The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati


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Learn about the woman-owned, independent designers getting together for an upcoming shopping event you won’t want to miss — all benefiting four great causes! 

The Luxe Experience is a new pop-up shopping event that benefits local charities.


Checking out a cool new venue, shopping with fabulous local designers, enjoying refreshments and entertainment with friends, and supporting several important causes. If that sounds like your idea of fun, you’ll want to see The Luxe Experience.
Luxe will be a completely new type of shopping experience held on May 4 at The Estate at Sunset Farm, says Lisa Robin Adkinson, the owner and designer behind Lisa Robin Jewelry and also co-founder of The Luxe Experience. The event will include a variety of fashionable vendors, drinks, food, live music and plenty of fun for a girl’s day out, all while benefiting four charities.
The idea for Luxe was inspired by a conversation between Adkinson and Valerie Jones while discussing the Dayton marketplace. Adkinson says they realized there were plenty of shopping events for local designers and vendors to showcase in the fall and winter but nothing in the spring.
“We decided we should start one,” Adkinson says. “We wanted to promote independent designers who have their own brand, and they all happen to be women owned.”
The vendors that will be featured at Luxe will be Portage Handbags by Valerie Jones, The Luxe Boutique by Suzy Harris, Lula Bell by Amy Ghantt, Prim Designs Millinery by Cheryl Richards, Coral Marie by Coral Wedel, Chic and Unique by Wanda Bronston-Grigsby and Sharon Williams-Spencer, and Lisa Robin Jewelry.
“By focusing on that for the criteria for the vendors, that makes it unique in the area because we are bringing to the market some things that shoppers here normally wouldn’t have access to,” she says.
When putting Luxe together, both Adkinson and Jones decided giving back to the community was something they wanted to incorporate. The two women initially met at a charity function where they were both vendors: Adkinson promoting her jewelry business and Jones promoting her handbags. Giving back to the community is something that both women feel strongly about, so it only seemed natural to make Luxe a charity event as well.
Portions of the proceeds for Luxe will benefit four charities: Dayton Children’s Hospital, Clothes That Work, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man & Woman of the Year, and the Therapeutic Riding Institute. When choosing the charities, it was important to Adkinson and Jones that the charities specifically help women and children.
“All the charities made sense together, they all brought something different to the mix,” says Adkinson.
In addition to giving back to the community, Luxe will be a completely new and chic experience, which is implied in the name.
“We wanted people to understand that this is upscale and unique. This isn’t the same as a lot of vendor marketplaces. It’s more exclusive and the merchandise is going to speak to that exclusivity. This is very much about designer fashion,” explains Adkinson.
The event will be held at The Estate at Sunset Farm, which is a mansion that was recently renovated into a party venue. Luxe will be the first ever-public event at the venue.
“This will be their debut to the market, so no one has seen it yet. It’s really cool, very elegant,” Adkinson says.
Luxe will begin at 1 p.m. and go on until 8 p.m. Attendees have the option for afternoon tea, wine tasting at 4 p.m. or both. Unique Celebrations by Kathy Jablinski will provide the afternoon tea and the wine tastings will be provided by Salvatore Ferragamo’s Il Borro Tuscan Vineyards.
Luxe will also have a variety of raffles and gift baskets available to win while enjoying drinks and shopping through the eight designer boutiques. Clothing, jewelry, art, hats and handbags; Luxe will have it all.
“My approach is that if we’re all independent designers, we need to be working together to support each other,” Adkinson says. “We’re not in competition if we all share the same types of customers and if we can do something like this we can really bring some unique opportunities to those customers in this marketplace.”
Adkinson hopes to continue Luxe after this year to be a rotational event every fall and spring to bring in new vendors, customers and charities.
To join in on the Luxe experience, you can purchase tickets at Ticket prices will go up after May 1, and there are special rates for groups of eight people or more. Learn more about the vendors, charities or Luxe on their Facebook Page.

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We're down with stripes in this week's episode of Styling with Amy and Amy! Keep watching to learn more about why you should have this classic staple in your closet this season!


Amy Scalia with Cincy Chic chats with Amy Elberfeld, founder of Styling with Amy and a personal stylist with NYGARD Direct. To learn more about Styling with Amy, contact Elberfeld at 513-260-2696, or you can visit her website at

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See how a Twitter account and fun pastime inspired the launch of a new Cincinnati-themed business.

Cincy Shop is the newest online store for Cincinnati-themed merchandise and wall art featuring Cincinnati sports, beer, and Skyline.
Back in 2011, after a few drinks with friends at college, Matt Roden created the Twitter account that has now inspired his newest business, Cincy Shop.
“I had seen someone use the hashtag, but I searched and saw there was nothing for Cincinnati,” he says. “I created the account, followed a few people, tweeted a few things and then woke up and had almost 300 followers overnight. I was like, oh ok, this is catching on.”
Today, the account has 105,000 followers. Cincy Problems keeps its followers updated on all things Cincinnati, primary of which are sports, beer, and construction.
Roden updated the account throughout his college years at the University of Cincinnati where he earned a degree in information technology. He currently works as a solutions developer downtown, but works on Cincy Problems and Cincy Shop on the side.
Through the popularity of the account, Roden decided to launch Cincy Shop just last year. The online shop sells t-shirts, hats and wall art by a number of local Cincinnati artists. Local photographers such as Abby Erwin, Eric Vice, Mark Tepe, and Michelle Peters are featured on the site.
“Cincy Shop started as a small business, marketplace to allow local photographers, local boutiques and small business shops to be able to sell their products without having to worry about creating the website and the upkeep costs as well as spending money on promoting it to potential customers,” Roden explains.
The mission of Cincy Shop is to help out all of Cincinnati’s local designers and small businesses to help get their businesses off the ground, and have an outlet to promote their work. 
Currently, the most popular products are the Cincy Problems shirts, which Roden usually designs himself. The designs are created from his posts on twitter or other trending topics.
“I see what people are excited about or what goes trending in Cincinnati that week, I kind of grab inspiration from that to come out with shirts that I would wear or I think are hilarious and what I think other people would enjoy as well,” he says.
Some of the shirts are specific to OTR, Cincinnati beer, Cincinnati sports teams, or sport sayings such as “Broke Freeways Dope Threeways.”
The shirts are all hand printed by one of Roden’s good friends, Josh Grahl, who owns National Screen Printing and Arnar Limited.
“All of the designers and photographers get a portion of the sales,” Roden says. “I’m not doing this to pad my wallet, I’m doing this to help out as many people as I can.”
The whole purpose of Cincy Shop is to give back to local artists in Cincinnati. A native of Cincinnati since he was two, Roden says he has a passion for the people here. “The following I’ve grown over the years is amazing,” he adds. “I never thought it would explode into what it is now.”
Cincy Shop is always on the lookout for local artists and small business owners to feature. You can reach out to Roden on Instagram or check out the products for yourself at

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Read on as our wedding guru shares her six savviest tips for plus size wedding dress shopping. 

Shopping for your Dream Wedding gown should be an experience that you never forget. Make sure that your experience is as memorable and lovely as you had envisioned. If you are considered a plus size” bride, take into consideration a few of these tips to make your shopping excursion easier on you and your bridal party.

1.) Call ahead to the bridal boutiques you want to visit

Many bridal stores carry sample sizes” for the brides to try on. Majority of these sample sizes are size 10s and 12s. Which in your normal ready to wear clothing can be equal to a size 6 or 8. It would be beneficial to call the bridal stores that you want to visit before your appointment to ensure that they carry sample sizes for you to try on. For instance:  if you wear a size 18 pant, more than likely, the sample size gown you need to try on is a size 20 or 22.  

Also, even if the sample is not quite your size, the bridal stylists are highly trained on how to make a sample gown fit you closely so you can get an idea of how the gown will look like on you in your actual size.

2.)  Trust your bridal stylist

The bridal consultants that work in the boutique have been trained on the different silhouettes of each gown and the best silhouettes on different body types. If you have read articles on plus size wedding gowns, you probably feel that you have limited options of gowns that are only an A-line silhouette. This is definitely NOT the case! We have gorgeous curvy brides who ROCK the fit and flare or mermaid silhouettes all the time!  Please let your bridal stylist know your personal style. And, please trust your stylist if she/he pulls a silhouette that you never dreamt of wearing. It just may surprise you how stunning you look in that particular style!

3.)  Wear your best undergarments when trying on the gowns

Undergarments help tremendously when trying on the bridal gown samples. They can really change the shape of your body quite a bit and help you truly visualize how the gown will look when it is in your size. Undergarments such as Spanx, a special bra, or a bustier will help when trying on the wedding gown samples.

4.)  Pay No attention to the number size you are ordering

When you find your Dream Gown and Say Yes to your Dress”  the stylist will then take your measurements to find the gown size you will be ordering. Majority of designers require bust measurements, waist measurements, and hip measurements. Trust your consultant when she/he recommends a size from the size chart.  Have her show you the size chart and explain to you why she is ordering that particular size. Majority of the time, your waist or hips put you in a size larger than you normally wear. For example:  your bust is a size 14, but your hips are a size 18. Your consultant will order the size 18 so your gown will fit you in your hips.

Also, even if you plan on losing weight, you still need to order the size you are currently measuring. Do not put the added stress of trying to lost weight while planning a wedding. All bridal gowns can be altered down a few dress sizes.

5.)  Find the Best Seamstress for your alterations

When you receive your gown from the bridal store, you then will need to meet with a bridal seamstress to have alterations done to make the gown fit your body like a glove. Ask the bridal boutique who they refer for alterations. Majority of bridal stores work closely with seamstresses and know the best in the business.  

6.)  Have an amazing support group 

Most importantly, when shopping for your wedding gown, ensure that you have a trusted support group with you. Ensure that the people you surround yourself with on that day are encouraging, motivating, and supporting. Finding a wedding gown is an exciting experience, but it can also be daunting. Nonetheless, if you are a plus size bride, you want to ensure that you find a bridal salon who caters to you and who will have the designers that you love and want to try on.

I hope these few tips help you in your gown search! If you are wanting to have a personalized experience in a bridal salon who only caters to plus size brides, you can find an awesome boutique called Love Curvy Bridal” located in the Reading Bridal District of Cincinnati! Love Curvy Bridal caters to the bride size 16-32 with designers such as:  Allure, Pronovias, Lis Simon, & Mikaella.

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We're sharing a variety of fashion trends you can expect to see this spring! Keep watching for more.

Amy Scalia with Cincy Chic chats with Amy Elberfeld, founder of Styling with Amy and a personal stylist with NYGARD Direct. To learn more about Styling with Amy, contact Elberfeld at 513-260-2696, or you can visit her website at

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See how one local artist is using her art therapy and fashion design skills to help people across the community.


Karen Kurak makes silk and woven scarves and offers massage therapy services.

Studies show, that for some people, art can be a stress reliever. The creative process offers many benefits, including helping people relax and work through problems to find a solution. This is the basis behind Karen Kurak’s personal experience and art therapy practice.

“I thought I’d Ike to spend my time showing people who don’t know how to access abilities they already have. I felt in the end this could be incredibly empowering. This is why I became an art therapist,” says Kurak, who grew up in the Cleveland area, but came to Cincinnati for her undergrad education, studying fine arts in the DAAP program.

“I give my mother lots of credit for letting me explore all kinds of different art materials and not minding if I made a mess in the process. That experimentation was among my best teachers,” she says.

Kurak chose a focus in fibers during her time at DAAP because she found them “alluring and beautiful.” It was through her own creative process that she discovered the principals of therapy, and that the creative process could be used to help others. She decided to complete her graduate degree at the University of Louisville to pursue a career in art therapy.

“As an art student trying to set goals for and work through the inevitable problems presented by an art assignment, creative process would show itself. The harder I tried to think my way through it, the farther away good resolution would slip, just like a mirage,” Kurak explains. “Every time I would loosen my grip, walk away from the canvas, take an illogical approach, listen to that small voice, follow the language of color, line or form, there it was. The solution that would appear was without fail, better by far than the often contrived, well thought out formula my left-brain was tying to design all by itself.”

Art therapy uses creative processes and art making to fulfill psychological and emotional needs. This can help foster self-expression, create coping skills, manage stress or strengthen confidence. Kurak says this kind of therapy has helped treat clients who have experienced trauma, grief, depression, major life changes, chronic illness and anxiety.

“It is important to state that being ‘good at art’ is not necessary to benefit from art therapy. Art-making takes place from within,” she says.

Through her own personal experience, Kurak says her own creative process helped her through personal, emotional or psychological issues.

“My experience of this creative space or creative dynamic was palpable and even felt magical at times. Creatives of every stripe know this space or state,” Kurak explains. “I knew that this experience was not mine alone, but must be universal. I figured that this must be an inherent human quality. If that were true, I felt it would be a worthy mission to show others how to engage it.”

In addition to art therapy, Kurak also makes and sells her own art, including woven blankets, scarves and wraps.

“I also do portraits on canvas with oil paints and collage with cloth, photography and fibers, sewing elements onto paper or canvas,” she says. “I hand dye and hand weave 100% cotton baby blankets, hand weave scarves and wraps and hand dye silk scarves and wraps.”

These pieces can be found at Mica 12v in OTR or on Kurak’s art website. To learn more about Kurak and her art therapy services, visit her therapy website

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We chat with the designer behind a new, locally-based, eco-friendly clothing line that’s blending the worlds of sustainability and luxury.


Designer Tessa Clark finds inspiration for her clothing line through her upbringing, where she grew up next to a water-powered stone-grinding mill.

Entrepreneur and designer, Tessa Clark, started her fashion career at the University of Cincinnati in the DAAP (Design, Architecture, Art and Planning) program, but she didn’t always know that was fashion was her calling.

Clark started attending DAAP in 2009, starting out studying fine arts and then switching to graphic communication design before settling on a fashion major. She just recently graduated in 2016, where she also began her brand, Grind & Glaze. 

“My brand is an extension of my thesis collection, which is featured as collection one on my website. My second collection was created to beta test the local market, which went well,” explains Clark. 

Clark’s next collection, Autumn/Winter 2018, will be available for purchase online later this summer. 

Tessa Clark, Founder and Designer of Grind and Glaze.

“At its core, the inspiration behind Grind & Glaze is closely tied to its name, as well as my personal upbringing,” says Clark. 

Clark grew up in rural Ohio, right next to a historic, water-powered stone-grinding mill, and her father was the miller. Clark’s mother is a self-taught ceramicist and her studio is on the first floor of Clark’s childhood home.

“My upbringing wasn’t the norm, so it provided me with a lifetime of inspiration to pull from. I often think back to where I grew up and describe it as magical. Everyday I lived in my own universe and playground,” Clark says. 

The name Grind & Glaze as well as many of her designs are inspired by Clark’s childhood.  

“Grind refers to the grinding of grain, and has all evolved into the raw, unrefined, rough, masculine elements of my designs,” Clark explains. “Glaze refers to glazing of ceramics, and has evolved into the glossy, feminine, elevated elements of my designs.”

The DAAP program taught Clark a lot through her years of studying and her internships. She interned for two luxury brands, two smaller brands, and one corporate brand. 

“I learned most of what I know about the industry through these internships. Everything from textiles, finishing techniques, pattern making, communication with factories, PR, to learning that working corporate was not for me,” Clark says. 

It is also extremely important to Clark that her brand stays sustainable and eco-friendly. 

“One of my passions is to educate consumers –that’s everyone– about this topic. The textile industry is the second largest pollutant in the world, after oil. That is largely due to the fast fashion industry. Most consumers are not educated on the destruction that the fast fashion industry has on earth,” she says. 

As a designer, Clark aims to never contribute to the destruction and low ethical standards in some of the fashion industry. She does not use any synthetic material unless it is recycled. All Grind & Glaze products are currently made in Cincinnati, and in the future they will only be produced in factories with regulated standards of safety and made by people who receive fair wages. 


“I want to create garments that make women feel confident in, and I want to continue educating people on the importance of buying eco-friendly and sustainable products,” Clark says, “Other than that, a big draw to being an entrepreneur is the fact that I work for myself and have the ability to create my own stories and universes for women to ‘live’ in.”

You can keep up with Clark and Grind & Glaze on Instagram, and stay on the look out to purchase her fall collection later this year on