up for the idea behind My Bookworm Box,” says My Bookworm Box Founder Amy Kelly.

    The books in each box sent to scribers are customized for each child. “Even though we mail out monthly, each box for each child contains different books,” says Kelly. 

    Now, as we head into the Halloween season, My Bookworm Box is teaming up with Cakes by Kat Bake Shop to offer Halloween Boxes.

    There are two options for the Halloween Boxes offered by My Bookworm Box. Customers can choose from four Halloween Board Books or Easy Readers Books for you to keep, or three Chapter Books for you to keep. 

    Also in the boxes is a cooking decorating kit put together by Cakes by Kat Bake Shop. These kits include four vanilla almond sugar cookies, one packet of each orange, black, and green icing, and one packet of sprinkles. 

    All of the boxes ship on Thursday, October 1 and are priced at $44.97. 

    Monthly subscriptions for My Bookworm Box are $14.99 per month for easy reader and chapter book boxes. Board book boxes are $19.99 per month. 

    To learn more about My Bookworm Box or to order a Halloween Box, visit www.mybookwormbox.com. You can also follow song on Facebook and Instagram.

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    The founder of this new group helps you live your life and dreams on your own terms. See how she’s helping you do it all, without doing it all on your own.

    Daniyiel Walker knows it takes a village. To help her find that village and do all the things she knew she was capable of, she launched The Alpha Female Association. 

    “The Alpha Female Association’s mission is to motivate and provide female entrepreneurs with services and resources that create effective social media strategies and lifestyle designs that elevate a powerhouse for both personal and business growth,” she explains. “Along with creating related events, content, and a community of like-minded women.”

    Walker says that she was inspired to launch The Alpha Female Association after she found it difficult to run a business from home, be a mother, and be a wife all at the sametime. “I knew I couldn’t be alone in this constant struggle to stay afloat,” she says. “After years of educating myself, advising other women of how to brand and market their online presence, and thriving in healthcare administration, I decided to tell my story on a daily basis and met some amazing women along the way.”

    Then, what would become The Alpha Female Association began creating events that harvested moments and relationships with the City of Cincinnati, by helping women who are established or just starting to design the lives of their dreams. 

    Walker and The Alpha Female Association provides the tools and services clients need to help them scale and brand their online business with their creative brand development and social media management services. 

    Through The Alpha Female Association, Walker hopes to create a community of female entrepreneurs that not only run powerhouse businesses, but also get to live their lives while doing so. 

    The Alpha Female Association isn’t the only way that Walker is creating her community, however. 

    “I’ve also worked to create and produce a podcast called Alpha Female Motivation,” says Walker. “It’s a podcast that provides experiences, advice, and stories to help women live their dream life. Cliche, maybe, but we all want to live life on our own terms.” 

    Season 2 of The Alpha Female Association airs on October 6. The Alpha Female Energy book and planner will be available in December. 

    To learn more about The Alpha Female Association, visit www.alphafemaleassociation.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram, and find the podcast by searching “Alpha Female Motivation” on Spotify and iTunes. 

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    Learn about a local law student who started a social account that shares all things book-related with her followers.

    Cincy Chic: What is Read Along with Nat?
    Natasha Rulason, Founder of Read Along with Nat: Read Along with Nat is an bookstagram account, which is an Instagram account specifically for discussing all things book related.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
    Rulason: I used to post about the books I was reading on my personal Instagram page, but I found that I didn’t receive much engagement from my friends on those particular posts. I started my bookstagram to have a place to talk about books with other folks who love to read. I also use my bookstagram for accountability to reach my reading goals. Over the past few years, I had read maybe 10 books total, but I really wanted to return to reading more often, so I set my 2020 goal at 30 books. Thanks to quarantine, I have surpassed that and my second goal of 60 books. My latest goal is 150 books, but I am currently at 144, so I will be increasing my goal again to 200.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
    Rulason: I’m Natasha, but most folks call me Nat. I am originally from Michigan, but have called Cincinnati home for the past eight years. I work in the manufacturing industry as an accountant and am also pursuing a master’s in taxation at the University of Cincinnati. My partner and I live in College Hill with our two cats, Gilda and Osito.

    Cincy Chic: What are some of your favorite books?
    Rulsason: This is such a hard question for someone who reads so many books! Some of my favorites that I have read in 2020 are Running by Natalia Sylvester, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong, and The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio. 

    Cincy Chic: What makes Read Along with Nat unique?
    Rulason: My followers know me for my graphic novel recommendations. There is a lot of talk in the book community and beyond about whether graphic novels (and audiobooks, for that matter) count as books. Both of these book formats make reading more accessible for folks who may have difficulty reading a typical physical book. I especially like to read graphic novels that are about historic events because they offer a more approachable view of what are often difficult stories. Some of my favorite graphic novels are New Kid by Jerry Craft, Good Talk by Mira Jacob, Displacement by Kiku Hughes, and the Check, Please! series by Ngozi Ukazu.

    Cincy Chic: Why do you enjoy sharing what you’re reading with followers?
    Rulason: This account has been especially fun to have during the COVID quarantine. It has been pretty hard to be home so much and not see folks in real life, but my bookstagram has been such a fun escape during this time. One of my favorite parts of this community is when I share a book review and my followers suggest other similar books that I may enjoy. The list of books that I want to read has grown exponentially this year!

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for you?
    Rulason: My partner and I have started working on plans to build a Little Free Library in our yard. I was inspired by Sarah Kamya’s Little Free Diverse Libraries initiative and look forward to offering more diverse book options to my neighbors of all ages. We hope to have it up and running by spring 2021.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Rulason: Folks can find me on Instagram at @readalongwithnat! I don’t share reviews for every book I’ve read on bookstagram, but I do review all books on Goodreads. Just search “readalongwithnat” in the member search box and my profile will pop right up.

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

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

    Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa: Happy treat-yourself Tuesday! Pamper yourself with @mitchellssalonanddayspa haircuts, facials, nails, and more! Perfect just in time to switch it up for fall!

    PLUS: they are hiring! Click the link in their bio to see if you qualify to apply for one of their jobs today!

    Curated Shopping Cards: Shop local and save! @curated.shopping.cards offers a deck of cards giving you 20% off at local participating shops in the greater Cincinnati area! Just click the link in their bio to order your deck today!

    Beneath the Lily Pad: Only a couple days into fall but we are LOVING all these fall inspired goodies! @beneaththelilypad now has some beautiful fall pieces up on their site for you! Just click the link in their bio to get your order started!

    PLUS: check out their #RBG inspired line! All proceeds go towards the #AmyMcGrath campaign!

    Busy Bee Cleaning: Looking for some help when it comes to cleaning? @busybee.clean is here for you! They offer services from regular cleaning to deep cleaning! PLUS: all their supplies used are eco friendly products!

    Click the link in their bio to see more details on services offered! ALSO: make sure to check out their page for a giveaway and helpful tips!

    PLUS: receive 10% off your first cleaning 🤩

    Kentucky Botanical Co.: GRAND OPENING‼️
    @kybotanicalco is having their grand opening in Covington today! From 11-8 stop by, celebrate, and get your hands on products like CBD, essential oils, and more!

    PLUS: see their latest post and keep an eye out for details on how you can win this bundle in a giveaway today!

    Hoppin’ Vines: Calling all my football fans! Watch the games today with @hoppinvines Sunday NFL specials! Swipe to see all their amazing deals!

    Starting at noon, grab your favorite people, drinks, and get your watching on!

     

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    Click here for a recap of what was featured on our home design website Cincy Home Chic Home!

    Here’s a recap of what we featured on our home design website, Cincy Home Chic Home:

    Save Big in Blue Ash with a Tax Abatement

    5 Ways to Make Your Offer Stand Out

    7201 Treetop Lane – New Construction in Madeira

    See the Perfect Building Lot in Montgomery

    Accessorizing Your Shelves

    Soapstone Countertops

    How to Sell Your Home When You Have Children

    Inspection Process 101

    Four New Homes on Orchard Trail

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      A writer turned fur mom is sharing the heartfelt story of the pup she adopted — emotional baggage and all — with an important lesson about kindness and empathy. Keep reading for all the tail-wagging details.

      Danise DeStasi

      Danise DiStasi has been a professional writer and involved in leadership development and coaching for more than 20 years. However, that came to a head in 2013 when she adopted a dog named Louie. 

      “I soon discovered that Louie brought a lot of emotional baggage to the relationship,” she explains. “He demonstrated behaviors that deeply concerned me, and I was not sure I wanted to keep him. I quickly realized Louie needed acceptance, consistency, discipline, and – above all – unconditional love. Louie was a struggle but I made the choice to keep him. I also had to intentionally choose to love him despite his baggage.”

      It’s Louie who inspired her to launch Unleash Love, an organization whose mission is to eradicate bullying from the classroom to the board room. “We offer a compendium of material all based on our rescue pup, Louie,” she says. “All three books, Lead Like Louie, Love Like Louie, and Louie’s Little Legs, share the same messages.” 

      Those messages are to be a loving person by being kind, patient, etc,; to not see others as objects; and to understand there’s always something unknown in other people’s lives.

      Unleashing Love started when DiStasi started sharing with friends and clients the crazy stories about her dog. “They were not your typical dog stories, they were leadership lessons wrapped up in funny and heartwarming stories about the transformation of this little dog and his crazy owner,” she says. “That;s when I started blogging and eventually put the blogs into a leadership book, Lead Like Louie.”

      From there, the story evolved into her writing a book for kids her granddaughter’s age and then another book for younger children. 

      “Louie continues to provide material on a regular basis,” she adds. “He loves visiting schools and nursing homes and is a walking testimony of the transformative power of love.” 

      Part of the message behind Unleashing Love is the mission to eradicate bullying. “We hope this book creates a-ha moments for children and the parents who read the book with them,” explained DiStasi. “In the grander scheme of things, if we could all take a moment and realize that everyone has some struggle going on before we jump to conclusions, we might make an impact in our world. Before judging anyone, be kind, don’t make assumptions, and take time to understand others. It is an age-old lesson but one that is desperately lost in the noise of our world today. Perhaps a lost rescue pup with little legs and behavior issues could change the world.”

      DiStasi says that she and her granddaughter Evi are working on Love! Laugh! Lead? For High Schoolers. “The Louie Crew also has two more books in the works for the Louie’s Little Legs series of 12 books: The Magic of Patience and The Magic of Perseverance.

      To learn more about Unleash Love, visit unleash-love.com. The hardback of Louie’s Little Legs is available there, as well as Love Like Louie and Lead Like Louie.

      On Amazon, the paperback version of Louie’s Little Legs is available as well as Love Like Louie and Lead Like Louie.

      You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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