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    A Cincinnati mom uses her role at a strategic design firm to help bring customer experiences to life. Read on to learn how she’s worked with international powerhouses such as Tiffany & Co. and even played a role in the newly designed American Girl store that will soon launch in New York.


    Robyn Novak is the Creative Managing Director of the Specialty Design Studio at FRCH Design Worldwide.

    Robyn Novak has a lot of experience in helping clients bring their visions to life through strategic design. As the Creative Managing Director of the Specialty Design Studio at FRCH Design Worldwide, she’s in charge of helping bring branded retail and restaurant experiences to life.

    FRCH is an international architecture and design firm that works with some of the biggest brands in the world. They have offices in Cincinnati, New York, and Los Angeles and strive to create memorable brand experiences for the retail, hospitality, restaurant, and retail-mixed use industries such as American Girl, Tiffany & Co., Sephora, and Luxottica.

    “FRCH collaborates with clients to see things from a new and unique perspective,” adds Novak.

    “I lead a very talented team of creatives who are culturally aware of the shifting changes within the retail and restaurant scenes at the moment,” explains Novak. “My role is part chief inspirer, part strategic designer, and always collaborator with my team and clients.”

    Novak helps bring consumer experiences to life through retail and restaurant branding.

    What Novak says she enjoys most about her job is that every day is different. She has been with FRCH for 17 years and finds that each day is more exciting than the last.

    “My job has a lot of roles, but simply put, each brand we partner with is unique, therefore as a team, we learn a lot about the brand’s consumers, products, and business model, and in turn strategically create a distinct customer experience,” she says.

    She says that she enjoys learning about each brand she works with and having fun with developing their strategic design.

    Aside from working with what she calls an awesome team of collaborators among her clients, Novak says that it’s really the people that make FRCH so unique. “We create a lot of really amazing designs, but our people are driving award-winning solutions to keep our clients on a clear growth plan,” she says.

    There have been several huge accomplishments experienced at FRCH. They developed the new flagship design for American Girl. “The new iconic store, unveiling at its new Rockefeller Center location in November, will reinvent the American Girl retail experience,” she says.

    The team will travel to New York for the grand opening, which Novak says she’s very excited about. “I cannot wait to see the ‘sparkle’ in the girls’ eyes when they enter the store,” she says. “After all the hard work and strategic design in the end it’s really all about their (the little girl’s) happiness.”

    To learn more about the company, Novak says you can visit She adds that the company also has a fun blog called Creative Fuel that you can follow along with as well.

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    Want to tighten up some troublesome skin? We chat with board certified Dr. Magdalena Kerschner about an advanced technology she recommends.

    As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and starts to develop wrinkles, fine lines, and areas that aren’t quite as tight as they used to be. Victory Wellness & Medspa wants to help you get rid of those troublesome areas with their skin tightening treatments. 

    Currently, Victory Wellness offers two options: radio frequency skin tightening and laser skin tightening.

    According to Victory Wellness Owner Dr. Kerschner, these treatments work by heating up your skin upwards of 43 degrees. When the treatments do this, they’re working to increase collagen and elastin production in your body. 

    Dr. Kerschner says these treatments are a great option for treating fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes, where your skin is extra susceptible to developing aging issues. You can also use radio frequency and/or laser treatments to tighten up your neck, arms, legs, and any parts of the body that has loose skin that can’t be treated by surgery, because there isn’t enough skin to treat. 

    The radio frequency treatment takes approximately 45 minutes while the laser treatment lasts about a half hour. Dr. Kerschner says you can see results within 30 days and can see maximum results in six months. “You typically need three treatments to start with and then one treatment once a year to maintain your results,” she adds.

    To see your skin tightening options, learn which treatments are right for you, or to find more information on Victory Wellness & Medspa, visit

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    'Tis the season for going red! Keep watching to learn unique ways for adding red-hot flair to your wardrobe with fun pops of red!


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

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    A woman-owned and operated company on Cincinnati’s West Side is creating a bright future for her team and their clients. Read on for this enLIGHTening story.

    Angie Vice, Vice President of Color Brite Display

    Providing high-quality customer service is an essential for any business, but at Color Brite Display, it’s what keeps them going.

    According to Color Brite Vice President Angie Vice, this woman-owned and operated company on Cincinnati’s West Side strives to provide clients with an awesome team that will make them feel cared for.

    “Nothing feels better than being able to help solve a design issue or get a promotional rollout shipped in time for implementation,” says Vice. “When you have clients remark that ‘you’re a lifesaver,’ ‘we couldn’t have done it without you,’ and ‘we love working with you,’ it’s a fantastic feeling.”

    Color Brite Display is a wholesale and retail stocking distributor of display products with a large showroom and warehouse. They specialize in custom and stock acrylic, wire, wood, and metal displays and fixtures.

    “We have been fulfilling the display needs of many top retail and wholesale organizations for over 65 years,” says Vice. “The majority of the items we sell are specifically manufactured for our clients’ to meet the ever growing customization demands of today’s retail and visual merchandising world.”

    Much of the business Color Brite does is business-to-business, the company does service the public and welcomes anyone to stop by their location. “Whatever your needs may be, Color Brite is your one-stop shop for all your store display, visual merchandising, and decorative needs.”

    Owner Christine Brinker’s history with the history dates back decades. She worked for the original owners for nearly 20 years before the purchase the company back in 1991.

    “It was then that the founding fathers retired and turned the business over to the next generation who has helped it thrive throughout its history,” says Vice. “Since that time, Color Brite has shown fantastic growth, achieved by focusing on excellent customer service, unique and unusual designs, and attention to detail while closely partnering with our clients.”

    It isn’t just customer service, however, that makes Color Brite unique. Because they are a small company, they can more easily and quickly react to clients’ needs as well as think outside the box for more unconventional needs. “We are also able to accommodate ‘odd’ project requests that other companies may not,” adds Vice.

    Products from Color Brite focuses on store fixtures, hardware, supplies, and decorative aspects of visual display. “These are often items many people do not notice when shopping in a physical store location, although they are key to making business happen,” says Vice.

    Clients of Color Brite range from artists who travel to craft shows and even multi-billion dollar corporations, so the products offered through the company are as varied as the clients they service.

    Vice says Color Brite recently launched a new website, which they’re very excited about. “The new format looks fantastic and we’ll begin emailing clients soon about new products, industry updates, and special sales,” adds Vice.

    If you want to see Color Brite offerings, you can see them at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market at the Cincinnati Convention Center, where they hope to reach a new genre that may not be familiar with the products or business.

    To learn more about Color Brite, visit You can also “like” them on Facebook or stop by their location at 6915 Harrison Avenue in Cincinnati.

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    A local woman launched a caters an urban cuisine with a variety of culturally inspired and traditional dishes, with a twist! Read on for all the delicious details.


    Salimah Abdul-Hakim, Owner of L. Mari Catering

    It’s urban, but also organic, locally sourced, and grass fed. It’s traditional and culturally inspired, but also with a twist. It’s L. Mari Catering.

    “L. Mari Catering specializes in delicious urban cuisine through our catering services, weekly meal preparation, and specialty events, Salimah Abdul-Hakim, Chef and Owner of L. Mari Catering, LLC. “We created urban cuisine as a good concept that engulfs a variety of culturally inspired and traditional dishes, sometimes with a twist!”

    Mari Catering is primarily located out of Findlay Kitchen in Over-The-Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio, and launched in October 2016. “This has been an exciting and busy year for us as we celebrate year one serving the community,” she says.

    The inspiration behind starting the business came from a vision she had. “I had a vision of being able to select entrees and dishes that either are not available anywhere else, or not available all on one menu,” Abdul-Hakim says. “Whether it’s jerk chicken, an Indian-inspired dish, a vegan item, or baked Ziti; I wanted to be able to provide food to a wide variety of people.”

    There are a variety of events that L. Mari Catering covers for its clients. “We provide catering services; whether it’s an intimate affair for ten people, a corporate luncheon, or a larger scale event of 300 people-we are able to accommodate you,” she says. “We also provide weekly meal preparation to clients who may find it easier to free up sometime and allow us to cook their meals for the week! Lastly, we have hosted events and have done many pop-up events, along with festivals!” Some of the foods that L. Mari Catering offers is butter chicken, blackened salmon, spiced Hennessy wings, seafood pasta, Cajun shrimp and pepper medley, Halal options, vegan black bean chili and more.

    The business defines success by growth. “We’ve learned a lot in year one and look forward to the years to come! The business is growing rapidly, our next mission is to purchase a food truck and eventually a storefront location,” Abdul-Hakim says. “Growth is being able to offer more menu items, serve more customers and hire more people.”

    She believes that L. Mari Catering is important for the community of Cincinnati. “We believe that the food we ingest plays a role with our overall health mobility. Many of our menu items are organic, locally sourced, and meats are grass fed,” Abdul-Hakim says. “We’re also working on our hiring plan for 2018 and looking to recruit interns from local colleges and universities, along with high school students learning the value in cooking and the why’s behind the health benefits.” She is passionate about her job. “I love cooking and creating new dishes, but I also love interacting with new and returning clients and customers.”

    If you want to keep up with what L. Mari Catering is doing, follow them on their website, email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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    Inspired by a cultural movement, a Columbus-based clothing company is showcasing its art through apparel. Read on for more.


    FlyGround Clothing aims to inspire a culture movement through clothing.

    In a movement to inspire people to make the world a better place, FlyGround Clothing aims to do just that in the fashion world.

    “FlyGround Clothing is a movement for the culture to express creative art through fashion,” says Justice Dupree, Founder of FlyGround Clothing.

    Dupree says the business, based in Columbus, is based on and inspired by an acronym: “Feel Life Young, Grind and Rise Over Unwanted Negative Doubt.” 

    Not only is the company’s passion for inspiring a culture movement what makes it unique and continue its inspiration, but FlyGround also showcases the emotion behind the fashion line through its art.

    “The emotion behind the art is basically the feel of what you see. It’s more than just a picture on a shirt and a design with colors,” says Dupree. “I want the world to see my creations and be able to relate to it in their own way. Art comes from emotions and that’s what makes my creations.”

    When you shop FlyGround Clothing, you’ll find mens, womens, and kids apparel. While they currently only sell t-shirts, Dupree says they hope to launch a line of outerwear for the fall and winter seasons.

    Prices for items from FlyGround Clothing range from $8 to $45.

    The first t-shirt from FlyGround Clothing was released on July 1, 2016, and the brand has continued to see exceptional growth with its customer base.

    You can check out FlyGround Clothing for yourself at Cincy Chic’s Seasonably Chic Showcase on November 4 but you can look forward to their website launch in 2018 as well as its continued trailblazing in the world of cultural movements.

    To learn more about FlyGround Clothing, follow along on Twitter and Instagram.

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    Spooky chic. That’s what you can expect when the 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati presents a Secret Garden Halloween Party. Read on for all the dreadful details.


    Photo credit: Courtesy of 21c Museum Hotel

    For one night only – Saturday, October 28 – the 21c Museum Hotel main ballroom will be transformed into a secret garden for revelers to mingle with the unknown.

    An evening of dancing, cocktails, and an exclusive art viewing awaits so pick out your best costume and join the halloween bash beginning at 9 p.m.

    Michael Dunbar, General Manager at 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, says that the party has taken on a life of its own. “Guests will have ample opportunity to get lost in the darkness,” she explains. “The main gallery will be transformed into a secret garden with living art experiences, and throughout the party guests will happen upon live music, tarot readings, and candy stations.”

    Costumes are encouraged and a judged costume will offer prizes, but if you happen to forget, face painters and masks will be available.

    There will be plenty of activities to keep you entertained throughout the event, according to Dunbar including spooky libations from Metropole, the 21c hotel restaurant.

    In addition to the main gallery, the museum team has curated a pop-up exhibition of film from the 21c collection.

    An exclusive viewing of artworks from the 21c collection will be shown including, The Masked Ball by Yinka Shonibare and The Flying Lesson by Pano Era Manga.

    “The frivolity and excess of old-world European aristocracy take center stage in Shonibare’s first film, The Masked Ball,” explains Dunbar. “Shonibare’s elaborate costume drama features performers clothed in the artist’s signature Dutch-wax ball gowns and frock coats, and wearing ornate Venetian-style masks.”

    And to make sure the enchanted night is documented, “locally loved Floyd Johnson from Ohio Against the World will unveil his new photo booth concept during the party,” says Dunbar.

    The Secret Garden Halloween Party is a collaborative approach from the 21c Museum Hotel team who is partnering with ArtWorks Cincinnati, a non-profit which employs and trains local youth and talent to create art and community impact within the Queen City, fosters public art with an extensive mural program and supports artists and the community through art therapy and entrepreneurial education, according to Dunbar.

    A suggested donation of $10 when entering the event will go directly to ArtWorks Cincinnati.

    “This is the first year for the Secret Garden Halloween party, but we hope guests will explore our full roster of cultural programming that is responsive to the Cincinnati community,” says Dunbar.

    The event is 21+ and ID will be required. To learn more about the Secret Garden Halloween Party and the 21c Museum Hotel, visit their website.

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    When the economy dipped, a local company decided to soar! Learn more about how these public charter flights, going to several US cities without the time-consuming fuss.


    Ultimate Air Shuttle offers public charter flights from Cincinnati’s Lunken Airport to multiple US cities.

    Cincy Chic: What is Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Rick Pawlak, Managing Director of Ultimate Air Shuttle: Ultimate Air Shuttle is a public charter that provides flights to New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, Charlotte, and Atlanta on a 30-seat jet.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind launching a public charter like Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Pawlak: The leadership team wanted to start a new business segment for the company during the financial crisis. Ultimate Air Shuttle was created because of this crisis. Ultimate Air is built for the business traveler.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Pawlak: The leadership team of Ultimate may have implemented the plan to start flying out of Cincinnati, but it is a team effort every day, providing a high level of service to our customers.

    Cincy Chic: When did Ultimate Air Shuttle officially launch?
    Pawlak: Ultimate Air Shuttle began service out of Cincinnati’s Lunken Airport to New York City via Morristown Airport in New Jersey in July 2009.

    Cincy Chic: Where do you offer flights to and from?
    Pawlak: Ultimate Air Shuttle offers flights to and from Lunken Airport to: New York City, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, and Atlanta.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Ultimate Air Shuttle unique?
    Pawlak: There are many things that make Ultimate unique. We offer fast, hassle-free check-in, arrival only 15 minutes before departure, no change or cancellation fees if done 24 hours prior to departure, free parking, and no baggage fees. We even offer free in-flight snacks and drinks!

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Pawlak: We are currently planning our next city expansion out of Cincinnati and Cleveland. Stay tuned!

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, follow along, and book a flight?
    Pawlak: To keep up on current events and daily promotions, go to

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    Given someone a second (or fifth) chance, only to be disappointed? Our life coach columnist explains how to know if you’re giving a chance or taking your chances.


    I was driving downtown yesterday when a memory popped in my head. I was a young leader, having a conversation with one of my employees. During that time, I was a very involved leader that worked hard to see my people succeed and meet their potential. I focused on their strengths and supported them to achieve their goals.

    Maybe I worked a bit too hard.

    There was one young woman in particular that stands out in my memory. I really admired her since she had worked her way up from an entry-level job to hold a management position. At the time, top leadership was unhappy with her performance and I was spending more and more time with her to ensure that she progressed in her skills. I recognized her strengths and they far outweighed her weaknesses. Believing in her completely, I constantly defended her with upper leadership and gave her second chances to improve on her performance.

    Many second chances.

    The problem was that her performance continued to lag and upper leadership continued to pressure me. Over and over, I would have wonderful heart to heart talks with her and she would promise that things would improve. However, things stayed exactly the same.

    Finally, I was forced to let her go from her position when the pressure became too great. Something happened that was impossible to defend.

    Afterwards, I discovered that I clearly didn’t have the whole story. She had let many more responsibilities go by the wayside than I had initially thought. I had failed to see the situation clearly because I so desired to see her succeed.

    I gave her way too many second chances.

    The reality is that I wanted her to succeed much more than she actually wanted to succeed. I liked her, believed in her and felt invested in her future. I let my emotions get in the way of me seeing the reality. And after the whole experience passed, I realized that I had failed at being a true leader.

    Yes, leaders want their people to succeed and fulfill their potential. However, true leaders understand that there is a line drawn in the sand where you acknowledge that you have given this individual enough chances to succeed and they haven’t delivered. A true leader realizes that the individual isn’t learning anything positive if they are allowed to continue subpar behavior. On top of that, the rest of the team internalizes that you condone subpar workplace performance.

    That experience changed the way that I look at Real Leadership. Yes, it was my job as a leader to support and empower my employees to grow and fulfill their potential. However, it was also my responsibility to recognize when I have given an employee what they need to succeed and still do not witness the needed behavior change.

    A second chance is just that: a second chance. What’s important to focus on is the numeral 2 – which refers to the fact that someone has made one mistake and is given another chance to make it right. If it’s the 3rd, 4th or 5th time that you are giving someone a second chance, you need to rethink your own behavior.

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    Our wedding wardrobe guru reports back from New York Bridal Week with the top trends for Spring 2018. Read on for details and pictures!


    Our wedding columnist shares some of the biggest trends you can look forward to in wedding gowns.

    New York Bridal Fashion Week is full of incredible wedding inspiration and gorgeous fashions, and we had the great pleasure in visiting our favorite designers to see what is in store for Spring 2018!  The Lace Bridal Couture team hit the runway shows and designer showrooms to scout the latest designs for our Cincinnati Bride.

    While each designer has his or her own unique sense of style and aesthetic, it’s always interesting to see the new trends that emerge season after season. And some trends that we first saw last season were back again in a huge way!  Capes and capelets, pearl embellishments, and bows ruled the runways once again.

    From clean, sophisticated lines and flowy boho looks to metallic gowns and unique, 3D detailed lace,  we’ve got all the hottest wedding dress trends you will be seeing come this Spring.

    Clean and simple is a wedding dress trend that was big at New York Bridal Week.

    Clean and Simple
    The hottest trend for Fall and Spring is the clean, simple gown that exudes grace and elegance. One of our favorite designers, Antonio Gual for Tulle NY is well know for his clean lines and timeless silhouettes that fit beautifully on every bride of every body type.  Made of Italian silks and rich mikados, Antonio’s gowns are perfect for the bride who is searching for the more sophisticated and modern look.  

    The Boho Look
Calling all hopeless romantics! The Boho look has been a favorite amongst the designers for a couple of seasons, and still has a strong presence going into 2018. Think, long, billowy sleeves and off the shoulder styles that give a simple gown an instant vintage feel. You can also opt for flutter sleeves and soft tulle for an effortlessly airy look, or you can go for floral lace to make a boho-chic statement.  Either way, the soft, romantic, effortless gown can be for any bride who loves to be relaxed and carefree.

    Metallic Gowns
    Metallic gowns gave the bridal fashion week runways a little extra sparkle. Perfect for an evening affair under the stars, gold, silver and champagne-tinted dresses are bold but sophisticated.   The metallic threading incorporated throughout the gown with hints of lace can add that extra sparkle without the heaving beading. Also . . .if you are rocking a gown with metallic fabric or embellishments, keep your accessories minimal so the beauty of the gown and the beauty of the bride show through!

    Botanical Lace Details and Embroidery
    Florals have been hot for a while, but botanical motifs, such as: vines, branches, and leaves, were everywhere this season. An edgier take on more traditional embroidery and appliqué, this nature-inspired trend feels romantic and contemporary all at once. Another favorite designer of ours is Claire Pettibone. Claire’s new Spring Couture line did not disappoint with her signature colorful floral designs incorporated into her flowy and ethereal gowns. Another trend that plays along with the botanical theme is the 3D floral lace.  This lace trend adds so much texture and interest to the bridal gown without taking away from the beauty of the silhouette of the gown.

    Bows, Bows, and More Bows
    This Spring, our brides will be sure to reveal their inner Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn and feature beautiful and classic bows on their wedding gowns.  Bows have come and gone through the seasons, but this Spring brings a number of different bow options for our brides.  Bows just add a timeless and classic feature to every bridal gown.

    Capes and Caplets
    Capes and caplets were featured at just about every runway and designer showroom this season! This ethereal add-on gives even the simplest dress a regal touch, but still feels modern and chic. Another thing to consider is that it is easy to pull off a mid-wedding outfit change with this trend. Wear a cape or caplet for your ceremony, then take it off when you’re ready to dance the night away at your reception.

    Every bride is unique and finding the perfect gown is an important part of her wedding story. I hope this trend guide to Bridal Fashion Week New York Spring 2018 helps you discover a wedding look that best expresses your style and personality. One thing’s for sure: If you’re tying the knot within the next year, these are the dresses you will be seeing in all the top fashionable bridal stores near you.