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    Professional fulfillment, personal wellness, and engaged motherhood. Is it possible to have it all? One local lady says it is and launched a program that shows you the way. Read on to learn more.

    Life is all about balance, and Cherylanne Skolnicki is here to help. She’s the mastermind behind Brilliant Balance, a personal development platform designed to help professional women go after their dreams while balancing their personal and professional lives.

    “The women we serve get from where they are today to where they want to be by leveraging our proven process, being mentored by experienced coaches, and connecting with an extraordinary community of like-minded women,” says Skolnicki. “Over the course of as little as three months, they reclaim control over their time, improve their mindset, and make shifts that change the trajectory of their lives.”

    Skolnicki says she was inspired to launch Brilliant Balance because of the cultural narrative that women can’t have it all. “We think we’re supposed to sacrifice our own dreams for a while in order to be good mothers, but we find that the ‘it is what it is’ message doesn’t honor the potential we have to contribute in a multifaceted way,” she explains. “We believe it is in fact possible to be healthy and vibrant, to have a thriving career, and to be a great mother. Settling for anything less is just that, settling. And it doesn’t feel very good when we realize that’s what we’re doing,” she adds. “Instead, when we choose the most important elements from all aspects of our lives, and breathe fire into those, we can have lives that feel exactly right for us – lives that make us feel positively brilliant.”

    Brilliant Balance is comprised of a team of women helping other women balance their work and personal lives.

    Skolnicki’s mission to help women live brilliant lives is rooted in plenty of experience professionally and personally. She is the mother of three children and spent 15 years at Procter & Gamble before leaving to launch her own business.

    What makes the services from Brilliant Balance stand out from other personal development platforms is that it treats women as multidimensional people. “We’re committed to addressing women who have goals that span all facets of life and more, whether it’s health or career or relationships or time management,” she says. “Being able to do that requires a customized approach, with a healthy dose of 1:1 support, and that’s something we’re passionately committed to.”

    The clientele that Brilliant Balance works with are high-achieving women, those who dominate in their careers and personal lives but may have veered off course without really knowing why.

    “We show them how to reclaim rock star status so they can feel like themselves again,” says Skolnicki. “Our content is a great starting point, but our coaching programs are where the magic really happens. Breakthrough, our signature program is a game changer for women who want to get control over their calendars and connect with their purpose so they can contribute to their highest potential.”

    Along with the coaching model of Brilliance Balance, there’s also a podcast to supplement the work it offers women. “The Brilliant Balance podcast launched in October 2017 to talk about balance, business, and getting it all done gracefully,” says Skolnicki. “Topics address the ‘Modern Mom Trifecta’ of professional fulfillment, personal wellness, and engaged motherhood.”

    Skolnicki says that one comment she often hears is that the podcast gives people words to describe issues or challenges they have been experiencing but didn’t know how to talk about. “Through the podcast they realize we get it, they’re not alone, and that there are actions they can take to move their lives forward,” she adds.

    You can find the Brilliant Balance podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and all major podcast services, or on the website at

    You can check out free online training from Skolnicki here. You can also follow her personal pages on Facebook and Instagram, or visit her website at You can check our Brilliant Balance on Instagram and Facebook.

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    Style and sophistication meet comfort and energy efficiency in this spectacular home. Click for a sneak peek inside.

    Style and sophistication meet comfort and energy efficiency in this spectacular transitional tucked down a private, heated driveway. A flexible first floor layout allows for grand entertaining and cozy family get togethers. The home features modern finishes, a sleek kitchen, state-of-the-art home and lighting systems. An addition features 2 garage bays and a guest suite.

    This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

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    Inspired by Aveda products and its fresh new location, a local salon is giving clients a new kind of experience full of sustainable style.

    Benefit Salon offers a variety of hair services with a new customer experience.

    At Benefit Salon, relaxation comes in the form of light and lush greenery in a peaceful setting. The salon is the dream of Jocelyn Palmer, a passionate beauty industry veteran who is focused on training and education, as well as sustainability.

    “Benefit Salon is a welcoming retreat where you will find a dedicated and talented team of women drive to help you look and feel your best,” says Palmer.

    Palmer, who is a lover of Aveda products, says she loves working with and developing her team while also being a full-time mom to daughter Florencia.

    The inspiration behind Benefit Salon comes from years of experience and the desire to stay connected to what is going on in the industry and fashion world.

    “I am also driven by sustainability and being conscious about our environment,” she says. “The product line Aveda is so much more than just a brand. It is the driver for my company. I believe beauty is as beauty does.”

    There are a range of hair services available at Benefit Salon, including cutting, coloring, keratin treatments, and Bellami hair extensions in addition to facial waxing.

    “With each service we also offer a complimentary mini facial or hot towel with their conditioner,” adds Palmer.

    The team at Benefit Salon is comprised of women who define the space’s relaxing and laid back, yet highly focused culture.

    “We put a tremendous amount of emphasis on education, grooming new talent, and constantly improving our skills,” says Palmer. “We recently cut back on an extended range of services to focus exclusively on hair and providing the best service experiences possible.”

    Benefit Salon recently moved into a new space that features arched windows and plenty of natural light.

    “My husband and I completely renovated the space to be a reflection of our salon culture and the Aveda values,” says Palmer. “It was a ton of work gutting out the old, opening up walls, and refinishing every surface. We tried to use materials and elements from the original history of the space and neighborhood; it used to be a pharmacy and a grocery store in the 1940s.”

    Palmer says she will be traveling to New York City in July to complete a Vidal Sassoon course in advanced cutting techniques. Then, in October, the salon is hosting Bellami to train the team and other salon professionals on advanced hair extension education.

    “We are always seeking something to spark passion inside us for growth,” she adds.

    You can learn more about Benefit Salon on their website, but Palmer says it’s easiest to stay up to date on salon happenings via Instagram.

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    Read on to learn about a children’s book that teaches you and your kiddos about the special needs community.

    Amy Webb is the author behind the children’s book When Charley Met Emma.

    There is a new children’s book that shines a light on the special needs community. “When Charley Met Emma is a children’s picture book that centers on the story of a little boy named Charley, meeting a little girl named Emma, who doesn’t have any hands and drives a wheelchair. At first, Charley doesn’t know what to think- I mean ‘What happened to her hands?’- and he’s not sure how to react,” says Amy Webb, mother, writer and artist. “Thankfully, Charley’s mom and Emma, herself, teach Charley that it’s ok if he has questions about people who are different and it’s ok if you’re different! It’s a great primer for young children to learn about disability, as well as helping to teach parents and caregivers how to navigate these sometimes tricky situations.”

    The inspiration behind writing the book came from Webb’s personal experience with a daughter who is special needs. “We are a special needs family. The character of Emma is modeled after my middle daughter and over the years, I’ve navigated many, many interactions between my daughter and other children meeting her for the first time,” she says. “Over the course of several years, I developed a ‘formula’ of sorts for helping kids to learn about her differences, while at the same time helping them move past her differences and be able to see her as one of them- a friend. But it also dawned on me that part of the reason these interactions happened so frequently, was that so many children were completely unfamiliar with disability- they didn’t see children like my daughter in the world around them- not in their movies, TV shows or picture books.”

    Webb felt that the special needs community was not being presented well in her daughter’s life in a personal way. “The purpose of the book became multi-fold- to help children and parents navigate these special needs encounters, but also to give children a jump start by providing a book that will help address their questions ahead of time and that will actually provide that representation for disability in their world that might otherwise be lacking.”

    She has experience with taking her daughter to doctor and specialist appointments, wheelchairs, accessible vans and making their home accessible. “Additionally, I’ve been interviewing other special needs families and individuals with disabilities on my blog, This Little Miggy Stayed Home, for eight years,” Webb says. “So far, I’ve interviewed over 225 people and that has been an education in and of itself.”

    The title of the book references the main characters of the story. “I chose the name, Emma, as I think it’s a classic and beautiful name. Charley, I actually chose because I had been reading about artist, Charley Harper, at the time and was inspired by his kindness as much as his art,” she says. “I event spent some time at Charley Harper’s house, writing and just feeling inspired. I wanted the Charley in my book to be a kind and sensitive character.”

    The book helps with understanding people with special needs. “The book gives children a look at someone with a very visual disability and they have the chance to process this disability (and others) in the comfort of  their own home. By ‘process,’ I mean they can stare at the character, ask questions and read about all the things Emma likes to do,” Webb says. “One of the things parents like most about this book are the great conversations they’ve had with their kids- and I love that! I love that this is being used as a tool for good conversation.” 

    Webb hopes that through this book, people are able to connect with the special needs community. “I hope children, in particular, will simply feel more connected to disability, that it will feel familiar and not something to be afraid of,” she says. “I hope they will see the Emma’s of the world as their equals, their peers and that being different isn’t something to pity or be sad about.”

    If you want to follow what’s going on with When Charley Met Emma, you can follow Webb on FacebookInstagram and her blog.

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    A local high-end jeweler is launching a retail concept to develop a new take on luxury and consignment shopping.

    Stafford Jewelers is launching a new luxury consignment shop in Hyde Park this summer.

    Consignment is the new chic, according to Stafford Jewelers.

    This local destination for fine jewelry with more than 20 years of expertise in the diamond industry, owned by a family with more than 35 years of expertise, recently launched a new luxury retail concept: ShopJacobJames.

    “ShopJacobJames reimagines luxury resale and consignment, putting quality products and customer service at the forefront of everything we do,” says Amy Stafford, Co-Owner of Stafford Jewelers. “When a shopper walks into ShopJacobJames we want them to have the same high-end experience they would have walking into any of our Stafford Jewelry stores.”  

    The inspiration behind ShopJacobJames comes from their goal in developing a new concept to luxury consignment shopping. “We really champion the art of hospitality in all of our stores and wanted to bring a new vision to what luxury consignment shopping could be,” Stafford says. “Our question was: what can we bring to the table that no one else is? ShopJacobJames offers a tangible experience with hard-to-find luxury items, and one-on-one customer attention, including a private consultation area for those wishing to be discreet.”

    This is a natural extension of the family business, Stafford explains. “We have specialized in fine jewelry in Cincinnati for over two decades, and ShopJacobJames — named after my sons Jacob and Jimmy — is another way that we can offer a unique, luxury experience for our shoppers.”

    In order to create and establish ShopJacobJames, they are able to use Stafford purchasers and portions of consignment items submitted by customers.

    “We specialize in new and pre-owned luxury items including jewelry, handbags, watches and other fashion accessories at an inviting price point,” Stafford says. “The product inventory is curated by Stafford purchasers from an extensive partner network with a portion also comprised of ‘consignment’ items submitted by customers — all of which is sold in-store and online.”

    The unique nature of ShopJacobJames is centered around their lively location and the personalized experience, Stafford explains. “We are a lifestyle centric destination located directly on Hyde Park Square, so we want our guests to make the day of it and experience our product on their own terms.”

    The Stafford family has big goals for ShopJacobJames. “We want to be the first store people think of when they think luxury restore, the card they keep in their back pocket or talk about at cocktail parties,” Stafford says. “When our shoppers get an email from us, before they open it we want them to be excited because they know that inside is the latest and best in luxury resale at their fingertips.”

    To learn more, visit online at, where you can also join their email list for sneak peeks at new inventory and exclusive deals, and on Facebook and Instagram.

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    A new project funded by People’s Liberty is helping new and seasoned Cincinnatians enrich their lives with hidden local gems.

    The Welcoming Party is a new experiment that connects new Cincinnati residents to seasoned veterans.

    Cincy Chic: What is The Welcoming Party?
    Jeremy Mosher, Co-Founder of The Welcoming Party: The Welcoming Party is for anyone who likes people and wants to feel more-connected to the Cincinnati community. To be successful, this experiment will need very new residents to make themselves known as they look to find their footing — plus bunches of Cincinnatians who feel like they can help with that. There’s no magic length of residency required to be a “welcomer.” And, in fact, we think people of varying “tenures” will each have something different and valuable to share.

    Cincy Chic: How does The Welcoming Party work?
    Mosher: Interested parties declare their intention by responding to some survey questions. Based on those responses and expressed areas of interests, we link the recently located with a current Cincinnatian who is likely to have insight into people and parts of local life that will enrich the new resident’s experience here. The connections then meet up to talk about what the new resident might enjoy doing for a group outing with an expanded group – a bourbon tasting, karaoke, a book club, whatever. After the group hangs out a few times we host a party involving everyone who has raised their hand to be involved in the experiment, cross-connecting even more people. It’s kind of like a foil to a “going away” party.

    Cincy Chic: How are you reaching out to new residents? 
    Mosher: We are counting on word of mouth, personal referrals, and widespread sharing of our project. We would love to hear from the folks involved in corporate hiring and relocation. People in faith communities. Friends, cousins, and friends-of-friends-of-cousins who know someone relocating here. The more local residents who have antennae up for new Cincinnatians who might benefit from this, the more connections we can make.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to fill out the survey?
    Mosher: The survey can be found here.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Mosher: Check us out at We’re also on Facebook and Instagram.

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    How much is your fear and hard-wiring holding you back. Read on as Melissa explains how to get in the driver’s seat of your life.


    Are you familiar with that voice that speaks inside your head wanting to offer you advise and suggestions to your decision-making process? The one that takes over and has you doubting and fearing what direction or action to take? Or continues to remind you after a decision made and it didn’t go as planned with a reminder of “I knew it was a bad idea.”

    Allow me to introduce you to your ego who drives the mind and thrives on fear-based decisions. I like to greet ego/fear with “Hello FEAR I see you!” This is the fastest way to begin opening your thoughts to what is really causing the fear.

    Where does this fear come from? Your programming! What’s programming?

    When you arrive on the plant you are as pure and innocent as it gets. Your mind is like a new computer with no data except for the hard drive ready to receive input. And that it does.  Programming comes from everyone you encounter and from all the environment you are exposed to. 

    As you grow older you begin to weigh your thoughts and ideas against others, and realize you have an intuitiveness (feeling) that supports your decisions best for you and not what others believe.

    The ego often wants to steal the show and remind you all about what you should or shouldn’t be doing when you are trying to make the best decision.  This is what becomes that inner struggle.

    Fortunately, the magic in all of this is AWARENESS.  When you can really stop in your tracks and say hello fear/ego I see you and ask that it please take the back seat, this allows for you to drop out of the mind and into your heart and gut space.  

    This is the place where you’ll find the solutions and answers that releases the struggle and strife and brings the joy and happiness you desire when making decisions.

    My journey when I realized how much I was dependent upon what others thought and how making decisions were based on their advice, I knew it didn’t always make me feel happy or joyful with some of my decisions.  I realized over time I often went along with the crowd just to fit in and would struggle with the decision until I made a change using my own intuition of what’s best for me.

    When I discovered I could make better decisions by quieting my mind and releasing the voice (aka fear/ego) from the conversation in my head, and drop down into my heart and gut, I was unstoppable.  I was making solid decisions without any hesitation or regret going from stuck to unstoppable. 

    So, I challenge you now to get back to your “au natural” state of mind, opening your heart and gut, and listening for the answers and feedback YOU seek – and not what others think!

    Begin your practice now to really work on trusting in your own beliefs and thoughts.  From there you can create a life by design because you hold the value and trust from your own knowingness. And those desires of what you want to have, be, and do will come with living joyfully – unapologetically.

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    We're taking a look inside a breathtaking European-inspired Hyde Park home in this Listing of the Week!

    This Hyde Park jewel is exceptional to say the least. It’s thoughtfully designed and inspired by European classics. The finest materials are used throughout. Rich, warm and inviting. Designer kitchen and bathrooms throughout. Stunning exterior spaces- covered patio with a fireplace, exquisite pool, firepit from lower level walkout.





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      There’s a new kind of festival in town. See how this civic design celebration is creating a community poised to make a positive impact on local arts and culture, wellness, food and technology.

      Civic Design. It’s not a common cause for celebration, but Steve Ramos created an entire festival for it. Ramos is one of the creative minds behind Good Discovery(s), a civic design festival celebrating people impacting communities for good.

      “It’s a day of brainstorms, panels, and networking to share ideas from artists and creatives making a positive impact in arts and culture, wellness, food and technology,” he explains.

      The founding idea behind Good Discovery(s) is the belief that Cincinnati is a hub for civic design – a design that impacts its communities for the better.

      “We see this from our corporates via Kroger’s social impact plan Zero Hunger Zero Waste,” says Ramos. “We experience civic design via Cincinnati-based agencies like Design Impact, a social innovation

      Steve Ramos, founder of Good Discovery(s)

      nonprofit using creativity to impact change for good and solve complicated social problems. We receive civic design inspiration from entrepreneurs like Jeffrey Miller of Last Mile Food Rescue, a startup dedicated to reducing food waste.”

      The team behind Good Discovery(s) includes Kailah Ware of Sunny Blu Art; Tamia Stinson of Style Sample; Whitney Dixon of Pixxel Designs; Sean C. Davis of Squirrel Stories; and Steve Ramos of SR Media, along with creative contractors Rome Ntukogu and Jeffrey Miller.

      The first Good Discovery(s) festival was held on March 26 at Memorial Hall in OTR. Ramos says the team behind the festival was able to offer quality content, interactive programming, diverse presenters, and a unique venue – all of which makes the team even more excited for Good Discovery(s) 2020.

      “The spirit of discovery driving the Good Discovery(s) Festival is unique,” explains Ramos. “Our name Good Discovery(s) clearly communicates the mission and values driving our creative event. Discovery(s) speak to products and services impacting communities for good that our attendees may be learning about for the first time. Discovery(s) also speak to the bottom-up spirit of our event; sourcing creators and unexpected talent.”

      In addition to the festival, there are three Good Discovery(s) meetups throughout the year. The Good Discovery(s) podcast launches later in 2019.

      Visit to learn more about the 2020 festival and to find more information on the 2019 meetups.

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      A local professional women’s organization is launching a new way to help women find the resources they need to advance their careers.

      Ellevate Network, an organization launched 21 years ago with chapters nationwide, is passionate about their mission in creating a community of strong professional women who strive to help each other succeed. The Ellevate Network community opens doors for opportunities to gain inspiration from other hard-working women, as well as helping women expand in the next steps of their careers.

      To further that mission, the organization recently announced the launch of a new initiative: Ellevate Experts.

      “Ellevate Experts are the women within our community who are committed to supporting our members through their career journeys,” says Johanna Pulgarin, program manager for Ellevate Network. “By sharing their knowledge, stories, and best career advice, our Experts can be the catalyst you need to help you achieve your professional goals.”

      According to Pulgarin, Ellevate Experts allows for moments of shared knowledge, opportunity, and constant support. 

      The inspiration behind Ellevate Experts is to make it easier for professional women to communicate and collaborate to expand in their endeavors. “We wanted to make it easier for Ellevate members to find and connect with other members who might be able to help them achieve their professional goals,” Pulgarin explains. “There are so many incredible women in the network, but it can be intimidating to have to search through for someone who might have the experience and advice you’re looking for. Ellevate Experts have shown their breadth of knowledge through submitting content on our site, and are committed to supporting other women. It’s a lot less intimidating to reach out to someone when you know they’re part of a group of women who want to help.”

      “The project,” Pulgarin says, “couldn’t have been made possible without the work of the rest of the Product, Design, and Engineering teams.”

      There is a specific process involved in building the community and creating effective networking. This process is what makes Ellevate Experts so empowering and allows them to continue to flourish, according to Pulgarin.

      “Members are labeled as Ellevate Experts after engaging with specific benefits on our website — they’ve published two or more articles, have hosted a Jam Session (what we call our webinars) or spoken at one of our events, and they’ve filled out their Member Profile,” Pulgarin says. “Once those requirements are met, they’re featured on the Ellevate Experts page of our site. We encourage members to reach out to each other via the Conversations messaging tool on our site with specific asks or genuine interest in each others’ experiences, to create authentic connections that go beyond the typical cold introduction we dread when networking.”

      The uniqueness of Ellevate Experts comes from its Ellevate members, Pulgarin explains. “They already believe in the importance of seeing more women succeed in their careers,” she adds. “They believe in lifting each other up, and they do what they can with what they know in order to play a role in that success. There’s huge potential in creating an impactful connection with an Expert who can answer your questions or give advice about the professional goals you’re trying to achieve.”

      This new launch isn’t the only thing Ellevate has brewing. “We’re continuing to help our community make the most impactful connections they can, and one way is by offering Suggested Connections in our member directory and throughout the site based on things like your city, your goals, your industry, and other factors,” Pulgarin explains. “Soon you’ll see Suggested Experts to help you narrow your search even further.”

      To learn more, visit