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

Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert
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

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Tired of paying too much for headbands that didn't work well enough, one local soccer mom got creative and created her own. Learn more about the accessory that’ll take your look to a sassy new level.


Cincy Chic: What are Sassy Bands?
Paula Cochran, Owner of Sassy Bands: Sassy Bands are affordable headbands that are velvet-backed to grip your hair and stay in place. The width of the headbands are 3/4”, 7/8″, 1”, and 1-½.” We also offer key fobs and lanyards. At this time we offer over 400 different styles, and add new designs almost weekly. My standard size fits most everyone but do offer custom sizes to fit younger kids. (I have made for as young as 18 months)

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Cochran: I started making them for my daughter who is a competitive soccer player, because some of the other headbands being sold are very pricey. All of her friends and teammates started asking me to make them some. Shortly after Sassy Bands was born. In March 2012 I made a Facebook page, as of today we have 1,247 likes. I set up booths at numerous soccer and softball tournaments. I figured if I could make a little extra money to help pay for her soccer that would be great.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Cochran: I am. I grew up in Cincinnati and now live in Lynchburg, Ohio with my husband Rob and daughter Savannah. I work full-time as an aide for the intervention team in Lynchburg. My daughter and I make all of the headbands. When we are busy or getting ready for a big tournament my husband has even pitched in to help.

Cincy Chic: What makes Sassy Bands unique?
Cochran: Sassy Bands are unique because there are so many choices and they are affordable. I sell then 1 for $8.00, 2 for $15.00 and 3 for $20.00. I also sell to many teams (10 or more of the same ribbon for 5.00 each). Customer service is also very important to me. I want all my customers to be happy with the product they receive, so they will hopefully be return customers and tell their friends about my small business.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more/purchase/etc.?
Cochran: To place an order or if you have any questions you can send me a message on Facebook or email All of our ribbons are listed on Facebook for you to see. If you’re looking for something you don’t see I’m always happy to try and find it for you.

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    There’s nothing quite like a bond between sisters. It’s even more special when their passions and professions collide into launching a new business together. Keep reading to learn about the local ladies behind the creative studio and boutique that specializes in all things monogrammed and handmade.

    Christine, Michele and Melyssa Kirn, the three sisters behind Olivia Lane Designs.
    Christine, Michele and Melyssa Kirn, the three sisters behind Olivia Lane Designs.

    Three sisters who have a passion for design and handmade designs decided to team up and launch what started as a personalized gift shop and has since blossomed in a full-blow creative studio and boutique – Olivia Lane Designs.

    The business, run by Christine Kirn and her sisters Michele and Melyssa, is a one-stop shop for unique gifts from shirts designed and made in-house to unique gifts for anyone, explains Kirn. The trio also focuses on wedding and events and gives brides as well as event planners the option to visit Olivia Lane Designs with requests to create anything that will help make their special day or event unique.

    Kirn explains that it was Michele, the middle sister, who originally founded Olivia Lane back in November 2012 when she was in search of a way to make a little extra money while attending graduate school. “The name ‘Olivia Lane’ came from the street we grew up on,” says Kirn. “Sadly, no one is named Olivia in our family.”

    When Olivia Lane Designs was getting its feet off the ground, the sisters created and sold monogrammed items such as drinkware and apparel for adults and children. Kirn says that once she graduated from college and moved back home in August 2013, she and Michele added wooden designs and monograms to Olivia Lane. Then, in March 2014, their oldest sister Melyssa moved back to Cincinnati from Columbus and thus the Olivia Lane Designs you know today was officially open for business.

    “When Melyssa joined us and we became Olivia Lane Designs, we added graphic tees, unique accessories, custom weddings and event decor and custom wood signs,” says Kirn.

    It wasn’t a hard decision for the three sisters to go into business together and launch something like Olivia Lane Designs. “The three of us have always had a passion for art and handmade items, stemming from our creative parents,” says Kirn. “We have a deep appreciation for well-made and well-designed items and strive to make products from both companies that are unique and with the utmost quality.”

    What makes Olivia Lane Designs unique is more than just the items they create and sell, it’s the bond the family has. “We run and operate everything together, from designing to production and selling,” she says. “We do all of our own designing and hand make everything in our shop. Olivia Lane Designs and Grainwell (another business owned by the sisters) are truly family businesses and our parents are the first people to step up to help when help is needed.”

    All the the products sold at Olivia Lane Designs are made in the U.S. If the girls don’t make them, then someone who is local does. Just a few of the items sold at Olivia Lane Designs include monogrammed cake toppers, monogrammed water bottles and graphic teets with state names, “Mrs.,” arrows and baseball tees for Reds fans.

    Prices at Olivia Lane Designs range between $10 for a coffee mug and $36 for graphic tees.

    Olivia Lane Designs will be at the City Flea + Go OTR Summer Celebration on May 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so be sure to stop by and visit.

    To learn more about Olivia Lane Designs, click visit You can also like them on Facebook or email You can also use the hashtag #LoveMyOL. The boutique is located at 316 West Pike Street across the river in Covington. Kirn says that the storefront (called Grainwell) will open on Monday, April 27. Hours will be Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. 2 p.m. and by appointment.

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    See how some local visionaries are turning urban agriculture into an integral part of community economic development, environmental sustainability, social engagement and overall quality of life for the region.

    The team behind Grow the Cov.
    The team behind Grow the Cov.

    The health benefits of eating fresh and healthy food are immense. However, eating healthy isn’t always the most budget-friendly option. That’s why there’s Grow the Cov.

    Grow the Cov is a resource for urban agriculture just across the river in Covington, Kentucky. The organization supports the public’s access to fresh, affordable, healthy foods. It’s a great resource for those who want to eat healthy and learn about the practice of urban agriculture as well as the benefits of leading a healthful and sustainable life.

    “The inspiration behind Grow the Cov comes from Covington being a fresh food dessert,” explains volunteer Lydia Cook. “Our initiative includes supporting the Covington Farmers Market and creating more demand for better access to fresh foods at local markets, grocers and corner stores.”


    In addition to bringing fresh foods to local distributors, Grow the Cov is also focused on bringing awareness to people about their food and its origins. Cook says that serves as part of the organization’s mission in order to help nurture a relationship between the community and their local or regional farmers.

    What makes Grow the Cov even more unique than its dedication to providing education and being a resource for the community is that it’s, for the most part, ran by local supportive residents.

    Cook says that’s lots of new things on the horizon for Grow the Cov. They’ll be offering free soil and fertilizer, obtaining more chickens and goats, starting programs tailored for children and venturing out to the Covington Farmers Market. “There’s more, but surprises are much more fun,” Cook says with a smile.

    You can read content from Grow the Cov on a bi-monthly basis in the River City News or stay tuned in on Grow the Cov’s website. To read a complete partner and contributors list, click here.

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    Learn about one man’s journey from engineering with the Air Force to opening his own art gallery with followers in Cincinnati and around the world.

    Nicholas Yust, owner of Yust | Gallery, at work on one of his metal art pieces.

    Nicholas Yust is the man behind Yust | Gallery. Yust enrolled at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) where he studied Fine Art and Art History with an interest in abstract art, oil pastels and interior architecture.

    However, as he continued through school, he found that his interests were shifting toward math and science. That’s when he decided to change his focus to engineering where he eventually became a researcher for superconductivity applications for directed high-energy weapons systems while working an internship for the United States Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

    Yust held the gallery’s grand opening on March 28. When asked his inspiration behind opening is own gallery, he says that it’s Cincinnati’s traditional and transitional style of architecture and design. “The Yust | Gallery was designed and built to bring a new vision of contemporary fine art to our city,” he explains. “My background in art and engineering along with my unique imagination has created a new perspective for abstract art.”

    Yust | Gallery is a fine metal art business that also includes a design and fabrication studio as well as photography packaging. Attached to the studio is a fine metal art gallery featuring Yust’s work. Inside the gallery, guests will find contemporary fine wall art, wall sculpture and freestanding sculptures.


    Yust expanded his facility in 2010 to a building with more than 3,500 square feet of modern industrial work space. “To accentuate my ultra modern artwork style I designed the new building with contemporary minimalistic architecture,” he says.

    Yust’s work has been shown at fine art and craft shows across the country and even recently debuted in Europe, where he has an extensive following. He adds that he’s even been asked to create large scale corporate artwork and sculptures for several Fortune 500 companies as well as for television and movie sets for NBC, SYFY, A&E, FYI and ABC. He adds that the gallery will be hosting quarterly art shows with specific contemporary and mid-century modern themes. Then, in 2016, he will be opening a satellite gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Yust Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 3602 Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati’s Columbia Tusculum neighborhood. For more information, email or visit the gallery’s website.

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    Looking to add some (permanent) color to your face? Read on to learn about a local makeup artist who’s giving you the #wokeuplikethis look you’ve always wanted.

    Angela Gayle Permanent Makeup applies permanent makeup for those who want to always look their best or suffer from a health condition that may prevent them from wearing makeup.
    Angela Gayle Permanent Makeup applies permanent makeup for those who want to always look their best or suffer from a health condition that may prevent them from wearing makeup.


    Men have it so easy. For instance, they don’t have to worry about makeup. It’s something that most women take the time to paint on (whether you actually want to or not) every morning. Forgetting to take it off at night can leave your face looking like you morphed into a raccoon overnight or can cause aggravating breakouts on your skin.

    Then, there are those who suffer from health conditions or allergies who can’t wear certain products — or any makeup at all.

    No matter the reason, there’s a solution to curb your makeup mayhem: permanent makeup.

    Permanent makeup is a cosmetic technique which employs tattoos (permanent pigmentation of the dermis) as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, such as eyelining and other permanent enhancing colors to the skin of the face, lips, and eyelids.

    What’s more, Gayle says that there are all types of people who can benefit from permanent makeup. These people include women who want to wake up wearing makeup or those who are physically active and don’t want to worry about going to the gym or a game without makeup.

    Women who are allergic to conventional makeup or who suffer from watery eyes as a result of conditions, such as Hay Fever, may also benefit from having permanent makeup applied to their face. Gayle adds that permanent makeup can help those who are visually or physically challenged, or who have invisible hair or cannot grow hair due to burns, scars or over-tweezing.

    Angela Gayle, Owner of Angela Gayle Permanent Makeup
    Angela Gayle, Owner of Angela Gayle Permanent Makeup

    Permanent makeup can be used on more than just the face, lips and eyes, it can also be used to produce artificial eyebrows, which some people lose as a result of aging, diseases such as alopecia totalis, chemotherapy or genetic disturbances. Some women who have breast surgery sometimes get permanent makeup to restore or enhance the breast’s areola.

    Men can also benefit from having permanent makeup. According to Gayle, permanent makeup is good for men who are balding or who have scars from previous hair transplant procedures.

    When the permanent makeup is applied, the procedure is done using a number of devices including the traditional tattoo coil machines, the pen or rotary machine and the non-machine or hand device. The process includes a consultation, the application of pigment and at least one or more follow-up visits for evaluating the healed design work and color of the pigment.

    Women who choose to have lip liner permanent makeup applied will see more definition and the correction of uneven lips for a fuller appearance. The procedure also helps prevent lipstick from bleeding and can minimize the appearance of wrinkles.

    Gayle says that pricing starts at $150 and goes up, depending on what is being applied, where it’s being applied and how deep the pigment is. “Eyebrows start at $275, eyeliner starts at $150 and lips begin at $225,” she says. “The price for scar camouflage varies.”

    Gayle hopes to open a full care salon in Cincinnati where she can specialize in scalp micropigmentation – her passion. It’s something that many women seek who have thinning hair or for other reasons. “Regardless why, it is devastating when it happens,” she says. “Matching the scalp color with the hair color helps hide thinning spots. Being able to permanently color the scalp helps tremendously to mask these problems.”

    Although she currently works alone, Gayle says that she hopes to begin work with a local plastic surgeon soon.

    To learn more, “like” Angela Gayle Permanent Makeup on Facebook, visit, or call 859-462-6723.

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    We chat with the owner of a local German cafe to learn more about the business she started with her mother and sister. Keep reading for all the delicious details.

    Katharina’s Café-Restaurant is a German eatery located across the river in Newport.


    Cincy Chic: What is Katharina’s Café-Restaurant?
    Elena Williams, Owner of Katharina’s Café-Restaurant: We are a German cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays with a passion for food, coffee and cakes.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
    Williams: It’s my mom, my sister Theresa and me!

    Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy most about running Katharina’s Café-Restaurant?
    Williams: We love meeting all the great people who come by the cafe!

    Cincy Chic: What types of food do you serve at the eatery?
    Williams: We serve a typical German breakfast, a variety of lunch meats, fresh rolls, fresh baked bread. We also serve lunch and every week we offer a daily lunch special, homemade chicken salad sandwich, a variety of fresh salads, soup and a few pasta dishes. For dinner we serve schnitzel wiener, just to name a few things.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
    Williams: We’re always thinking about new things we can do but for right now we’re just going to hang out in Newport.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
    Williams: Follow us on Facebook, that’s where you can find out the most about us.

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      In this week’s Entrepreneur issue, we chat with a local non-profit that’s helping the local artisan manufacturing community get their businesses up and running. Read on to see how Cincinnati Made is putting its own entrepreneurial stamp on the region.

      Brother and sister duo, DJ and Kelli Corney, who co-own Wool Shop, a 2013 Class past participant of Cincinnati Made’s First Batch program

      Matt Anthony, Noel Gauthier and Bryant Goulding were inspired by movements in other cities to launch local brands. Campaigns like SFMade and MadeinNYC were the leaders in creating local-made brands that were able to bring in business development resources for their cities’ small manufacturing companies.

      So, together the three of them began working out of the Losantiville design collective space in Over-The-Rhine with other local designers who were running into the same hiccups many do when trying to increase production and ideas.

      “Cincinnati has a great set of existing resources in manufacturing and consumer products, adn we don’t face as many issues in affordable space like San Francisco or New York so I thought we’d have a great starting point for promoting and connecting both new and heritage companies making great products here in Cincinnati, from pottery to brews,” explains Anthony.danaleavy184x256

      Enter Cincinnati Made, a membership-based non-profit that works to connect, grow and scale the small batch and artisan manufacturing community in Cincinnati. “We’re trying to connect people making products and the local resources that support them,” Anthony says.

      While Anthony, Gauthier and Goulding are the main forces behind Cincinnati Made, Anthony says that the non-profit wouldn’t really exist without the early support, encouragement and generous funding from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Halle, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. This foundation help them become a non-profit and keep their eye on lofty program goals such as creating the organization’s First Batch accelerator.

      Cincinnati Made hosted a soft launch and event for early members in March. Anthony says public events and product showcases will be offered soon.

      Companies that are interested in joining Cincinnati Made can fill out an application form, and there is no cost to become a member. Anthony says that they’re currently working on the design of the membership showcase, which will include the official launch of Cincinnati Made. The membership showcase will not only launch the non-profit but will provide Anthony and his partners the chance to talk about the organization’s member companies – which is currently about 10 and has continued to increase since the opening of the application.

      Anthony says that what excited him the most about Cincinnati Made is building the community and promoting Cincinnati as an ideal city to start and run a business. “We have a lot of programming that we’re interested in pursuing relating to supporting the member businesses, but a lot of this year will be in building the volunteer capacity and partnerships to really get them off the ground,” he explains. “We’ve started planning some factory and studio tours that will be coming up, which should be pretty fun.”

      First Batch, Cincinnati Made’s local manufacturing accelerator, is back for its third round in 2015. Anthony says they’re hoping to build it bigger and share more of the speakers, classes and connections to the broader community this year.

      Applications for First Batch are open through May 1 and hopes to reach businesses that are interested in working with the startups participating in the program.

      Anthony says Cincinnati Made is most active on Facebook, as is the First Batch program. You can also learn more about Cincinnati Made and their First Batch program, visit

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      Whether you have last minute stationery needs or are currently in the wedding planning process, one local graphic designer is ready to take your inspiration and put it down on paper.

      Joni Bishop, founder of Cincinnati By Design
      Joni Bishop, founder of Cincinnati By Design (Photo:

      After retiring from a 30-year career designing for the marketing office at an Ohio university,  Joni Bishop decided to launch her dream business.

      With no prior business experience, she decided to launch Cincinnati By Design in August 2012. “Owning and operating my own business has always been my life dream,” she says. “I haven’t looked back since.”

      Cincinnati By Design is a professional graphic design boutique that specializes in wedding invitations. Bishop designs stationery, invitations, save the dates and day-of wedding accessories such as programs, table charts, table numbers, place cards, menus, rehearsal dinner invitations and anything else that brides may need.

      “No matter what my client is looking for, I have the options to match their needs,” she explains.

      Bishop says her mission is simple. “I want to create personalized stationery that reflects my bride’s own style, complete an invitation suite that stays within my bride’s budget and to have lots of fun in the process,” she says.

      Bishop looks at the creation of a good design as a problem-solving activity. When designing for a client, Bishop likes to follow her own process. The first step involves getting together with her brides and learning more about them. She wants to hear the details such as their stories, what the dress looks like, what inspires them and things that are important to the couple to help their big day be successful.

      After the initial meeting, she likes to consult, design and refine the invitations – something that takes about two months from the first meeting to complete. “The production process can take up to one to two weeks from final approval to the finished product, sometimes longer depending on the style of design,” explains Bishop. “My client will receive a final print out of the invitation suite before we print the entire suite to be sure everything is absolutely correct and completely happy with the results.”

      Although the business aspect of Bishop’s relationships with her brides ends when they’re happy with the results, she doesn’t cut all ties. She says that she often attends her brides’ wedding ceremonies to watch them walk down the aisle. “This is the pinnacle of happiness in every couples’ lives and I enjoy being a small part of that time,” Bishop says. “It’s exhilarating and surreal to have a client love my work. Designing feeds my soul; I’m very blessed to have this talent.”

      One of Bishop’s favorite things about running Cincinnati By Design is talking to her clients directly. She enjoys knowing that she’s responsible for the creative thought and design behind her work. “I’m delivering something special to brides,” she says. “I like to think that I’m designing emotion. It’s not often in the corporate world that you can design with pink or use gorgeous script fonts. I no longer have to hold back my creativity in my day-to-day corporate life and I love it.”

      Bishop has some advice for her brides when it comes to thinking about the wedding planning process, the same advice she says she gives her own children: “Don’t be led or pressured by your peers,” she says. “Plan the wedding that you envision. Wear the bridal gown that you love – whether or not it has a designer tag. And above all else, establish a budget before you make any decisions. This discipline should follow you into marriage. You’ll never live to regret this – have a great time planning, let others help you and stop worrying about every day. Enjoy the process.”

      Bishop says that in the future she plans to start a t-shirt line with a focus on Cincinnati Landmark designs. “I’d love to sell those at a cute boutique in Over-The-Rhine,” she says. “That would be a hoot!”

      To learn more about Cincinnati By Design, click here. You can also check out testimonials here.

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      Want to get involved in the beauty industry but don’t know where to start? A local beauty school has a unique approach to helping students begin beautiful careers.

      Creative Images prepares beauty students to start their careers in the industry.
      Creative Images prepares beauty students to start their careers in the industry.

      Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology has been training professionals in the beauty industry for 21 years. “Creative Images provides its students with an education in the art of Hair Design Technology [cosmetology], Esthetics/Med Spa and Nail Technology,” says General Manager Brian Clawson.

      According to Clawson, there are approximately 240 students currently enrolled at Creative Images between its locations.

      The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences. Students who attend the school may receive financial aid through the U.S. Department of Education.

      Creative Images is always working with its students while they’re still enrolled at the school to ensure their placement after graduation. There are salon and spa liaisons who network with businesses throughout the Miami Valley area to find students jobs or internships after their time at Creative Images has ended.

      At Creative Images, students are taught current techniques and styles beginning on their first day of class to ensure that they’re successful in the beauty industry. The number of Creative Images students who pass the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology exam and receive their license is greater than 90 percent. Students who don’t pass are offered continued training at no extra cost until they do pass.

      There is an attendance requirement at Creative Images, which requires students be in class 85 percent of the time. Clawson says this helps to not only keep students dedicated but also gives them the strong work ethic needed to succeed in the beauty industry. For those who can’t go full-time and meet the attendance requirements, Creative Images offers part-time and flex-time programs so you can create an education schedule that will match your life’s schedule.

      Clawson says that the team behind the scenes at Creative Images is continually updating trends, styles and teaching techniques. “Our clientele building program is currently undergoing an update and we are exploring how we can achieve over 200 client services for every graduating Cosmetologist,” he adds.

      When some students graduate, they’ve completed more than 400 client services. While the average is closer to 200, Clawson wants all students to see a higher number of clients before they graduate to not only build up a list of regulars but to give them the most experience possible before they graduate, adding, “This many client services will allow for them to more successfully transition to their career at a salon.”

      In addition to the Dayton campus of Creative Images, there are also locations in Centerville and Vandalia.

      To learn more about Creative Images, click here.

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      A former YMCA trainer launched her own business to help Cincinnatians get in the zone and meet their unique health goals.

      Kelley Wainscott, founder of FitZone Cinci.
      Kelley Wainscott, founder of FitZone Cinci.

      After climbing the ladder to become Lead Trainer at the Blue Ash YMCA, Kelley Wainscott decided to zone in on her career aspirations and open her own business – FitZone Cinci.

      Wainscott is a certified Nutritional Lifestyle Coach and with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). “Your time is valuable,” she says of her philosophy. “Your are invaluable. Maximizing results to meet your goals is my expertise.” That’s why, at FitZone Cinci, it’s about designing fun and interesting programs to help participants achieve and meet multiple objectives and goals.

      When she’s not at FitZone, Wainscott enjoys working out, attending sporting events and teaching college courses. In addition to her fitness training certifications, Wainscott holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degree in communications from the University of Cincinnati. She’s also an adjunct professor of communications Northern Kentucky University, Xavier, Thomas More and Gateway.

      Wainscott offers special private training packages, which you can learn more about by contacting her. The private training sessions, according to Wainscott, help participants continue with the personal training that will get them at their healthiest in all levels.

      FitZone Cinci proves personal training for those who want to achieve their health goals.
      FitZone Cinci proves personal training for those who want to achieve their health goals.

      Wainscott says the trainers at FitZone Cinci provide students with the necessary expertise to ensure that they’re reaching their fitness goals but safely and efficiently. According to Wainscott, there are several reasons to train privately including the consistence it provides you, individualized programs to cater to your skills, safety, injury prevention, sports specific training, and the partnership attendees forms with their teachers.

      FitZone Cinci is located at 3917 Virginia Avenue in Cincinnati. To learn more about FitZone Cinci call 513-527-1919, email or “like” FitZone Cinci out on Facebook. Wainscott plans to launch a new website soon.