The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

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    A local woman turned her sweet tooth and baking passion into a palate pleasing profession. Read on to learn more about her new boutique bakery in Over-the-Rhine serving up gourmet cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and other desserts. 

    Freshness and quality is something that’s never sacrificed at Sugar, a boutique bakery that offers gourmet cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and other desserts. 

    “We pride ourselves in freshness and quality, so we bake in small batches daily and offer whole cakes and bulk item orders by pre-order only,” says Andrea Sutton Lee, Ph.D., the sole owner, baker, and decorator at Sugar. 

    Lee says her passion for baking started out as a hobby. “I taught myself how to bake and decorate cakes because I found myself dissatisfied with products that were currently on the market,” she explains. “I found that they either looked great and tasted bad or tasted great and looked bad, but never both.”

    After creating a customer base of her own, she ventured out and started Sugar, which recently opened a location at 6 W 14th Street, next to Graeter’s on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. 

    The store is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 9 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 11 pm. At the OTR location, you can find cookies, cupcakes, cake slices, dessert jarts, and other treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

    Pre-orders for Sugar can be found on the website, including bulk orders, whole cakes, and even the current Thanksgiving menu.

    Lee says that she’ll soon be rolling out Sugar’s new holiday menu in the coming month or so. 

    To learn more about Sugar, visit or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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      From Queen City entrepreneur to multi-million dollar company investor, learn about the local woman who launched a venture capital fund to help lift women up in the world.

      H Venture Partners wants to help emerging consumer brands in North America succeed. More specifically, the early growth equity and venture fund focused company focuses on aspirational and innovative brands within specific categories including food, personal care, family care, home care, apparel, beauty, health, wellness, hardware, consumer devices and the Internet of things.

      Elizabeth Edwards, General Partner and Founder at H Venture Partners, is a Cincinnati native. She plenty of experience in the investment industry, working as a partner with Maywic Select Investments and helped brands including the former locally-based SkinnyMom. 

      H Venture Partners is an early growth equity and venture fund focused on emerging consumer brands in North America. The fund is focused primarily on seed, venture, and early growth equity investments in consumer products and consumer devices. 

      “I began my career as a strategy consultant with the Strategy & Operations practice of Deloitte Consulting, specializing in innovation, corporate strategy, and strategic acquisitions,” Edwards says. “Some of those clients include Johnson & Johnson on both the clinical and consumer sides, and XM Satellite Radio.”

      Today, at H Venture Partners, Edwards has taken priority in female founders. “Less than 2 percent of venture dollars are invested in women, representing a significant opportunity,” she says. “More than half of consumer startups we talk to have at least one female founder.”

      Although the company itself doesn’t exclusively invest in female founded companies, Edwards believes that there is so much opportunity for women-owned businesses to gain traction from investors that they deserve.

      “On one hand, the lack of funding for female founders offends our sense of justice,” says Edwards. “As investors, we think it impacts returns. We believe that the opportunity cost of this implicit bias is no insignificant – and everyone loses out: consumers looking for brands that get them, female founders starting companies, and investors losing out on potential returns.”

      Plus, companies who have female founders have proven to perform better than companies that are comprised of only men. 

      “According to First Round Capital, cmpanies with a female founder performed 63 percent better than investments with all-male founding teams,” she says. “According to Credit Suisse, companies with at least one woman on the board outperform their peers by 26 percent.”

      Edwards says that this evidence of success among female entrepreneurs is why many of the founders she speaks with are women who are creating brands with which H Venture Partners collaborates.

      To learn more about H Venture Partners, visit

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        A popular novel inspired one local woman to launch a small, family-run business that’s on a mission to save the bees. Keep reading to learn more about this new shop that’s all a-buzz in Over-the-Rhine.

        The novel “The Secret Life of Bees” was a life-changing book for Sam Gordon back in 2005. In fact, it inspired her to launch a small family business dedicated to caring for bee hives and educating others on the ways we can all help the bees called Bee Haven.

        “The novel made beekeeping sound almost mystical and I decided I wanted to give it a try,” she says. “My mother and I started two hives in my parent’s back field in New Richmond where I grew up.”

        Although the two didn’t know a whole lot of anything when it came to caring for the bees, they figured it out quickly as their number of hives went from 2 to 10 and quickly up to as many as 40.

        Today, Gordon and her husband Sam take care of the bees together and run the business, which offers jams, creamed honey, beeswax candles, lip balms, and hand salves. 

        Most recently, the couple and Bee Haven opened up a storefront on Elm Street, after being located in one of the roll up doors at Findlay Market since 2008.

        “After 11 years in that location it was obvious we needed a little more room,” says Gordon. “We were still making everything at home. I was spending way too much time in the basement making candles and lanterns.”

        Now that they’re at the Elm Street location, Gordon has the space she needs to sell all of the products Bee Haven offers as well as a place to produce them. 

        “We carry everything we did at our Findlay Market stall,” she says. “But at our Elm Street store, you will find honey, local and honey from other regions as well, and other gifts from the hive.”

        With a bigger location, Gordon is hoping that she will be able to offer her customers more than the gifts and bee-related items in her store. “In the new year we’re hoping to have candle making classes and beekeeping education sessions,” she adds.

        Bee Haven is located at 1815 Elm Street in Cincinnati. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.

        To learn more about Bee Haven, visit You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

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          A local fashionista is helping you stay trendy and chic through her buying and reselling business. See how she keeps her followers looking and feeling like a million bucks, without spending it.


          Sarah Heitkemper’s journey to took a leap of faith when she quit her desk job in September 2017, but it’s not a leap she regrets taking.

          The fashion-forward mom-to-be started selling clothes on Poshmark in June 2016 as a hobby. She had a desk job but was going to thrift stores and buying clothes to sell as a side income. 

          “I quickly discovered the thrill of buying and selling and bringing in money to the point of questioning my desk job and whether I could quit and sell full-time,” she says. “My husband and I knew we wanted to have a baby but knew daycare wasn’t something that was easily affordable.”

          That’s when she decided to take her hobby and turn it into an entrepreneurial adventure. With a list of goals she set for herself, Heitkemper was able to quit her job in September 2017. “Before our son had arrived, I did my best to set myself up for success,” she explains. “I worked long hours to establish the organization my business so desperately needed. I went to local thrift stores and consignment shops and stocked up on all the new arrivals.”

          Heitkemper says she’s learned a lot since she started her full-time adventure buying and reselling on Poshmark, including time management, how to stay organized and manage inventory, and even how to find the support she needs to keep going. 

          “I have met many great friends through the Poshmark-Instagram community,” she says. “Some are moms, some aren’t, but all care so much about me and my success, both in my business and as a new mother. I have a few Poshmark friends on speed dial who I can reach out to for advice, who I can vent to, and who reassures me when I need reassurance in any aspect of my life. In the past year or so I have learned that having a community of people who you have things in common with and who can talk to frequently makes a world of difference.”

          Not only has Heitkemper learned a lot from her journey, but she’s hoping that she’s teaching the little eyes watching her. When she starts to doubt herself as a mother, she says this experience and its community remind her that she’s an amazing mom doing her best. 

          “I love my son with all my heart,” she says. “He watches and someday will understand just how hard I work for him so that I can help provide for our family. I’ll teach him how to pour his heart into something he’s passionate about and not to look back. Not even when someone doubts what he’s capable of.”

          The hard work from Heitkemper doesn’t just stop at Poshmark, she’s also the founder of Sustainable Accessories. “I founded and began creating sustainable accessories due to the lack of affordable, quality, ‘slow fashion’ hair accessories on the market today,” she says. “My goal is to always avoid shopping fast fashion so why would my hair accessories be any different?”

          The scrunchies and hair accessories available from Sustainable Accessories are made from upcycled, secondhand clothing that is unable to be worn but can be remade into something useful. 

          There are currently two purchase options available including unique/limited edition items in the shop tab or by signing up for a subscription box – which gives you access to the products that are released in batches. 

          To shop Heitkemper’s Poshmark closet, click here. You can follow along on Instagram and check out Sustainable Accessories at

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            Feel like you’re drowning when it comes to finances? Learn about a local financial coach and author who developed resources to help you dive in to a positive relationship with your money.

            Debt, money shame, and embarrassment doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anyone, and Christine Luken knows that all too well. 

            Luken is on a mission to empower others to rescue their financial dignity as the Financial Lifeguard. Luken knows just what it feels like to be drowning in debt. 

            “In my late 20s I hit financial rock bottom despite having an accounting degree,” she explains. “I know what I was supposed to do with money, but I allowed my heart to hijack my wallet. I dated and became engaged to a guy with terrible money habits. He was in and out of jobs (and in and out of jail), but I thought if I loved him enough he would change.”

            And change he did, she says. Change came in the way of getting even worse, and by the time she broke off her engagement she owed multiple payday lenders money, was behind on her car payment, and had ruined her credit score. 

            “It was a long road back to financial health, but I decided to take what I learned the hard way to help others, especially women going through a divorce or break up,” she adds. 

            Now Luken is known as the Financial Lifeguard, is a certified money coach, speaker, and the author of two books: “Money is Emotional: Prevent Your Heart from Hijacking Your Wallet” and “Manage Money Like a Boss: A Financial Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs.”

            Luken also coaches high-earning professionals to rescue their financial dignity by co-creating a personalized Prosperity Plan to reduce debt, increase savings, and direct spending to what’s really important to them. 

            “I specialize in bringing together the emotional and relational aspects of money with sound financial strategy,” she says. “I love working with couples who argue about money as well as divorced women.”

            Through the Financial Lifeguard, you can find a 6-month coaching program for couples and individuals going through emotional money situations who want to find growth in both financial management skills and positive money mindset.

            Luken also offers a more DIY-centered approach to personal finance that includes group training and support through her monthly membership group called Financial Dignity on Demand

            Women who are divorced can also check out Luken’s 30-day online program called Financial Dignity After Divorce. “It helps women regain a positive and peaceful relationship with their money so they thrive financially as they move forward into a new stage of life,” she explains. 

            While financial coaches aren’t a new trend, Luken uses an approach that makes her business unique. “My approach to money is different because I understand that every person has a unique relationship with their money,” she says. “And if it’s not a positive one, they will always struggle financially, even if they increase their income. My approach shows people how to harness the power of their emotions around money to achieve their goals, rather than fighting against them.”

            Luken says that in the next few months, she will be teaching financial planners and other money coaches her formula to understanding and improving clients’ emotional money behaviors for long-term success. “My goal is to multiply the number of professions who will further the Financial Dignity Movement,” she says.

            To learn more about the Financial Lifeguard and how she can help you, visit

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              Read about a new local lifestyle publication that’s all about your furry friends! Click here to read all the tail-wagging details!

              Pet parents, beg no more! All the information, entertainment, and education you could want for your furry friends is in the new lifestyle pet magazine, CincyPet Magazine. 

              “CincyPet Magazine is a new lifestyle pet magazine for the modern pet parent in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky,” explains Publisher Susannah Maynard. “Our goal is to entertain, inform, and educate about all things pet in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky by providing up-to-date articles and information in both print and online through our website and social media channels.”

              The magazine, Maynard says, was inspired by the love of all things pet. She adds that she there was also a niche in the market that needed to be filled with a pet lifestyle magazine. And while people are all about pets these days, especially the younger generation, CincyPet Magazine is an idea that took several years to come to life.

              Maynard is joined by a team of pet lovers who are behind the magazine. “Our staff, from our editor to creative director to director of sales, all have many years of experience in publishing,” says Maynard.

              Maynard’s experience in the pet world comes from years as the owner of Pet Love Photography. She’s also the author behind three books about rescue pets and is a pet mom to three rescue dogs and one rescue cat.

              The thing that makes CincyPet Magazine so unique is that it’s the only publication of its kind dedicated to serving pet parents in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky market. 

              “Additionally, part of our mission is to give back to the community by supporting and promoting rescues and pet adoptions by featuring rescue pets in need of homes both on our website and in our magazine,” she says. 

              The print edition of CincyPet Magazine is published bi-monthly and is also available in digital format on the website, where there is also more frequently published content. 

              Copies of CincyPet Magazine can be found for free at several businesses throughout the Cincinnati region including PetSuites in Erlanger and Sharonville, EarthWise at Harper’s Point, Kayla’s Posh Pets Grooming, Whole Foods at Rookwood, and the Rookwood Joseph-Beth location. 

              Maynard adds that through the end of September, CincyPet Magazine can be found at 25 area Kroger locations. “Starting with our next issue we will be available at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County,” she says. “We continue to add locations each week and our goal is to be available everywhere.”

              You can find a list of locations where the magazine can be found here

              As far as the future of CincyPet Magazine, things are looking bright. “We definitely have big plans to make CincyPet the go-to rescue for anyone and everyone with a pet,” says Maynard. “First up will be an official launch party, which we’re in the planning stages for, so stay tuned.”

              To learn more about CincyPet Magazine, visit You can also follow along on Twitter and Facebook. To receive your own copy of the magazine, you can sign up for a subscription at

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                Coffee drinkers unite! The largest coffee festival in the Midwest is coming to town soon and it'll be full of music, shopping, tastings, demonstrations, and of course coffee. Learn more about the event and its important fundraiser that makes local water cleaner one drip at a time.

                Mark your calendars for October 11-13 when the Ohio River Foundation hosts the Cincinnati Coffee Festival, a premier coffee event and the largest coffee festival in the Midwest. 

                According to Rich Cogen, Executive Director of the Ohio River Foundation, the Cincinnati Coffee Festival is a major fundraiser for the Ohio River Foundation, which aims to protect and improve water quality in the Ohio River Watershed. 

                “Water quality is important to all of us,” he says. “From the water that goes into growing our food, to the water we use to make our coffee, you can’t have great coffee without great water.”

                To help raise funds for the Foundation, the Cincinnati Coffee Festival will be held October 11-13 at the Grand Ballroom of the Duke Energy Convention Center. October 11 is trade day for coffee shop owners, baristas, and people interested in getting into the coffee business. Then, on October 12-13, the event is open to the public. 

                “The Cincinnati Coffee Festival is a celebration of artisan coffee, fine teas, chocolates, pastries, and baked goods,” says Cogen.

                Attendees to the event will have the opportunity to taste from 60 vendors from around the region and beyond, while also enjoying live music, demonstrations, and the chance to discover and purchase new products. 

                “”A highlight during the last two events has been the Latte Art Throwdown, where baristas vie for the title of top latte artist,” says Cogen. “That will return at 2pm on Saturday. Also back this year is Latte Art in Action for the general public. 

                New to this year’s event is the Coffee Olympics. This activity allows attendees to cheer on their favorite coffee shops in fun competitions. Also new is Campfire coffee, a casual presentation and conversation space. “We’re also introducing a coffee-themed silent auction,” adds Cogen. “Lastly, we will add a limited-seating film booth area for guests to watch short, engaging environmental films. Finally, we’re expanding The Art of Coffee, which features works in a variety of media, and we’ll even be offering some of those works for purchase.”

                The event, Cogen says, is a unique blend of specialty coffee, tea, food, live music, engaging activities, and environmental responsibility. “Not only do vendors offer compostable cups, but we are also asking attendees to bring their own coffee cups and mugs as we endeavor to make this festival the greenest one in the nation,” says Cogen. “Funds raised will help support Ohio River Foundation’s education and restoration programs, so you’re making a difference while you have fun.” 

                Tickets for the event range from $12.50 to $40 for VIP. Advance tickets are available for purchase at

                To learn more about the Cincinnati Coffee Festival, visit their website. You can also “like” the Ohio River Foundation’s Facebook page for the latest updates on the festival. 

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                  An emerging fundraising-through-fashion event is now in three Ohio cities and looking at opportunities to expand. See how they’re encouraging independent designers to work together to support non-profit organizations and their missions.

                  LUXE Gives Back wants to make a difference in its small part of the world through its new event LUXE, a marquee fashion fundraising event. 

                  The events put on by LUXE Gives Back benefit non-profit organizations and each event features a theme with three key elements, according to Founders Lisa Robin Adkinson and Valerie Jones.

                  Each event features a runway show with merchandise from a group of independent fashion and accessories designers. “We use volunteer models, often involved with our non-profit partner, that are diverse women representing the local community,” says Adkinson. 

                  LUXE also features a pop-up marketplace that designers from the runway show set up to allow attendees to shop. “LUXE curates regional, indie designers to deliver truly unique merchandize,” she explains. What makes this pop-up experience unique, she adds, is that participation is by invitation only. 

                  In addition to the pop-ups and runway shows, LUXE Magazine is a publication that goes out in conjunction with each event. “The magazine is designed with beautiful fashion spreads and feature articles about some of the amazing people supporting LUXE events alongside regular columns on style, beauty, business, arts, and inspiration,” says Adkinson.

                  The inspiration for LUXE comes from the desire to help independent designers, especially in the Midwest, grow their customer base and expose them to unique designs and merchandise. 

                  “There are plenty of marketplaces and vendor opportunities, but there isn’t one specifically focused on indie designers,” explains Adkinson. “Pop-up shops are extremely popular with shoppers and designers alike. Our inspiration was to bring designers together to work collaboratively to minimize marketing costs and build a viable fashion community. Plus, all of the designers involved also support our mission to give back.”

                  There are still some remaining events for LUXE through the end of the year: 

                  Saturday, September 14, 2019, LUXE Dayton + YWCA Dayton at the White House Event Center, downtown Dayton.

                  Saturday, October 12, 2019, LUXE Cincy + COCA- Council on Child Abuse, an affiliate of Talbert House at Fueled Collective, Rookwood.

                  Saturday, October 26, 2019, LUXE Columbus + National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) at Versa Grandview.

                  Adkinson says that what makes these LUXE events unique is that they want to engage sponsors and attendees alike, while helping beneficiaries feel supported.

                  Adkinson says that 16 months after launching LUXE is now in three cities. “LUXE has filled a niche in the market, and we have received several requests to bring the concept to additional cities,” she says. 

                  Currently, LUXE is working on 2020 events now, with LUXE Cincy + YWCA Cincinnati scheduled for March 14, 2020 at Fueled Collective.

                  To learn more about LUXE, visit There you can sign up for a complimentary subscription to the LUXE Magazine. Adkinson says those interested in modeling, stylists or hair and makeup, can submit interest here. Volunteers can click here and information on in-kind and paid sponsors is available here.

                  To follow along with upcoming events and news, follow LUXE on Facebook and Instagram

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                    A local woman is launching a program and community to help women find pleasure in life again through a seven step program called the BARE method. Read on for all the inspiring details.

                    Natasha Hazelton doesn’t want to encourage diets, detoxes, or cleanses. She wants to help women acknowledge their beauty both inside and out as a BARE Life Coach.

                    Currently, Hazelton is training with Susan Hyatt, founder and author of the book “BARE” and the BARE method.

                    “The BARE method is not a cleanse, detox, or diet,” explains Hazelton. “I will be helping women, especially moms, stop dieting and help them with their body image issues.”

                    Hazelton says she’s the most passionate about helping women gain more confidence both in their bodies and in their lives.

                    “In BARE, you will learn how to manage your emotions (stress, anxiety, boredom, etc.) without turning to food for comfort,” she says. “You’ll learn how to find sources of please and joy that aren’t food-related. You’ll learn how to respect your body and you’ll also learn how to tune into your body and follow your hunger signals, from feeling hungry to feeling full or satisfied.”

                    The BARE method, according to Hazelton, is made up of seven steps that range from detoxing your environment to being seen and heard.

                    Natasha Hazelton

                    “One might think I am a weight loss coach, but I am not,” she adds. “I teach women to love the skin they are in and empower them to be who they are unapologetically.” 

                    Confidence issues are one thing that drove Hazelton to pursue the BARE method and to become a coach-in-training. She says she’d always struggled with low confidence and her weight. 

                    “While in the BARE program, I realized that I lacked pleasure in my life,” she says. “One of the main components behind BARE is pleasure. Susan says that it’s not more willpower that women need but more pleasure in our lives. And that was me as a new mom.”

                    Hazelton says that once she acknowledged that she’d put her own pleasure and happiness to the side that she was able to take control of her life and her weight.

                    Currently, Hazelton offers 1:1 coaching and in the fall will launched a group program based on the book “BARE.”

                    Her coaching business focuses on moms who have lost their identity and aren’t quite sure how to find themselves again. “I help moms bring more pleasure and joy into their lives so they can be a better and more present mom,” she says. “I want to make ‘momming’ more fun and enjoyable.”

                    Many of the blogs featured on Hazelton’s website feature ties to her own child and how she sees life from a different perspective as a mother.

                    Hazelton plans to host a virtual BARE Book Club in mid-September or early October, where women can purchase the book and be led through the seven steps with support and coaching. There will also be a Facebook group available where participants can engage with her and others as well as the option of coaching on a group call while reviewing concepts in the book.

                    To learn more, visit There you’ll find information on coaching services and programs. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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                      Every time you shop small, a real person does a happy dance. Click to learn about a new project that will not only help a lot of real people do happy dances, but it’ll help to build a stronger community at the same time. 

                      Curated Cincinnati offers a deck of discounts from local, independent businesses.

                      Today’s world can often feel too corporate. Between mergers, buyouts and bankruptcies, there seems to be an endless supply of department stores and the same old, same old. 

                      Amy Keller wants to change that. With a degree from DAAP and nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, she decided to set out on a quest of her own – Curated Cincinnati.

                      Although still in the development phase, Curated Cincinnati strives to connect communities through shared values – while supporting the small business owners in the city’s neighborhoods. The project consists of 50 cards in a “deck” that represents 50 different merchants throughout the city, all of whom offer a 20% discount to encourage customers to continue to “shop small.”

                      Because shopping small and independent is so important to Keller, she wanted to carefully curate the businesses she approached about Curated Cincinnati.

                      “I really wanted to be selective in who I chose for this curated collection of businesses,” she says. “We chose businesses who have given life to the neighborhood where they’re located, have merged community and art, want to help support other local independents, have a point of view, and offer exemplary customer service.”

                      And while big companies are better at selling, it’s the small, independent stores in the city that can do what those companies can’t – spread joy. 

                      “I want Curated Cincinnati to encourage people to try new places, try new experiences, and meet new people,” says Keller. “I want to encourage new connections that may not have happened otherwise.” 

                      Spread the word about the city’s movers and shakers through Curated Cincinnati will do more than attract locals – it will also bring in those who are visiting the city.

                      While explaining the project, Keller says that having Curated Cincinnati in places like real estate offices can encourage those who have just moved to the area to try new places. Having them available in other places frequented by tourists will also help to spread the word about small businesses making an impact on the Queen City.

                      The chosen businesses for Curated Cincinnati are making the world a better place in one way or another. 

                      “Many merchants create and produce locally with exceptional skill,” she says. “Locally made products are made with love and purpose. Shopping local gives you the opportunity to meet the people who make your products. Supporting our members returns more money to our local economy, keeps our communities unique, and creates jobs. When neighbors support neighbors, communities are stronger.”

                      Some of the businesses that you’ll soon be able to find in Curated Cincinnati include Grainwell, Own Lane Shoetique, Alley Boutique, Fern, Silk Road Textiles, and many more.

                      Keller encourages readers to keep an eye out for more news to come on Curated Cincinnati, as she plans to start selling her product just before the kick-off of the holiday shopping season. Keep an eye out for the launch of the Curated Cincinnati website.