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Learn about a local family’s heart-touching personal experience that inspired them to launch a fun polo event that fundraises for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

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Cincy Chic: What is Polo For Babies?
Megan Stacy of Polo For Babies: Polo For Babies is an annual charity polo match hosted by The Leonidas Foundation. The event raises money for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This year’s second annual event is being held on July 18th.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the event?
Stacy: Betsy and Chris Leonidas aka The Leonidas Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3).

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Polo For Babies?
Stacy: Betsy and Chris’ daughter Adeline developed a very severe case of enterovirus and was admitted back into the hospital just seven days after birth. She experienced complete liver failure and a Stage 3 brain bleed as a result, but the care that Cincinnati Children’s provided was nothing short of a miracle. Feeling helpless and forever indebted to the amazing team there, Chris and Betsy vowed to always give back in any way they could. Polo has been a part of the family for two generations so they decided to take their love for the sport and use it as an opportunity to give back to the hospital, its patients and the local community. The Leonidas Foundation’s overall mission and goal is to raise money for infant and child research and care for years to come.

062215SPOTLIGHT2Cincy Chic: Who benefits from the funds raised at Polo For Babies?
Stacy: All of the proceeds from the event are given to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Cincy Chic: Where will the event be held?
Stacy: The event will take place at 4609 Kellogg Ave. in Cincinnati. The gates open at 2:00 p.m. and the game starts at 4:00 p.m.

Cincy Chic: What can guests attending Polo For Babies expect at this year’s event?
Stacy: General admission to Polo For Babies is $10. For this ticket option you’ll want to pack a chair and a picnic while enjoying the game field side. A Tailgate ticket is $50 and allows you to stuff your favorite friends, food and drinks in your car for a field-side set up. VIP tents range from $75 to $1,000. A table can be split with as many as 10 people. Food and alcohol are included in the ticket price. VIPers enjoy music and a silent auction packed with some awesome items, but keep in mind that half of the tent tickets are already sold.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Stacy: Visit The Leonidas Foundation’s website for more on the organization or click here for the Polo For Babies site. You can also learn more on Facebook or Instagram.

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Our life coach columnist explains the scientific difference between pessimists and optimists — and the secret to seeing the bright side.

I have a friend who struggles to stay positive. Whatever happens in her life, she imagines the worst possible scenario. She has difficulty accepting that her situation is often just temporary and that it’s possible for things to turn around and improve. Frankly, she thinks people that who are optimistic are just kidding themselves. Her belief is that in real life, things don’t work out the way you want.

Do you know anyone with this perspective on life?

Elizabeth Tenney, a Professor of Business Management at the University of Utah, was curious about the role that optimism played in the workplace. What she found surprised her. Her research concluded that optimism didn’t help a person improve their performance as much as she had initially thought. However, the research revealed that having optimism helped individuals to stick with an arduous task and persevere. As you can imagine, this would be an important quality to possess in the workplace.

A show of hands please— how many of you would like to spend your workday surrounded by pessimistic colleagues? How about optimistic colleagues? That’s what I thought.

Martin Seligman, who has done vast research surrounding this topic, explains optimism as the ability to always view the positive side of the situation. No matter how dark and discouraging things look, an optimistic individual has the ability to see the upside and know that things will work out. Pessimists have difficulty seeing the upside of any situation that exists in their life. They assume that things will stay bad forever. Optimists, on the other hand, view their current situation as only temporary. Deep down, they believe that things will improve soon and it only takes some patience to wait it out.

In today’s world, the workplace can be stressful. Whether you’re working in a corporate environment, or as an entrepreneur, the expectations and rules to succeed are constantly changing and evolving. Your ability to ride the wave through the good times and bad is essential to your success. Having an optimistic perspective enables you to see the possibilities and be creative in your problem solving.

Your ability to be resilient is the key ingredient to you and your workers achieving your goals.

There are going to be good days and bad days at the job— sometimes you’ll just want to give up. However, you must learn to persevere and drown out the distracting noise around you. Sometimes the most distracting noise is happening right inside your own head. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to retrain your brain. With practice, you can learn to view these times as temporary setbacks that will soon turn around. If you’re determined to change, you can become a much more optimistic person.

I’m quite optimistic that things can change for you.

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Chris Pratt is back in theaters taking on another heroic world in the franchise relaunch of Jurassic Park. So, why does our movie critic wish Jurassic World would go extinct? Click here to find out!

“You think my breath is bad now, wait ’till I put some Sriracha on these flying wings! The Indominus Rex wreaks havoc in a scene from co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow’s newest addition to the Jurassic Park franchise, JURASSIC WORLD. Credit: Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment. © 2015 Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.



WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Judy Greer and Ty Burrell

WRITER(S): Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow (screenplay); Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (story); Michael Crichton (original characters on which the film is based)

DIRECTOR(S): Colin Trevorrow

60 SECOND PLOT SUMMARY (OR AS CLOSE TO THAT TIME AS ONE CAN MAKE IT): Hoping to recapture the magic that struck audiences back in 1993, Jurassic World stars Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson as Gray and Zach, two brothers visiting the realized Jurassic World – the dinosaur theme park the late John Hammond (played in the original by Sir Richard Attenborough). Now a full scale park that features everything from rideable dinosaurs to a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and Starbucks, the brothers are getting VIP access to the park courtesy of their aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). 



A marketing executive who works 24/7, Claire is currently overseeing the upcoming reveal of the park’s newest attraction – Indominus Rex – the park’s first original genetically modified hybrid dinosaur that has the DNA of T-Rex (and several other creatures) so it can shine as a way to keep guests interested and coming back to the park’s home on Isla Nublar. While Claire, Dr. Wu (BD Wong) and Masrani, the park’s billionaire owner/aspiring helicopter pilot are all fond of their newest creature, Owen (Chris Pratt) has yet to meet the animal as he’s been busy working on another project: training a group of velociraptors to work and respond to his commands. While Owen is optimistic about the bond he may one day be able to share with his animals, Hoskins (Vincet D’Onofrio) is interested in his work for a different, far more militaristic reason …



So, what happens when you put 20,000 tourists on an island with prehistoric killing machines, people with various motivations and security that may or may not be able to hold them all off? Well, the park is open … How long it is, however, remains to be seen …


WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? People who enjoyed the Transformers movie series; Chris Pratt fans; people who enjoy mindless action sequences and watching dinosaurs come to life; anyone enjoys campy summertime action movie fare


WHO WONT (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? Fans of the original Jurassic Park film; Chris Pratt fans who hate to see him trying to carry a movie single-handedly; those who hate predictable sci-fi films; people who pick apart plot holes; people who enjoy characters that are not one dimensional
 

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? As someone who [1] is a fan and owner of the original film trilogy [2] enjoys Chris Pratt’s work very much and [3] was hopeful the new film would deliver something original, it saddens me to say this, but the truth must be told: Jurassic World is proof that much like the fictional venue featured in the film, the park should stay closed forever as bigger is clearly not always better. Jurassic World in fact does it best to prove that bigger is 100% worse. 



If you’re the type that pays attention when you watch a movie, you’ll likely notice there are a myriad of problems that plague Jurassic World from start to finish – and all of them come together to create a hybrid best described as a Michael Bay orgy of violence, predictable storylines and bad acting that co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow tries to save with a big blowout action sequence at the end. 



Let’s run down some of the problems together now, shall we?



Story-wise, Jurassic World presents the EXACT same story you expect you’re going to get if you’ve ever seen any of the first three films: Man CANNOT control dinosaurs and not only that, the more WE try to control nature, the more nature is going to show us who’s in control. There is no surprise to what the Indominus Rex is about, going to do or how it’s going to do it. Likewise, you know what every human character is going to do after the first time they show up on screen, so nothing in Jurassic World is exciting in terms of the story because you can figure it out 20-25 minutes in. Having refused to learn from all the past incidents – and given the money spent, loss of life involved and resources wasted, wouldn’t SOME government/environmental agency/PETA have shut this place down by now?! – you are not surprised/shocked in the slightest when what happens unfolds.



How bad of a repeat of every other Jurassic Park movie is this? Well, let’s see … 



[1] The businessman (Khan) is always going to be optimistic and hopeful but extremely misguided; [2] The business execs/scientists (Howard/Wong) are always going to put the wrong things first in the idea of making money/their legacy; 

[3] The animal control guy (Pratt) is always gonna be the one that has to fix something/knows whatever is going on behind closed doors isn’t right, but not until after the security team realizes their overmatched … 

[4]And there’s always gonna be one guy (D’Onofrio) that is gonna be the dumb fat guy. Did I also mention …

[5] There’s got to be a somewhat ludicrous romance and

[6] The kids are going to be both

[7] Not interesting/annoying as siblings until they …

[8] Have to be rescued? Seriously – it’s to the point Child Protective Services wouldn’t let anyone under the age of 18 anywhere near this place. At least 

[9] There’s going to be one wise-cracking employee (Jake Johnson) to throw in some good one liners and try to help along the way.



By the way, if you think I just gave away the movie in the paragraph above, you OBVIOUSLY haven’t watched the trailer for the film since IT DOES EVERYTHING I JUST MENTIONED IN LESS THAN 3 MINUTES.


Pratt does his best to keep the film in some level of plausibility/interest as the take no nonsense Owen, but given all the aforementioned tired tropes the other characters he’s saddled with have – just wait until Howard goes into classic Indiana Jones damsel in distress mode with the perfect mode of sweaty, alluring feminine outfit (complete with high heels!) and complete character 180 attitude turn – it’s a lose-lose situation. It’s really hard for anyone to overcome a complete cluster of mediocre, so just consider this one a mulligan for the former Parks & Recreation star (and fittingly potential next Indiana Jones).Next to Pratt, the dinosaurs are the only good thing about Jurassic World. but save for one Alfred Hitchcock/Birds-like inspired sequence and the massive blowout at the film’s climax, the other dino sequences are lackluster as everything else.

So, unless you’ve never seen a Jurassic Park movie, really love watching people run in panic after making bad decisions … Or just like Chris Pratt so much you have to see every film he’s in, Jurassic World is proof that bigger is not only not always better, but that some movie franchises should just stay extinct.

OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

 

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Our business guru explains the four most important steps that every business needs to get organized and be managed like a well-oiled machine.

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Any business, over time, develops a database of clients and various organizational needs that gets more complex as the business gets larger. The issue is that a disorganized approach can cost money in lost productivity, lost opportunities, and lost clients. Any company that wants to succeed needs to embrace the idea of better overall information management. By using tools that are readily available, a growing company can utilize all of its business resources and find ways to develop more profitable relationships with clients, vendors, and business partners.

Inspire Organization Among Your Employees

You can take charge of every detail by inspiring your employees to be organized. Simple tactics can include an end of the month desk cleaning event. This helps ensure a neater, more organized appearance to office space and it helps employees get into the routine of being organized. You can also provide training on such things as how to utilize in and out file baskets and also on how to keep computer records organized.

Utilize the Cloud

Cloud storage is an excellent way to centralize all of your company’s digital files and as a way to keep all of your company files organized. Options include Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive. You can develop a storage system that employees will follow and that will allow you and your employees to be able to access important company files on the go. Online storage options make files easier to find and easier to access, whenever you need them.

Integrate Your Management Platforms

When you utilize strong customer relationship management software, you are able to keep all of your customer contact details in one database. But there are other factors that work on that database which need to be considered as well. You should also consider integrating other software with your CRM to keep all of your client interactions as up to date as possible; these can include billing/accounting applications, email marketing platforms, and the cloud storage solutions mentioned above. In addition, it’s critical to make sure that each department in the company is constantly utilizing and updating the CRM database. This ensures that you have current information to work from.

Manage Your Social Media Presence

Your social media networks can get out of hand if you don’t take the time to organize them properly. You need to prioritize your contacts and constantly clean out the contacts and files that you no longer need to have on your social media pages. You also need to integrate your social media activity with your CRM platform; this is a proactive way to develop a comprehensive profile of your customers. By mixing these two platforms together, you can significantly expand your understanding of your clients and develop more effective marketing programs. CRM solutions that allow you to integrate your social media presence into your customer management practices help you become more efficient at delivering marketing messages.

Implement these practices with tools like online storage and a quality CRM program to develop a customer management strategy that will grow your business and significantly enhance your revenue.

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Congrats! You lost weight! But then life happens. Sound familiar? How do you avoid falling off the wagon? Our health columnist offers five strategies to help.

You’ve just found the magic solution to losing the extra weight and permanently keeping it off. You figure out what to eat on the plan outlined, buy the groceries needed to adhere to it, and adopt the exercise regime it recommends. You follow the program strictly for two weeks, and guess what? You lose some weight, you feel better, and you like how your clothes fit. Success!

Then ___________ happens. In other words, life occurs. Who could have seen that coming?

I’m sure many of you have experienced this at some point in your weight loss journey – I know I have many times!

There was birthday cake strategically placed at the office, your partner left you, your boss reprimanded you, you went out to lunch with your coworkers, you didn’t prepare ahead of time, or you haven’t eaten in 8 hours. Whatever it is and how valid the reason may be, this is called life. Before you know it, the incongruent goal choice and action has crept up on you without your conscious knowledge and drove your head into a bag a chips or row of cookies. After the consumption, you feel ashamed and despaired. You ask yourself, “Why did I do that? I feel like a failure!” You ditch your rigid “diet” and fall back into old patterns and behaviors and the weight lost soon comes back, and likely more.

Why does this keep happening? How do we break this cycle? How do we handle it with grace and remain congruent with our health goals?

Insert The Diet Doc call!

Before diving into the five strategies, I want to first share three of the common hazards that set up unrealistic expectations, which can lead one more readily to fall off the healthy weight loss wagon. The five tips will help develop an approach that will stop you from engaging in that unhealthy yo-yo cycle, or restrict-binge behavior, you may know all too well.

Hazard #1: New Beginnings
We as human beings love novelty; it is always exciting and fresh at the start. It may sound strange, but sometimes it’s fun to start a new diet or exercise routine. You get to try new recipes and new workout routines and there’s all these gadgets that track all your metrics, but once the initial excitement wears off, we tend to get bored. That’s when motivation drops quickly. Refer to my “5 Nutrition Tips” article to establish that meaningful purpose statement.

Hazard #2: Short and Sweet
We also tend to have short attention spans and want immediate results that requires the least amount of resistance. Rolling with the punches or daily sacrifices don’t have to be physical pain – though the soreness you might feel when starting a workout routine could count – it can also be the annoyance of not ordering your usual coffee beverage or avoiding the fries or preparing healthy meals ahead of time instead of laying out on the couch. Refer back to your “why” and determine how high of a priority your health is.

Hazard #3: Unrealistic Expectations
If it were possible to lose a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time and keep it off for the rest of our lives, none of us would be in this situation in the first place. Sustained, healthy weight loss, and maintenance takes time, consistency, practice, and patience.

Now that those are laid out, here are five tips to avoid common weight loss pitfalls and set yourself up for long-term success:

1. Focus on the Big Picture
Acknowledge the desire for novelty and meet those needs in other areas of your life before the excitement of the diet and/or exercise routine wears off. For example, you could try a new sport or hobby. Additionally, look at other aspects of your life and determine what realistic, sustainable modifications you need to make to achieve your goals. Be proactive with your actions with the intention of making them lifelong behaviors and habits. It just takes starting though, striving to improve one day at a time and never settling.

2. Become a Mental Endurance Individual
We’ve heard the cliché, think of weight loss and maintenance as a marathon rather than a sprint. If you reflect of your struggle with weight, you’ll probably discover that it took years to get to where you are today. Similarly, it may take years to find success in your weight loss journey and to stay there in the long run. Believe in yourself and trust the process. Again, don’t quit on yourself. Keep trying, keep failing, keep learning, and repeat.

3. Be Humble
In order words, accept your weaknesses. For example, if you know that an upcoming family gathering will present itself as a stressful situation with food triggers, work around it by planning ahead. Consider what you will eat ahead of time and figure out a way to de-stress afterwards that doesn’t revolve around food. Even if despite the best intentions and the plan doesn’t go according to the plan, shake it off and analyze how you could improve for next time. What steps will you take? What could I have done differently? What was behind my motive for the choices I made?

Remember that being healthy is a process, not an outcome; it will not always be enjoyable. Expect tough times when you are bored, tired, ill, unmotivated, busy, or stressed. It’s about consistency, not perfection. You stick with it though because of its meaning and importance.

4. Forgive Yourself/Celebrate Your Successes
We tend to flourish and succeed at goals when we are complimented. Instead of labeling yourself as a “failure” when you detour, acknowledge what happened, be mindful of the choices that lead up to it, and change direction towards the outcome you desire. Stay away from extreme labels that make you feel hopeless (“I can’t…” is one of them), or set unachievable standards (“look like a supermodel”).

5. Develop a Strong Support System
Most people find that they are more successful with long-term weight loss, or any life process, when they involve others in the process. It’s absolutely crucial! How could your partner, family, or friends support you in your goals? Could you share healthy meals or exercise together? Could they be a support line? If you’re feeling unmotivated to exercise or to remain honest to your nutrition, could you reach out to them to help you remain focused?

There is research to support there is a higher tendency to slip back into old behavior patterns after an initial weight loss due to how we deal (or don’t deal) with our emotions. A reliable accountability partner can help you pinpoint patterns when faced with upsetting emotions or circumstances. This individual can help you address and resolve issues when they arise instead of stuffing them down with food or denying they exist.

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    061515FEATURE

    Bacon. It’s not just for breakfast any more. It’s now on your sandwiches, topping your side dishes, wrapped around your veggies, and even in your dessert. To celebrate this swine time in culinary history, Coney Island along with Restaurant Raiders of Cincinnati, Yuengling Beer, Lipton Tea and other local food trucks and restaurants are hosting Bacon Fest 2015.

    Bacon Fest is free to attend and will take place on Father’s Day, June 21, which is also International Bacon Day, from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Coney Island. As an added plus for their special day, all dads park for free at Coney Island from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as well.

    If you’re headed to Coney Island for Bacon Fest, there’s plenty to expect. According to Amy Zahora, executive director of Restaurant Raiders of Cincinnati, there will be more than 10 restaurants and food trucks serving food that all contain bacon in one form or another. “We’ll have chocolate covered bacon, bacon mac and cheese, bacon grilled cheese, bacon wrapped hot dogs and more,” she adds.

    Some of the participating restaurants and food vendors you’ll see at Bacon Fest include C’est Cheese Food Truck, Urban Grill, The Dock Food & Spirits, Enon, The Patriot Steakhouse & Tavern, SugarSnap!, TruckHunger, Paynes Food Truck, Dominique’s Bistro & Bar, Tex Mex Joes, Dena’s Diner, Pit to Plate, Ritters, Sweetums, Bistro de Mohr and many more.

    Of course you know that bacon will be served all day long, but some of the participating eateries have already released details about items they’ll be serving. The eateries participating in Bacon Fest will serve chicken-bacon flatbread, guanciale cheeseburgers, bacon cheddar potato wedges, hog balls-fried deliciousness with potato, cheddar, bacon and some jalapeno and bourbon bacon brittle to name a few.

    Other tasty treats you can expect at Bacon Fest include bacon cheesecake, bacon cole slaw, bacon crab cake, bacon caramel corn, bacon potato salad, loaded potato croquettes, bacon pretzel bites, gourmet bacon cupcakes, bacon waffles, candied bacon, bacon wrapped shrimp, bacon jam and bacon carbonara.

    Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or just want a savory sweet treat, you’ll find them at Bacon Fest 2015. And if you’re one of the few who don’t like bacon, don’t worry. There will also be food and treats that don’t have bacon including BBQ and frozen cheesecake.

    Aside from all of the tasty treats that’ll be served up at Bacon Fest, Zahora says that the Naked Karate Girls will hit the stage at 4 p.m.

    Zahora says that in addition to a big thanks to Coney Island for hosting the event, other sponsors for Bacon Fest are Heidelberg, Yelp Cincinnati, Heartland Payment Systems and Morgan Services.

    To learn more about Bacon Fest 2015, visit www.coneyisland.com or www.baconfestcincinnati.com.

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    061515FASHION1
    Jewelry at Idlewild Woman boutique in OTR, recently launched by the team behind Article Menswear

    As store manager Cale Darrell will be quick to tell you, Article Menswear is not just a men’s clothing store. It’s a complete lifestyle brand. They sell everything for the fashion forward, modern man from suit jackets to casual wear, hoodies to t-shirts, accessories to home décor, and even men’s bath and body products.

    This young, small, locally-owned business has only been up and running for two years. But in that short time, the positive feedback from shoppers has been overwhelming, Darrell says. “We wanted to create a modern day men’s general store to make guys feel comfortable while shopping with us,” he adds. “We have everything from shaving goods to shoe polish and we carry such a large variety of apparel for men.”

    The store is surrounded by big, floor-to-ceiling windows allowing natural sunlight to pour in, partnered with dimmed spotlights throughout the store, with rustic furniture, and an American flag that proudly hangs above the check-out desk. Apparel with a rugged yet edgy and edgy feel hangs on the racks and fills the shelves.

    According to Darrell, the store is strategically merchandised so that it sparks a client’s interest as they walk through the store, shopping for whatever they need. They sell brands from all over the U.S., while still showcasing its local love too. Carrying brands such as Noble Denim, which was founded in Cincinnati, and even a man-friendly, scented candle company called, Good Candle that was created by UC DAAP graduate, Johnathan Kroeger.

    “We buy the majority of our merchandise from trade shows in other cities like Las Vegas, so it can sometimes be a challenge when buying stock for upcoming seasons since we order clothes for seasons way in advance. But we know our customer well enough to give him that traditional clothing and staple pieces in cool and unique ways,” says Darrell.

    In fact, he said it’s a team effort to accomplish the best trend forecasting, as the entire staff offers insight for this process. The team consists of Darrell — along with their multi-talented sales consultant, Trey Jolly, and owners Anthony and Maria Graziani.

    Freeman Sporting Club, Schott NYC, Baldwin, and Saturdays Brand are all brands you’ll find at Article. If that doesn’t get you in the door, they also have some special events coming up. During MLB’s All-Star weekend, reps from Mitchell Bat Co. and Ebbets Fields will be visiting Article Menswear to host a party to welcome their new merchandise to be sold in the store. The event is free, while light refreshments and beer will be served.

    Don’t worry, ladies. The team at Article hasn’t forgotten about you. Just last month, they opened up a sister boutique just one block down called, Idlewild Woman. Idlewild started out as a pop up shop they tried out within Article Menswear. “The response was so great from the pop up shop, it was evidently clear there was a need for the owners to create a sister store for women,” Darrell says.

    Idlewild has soft and feminine décor with an all-white building with white brick walls inside. They carry flowy, bohemian chic clothing paired with delicate accessories. They are also a lifestyle brand that embraces womanhood, carrying home goods, bath and body products, and accessories. Both stores carry some of the same brands such as Billy Reed, Imogene & Willie, and Gant Rugger that have men’s and women’s lines within their brands.

    Keep your eye on Article Menswear as they will be introducing new brands to their store this upcoming fall. They are also planning a special event coming up for the fall, but are shy on sharing details just yet. “We want to keep it a secret so people will be surprised when we announce,” laughs Darrell.

    To stay tuned with both stores, follow them on Instagram at @Articlemenswear and @Idlewildwoman.

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    Two Cincinnati men created a new business and product line of natural elixirs for beards of all shapes and sizes. Learn more about this manscaping mecca.

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    A locally-based company makes manscaping a little easier. Scott Ponder and Patrick Brown, the co-founders of Ohio Valley Beard Supply, launched a Cincinnati based line of product for men with beards of all shapes and sizes.

    Local hairdresser and co-owner of the Northside Chop Shop, Scott Ponder has been in the business for years. As one of his regular customers, Patrick Brown noticed during a visit that they were both growing out their beards, and they began discussing the lack of satisfactory grooming products for beards.

    Eventually, Ponder asked Brown to join him in a venture to develop a product line for beard-bedecked men. The duo developed a logo and series of products, all within a few months. “It felt pretty quick when it came together,” says Brown. They ultimately launched what is now Ohio Valley Beard Supply Company in February of 2014.

    With current retail placement in Losantaville and Over the Rhine, as well as a booth at Cincinnati’s City Flea events, Brown says he’d like to expand the company regionally. To do so, according to Brown, they will replicate the same approach given in Cincinnati, with products on shelves in places such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes. “Our mantra is that we’d only like to sell in places that we would shop ourselves,” he explains.

    With five distinct scents ranging from “woodsy” to “citrusy” (including unscented), the baseline product recommended for all beard owners and lovers is the Beard Elixir, standing at $20 per bottle. For men with fuller and/or bigger beards is the Finishing Balm, which provides as a heavy moisturizer as well as withholding a strong, shaping element, also $20 per bottle. The Mustache Wax, which sells at $10 per bottle, is for those who’d like to keep a well-groomed ‘stache holding firm all day long. They also offer beard washes and conditioners, which sell for $12 each, which were created to work with the elixir, balm and wax. Brown says the product does well not to strip out the natural oils of the beard while also taking care of its natural state of being. All of the products are made from natural ingredients and have never been tested on animals.

    Brown and Ponder aim to cater to a different niche. According to Brown, mainstream products target a younger crowd, “hipsters,” “bikers,” or “lumberjacks.” However, Brown says Ohio Valley Beard Supply is “representing the extremes of bearded men,” he adds. “It’s hard to build a company for dudes obsessed with beards. Those are very distinct personalities.”

    To learn more, visit www.ohiovalleybeard.com.

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    A local entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast created an innovative new product that makes mental and physical stress just float away.

    Joe Daniels, co-founder of Think Tank, and owner of Daniels Fitness Training and Swing This Kettlebell and Strength
    Joe Daniels, co-founder of Think Tank, and owner of Daniels Fitness Training and Swing This Kettlebell and Strength

    Phones ringing, email dinging, cars honking, kids crying — don’t you just wish stressful days like this just had a reset button for your body and mind? Well, now there is, according to Joe Daniels, co-founder of Think Tank, utilizes Magnesium Flotation therapy and Restricted Environmental Stimulus Technique (REST) as a type of stress relief, mental wellness and recuperation spa.

    After studying Magnesium and stress relief techniques for many years for recuperation from exercise and daily stress, Daniels stumbled onto the concept of flotation tanks. “Since there were none in the area, I forgot about it until I started looking for muscular pain relief outside of massage therapy,” he says. “I talked to some people who were open to the idea then Alex Fraser and I began meeting to see what we could do to bring it to the state of Kentucky.”

    061515HEALTH2The flotation tanks house up to 1,000 lbs. of magnesium salt and is 10 inches deep, allowing users to float on their backs. “This immediately provides muscle tension release that compounds the more you use it,” Daniels explains. “This is exceptionally great for fibromyalgia, stiff joints and other muscular pains caused by overuse or exertion.”

    As for the water, it is heated to skin temperature (93.5 degrees). “You enter a state of incredible relaxation by decreased sensory input, hence Restricted Environmental Stimulus,” Daniels continues. “This allows the brain and nervous system a much needed reset from the world we live in. Think of it as being in rush hour traffic and all of a sudden you’re on a beautiful road in the bluegrass area of Kentucky on a spring day.”

    Through his fitness training businesses — Daniels Fitness Training and Swing This Kettlebell and Strength — Daniels has been spreading the word about Magnesium flotation and its benefits. “With the experience I have coaching people, I feel that we will be able to describe and ease any reservations people may have with Flotation therapy,” says Daniels. “We will have a progressive manner in helping people overcome anxiety of the tanks. Not everyone needs to start full throttle.”

    According to Daniels, many people looking for muscle pain relief can float with the tank open, while others can shut the tank and enjoy complete darkness and sound reduction to venture deep into meditative states. “We aim to bring a therapy that will work with the individual, not make the individual bend to the therapy,” he says.

    To financially support the concept launch, Think Tank currently has a GoFundMe campaign with more than $2,000 in donations from individuals across the community. “We’ve had a lot of hurdles, as KY is one of the hardest states to work with in this industry – so we weren’t able to be up and running as soon as we’d like to,” Daniels explains. “We’d like to be open in a few months and supporters can get prepaid deals on float packages and memberships.”

    In looking to the horizon of Think Tank, Daniels emphasizes his focus of seeing a more connected and less stressed community – one that enjoys going outside and nature, one that wants to help make the community and surrounding area a better place.

    “I have connections with doctors, universities and sports teams that we could help with getting stress help and nervous system studies,” says Daniels. “Flotation therapy has even been used for certain addictive behavior cessation. It truly is a window into the individual’s mind without fear the fear of what other people will think.”

    To learn more about Think Tank, visit www.unwindwith.us, or follow on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

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    Learn about the City Slicker Sundays event series on Fountain Square, hosting local creative businesses and Art on Vine for a special artistic market.

    061515SOCIALCincinnati is a hub of creative small businesses. The “City Slicker Sundays” event series on Fountain Square, which takes place every Sunday at noon, turns the heart of the city into an outdoor extravaganza showcasing these businesses, artists and designers.

    Aside from the huge jumbotron broadcasting the Reds games, as well as a variety of food and drink choices, City Slicker Sundays has even more in store this year. Art on Vine will set up its special art market during the first Sunday of each month on Fountain Square.

    Cincinnati native James Jenkins is the owner of Photography for the People and founder of Art on Vine, an art show that hosts events in multiple areas of Cincinnati. He and graphic designer Page Lansley are the creative minds behind this local art experience.

    “The vision for Art on Vine began in 2012 from a college class project while I was studying Business Law and Film Photography. At the time, Page Lansley was my class partner, and now she’s the Art on Vine Graphic Designer and a local artist,” explains Jenkins.

    The two wanted to create an experience that would be both meaningful and exciting for the city – something Cincinnati could be proud of as a sustainable outlet for artists to exhibit their work for years to come. Jenkins wanted to give artists “an opportunity to pursue their creative dreams or goals and a change to do what they love and make a living at it,” he explains.

    According to Jenkins, over the past three years, Cincinnatians have responded with high praise and a strong support for its events. In fact, the company had just eight artists to start with, now has nearly 50 local artists and have hosted 30 events in just the past two years.

    Not only does Art on Vine feature local artists, but they also give a large portion of their revenue to non-profit organizations in the community every month. “We love contributing to great non-profits that truly make a difference. Our first non-profit was Over-the-Rhine Community Housing (OTRCH),” says Jenkins. The contributions made to OTRCH help low-income residents get back on their feet so that they can succeed within the community. Art on Vine also makes donations to Cincinnati Senior Services and Pones, Inc.

    Art on Vine will host their art markets on Fountain Square now through the beginning of October, and will then move the market back to Rhinegeist Brewery for the colder months. During the City Slicker Sunday markets, Art on Vine has a multitude of unique artistic opportunities for the community to engage.

    Jenkins says these events allow attendees to not only enjoy the art, but also interact with the local artists. Having one-on-one encounters with artists is how to “find out what inspired them to create the work,” Jenkins explains. “The artist has the chance to meet and learn from consumers, and to share ideas that can inspire them to create the perfect and personal piece.”

    To learn ore about Art on Vine, visit http://www.artonvinecincy.com, and visit http://myfountainsquare.com/event/city-slicker-sundays/ for City Slicker Sunday event details and times for the Art on Vine markets.

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