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A local mom and entrepreneur is helping trans teens and kids find a wardrobe that’s a perfect fit their identity and shed what’s not.

Nancy Dawson is the mother of a trans teen, and knows first-hand how expensive it can be to buy a child a new wardrobe. She also knows the time it takes for kids to find their style. 

So, to help trans kids and teens find a wardrobe that corresponds with their identity – she founded Transform, a free boutique for trans kids and teens to trade in the clothes of their old life and find a new wardrobe that’s a better fit. 

Dawson founded Transform alongside Tristan Vaught, of Living with Change; Marissa Fine; and Ella Dastillung, Dawson’s daughter. “We are run entirely by donations and have teen volunteers as the stylists,” says Dawson. “We are currently accepting gently used shoes, kid clothes size 5T and up, contemporary teen clothes, jackets and coats, jewelry, and purses.”

Transform is much more than just a thrift store, however. Dawson says that clients come in the store and fill out a detailed form. This not only allows the stylists to get to know more about their clients, but they can also give a high-end personal shopper experience. 

And if the shopper pulls something that doesn’t quite go along with a client’s style? Dawson says they can even go back to the store and tweak the wardrobe they’ve taken home. 

Currently, Transform is located in the back of Dawson’s bridal makeup business brideface (located at 2009 Elm Street), but the store has really taken off in the community and she hopes to have a Transform storefront soon. 

For now, clients can be seen by appointment only. 

To learn more about Transform, check out the Facebook page. There you can find donation updates, donation drop-off information, volunteer forms, and client registration forms.

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Read about a local handbag designer that’s relaunching her brand with a line of super chic, high-end handbags you’ll love for years to come.

Missy DeGroot has been designing for years. But before recently relaunching her brand, she decided to take a bit of a break from the industry to zone in on her product aesthetic, design philosophy, and ultimately, her customer.

Along with that reflection came the relaunch of DeGroot Handbags, which recently launched a new website at On the website you’ll find the current collection of handbags from DeGroot Handbags as well as more information on the brand’s philosophy. 

“I’ve launched with two silhouettes, yet they come in over 20 leathers and colors,” explains DeGroot. “I was so excited to get the two new styles out there that I didn’t want to wait until I had the other designs completed from the factory. In the near future there will be more styles – including a great tote and a couple of stunning bags that are more suited for an ‘everyday bag.’”

When she redesigned her bags, DeGroot wanted to offer something that she knew her customers would like. That’s why during her relaunch she took into consideration the “why” behind the purchases of her customers. 

“It was so interesting to hear the same stories from my customers who would tell me that they were still wearing the same bag, nearly 10 years later, and were receiving compliments and getting noticed,” she says. “They wanted a ‘statement piece’ – something chic, sophisticated, and timeless. So, keeping that in the forefront of my mind, I designed a cohesive collection of styles that I believe will be as relevant in 10 years as they are today. I believe that great design doesn’t have an expiration date.” 

Not only are the pieces offered by DeGroot Handbags classic and timeless, they also feature leathers and fabrication coupled with a design aesthetic that gives the brand a unique look. “Many types of leathers used in the collection possess unique, one-of-a-kind patterns within the natural colorations – so no two bags will look exactly the same,” she adds.

Prices for bags from DeGroot Handbags range from $125 to $260. And customers can get 15% off any website purchase when they shop online. 

To learn more about DeGroot Handbags or to shop online, visit

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A lifelong Westside native launched her own small handmade soft goods company. Click here to read more about her journey as an entrepreneur! 

The story of Atomic Lane & Co goes back to owner Sarah Hauck’s inheritance from her grandmother and great-grandmother. 

“The inspiration behind the company comes from my love and appreciate for the vintage aprons and cookware inherited from my grandmothers,” she says. 

Today she is the owner of Atomic Lane & Co, a small, local, handmade soft goods company that specializes in sewn kitchen essentials.

“This collection and the experiences I had in the kitchen with them sparked the enjoyment I get out of cooking and baking,” she explains.

Hauck is also a trained seamstress, so she was able to find inspiration in the vintage aprons that are now hers and mixing it with a Mid-century style that boasts whimsical patterns and kitschy prints to create a signature style.

The line from Atomic Lane & Co includes full aprons, vintage-styled hostess aprons, teen aprons, and aprons for children. “We also offer oven mitts and pot holders, insulated soft-sided lunch boxes, and reusable grocery totes,” she adds.

Although there is no brick-and-mortar location for Atomic Lane & Co, you can find Hauck and her merchandise at pop-up markets throughout the year and city, which you can find a list of on their Facebook page.

What makes Atomic Lane & Co unique, Hauck says, is its offering of a high quality, local, handmade product. “All of the products are made of high-quality and typically limited-run fabrics in small batches,” Hauck adds. “My goal is to provide a product that you will not see everywhere and that sparks joy when one sees it. I also aim for my customers to love every moment they use it and have fun in the kitchen.”

Hauck says she will be launching a Christmas collection of aprons that will be arriving soon. The company’s website and blog is also currently under construction and will launch this winter. 

To learn more, visit Atomic Lane & Co’s Etsy page or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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Locally-based Parental Hope has teamed up with a clothing designer to help raise funds for those battling infertility.

“Parental Hope is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the infertility community through emotional and financial support,” Jennifer Bross, Founder of Parental Hope, says. “The burdens imposed on a couple battling infertility are enormous. Because infertility is a little known and often a misunderstood disease, those diagnosed with infertility can feel isolated and alone.” 

There are many ways in which Parental Hope is helping to support the infertility community: 

The Parental Hope Family Grant alleviates the financial burden of infertility through grants that cover the full cost of IVF and other infertility treatments.

“We also advocate for those struggling with infertility by raising awareness and providing infertility education,” says Bross. “We also have peer-led support groups by bringing those battling infertility together for support.”

To help raise awareness about the issue, and to raise money for those seeking infertility treatments, Parental Hope has teamed up with clothing designer J. Elizabeth. 

The designer has created a line of infertility-related apparel, where a portion of each sale is donated to Parental Hope. Designs include adult t-shirts and baby onesies with phrases like “Worth the Wait” and “Made with Love and Science.”

“There is also a Round-Up Program where buyers are given the opportunity to donate to Parental Hope by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar,” adds Bross. 

Additionally, all of the money donated to the J. Elizabeth Foundation goes to Parental Hope to help support their cause in serving the infertility community.

For more about Parental Hope and the Journey to Parenthood event, follow Parental Hope on their websiteFacebook and Instagram

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From beauty queen to accountant, learn more about this fashionista who‘s changing the world one step at a time (in fabulous footwear of course).

From the Deep South to the Midwest, Lexie Iles wants to make her mark on the world. And she’s doing that through her fashion, lifestyle, beauty, and travel blog Lexie Smiles. 

The 23-year-old grew up in Madison, Mississippi, before settling down in the Tri-State area. Now, a resident of Louisville, an hour-and-a-half drive from the Queen City, Iles is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s in accounting and a double minor in business administration and mathematics.

While her full-time job is at Beam Suntory, most known for Jim Beam Bourbon, she’s also a pageant queen and fashionista. 

Although the blog, Lexie Smiles, is still new to the digital world, Iles has quickly amassed nearly 11,000 followers on Instagram, where she shares photos of her outfits as well as details on where she purchased them. Also, her Instagram features photos of her travels, including a trip to Greece she took last April.

Iles says that she sees her blog becoming a creative outlet that allows her to remain passionate about fashion, travel, beauty, and so much more.

In addition to her blog, Iles also launched a program that was created to provide youth with the tools they need to grow into young adults called Coffee Break with Lexie.

“Coffee Break with Lexie offers advice on professionalism, finances, college life, and general inspiration to encourage high schoolers and college students to become the best adult version of themselves,” says Iles.

To follow along with Lexie Smiles, visit her blog or check out her Instagram page.

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See how this new fashion boutique and flower bar will help your personal style blossom on a budget. 

Kate Stefani was born and raised in Cincinnati. She jumped on the Etsy bandwagon and began selling customizable bridesmaids gifts. But that passion for entrepreneurship blossomed into the desire to own a boutique. 

Stefani has always been interested in owning her own business. In fact, she even wrote an essay on owning a store when she was 13 years old. “The only differences now are that my boutique finally has a name, my store is pink and gold, and I don’t have a pink private jet …yet,” she laughs. “Who knew that 8th grade me could predict the future.”

Today Stefani is the owner of Blush and Bubbly, a fashion boutique and flower bar in Oakley. The boutique sells clothing, accessories, shoes, outerwear, and swim wear. The store also carries home decor, hosts events, and features a flower bar where you can build your own bouquet. 

Prices for apparel at Blush and Bubbly range from $20-$60 while gifts are priced between $40 and $45. There are currently a few home decor items available, including a cute mug, that is priced at $16. 

Stefani says that because she started out as a small business on Etsy, it’s important to her that she supports other small businesses. That’s why she wants the owners of other small businesses to contact her if they’re interested in working together. 

Blush & Bubbly is located at 3184 Madison Road in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit or follow along on Facebook<> and Instagram<>.  

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This local pet bakery offers fresh treats and even a little fashion for Fido. Read on for all the tasty details.

If you like to think outside the store-bought box, check out MaiRo & Co. This locally-based dog treat bakery offers unusual treats and gifts for your furry friends. 

Stephen Drace, the Founder of MaiRo & Co says that the inspiration behind the business came from his first three dogs: Maisie, Rosie, and Coco. “Maisie, she would beg for food from the table, especially peanut butter toast, or anything with cheese,” says Drace. “Looking for store-bought treats to give her, we couldn’t find anything that wasn’t over-processed or full of chemicals, so we created our own recipes.”

The first treated offered by MaiRo & Co was peanut butter, and it’s still a customer favorite today. After the treats were made, Drace found that friends were wanting treats for their dogs, so the batches got bigger and bigger. 

Then, when Drace moved to the Queen City in 2008, he saw that there wasn’t a business out there like his. So he opened the doors to MaiRo & Co. 

Drace, in collaboration with his co-founder husband, run the business along with their trusty test team of Coco, a Shepherd mix rescue, and their Otterhound boys Huck and Oscar. 

MaiRo & Co offers traditional hard treats for pets in lots of flavors and even includes a grain-free line, but the store is mostly known for its baked goods and pastries. 

“We offer doggie donuts, including our famous Flying Pig, as well as woofie sticks, cookies, celebration cakes, and more,” explains Drace. “For special events, we have made everything from doggie goetta sliders to Pride puppy pops, and this being Cincinnati, doggie pretzels for Oktoberfest, of course. And we love working with people to create custom cakes and other treats for their dogs.”

Additionally, MaiRo & Co sells handmade ties to fancy up your furry friends. “When our Huckleberry was going to be a year old, his breeder wanted a ‘big boy’ picture of him,” explains Drace. “I grabbed a tie from my closet and repurposed it for Huck, thinking it would be funny, but he looked quite dapper. We introduced a few at our next event, and I soon ran out of ties. Now we upcycle them, so each one is handmade and unique. We offer long and short ties, and we’ve added bow ties as well to give your dog that smarter look. The best part is, no tying required.”

Drace says that there are two things that make MaiRo & Co unique. The first is the creativity offered at the store. “Our donut designs and other specialty items can’t be found anywhere else, and our custom work means every dog owner can get exactly what they want,” he says. 

Second, he says, everything at MaiRo & Co is baked fresh and small batch, with all-natural ingredients and no additives or preservatives. “I make the peanut butter,” says Drace. “We locally source, and, in fact, the eggs come from our own hens. If I can’t spell it, why would I want to give it to my dog?”

MaiRo & Co will be bringing back Santa Paws for this year. That means the bakery will introduce new surprises and bring back favorites including the edible Snowflake Tree Ornament, as well as gift ideas for humans including treat jars and more. “Want want to be your one-stop treat shop for you and your pets,” says Drace.

To learn more about MaiRo & Co, visit You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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A local pet boutique and conscious groomery is now hosting pet parent happy hours. See how you can get in on all the four-legged fun.

Applehead City Pet is all about mindful pet parenting at their conscious groomery and organic boutique, which inspired their newest services and products. 

Recently, Applehead City Pet announced a popular 2-in-1 pet shampoo and conditioner they use in the groomery is now available to the public. “It’s a special blend we have only, until now, used in our Conscious Groomery for our pets that have dry skin or are bathed frequently,” explains Founder Desh Rain. “It’s the absolute best for getting a dog spa bath results in a short amount of time. We also now have cat blends in our Modern Herb Pet spa line.”

This new line of shampoo and conditioner isn’t the only thing making its debut at Applehead City Pet. The pet-friendly shop is also offering Mindful Pet Parent happy hour events. 

These events include the opportunity for pet parents to come into the boutique to learn special grooming techniques as well as grooming behavior therapy to help ease anxiety in animals that have had bad experiences at previous groomers. 

“We have decided to open up our space to invite our pet parent community in for grooming and training tips – basically, you drink your coffee or mimosas while we teach,” says Rain. “Dogs are welcome, but this is for the parents!”

Upcoming Mindful Pet Parent events are coming up on October 20 and October 28, and are being co-hosted by positive reinforcement dog trainer Lisa Desatnik, founder of So Much PETential. To learn more about the events, click here

Rain says that the products and services offered at Applehead City Pet are what make the store so unique to the community. “We are the only all-organic pet brand and dog grooming spa in the Greater Cincinnati area and one of the first in the entire country,” says Rain. “We are also the only grooming spa locally that grooms senior dogs, big dogs, use only organic products and no creates or cage dryers.”

The Conscious Groomery is open by appointment only and is located in Mainstrasse, Kentucky. The studio is in Essex near Walnut Hills and is open to the public for events and once a month for public shopping. 

Rain says the best place to stay up to date with Applehead City Pet is on Instagram. “Our products are available online, special events and in stores, visit our website for more info on finding our products,” she adds. 

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Affordable fashions from an Ohio-based retailer are now heading to the Hoosier State. Learn more about the new location and their upcoming Grand Opening.

On the local fashion scene, Rose & Remington is the new black. With 9 stores currently open in the Greater Cincinnati area, two new stores are opening in the Indianapolis area. There are several more to come soon, too, one of which will be in Columbus.

“Rose & Remington is a women’s affordable luxury lifestyle brand that provides a space of empowering and contemporary fashion,” explains Marketing Specialist Ashley Dennis. “We carry a wide selection of women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories, beauty, eclectic home decor, gifts, and more.”

The newest location to open, the company’s first in Indiana, opened on September 14 in  Greenwood, just south of Indianapolis. Other locations include Castleton Square in Indianapolis, which will open on October 11. 

As for the Greenwood location, Dennis says that this store brings a fresh palette of clothing, jewelry, accessories, and more that women can explore and be creative with. “We have an awesome price point that makes shopping our store so exciting.” 

Dennis says most dresses at Rose & Remington range from $30-$50 while tops range from $20-$40. 

The success in Ohio and the inspiration for opening new locations in Indiana came from the unique atmosphere the store offers its customers. Dennis says it’s a store that both mother and daughter can shop, plus it offers stylists who are experts at putting together outfits. 

The Grand Opening celebration for Greenwood will be October 25 from 5-9pm while the Grand Opening for Castleton is on October 11 from 5-9pm.

To learn more about Rose & Remington, visit You can also stay up-to-date on new arrivals, style videos, giveaways, and store openings on Facebook and Instagram.

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Cincy Chic’s annual Cocktails & Couture event is this Friday at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Click for a peek inside the fashionable fun.

Cincy Chic is hosting its annual Cocktails & Couture event this Friday, September 13.

Cincy Chic will host its annual Cocktails & Couture event on September 13 from 6-9 pm at the Cincinnati Art Museum. 

The event encourages attendees to learn history through vintage fashion vignettes and cocktail tastings, which are mixed by Molly Wellmann. It also includes access into the Cincinnati Art Museum’s “Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style” exhibition.

“Each year for this event, we have three vignettes that feature a special cocktails and fashion pieces that represent three different eras in history,” says Cincy Chic publisher Amy Scalia. “It’s a really fun way to learn history through what people were wearing and sipping at that time.”

The three eras and featured cocktails at this year’s event include: 1890 Daiquiri, 1930 Twentieth Century, 1870 Alabazam. “We will also have a bonus displayed near the vignettes of a 1960’s paper dress on loan to us from Designer Items & More,” explains Scalia. “It’s an extremely special and fascinating piece we’re excited for attendees to see in person.”

A variety of pop-up shops will be featured during the first half of the event, and then pinnacle of the evening will be a high-end designer vintage fashion show by Montgomery-based Designer Items & More. 

Vendors for the event include: Walton Creek Boutique, Stella & Dot with Alice, Pure Romance with Nikki, HempWorx Becky Wagers, Ever Skincare with Leslie Young, Paparazzi by Anna Forte, Lipsense Suzanne Goodpaster, Beautycounter with Kate Flaig, Slate & Vine, Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound, BeneYou Katie Kramer, Scentsy with Lacey Perkins, Renewal by Andersen, Mary Kay with Tiffany McMillon, Downton Abbey, DeGroot Handbags, Ann Phillips Color Street + more!

Tickets for the event are non-refundable and can be purchased at Front Row VIP tickets are sold out but VIP and General Admission tickets are still available. The $30 VIP tickets include a fashion show seat, swag bag, two cocktail tasting tickets, and light bites. General Admission tickets are $15 and include swag bag, two cocktail tasting tickets, light bites, and standing room access to view the fashion show.