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    A local fashionista decided to carpe diem and open a new storefront in the city’s Central Business District. Read on to learn more about her inspiration and where you can find her vintage pieces.

     

    Marcie Hon in her new boutique, Down to Mars Vintage (Image: Twin Spire Photography)

    Marcie Hon has always been complimented on her unique style. Working at a high end costume shop as a costume designer has given her an eye for curating one of a kind looks. Hon is constantly surrounded by ornate gowns, costumes, and a selection of vintage pieces, which inspired her to launch her “Down to Mars Vintage” Etsy Shop, selling high-end vintage clothing.

    Hon has always had a quirky, vintage style, and in the fall of 2016, she launched her Etsy shop. She loves searching for gems and hand chooses each of the garments that are sold, setting her apart from other vintage shopping options. Not only are her pieces high style, but high quality is guaranteed. Her experience in the costume store has made her familiar with vintage cuts and sizes, which greatly differ from those of today. She has an eye for visualizing what a piece on the hanger will look like and knows how to personally style her clients.

    Down to Mars Vintage is located in the Central Business District of downtown Cincinnati (Image: Twin Spire Photography)

    Hon recalls the moment that her love of vintage fashion was solidified. When her grandparents passed, she wanted to keep their clothes. She specifically remembers her grandfather’s “members only” jacket; some may have thought it was ugly but she felt it was special and soulful. That is where her passion for vintage clothing comes from: the memories that are brought to life through the pieces.

    Hon was recently able to take her dream of a fashion brand one step further – the opening of her storefront on Main Street.

    “I was participating as a retailer in Downtown Cincinnati, Inc.’s temporary ‘Downtown Cincy Winter Pop Shop’ program from November 2018 to January 2019 when an older office space randomly opened up only a few blocks from where the Pop Shop was located,” says Hon. “I was intrigued by this new space because of the beautiful, tall storefront windows and an amazing mid-century-inspired light fixture. It seemed like too good of a location, timing, and space alignment to pass up, so I went for it.”

    Hon says she couldn’t have come across a better time to open her own store, as the pop-up shop’s time was coming to an end and she was wondering what she would be doing next. “This opportunity seemed to present itself at the right moment,” she adds.

    Hon then spent the entire month of February and most of March renovating the space into a modern boutique environment.

    With an always-growing downtown sector, Hon says that she’s excited to be located in Cincinnati’s Central Business District.

    Down to Mars Vintage celebrated its Grand Opening on March 22, 2019

    “It is important to me to continue to build upcon Cincinnati’s growing and booming creative small business atmosphere, especially in the downtown area,” she says. “There are not many places to shop in this area of downtown, and I am happy to provide a unique space where customers can shop vintage and gifts.”

    In the boutique, you’ll find women’s vintage fashions and accessories from the 1940s through the 1990s including formal and casual pieces.

    “Down to Mars also carries modern accessories and gifts ranging from jewelry, perfume, bar accessories, candles, and much more,” says Hon. “I am passionate about supporting other women-owned businesses from across the United States by carrying their products in my store.”

    Hon says to keep an eye out on her web-store, which will soon launch and feature vintage goods including fashion, accessories, and housewares.

    “Local customers will have the option to pick up the goods in-store or shipped to your home,” explains Hon.

    The web-store will also allow you to browse lookbooks from Down to Mars vintage styled photoshoots and learn more about services such as alterations and repairs on vintage pieces.

    Down To Mars Vintage is located at 621 Main Street in Cincinnati, between 6th and 7th streets. It’s also along the cincinnati Bell Connector line near the Richter & Phillips Station. The store is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am to 7 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 8 pm.

    You can check out the Down To Mars Etsy shop, follow along on Instagram, or give them a “like” on Facebook.

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      The springtime Vintage Market Days of Dayton-Cincinnati is coming soon!  Read on as we get behind the scenes of all the fun new things you can see and do at this year's event!

      Since its first local shopping event last year, Vintage Market Days brings thousands to enjoy a weekend full of shopping, music, food and family fun — and continues to grow with each event. The next one is coming up April 26-28 at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio.

      “Vintage Market Days is an upscale vintage and vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home decor, outdoor furnishings, furniture, seasonal plantings, live music, and food trucks,” explains Vintage Market Days of Dayton and Cincinnati Promoter Tonya Ross.

      The history behind Vintage Market Days goes back to 2012 when it started as an indoor/outdoor Paris flea market-style event in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since then, the events have spread across the country and offer attendees more than a sale.

      Each Vintage Market Days event has its own theme – with the April event’s theme being “Memories.”

      Vintage Market Days is introducing several new vendors alongside past favorites at its upcoming event.

      “We will have an Airstream trailer for photo ops at our entrance, a 40-foot mobile clothing boutique, a vintage camper with vintage goods, and a cattle trailer transformed into a storefront,” says Ross.

      More than 100 small businesses come together for the event that attracts people from throughout the Tri-State and the Dayton Metro area. Due to the success the event has seen in the last year, Ross goes the extra length to ensure that Vintage Market Days is an experience rather than just an event, something that gives those who attend the chance to escape their daily hustle and bustle and enjoy time listening to music, shopping with friends, and meeting the vendors.

      “I love to see the vendor interaction and the shoppers faces when they discover the one piece they have been searching for,” she says. “I love to see couples attend our event and shop for their homes.”

      And it’s more than just couples and friends who shop at Vintage Market Days. The family-friendly event means that the little ones are welcome to join in on the shopping fun as well.

      To learn more about the event or to purchase your tickets, click here. Early Buying tickets, which begin on Friday, are $10, while General Admission tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $5. Once you purchase a ticket you can go in and out of the event as needed. Group discounts are also available by emailing for groups of 10 or more.

      You can catch sneak peeks of the event on Facebook and Instagram.

      Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming event: 

       

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        A Cincinnati native is on a mission to provide fashionable athleticwear while supporting a great cause. Read on to hear her inspiring story and see her fab designs.

        MEAS Active offers fashionable running apparel while doing good in the community.

        Look good, feel good, and do good. That’s the idea behind MEAS Active, a women’s performance apparel business that supports and celebrates women while also giving back to non-profit organizations, launched by Cincinnati native Erin Roddy.

        “MEAS Active is for the woman who wants to look good, feel good, and do good while taking care of her own health and wellness,” explains Roddy, a fashion designer now based in NYC. “We are a brand that gives back 10 percent of our profits to organizations that promote the health and wellness of women and young girls.”

        Roddy says she was inspired to launch MEAS Active after combining her passions – fashion design and running.

        “I found myself unsatisfied with true, fashionable performance apparel,” she says. “There are many trendy brands and many technical brands in the market; however, none that address both.”

        That’s when she came up with MEAS. “It’s fashionable running apparel that will work as hard as she does,” Roddy explains.

        Erin Roddy, Founder of MEAS Active

        The inspiration for donating a portion of proceeds to non-profits comes from the inspiration Roddy finds in the strength of women.

        “MEAS means ‘gold’ in the Cambodian language, Khmer,” she explains. “I chose this name for the brand after a two-week trip through Cambodia and Thailand with a non-profit organization that helped rescue young girls from sex trafficking.”

        While Roddy was with the young girls on her trip, she knew that they had been through hell and back, with more pain and suffering than anyone should have to endure in a lifetime. “However, while playing a simple board game with them, the joy, laughter, and hope in their eyes reminded me of how strong a woman really is,” she says.

        Roddy is a Cincinnati native and graduated from DAAP and the business college at the University of Cincinnati, before heading off to New York City for a fashion career.

        At MEAS Active, you’ll find running apparel that offers all of the function a female runner wants.

        “The product assortment includes leggings, sports bras, running shorts, tanks, and more,” says Roddy. “We are looking forward to growing our assortment to be an overall active and lifestyle brand.”

        To achieve this growth, Roddy is looking to her Kickstarter campaign, a campaign that ends on April 10. The goal is to reach $30,000 to ensure that she can bring MEAS to life and begin the first major production run.

        According to Roddy, the campaign is currently 53 percent funding with more than two-thirds left in the campaign. “Anyone is able to go to Kickstarter and make a pledge of any amount to help back this brand. In addition, you are able to back MEAS by making a pre-purchase of any of our items.”

         

        When asked what makes her brand unique, Roddy says that it’s the combination of true performance technology with fashionable outfitting that can be worn to brunch or for grueling workout or run.

        You can check out MEAS Active in person at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon Expo May 3-4, with the beneficiary of the event being Girls on the Run Cincinnati, who will receive 10 percent of the profits from the weekend.

        To learn more about MEAS Active, visit www.MEASactive.com or watch the video below. You can also follow along with MEAS Active on Facebook and Instagram.

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          Read about a local lady who launched an online clothing retail company to showcase hand-selected socially-responsible businesses while educating consumers through fashionable finds.

          Eco Eden sells sustainable apparel and jewelry from socially responsible brands.

          Tiffany Shabazz is not only inspired by fashion, but she’s also inspired by servant leadership and empowering other women.

          In the opportunity to empower women, Shabazz was inspired to launch her own business in which she could do just that. Eco Eden is a socially responsible women’s retailer.

          “The name Eco Eden is a play on words that reflect natural beauty, femininity, and community,” explains Shabazz. “Our clothing brand aligns with Eco Eden’s identity. Our style is modern, stylishly simplistic, and eco-chic.”

          And because Eco Eden is a socially responsible business, the mission behind it is to work with women-owned fashion designers who employ and pay women garment makers a living wage.

          Shabazz is the founder and owner behind Eco Eden, and makes all of the day-to-day decisions as well as the building and evolving of Eco Eden’s future.

          “I would have to say I’ve been extremely fortunate to learn from and team up with other talented, empowering women,” she says.

          One of those empowering women, according to Shabazz, is Rebecca Armstrong, the founder and designers of RJS Fashions.

          There are a variety of items available from Eco Eden, including women’s apparel, jewelry, and accessories.

          “Shoppers can find unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade apparel, jewelry, and more,” Shabazz adds.

          The brands offered at Eco Eden, and what makes it unique, is that they are ethically made, fair trade, and socially responsible.

          Tiffany Shabazz, Founder of Eco Eden.

          “Consumer experience is very important to me,” says Shabazz. “I want my family of customers to look good and feel good. Every piece of clothing, jewelry, or accessory has a life changing story. The fair trade producers are paid a fair wage, and work in safe environments. Part of the experience I create is educating consumers and showing appreciation for making a thoughtful purchase with a personalized thank you.”

          Eco Eden is an online-based store, however, the business has been popping up all over town at events and venues. In fact, Eco Eden is the fashion show sponsor at Cincy Chic’s Eco Chic Fashion Show on March 22 at Columbia Plaza.

          Shabazz says that she knew she had to take the chance at showcasing her products in Cincy Chic’s 2019 Eco Chic Fashion Show after she participated in the event last year as a vendor.

          “It was one of my first events and I loved every minute of it,” she says. “I am excited to feature Liz Alig, a fashion-forward, fair trade designers.”

          She’s also excited to be in an event that works to create awareness for people to think beyond how much a shirt costs or finding a high-end bag. “Social change is a good business to be in,” she adds. “Fashion influencers are becoming more conscious and demanding change in the social justice space.”

          To learn more about the event or to purchase tickets, click here.

          The coming months at Eco Eden are shaping up to look like more new, unique arrivals. Shabazz plans to continue to offer brands like MAta Traders, Elegantees, Swahili Coast, and Give a Damn Goods.

          Eco Eden will also continue to participate in pop-up shops around the city. “We’ll announce our permanent location soon with plans to open our doors Summer 2019,” says Shabazz. “I’ve also been in conversations to support organizations mentoring teens and young women this summer. It seems like new opportunities are presenting themselves everyday. I do foresee an Eco Eden private label in the future. I feel really blessed.”

          To learn more about Eco Eden, visit www.shopecoeden.com. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook. Shabazz says that she likes to keep newsletter subscribers informed of new arrivals, promotions, and the world of eco-friendly, ethical fashion.

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            It’s almost Wedding Season again! For our annual bridal issue, we chat with the founder of a new web series that highlights the pros in the region’s wedding industry.

            Kathy Piech-Lukas has plenty of experience in the wedding planning industry. She’s planning hundreds of weddings over the years and has more than 20 years of event planning experience.

            The passion for weddings came from planning her own wedding.

            “Fourteen years ago there were no reality shows, so I assumed wedding planners were like those in the movies for wealthy people,” she explains. “I didn’t realize that wedding planners could be so helpful to an average person like me.”

            Piech-Lukas is the sole owner and planner at Your Dream Day, a wedding planning company that serves brides and grooms in Cincinnati and Dayton.

            But after years in the industry she’s taking on a new branch to her wedding planning services – a new wedding planning web series hosting by Piech-Lukas where you can watch and meet dozens of Cincinnati and Dayton’s top wedding professionals.

            In her new web series, Piech-Lukas ventures throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton areas to talk with bridal boutiques, venues, florists, and other vendors who are there to help you make the biggest day of your life perfect.

            So far Piech-Lukas has spoken with locally-based bridal stores, visited other boutiques, and talked about the biggest wedding trends you can expect to see this wedding season.

            “Every story is original and every vendor is unique,” she says when talking about the businesses she visits to highlight on her web series and sharing the stories they have to offer.

            Piech-Lukas says that Aisle Do just seemed like the perfect idea when it comes to better serving her clients.

            Because clients bring their own inspiration for each event, she wanted to be able to showcase venues, vendors, and others who can help to make a bride’s big day even better, because no two weddings are the same.

            To give followers even more when it comes to connecting with those in the wedding industry, Piech-Lukas says that she will do social media takeovers for the major bridal shows in Cincinnati, including BridalRama, Cincinnati Wedding Showcase, Ohio Wedding Shows, and A Bride’s Mafia.

            “We go around to each vendor to interview them to get exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage the day of the event,” she says. “Our next takeover is coming up Wednesday at Music Hall!”

            Learn more about Aisle Do on InstagramFacebook or follow along on the YouTube channel. To learn more about Your Dream Day and the wedding planning services offered, visit here.

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              See how one local lady is bringing the community together with her blooming business. Learn more about her services, classes, and new subscriptions to always keep a little sunshine in your space.

              Christina Matthews wanted to switch up her career path. She wanted to turn to something that was more in-tune with nature. In an attempt to completely immerse herself in the field, she spent years learning how to grow and sell flowers, vegetables, and herbs through Berea College’s “Grow Appalachia” program.

              Today she’s the founder of The Flower Lady OTR, a happy flower farmer-florist located in Over-the-Rhine.

              “I specialize in growing flowers and creating beautiful and fragrant solutions for just about every floral need,” explains Matthews. “I am currently growing flowers in the Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden, which is the oldest community garden in Cincinnati, and I grow a portion of my flowers just across the river on Sunrock Farm in Wilder, Kentucky”

              Matthews’ participation in the OTR community is an important one to her, as she lives, works, and gardens there.

              Through The Flower Lady OTR, you’ll find flower arrangements and floral solutions for several restaurants, salons, and businesses in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

              Matthews says she enjoys being a part of the slow flower movement and seeing the positive impact that flowers can have on people and the environment.

              The Flower Lady OTR offers a variety of floral services, ranging from flower crowns to arrangements for restaurants and small businesses.

              The Flower Lady OTR can create flower crowns for any occasion with at least 24 hours notice.

              “The Flower Lady can create stunning crowns for you and your friends,” she says. “Flower crowns are perfect for photoshoots, fashion shows, weddings, prom, showers, bachelorette parties, music festivals, Earth Day, and more.”

              You can also host a party or take classes from The Flower Lady. “Let The Flower Lady make your next event fresher than ever,” Matthews says. “Have a DIY flower crown party of offer a custom flower bar at your wedding.”

              Matthews wants you to think of The Flower Lady when planning corporate events, dinner parties, holiday events, and ladies nights. “I can even come to you,” she adds.

              Restaurant and small business owners can also turn to The Flower Lady to help create a fresh new addition to your space. “Let’s liven up your hostess stand, dining room, or office with a custom floral design that will compliment your decor,” she says. Business owners can even sign up for a weekly subscription with The Flower Lady to ensure that their arrangements stay fresh.

              To see even more of The Flower Lady’s services, click here.

              What makes The Flower Lady unique is more than just the services she offers – it’s what her beliefs are rooted in.

              “I believe in the inner connectivity of all living things,” explains Matthews. “So, not all of my flowers are cut. I dedicate portions of my flower garden to our precious pollinators and I use all organic growing practices, including saving rain water, and making my own compost.”

              Matthews says that you can see The Flower Lady OTR in multiple upcoming events.

              Over-the-Rhine People’s Garden

              “Come out to Taft’s Brewporium Spring Garden Market between 11:30 am and 5:00 pm on March 9 to get everything you need to welcome the spring season,” she says. At the market she’ll be teaching a succulent class, offering garden tips, and selling indoor house plants potted in unique, recycled planters.

              Matthews adds that The Flower Lady OTR will be at the Springtime Celebration hosted by Cincy Chic and Watson’s on March 14. The event will include wine tastings, al fresco cooking demos, centerpiece-building, wreath-making stations, and a color/fabric pairing workshop.

              The Flower Lady OTR will also be at Cincinnati’s Earth Day Celebration at Summit Park in Blue Ash on April 27 where she will be offering gardening tips and selling flower crowns.  

              To learn more about The Flower Lady, visit www.theflowerladyotr.com. You can also check out her monthly blog, follow along on Instagram, or give her a “like” on the Facebook pages The Flower Lady OTR or Over the Rhine People’s Garden

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                Attention, wine lovers! Read on as we go behind the scenes of an upcoming event that brings hundreds of wines from around the world under one roof - all for a good cause! Cheers to that!

                The 29th Cincinnati International Wine Festival is being held March 7-9.

                Love wine, a fun time, and supporting important local causes? Then mark your calendar for the 2019 Cincinnati International Wine Festival, March 7-9. 

                Founded in 1991, the Cincinnati International Wine Festival is a 501(c)(3) fundraising organization based in Cincinnati that aims to raise funds for local charities through the celebration of the wine industry.

                This year is the 29th annual festival, featuring more than 700 wines from 200 wineries while benefiting 35 Greater Cincinnati arts, education, and health and human services charities.

                According to Executive Director, Debbie Dent, the Cincinnati International Wine Festival was started to connect the love of wine and local charities. “The Cincinnati International Wine Festival was created to promote the wine industry while giving back to the community, one glass at a time,” she adds.

                Supported by a Board of Directors, there is a small team at the Cincinnati International Wine Festival that produces this impressive annual event. This year, the festival consists of:

                • Winery Dinner Series
                • Grand Tastings 
                • Education Sessions & Special Tasting Room
                • Charity Luncheon and Auction

                The exclusive Winery Dinners are held at Cincinnati’s most prestigious restaurants on Thursday, March 7, where visiting wine experts from around the globe team up with local chefs to create incredible multi-course dining experiences with fine wine pairings. 

                Grand Tastings are held on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 featuring 700 wines from 250 wineries accompanied by gourmet food and a silent auction. Tickets to a variety of Education Sessions and a Special Tasting Room are available prior to each Grand Tasting. 

                Also on Saturday, March 9, is the charity auction and luncheon at the Hilton Netherland. The auction features a variety of limited-release and rare wines, chef’s table dining experiences at exclusive Cincinnati homes, travel packages, wine cellar tours and more. 

                “There truly is something for everyone here, at nearly every price point,” Dent explains. “Whether you’re looking to enjoy an exclusive dinner at one of Cincinnati’s finest restaurants, or you want to just taste wines and learn about their origin, you are invited to join us March 7-9.”

                In addition to all the things attendees know and love about the festival, Dent says, there are some new features this year. For example, they added the option to purchase an unlimited access weekend pass, more schedule-friendly hours on Friday, and an expanded ticket price range to accommodate every budget.

                It’s all for a good cause, too. Half of every festival ticket purchased benefits 35 local charities dedicated to the arts, education, health and human services. The goal of the wine festival is to give back one glass at a time, Dent says. In fact, the festival has given more than $5 million to local charities since it was founded. 

                Tickets for the event are still available and range in price from $70 to $300. To purchase tickets, visit winefestival.com.

                To learn more about the event, visit winefestival.com or follow along on the Cincinnati International Wine Festival’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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                  From the Windy City to the Queen City, one local nutrition expert is returning to her roots to share in all that Cincinnati’s fitness and food scene has to offer. Read on for all the delicious details!

                  Kayla Hansmann, the founder of Cincyfitfoodie.

                  Cincinnati may not be one of the biggest cities in the country, in terms of size alone, but its fitness and food scenes are big, bold and beautiful. Capturing this beauty is what inspired the platform Cincyfitfoodie, launched by Cincinnatian Kayla Hansmann.

                  Hansmann, a registered dietician, fitness instructor, and local foodie, says Cincyfitfoodie is a platform for sharing her food, fitness, and fun, which is usually related to food and fitness, throughout Cincinnati.

                  “I share #foodoftheweek highlights, where I utilize one food item or ingredient in several ways throughout the week,” she explains. “I also show clips, videos, and ideas from my workouts, clases I teach and my own personal workouts, to motivate and encourage others to do the same.”

                  Hansmann says she was inspired to launch Cincyfitfoodie after spending a few years in Chicago.

                  “Since moving back home, I’ve found that the food and fitness scene in Cincinnati has just what most every other big city has to offer, but without some of the hype and features,” she says. “We have such great talent here and I love highlighting that and especially really enjoy meeting others who are doing cool and innovative entrepreneurial ventures.”

                  Although Cincyfitfoodie’s story got its start in January 2018, Hansmann’s blogging past goes back further.

                  “I had previously started a food blog with a friend from grad school living in Nashville, and while it was a lot of fun learning the process and getting started with a really good friend passionate about all the same things and food trends, we both had our own cities and clientele to pursue, so we made the decision to branch off into each of our own niches,” she says. “It’s crazy to think it’s only been a year, but I love the whole branding, design, and social media component of this world so I dove right in and tried to learn as much as I could and meet and network with others right off the bat.”

                  Hansmann also offers nutritional information and recipes on her platform.

                  Through Cincyfitfoodie, you can find personalized nutrition services for individuals and groups. Hansmann says that she does one-on-one assessments as well as monthly accountability to ensure she’s following along closely with clients to meet their goals.

                  She’s also dipping her toes into corporate wellness speaking engagements and events – which she says is fun because she gets to reach large groups of people in environments that can sometimes be toxic to health and wellness.

                  “In these sessions, we talk about timely nutrition hot topics and taste recipes for easy workday lunches and busy weeks,” she adds.

                  Hansmann is looking forward to the future as she prepares for yet another adventure.

                  “I very recently started a new business/branch off of Cincyfitfoodie with my mom – it’s a business targeted mostly to moms, pregnant and nursing moms, called Milk’d Nutrition,” she says. “We offer a wide array of baked goods, energy bites, smoothie mix and nut butter that have specific ingredients that are beneficial to mothers for lactation but are delicious and nutritious for everyone.”

                  Hansmann says Milk’d is something that she’s been thinking about for a while thanks to her role in her part-time job at Children’s Hospital.

                  “It’s an amazing opportunity to work with my best friend and mom who is retired and recently receive her culinary certificate from the Midwest Institute here in Cincinnati,” says Hansmann. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and support of other local businesses here and really excited to see where this venture takes us.”

                  To learn more about Cincyfitfoodie, visit www.cincyfitfoodie.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

                   

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                    The founder of a powerhouse digital marketing startup has a story you’ll need tissues to read. Read on to hear how this local entrepreneur turned a nightmare into inspiring a dream come true.

                    David Brauntz, the founder of Hudson Brauntz, was inspired to launch his business by the loss of his son. Photo: Melanie Pace

                    David Brauntz, the founder behind the digital marketing startup Hudson Brauntz, and his wife have traveled some treacherous terrain on their journey. But through it all, they’ve found peace, inspiration, and love in their tragedy.

                    David Brauntz, founder of Hudson Brauntz

                    Hudson Brauntz, based in Northern Kentucky, works to connect small and mid-sized businesses with customers in order to help propel their business forward.

                    “We help clients thrive by delivering high-impact digital marketing solutions,” explains Brauntz. “We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our clients to create digital work that helps them grow and succeed in an increasingly digital world.”

                    Brauntz likes to focus on the relationship his business has with its clients. “It drives our decisions, our business model, and our pricing structure,” he says. “We help clients enhance their online presence. At the same time, we are committed to maximizing the return of our clients’ online spend.”

                    While Brauntz focuses on bettering the business of his clients, there’s much more to his story and the story that inspired him to take the first step toward his dream.

                    Brauntz has more than a decade of experience working in the digital marketing world for a variety of companies. He loved what he was doing but owning his own company was always in the back of his mind.

                    However, at the front of his mind, and of his wife’s mind, was starting a family. After years of trying, Brauntz and his wife Rotha were pregnant with twins thanks to fertility treatments. As expectant parents are, they were over the moon. Everything was going just fine, until it wasn’t.

                    “On February 20, 2017, while at a meeting, I received a phone call from my wife that would change my life forever,” Brauntz recalls. “At first, all I heard was my wife crying hysterically and then a voice came on informing me she was the nurse from our OBGYN and that I needed to come to pick up my wife immediately and take her to the hospital because they couldn’t find our son’s heartbeat and that he had passed in utero at 32 weeks. However, because we were expecting twins, a boy and girl, we needed to get my wife to the hospital to see how our little girl was doing.”

                    The Brauntz twins following their delivery. Photo: Melanie Pace

                    Brauntz did what anyone would – he acted without thinking to get to his wife’s side as quickly as he could. “All I knew was that I needed to get my wife to the hospital,” he says.

                    Despite being told that there was indeed no longer a heartbeat coming from his son, Brauntz says it was something he needed to see for himself.

                    “What used to be my son’s sac was just darkness,” he explains. “My son, my baby boy, my daughter’s twin brother was gone in an instant. I was in shock and numb.”

                    While the loss was devastating and beyond anything they could have ever imagined, they found solace in knowing that their little girl was still doing well. However, she was tiny, so the goal was to keep her in the womb for as long as possible in order to give her the best possible chance of survival.

                    Brauntz’s wife stayed at the hospital on bedrest for the next two weeks, until doctors decided she would deliver both babies at 34 weeks.

                    Brauntz says that March 8, 2017 was both the happiest and saddest day of his life.

                    “We said goodbye to our little man and hello to our little girl,” he says. “Born at only 3lbs and 3oz, she was rushed to the NICU where she would spend the next four weeks growing and learning how to eat.”

                    Those tragic six weeks made Brauntz rethink everything he thought he knew. To him, time and fear had an entirely new meaning and everything that he had feared before simply didn’t make sense anymore.

                    “I had just lived through one of the worst fears a person could face and somehow managed to come out OK on the other side,” he says. “While he was only on this earth for 32 weeks, his impact on my life lives on in everything I do.”

                    That tiny little person, who impacted the lives of more than just his parents, also gave Brauntz the courage to do something he’d always dreamed of doing – starting his own company. “So when it came to naming the company, it only made sense to name it after him,” says Brauntz.

                    At Hudson Brauntz you’ll find a variety of digital marketing services available from its team of strategists, designers, and social media experts who have decades of experience with small and Fortune 500 companies. These services include:

                    • Brand Design & Identity
                    • Brand Positioning
                    • Local SEO Content Strategy with Blog Writing
                    • Website Design, Development & Hosting
                    • Ratings & Review
                    •  Local SEO Directory Listings Package & Voice Search Readiness

                    There are multiple distinctions that make Hudson Brauntz unique, aside from the company itself being a lifelong vision of its founder.

                    “For the most part, digital marketing agencies offer similar products and services,” says Brauntz. “However, I’ve learned it’s how you provide the services that makes the difference. We treat our clients like we would treat our friends, which means 100 percent transparency.”

                    Brauntz also has experience in a range of industries – from retail to merchant services – and with businesses of all sizes. This experience, he says, has taught him that, above all else, it’s about being honest, respectful, and kind. “This will bring in more success than any pricing model or marketing efforts,” he adds.

                    While the first year of Hudson Brauntz was focused on getting up and running, the future of the business is looking to sharing its journey and providing tips along the way.

                    To learn more about Hudson Brauntz, visit http://www.hudsonbrauntz.com. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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                      This isn’t your typical gyno. Learn about the local doc who recently opened Elevate MD, a new practice with a spa-like atmosphere where you can get everything from a yearly exam to cosmetic services, hormone replacement therapy, body contouring and more.

                      Dr. Joseph Franzese is the physician behind Elevate MD.

                       

                      You don’t typically look forward to an OB/GYN appointment. But one local doc aims to change that. 

                      Dr. Joe Franzese started Elevate MD in order to give his patients an approach in care that was centered around them. He wanted to provide those clients with quality treatment plans that combined both functional and conventional medicine in order to care for the whole person.

                      “We understand health and well-being are personal, and we pride ourselves on spending time with each individual to ensure you reach your health and wellness goals,” explains Franzese.

                      Elevate MD is located in a state-of-the-art facility that hosted its grand opening on November 30, 2018, and offers a full range of yearly exams, making it much more than just a gynecologist’s office.

                      Franzese says his practice is now accepting new patients and even has a number of special offers that includes complimentary consultations for cosmetic services and hormone replacement therapy.

                      “We offer women’s yearly exams, ultrasounds, and minimally invasive surgery to in-office cosmetic treatments such as body contouring, liposuction, Brazilian butt lift, and tummy tuck procedures,” he says. “We also offer cosmetic gynecology, in-office ablations, Botox/injectables, spa services, PRP therapy for men and women, hair restoration, facial rejuvenations, and sexual medicine.”

                      Other services offered in the practice include skin care products, pleasure enhancing shots, and even high-quality supplements.

                      What makes Elevate MD different, aside from its medical offerings, is that Franzese is the only physician in the Tri-State area participating in Millennium TBI program, which helps both civilians and veterans affected by traumatic brain injury.

                      “I’m humbled by the opportunity to help those who protect and serve our country,” adds Franzese.

                      “Elevate MD is continuously challenging ourselves to be on the cutting edge of new medicine and techniques,” adds Franzese. “With a shift in health care and more awareness around sexual wellbeing, our functional and traditional medical approach creates endless possibilities to elevate the quality of life for our patients.”

                      To learn more, visit www.elevatemd.com. You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Realself, and Twitter.