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Our marketing guru explains the three things that build the strongest foundation of repeat customers and how CRM software can help.

When your company starts to grow, there is going to be a point where you may feel like you are losing control of your customer base. Each day you will be adding new customers and your marketing efforts will be creating new prospects faster than you can count. It is all very exciting as your company keeps moving towards its revenue goals, but it can also be intimidating.

A growing company relies on a strong foundation of repeat customers to generate reliable revenue. If your sales, customer service and marketing professionals do not have a cohesive way to track important customer information, it may appear to your customers that your company simply does not care. That is why investing in CRM software is critical to your company’s future success.

CRM Software
The busier your company gets, the more you need good CRM software.

Developing Streamlined Information

Good CRM software allows you to collect every piece of information you need to develop effective client programs that retain revenue. You can streamline any of that information into customized reports that allow your sales and marketing professionals to develop ways to maximize revenue and keep your company growing.

Adding New Contacts

As a company grows, it struggles to keep up with changes to its existing customer base as well as cataloging prospects. It is critical that your company keep its records up to date on customer contact information, changes in customer product preference, and any personal information that allows you to maintain a strong bond with your clients. This data helps with everything from product development to customer care.

Good CRM software makes it easy to add as many prospects as you like and keep track of all of your existing customers and any changes associated with them. Your customer service department can make notes on any customer maintenance calls that are taken each day and the sales group can keep detailed records on product preferences and product suggestions that customers make.

CRM Software
Good CRM software lets a growing company keep the focus on the customer.

Keeping Marketing Information Updated

Two of the fastest ways to upset your customers is to send them marketing information they do not want or to forget to utilize their preferences when placing orders. Updated marketing information is critical in maintaining strong bonds with existing clients, while developing effective ways of convincing new clients to do their business with your company. With good CRM software, you can keep all of your marketing information up to date and make sure that all of your interactions with your clients are productive.

Another benefit to updating your marketing information is that you can track consumer trends that will affect future product developments and advertising campaigns. This is vital in being able to create accurate revenue projections and developing long-term plans that will keep your company growing.

Insightly has the type of CRM software your company needs to keep your customer base organized and help you in developing effective marketing campaigns. With the different products offered by Insightly, you will be able to take on any size client base and track as many prospects as you want as your business grows.

George N Root III is a professional freelance writer who has expertise in topics such as Internet marketing, business, advertising and personal finance.

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    One local lady launched her start-up, One Fine Day, by renting out the very decor pieces she picked out for her wedding day. See how it’s grown into a booming styling and vintage décor business that adds the perfect touch to one fine day in your life.

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    Lindsay Lescoe, owner of One Fine Day. (Photo by: Tracy Doyle Photography​)

    Lindsay Lescoe isn’t your typical bride. When it came to planning her wedding, she did it all on her own. She spent 18 months procuring vintage and eclectic items that she evetually incorporated into her 2014 wedding.

    Lindsay Lescoe, owner of One Fine Day. (Photo by: Tracy Doyle Photography​)
    Lindsay Lescoe, owner of One Fine Day. (Photo by: Tracy Doyle Photography​)

    When it was time for Lescoe and her fiancé to have their engagement shoot, she wanted to use a Victorian couch outdoors in a field. However, she struggled to find anyone who could rent her a couch for one day to use as a prop. She says that she even took to Facebook, asking if anyone in her network had a Victorian couch she could borrow. The closest she came was a dealer who would have charged her thousands of dollars to borrow a couch for the day.

    Eventually, she found a Victorian couch in Louisville that she used as the focal point for a specialty lounge area in her wedding. In order to retrieve the piece, she had to borrow a truck, drive to Louisville on her own, climb in the truck bed and strap down the couch to the best of her ability before making the trek back to Cincinnati. She says that she ended up spending several hours on one task that she could have devoted to another area of her wedding.

    Vintage decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Kortnee Kate Photography​)
    Vintage decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Kortnee Kate Photography​)

    Although her mother already owned much of the furniture that she needed to decorate and furnish her wedding, there were still several pieces yet to be found, including the now-infamous Victorian couch.

    “Rounding up all of the special touches like hundreds of mismatched China plates and unique tabletop accents from a wide variety of places took a lot of time, energy and money – not to mention all of my basement storage space,” she says. It’s because of this that she decided to launch the business One Fine Day, to help make other big day dreams come true.

    “Those experiences were very telling of the need that existed in the Cincinnati area for a rental and styling resource to help bring event visions to life and save precious time, money, energy and sanity by offering access to a wide variety of unique furniture and props for special events and photo shoots,” Lescoe says.

    This local event rental and styling resource specializes in renting out vintage and eclectic décor for weddings, events, photo shoots and any other special occasion. “We help clients bring their Pinterest boards to life, and parter with them to create an atmosphere that truly reflects their personal taste and style, full of wow-worthy details for their guests, Lescoe says.

    Vintage decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Amber Bridges Photography​)
    Vintage decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Amber Bridges Photography​)

    With One Fine Day, you’ll find an extensive, ever-evolving collection of décor available to rent. From large furniture pieces such as dressers, sofas and tables to smaller accents and props, Lescoe says that each piece is hand-selected for its originality and charm. She adds that One fine Day also offers custom-made items fabricated locally by a network of artisans in the area.

    There are several services Lescoe and One Fine Day offer clients including furniture, prop and tabletop décor rentals; styling services; custom crafting and fabrication; event rental and photo shoot space; personal shopping and custom search services; and delivery, set-up and breakdown services.

    With furniture rentals, you’ll find that inventory is available for any occasion or photo shoot. With styling services, clients receive assistance incorporating all of the pieces they’ve chosen together in order to create a styled scene that matches their desired look.

    Decor item available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Kortnee Kate Photography​)
    Decor item available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Kortnee Kate Photography​)

    It isn’t always easy to find the perfect piece, though, and sometimes it doesn’t even exist. So, One Fine Day will also provide clients with custom crafting and fabrication to ensure their special day perfectly executes their vision. “We are proud to work with our network of local artisans and craftspeople to make something just for you,” says Lescoe. “Whether it’s a spectacular, moveable wall of flowers, a custom-made wedding arch or a handmade seating chart or wedding favors – we have you covered.”

    One of Lescoe’s favorite things about her new-found profession is that when a client selects One Fine Day, she’s given the opportunity to help make someone’s special occasion truly unique, memorable and one-of-a-kind using pieces and designs that complement their personality and aesthetic. “It is also personally gratifying to know that I can save someone a lot of time, stress, frustration and money by providing them with the décor and props they need on a rental basis for their event, so they can turn their attention to one of the other things on their ‘to-do’ list,” says Lescoe.

    Decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Amber Bridges Photography​)
    Decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Amber Bridges Photography​)

    Another perk to doing what she does is the history that’s behind the pieces in her inventory. More specifically, she loves the pieces that are from many years ago, boast quality workmanship and are hand-painted. She says that rather than letting those pieces be stored in an attic or basement, she enjoys being able to bring them out to the public so they can be admired and appreciated time and time again.

    As someone with a strong background in arts, and as an entrepreneur, Lescoe says she enjoys partnering with local artists to handcraft custom items clients need. “Leveraging our network of local artisans and crafters not only supports our local economy, but also alleviates the need for someone to go through the steps of ordering something online and having it shipped from across the country when the same item could be crafted right here in town,” she says.

    Vintage decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Amber Bridges Photography​)
    Vintage decor items available for rent through One Fine Day. (Photo by: Amber Bridges Photography​)

    There are many things on the horizon at One Fine Day, according to Lescoe. First, she says, they’re preparing to open a new event rental space on the first floor of a historic row house in Northern Kentucky. She adds that the space will be a great location for parties, showers, meetings and photo shoots. It will be fully furnished with plenty of pieces, which she’s currently in the process of selecting.

    Additionally, One Fine Day is also preparing to move into a new warehouse space located in Bellevue, Kentucky, and minutes away from the event rental space. “The warehouse will be where our inventory is housed and maintained, and will also have space available to rent for photo shoots – including a private area for boudoir sessions that will be beautifully furnished,” she says.184x256 roses red cincy chic

    In addition, on April 30 at Horseshoe Casino, Lescoe and One Fine Day will be helping out with the Women Helping Women fundraising gala called Light Up the Night. The theme of the event is Peace, Love and Understanding, so there will be plenty of ’70s-themes including flower power, peace signs, early ‘70s attire and tie-dye, so Lescoe is busy digging through thrift stores to create the perfect outfit.

    To learn more, visit Lescoe’s website, “like” One Fine Day on Facebook, send an email, call 513-400-6996 or watch the webcast below.

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    We chat with the wedding videographers who turned their passion for storytelling into a profession. Read on to see wedding videography like you’ve never seen it before.

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    Shane Pergrem, Executive Producer and owner of True Artists Studio

    If you ask Shane Pergrem what he does for a living, he’d say “I’m a Storyteller.” That’s because, even though he owns a video production business that specializes in wedding videography, he considers himself a Storyteller above all.

    “We’re artists telling a story through the medium of film,” says Pergrem, Executive Producer and owner of True Artists Studio. “Video is powerful. Stories are powerful. The two together, it’s True Art.”

    Pergrem says he loves wedding videography the most because it’s an opportunity to capture the couple’s love story on film through their special day.

    “We aren’t your typical, traditional videographer. We’re a fly on the wall, the quiet bystander, showing a slice of life – on one of the most special days of your life,” Pergrem says. “And once you watch our finished product, you’ll see wedding videography in a whole new way.”

    Pergrem started out in 2006 as a division of Michael Bambino Studios, shooting strictly with Bambino photographers. After much success and growth, he decided to branch out and start shooting a weddings with a few other photography companies. “We then realized that it was time to make the filmmaking department its own Cincinnati video production company,” Pergrem recalls. “And thus, the birth of True Artists Studio.”

    Today, they provide wedding videography in Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. “But we also provide any video production services you might need, for corporations, non-profit organizations and community organizations,” Pergrem explains. “We can work on advertising, training videos, documentaries, and of course, wedding videos. Let our award winning team bring your special day, or your vision to life.”

    Contact True Artists Studio at 859.305.1547, video@trueartistsstudio.com, or visit online at www.trueartistsstudio.com. Watch the webcast below to learn more.

    This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by True Artists Studio

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    Many brides are digging out mom’s old wedding dress to make it their own. Learn about a local expert who specializes in bridal alterations - from adding a simple “something blue” to re-fashioning mom’s dress just for you.

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    A re-fashioned dress from Alterations by Toni

    Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… for some local brides, their wedding dress helps them check off all of the above.

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    A re-fashioned dress from Alterations by Toni

    Alterations by Toni, located in downtown Madeira, is a large shop with 12 experienced seamstresses on staff, each with their own area of expertise and more than 40 years of combined experience. They offer personalized fittings and boast the ability to tailor any garment.

    One of the biggest trends this wedding season is re-fashioning. “Brides want a little bit of their mother/grandmother/aunt’s dresses to be a part of their wedding gown, or a total remake of the gown,” says Toni Friebele, owner of Alterations by Toni. “The first goal is to make a vintage gown fit, either by adding panels or a corset back. Then comes the removal of dated sleeves and collars, re-design of the neckline or a transformation to strapless.”

    Friebele says it’s exciting – for her and the bride – to give new life to an old dress with sentimental value. “Clients can choose to add lace trims, beading, or extra/less fullness to bring the style up to date,” says Friebele. “Very often, we take the gown apart and just use the fabric to create the bride’s vision – something totally different. Some of our more cute and flirty looks have been lace crop tops with shorts and a high-low overskirt, or a short and fun party dress for the reception.”

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    A “something blue” monogram from Alterations by Toni

    Alterations by Toni also offers a full line of bridal services in addition to alterations: veils, handmade garters, monogrammed robes and hankies, Spanx, ring bearer pillows, gifts for bridesmaids/groomsmen, storage until the wedding day and preservation of gown after the wedding.

    “In addition to expected bridal gifts, we have a full line of trendy bridal party gifts, all ready to be personalized with a monogram,” says Friebele. “Plus, jewelry and cosmetic bags, clutches and crossbody bags, beach and tote bags, as well as tablet sleeves and waterproof bikini bags.”

    Monograms are another huge trend, Friebele says. “We can monogram just about anything of yours, or we have items in-stock you can monogram too, such as bath wraps, robes, cosmetic cases, jewelry cases, totes galore, tea towels, wine bags, dinner napkins, coasters, baby onesies, bibs, bloomers, and receiving blankets,” Friebele adds. “We have more than 50 monogram styles in every color imaginable, so you can customize it just the way you want it.”

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    Monogrammed robes from Alterations by Toni

    What truly sets the Alterations by Toni apart, according to Friebele, is their ability to complete a super fast turnaround for last minute emergencies. “This is especially important for bridal gowns that come in beyond expected timeframes from the bridal shop,” says Friebele. “Or we can do last-minute tweaks to make it fit just perfectly.”

    With the number of brides increasing by 28 percent a year, Friebele is ultimately looking to expand their space and add staff. “In an effort to continue striving for excellence, we really aim to hear the word ‘perfect’ from each and every bride,” says Friebele. “I want to be able to provide perfectly tailored garments at an affordable cost.”

    To learn more, visit www.alterationsbytoni.com or “like” them on Facebook. www.facebook.com/AlterationsByToni.

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    There’s nothing quite like A Bride’s Mafia. Read on as two local brides explain how this bridal concierge helped them plan their big day — saving time, stress and money in the process.

    Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride's Mafia
    Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride’s Mafia

    Jennifer Sweis isn’t like most girls. She never thought she’d get married, and because of that, she didn’t dream of plans or specific details.

    “I just knew I wanted to wear a wedding gown and I wanted my fiancé to be present,” she laughs. The Monday after she got engaged, she met with Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride’s Mafia for her complimentary consultation.

    Planning a wedding can be stressful, even more so if you have no idea where to begin. Sweis says Bedi immediately made her feel more relaxed. “I explained that I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what she wanted for a wedding – no ideas for colors, flowers, locations, bridesmaid dresses, etc.,” Sweis recalls. “I wasn’t even sure that I needed a planner.”

    Sweis says Bedi put her fears at ease, and ensured her that she could get married that summer “and that my fiancé would be there,” she laughs. “From there, she arranged everything.”

    According to Sweis, being A Bride’s Mafia client was like having an industry insider at your fingertips. “I was able to meet with the best vendors of the business,” she says. “If I was not 100 percent satisfied with a vendor due to personal preference, Nidhi would arrange a meeting with a difference vendor.”

    After all decisions were made, Bedi, Sweis and her fiancé met with the vendors together as a “team meeting.” There, they discussed the specifics such as timelines, the overall look of the wedding, photos, colors, flowers, video, music and everything in between.

    “I had never felt more at ease during our planning adventure than that day,” says Sweis. “and for the first time, I understood what was really meant by ‘A Bride’s Mafia.’”

    Sweis says that what she loved the most about planning her big day with A Bride’s Mafia is that she wasn’t just a client to Bedi. Everyone involved in the process treated her and her fiancé like real people with real visions, beliefs, families, friends and memories. “Many of the people we worked with for our big day,” Sweis says, “we still has a relationship with today.”

    The only thing Sweis says she would change about her experience is the rain that dried to dampen her day – not that it really mattered, because Bedi had it all under control.

    “Even then, Nidhi walked up to my mother and I -in a dripping black dress, wet hair stuck to her face, with a smile- and said, ‘I have it under control, Jenn. Everything is going to be amazing,’” Sweis recalls. “She was right. Her ‘Mafia’ -including the florist, photographer, linen organizer, assistant, DJ and caterer- scrambled to move the beautiful chairs under cover so the rain would not damage them. We pushed back the ceremony 30 minutes, and with a rainbow in the sky, we still had the most beautiful day that she had promised.”

    Sweis isn’t the only one who’s had a wonderful experience with A Bride’s Mafia. Mona Mislanker says that she initially heard of Bedi and A Bride’s Mafia through a friend who recently got married.

    “At first I wasn’t sure if I needed a planner, but then quickly realized that I was in over my head without one,” says Mislanker. On top of planning a wedding, she was also working 100-hour weeks.

    Since most of her working hours were spent outside of Cincinnati, Mislanker heavily relied on Nidhi and her team to help her navigate the logistics of her big day when she was unable to be there.

    “From the second I met Nidhi during our initial consultation, I knew that she was going to be a great fit for me and my dream wedding,” says Mislanker. “Having someone on your side that knows the ins and outs of the wedding industry, the appropriate timelines, vendors and the do’s and don’ts of planning a wedding is exactly what every bride should have so they can spend their time focusing on the smaller and more personal details to make their wedding what they want.”

    The best part for Mislanker, though, was the ability to work with the best vendors in the city who made her feel like a million bucks, without actually spending it. Between the complimentary consultation and special offers she got from vendors by being a “Mafia” member, Mislanker says she was able to stretch her bridal budget much further.

    “All the vendors we worked with were amazing and always put me at ease,” she adds, “I’ve already recommended each and every one a thousand times and will continue to do so.”

    For Mislanker, she loved how Bedi and her team were there by her side for the entire four-day wedding weekend. “It not only felt like they were helping with the logistics, but were truly there for me to help me celebrate and enjoy my wedding,” she says.

    To learn more about A Bride’s Mafia, visit abridesmafia.com.

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    Bella Rey Salon is hosting an upcoming event to focus on brows, makeup, skincare and anti-aging. Keep reading for all the brow-raising details.

    Amanda Arias, owner of Bella Ray Salon
    Amanda Arias, owner of Bella Rey Salon

    “I can’t even…” That’s what you’ll be saying when you see the beauty gurus work their magic at the upcoming “Eye Can’t Even” event.

    Amanda Arias, owner of Bella Rey Salon in Oakley, is hosting this Happy Hour and Beauty Bar to feature experts from her salon, Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface, and a select line of skincare.

    “Clients are always looking for new ways that focus on their faces, specially anti-aging skincare and makeup,” Arias explains. “Bella Rey Salon works closely with Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface – she’s the best in town.”

    Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface
    Nancy Dawson of BRIDEface

    Dawson will be at the event giving complimentary brow lessons to attendees. “Eyebrows are definitely becoming a “thing” that people are concentrating on more,” Arias says. “Nancy personally showed me what I was doing wrong and how to do them correctly and what tools to use. Ever since then, I actually have people compliment my brows. It’s crazy!”

    FACEing, the brand of makeup Dawson developed and launched, will be available to purchase, including brow tools used in Dawson’s lessons.

    Arias will also feature the Rodan + Fields skin care line at her event. “I’ve dealt with troubled skin my entire life,” she explains. “My friend suggested a product six months ago that changed my life. I bought it and never looked back.”

    In fact, she says, it improved her skin so dramatically in three months that she decided to go through the training and become and Rodan + Fields consultant herself. “It has literally been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and now I am fortunate enough to be able to offer these products to my clients as well,” she says. “Everyone is loving their products and their immediate results.”

    Arias will have the entire Rodan + Fields line available for purchase at the event. In addition, there will be several giveaways and raffles, including sample and full sized products.

    Arias says she recently hosted a similar event, and it was such a success that they decided to have another. “One of the products that I love is the multifunction eye cream. It literally got rid of my crows feet and dark under eye circles in a matter of weeks,” she says. “So, we teamed up with Nancy to really out the emphasis on eyes this month!”

    The free event is on Friday March 13, from 6-8 p.m. and includes light food and beverages. To learn more, visit Bella Rey Salon on Facebook for the event link and more information including before and after pictures.

     

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    Learn about a local lady who launched a full-service event planning business, who specializes in weddings and also corporate planning.

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    Maura Bassman, owner of Cincy Weddings by Maura

    She remembers watching “Father of the Bride” like it was yesterday. It was the first time Maura Bassman saw an event planner in action, and she knew immediately that’s what she wanted to do for a living.

    “I was so excited because it was the first time that I realized my love for weddings could actually be translated into a career,” she recalls. “From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a wedding planner and I continued to keep my eye on the prize.”

    Today, Bassman is the owner of Cincy Weddings by Maura, which launched in October 2014. While weddings are her main focus, she also enjoys social and corporate planning.

    For brides, Bassman created a variety of easy-to-understand package options allowing couples to choose when they need planning advice – the beginning, the middle, the end, or everything in between. “The first step in the planning process is to meet with me to discuss your wedding vision, budget and other details relevant to your wedding,” she explains. “From there, I help you choose a package option that is perfect for you. Through vendor relationships and our planning expertise, I make sure you are making the best investments possible regarding your wedding day.”

    A Cincinnati transplant, Bassman moved here from West Virginia in 2005 and studied Entrepreneurial studies at Xavier University. During college, she conducted her co-op at March of Dimes and helped with the planning of large fundraising events, where she was able to really get experience in the planning industry. Then, after she graduated from Xavier, she worked as an event coordinator for a restaurant as well as two large Cincinnati wedding venues.

    Bassman says her favorite part of what she does is building relationships with couples and their families. “I find that by building those close relationships with my clients, I am able to provide couples with the wedding they’ve always envisions,” she says. “It’s so much fun being part of this process with them – I get to meet them when they are newly engaged and then see them become man and wife!”

    To learn more, visit the Cincy Weddings by Maura website, visit her blog, or email info@cincyweddingsbymaura.com.

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    There’s a new bootcamp in town, and it’s specifically designed for brides-to-be. Learn more about the 8- or 12-week program that can help you look and feel your best on the big day.

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    Need to get in shape for your wedding but not quite sure where to start? Blushing Brides Bootcamp by Queen City Kettlebell offers a comprehensive 8- or 12-week program designed just for you that will help you get healthy and toned just in time for the wedding bells to ring.

    The bridal bootcamp program is comprised of high-intensity interval training, a nutrition plan built around whole foods and realistic goal-setting that will guarantee results and ensure you look your best for the big day.030915HEALTH2

    The 8- or 12-week programs include goal-setting and planning sessions, orientation training sessions, three 1-hour high-intensity workouts per week, small group settings that foster personalized training, private sessions with a certified trainer and nutrition specialist, bi-weekly measurements, a variety of class times, phone and email support and a workout and photo journal to chart your progress.

    Daniel Wittekind, owner of Queen City Kettlebell, says that the program is designed to help brides-in-the-making eliminate some of their health issues and concerns that are often pushed off to the side during wedding planning. “Instead of having the additional fitness component on the table and stressing over it, we take it off and leave all the decision making to our expert coaches,” he says.

    Participants of the program will get an introductory kettlebell class to teach them basic kettlebell skills as well as the weekly workout sessions. There is no bouncing or jumping, strictly weight training, so you don’t have to be too coordinated to reap the benefits of this bootcamp or doing monotonous workouts on the treadmill, stair climber or elliptical.

    Wittekind says that the cost of the program varies depending on your needs. “This isn’t a one size fits all program, and sometimes that means some participants can afford to attend more often than others,” he says. “However, that shouldn’t mean that anyone willing to work for their goals should be left out.”

    The best part? Blushing Brides Bootcamp offers a money-back guarantee for brides – not that they anticipate falling short in helping anyone reach their goals. According to Blushing Brides Bootcamp, those who fail to achieve the goals agreed to during the initial consultation will receive a refund of 50 percent of the bride’s original cost as long as all other factors including class attendance, food journaling and dietary guidelines are followed.

    In addition to their program for brides, Wittekind adds that they’re currently working on a program for postpartum mothers. Although the details are still being worked out and the initial beta group is still going through the program, he says that participants can expect the same level of professionalism you get with the Blushing Brides Bootcamp program.

    Queen City Kettlebell is located at 2577 Duck Creek Road in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit www.blushingbridesbootcamp.com, reach out to info@blushingbridesbootcamp.com or call program organizer Ben Eisenmenger at 513-549-0552.

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    One local photographer is helping ladies shed their shyness and step out in front of the camera for beautiful boudoir sessions. Read on for all the undressed details.

    Jacalyn Mains, Owner of JMM Photography and Forza Boudoir (Photo: Nathan Peel)
    Jacalyn Mains, Owner of JMM Photography and Forza Boudoir (Photo: Nathan Peel)

    Cincy Chic: What is Forza Boudoir?
    Jacalyn Mains, Owner of JMM Photography and Forza Boudoir: Forza is a photography experience that empowers women to break out of the mold that society places on the definition of beauty. My hope is to help women find their inner beauty and how that radiates to their outward beauty. I chose the word Forza because it means “strength” in Italian (I’m Italian). My goal is to make every woman who does a session with me see herself in a light she never knew.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
    Mains: I’m the owner of Forza and JMM Photography. I was named after the Charlie’s Angel Jacalyn Smith (my maiden name is Smith). On my birth certificate my mom thought Jaclyn Smith spelled her name J-A-C-A-L-Y-N, so that’s how I got my unique spelling. I’m married to an ever so supportive husband, Aaron, and we have two super cool children together. I see life through “rose colored glasses” and enjoy living that way – it’s easier to see the glass half full. God gave me the gift of seeing things a bit differently when looking through the lens of a camera. I am passionate about using this gift to remind women how beautifully God created them.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Forza Boudoir?
    Mains: I want to empower women to love themselves and their bodies! So many times we hear and see what the media and society says a woman “should” look like. I call bull on that! We doo a good enough job beating ourselves up, we don’t need society to help with that. Thus, for me, boudoir photography is an artistic interpretation of you – a strong, powerful being. (Think: “I am woman, hear me ROAR!”). It’s an expression of your inner beauty and how it is reflected on the outside. My goal during a boudoir session is to, first and foremost, make you feel comfortable and to have fun, but also to showcase your beauty, no matter what your size or shape, while leaving as much to the imagination as you want. Honestly, this is a gift for you as much as it is for your loved one.

    Cincy Chic: How did you get involved in boudoir photography?
    Mains: Boudoir, lucky for me, kind of fell in my lap in that I had a friend reach out to me on behalf of her friend that was interested in such a session. I jumped at the chance to photograph a woman and focus on the beauty behind the female form. I loved the session so much, as I found it so rewarding to show a woman how I see her – through an artist’s eye – that I knew I had to continue to offer boudoir.

    Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
    Mains: I almost feel guilty because I feel like I get as much back from the session as my clients do. The joy I get from hearing a woman so enthusiastic and bewildered on how her images turned out is insurmountable. I can easily say that this is the most rewarding side of photography for me. I simply love to make a woman feel good about her. Forza does that.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Forza Boudoir?
    Mains: Actually, I just recently moved into a new studio at 821 York Street that has gorgeous sets to offer my clients! For some photos of the classic studio v. the vinage/rustic set, try thishttp://forzaboudoir.com/the-studio/. Not only that, but next month on April 15 and 24, I’ll be teaming up with Lyndsey from Glossa Professional Makeup Artistry http://www.glossamakeup.net/ for Forza Boudoir mini session days! For $300, clients will get professional hair styling, makeup application and a 20-minute shoot in one beautiful location as well as some mimosas for liquid courage.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
    Mains: My website of course! www.forzaboudoir.com. However, just a heads up: There are no photos on my site. I know some of you are like “show me the pictures!” – I mean, I am a photography company, right? However, to protect the privacy of my clients, I do not post my boudoir images publicly. But, I can share them privately. Drop me a line at info@forzaboudoir.com to see Forza’s private gallery.

    by -

    Everyone said raising a child goes quickly. Our Editor in Chic shares a letter to her daughter about how true that’s turning out to be and what she plans to do about it.

    030915LOLAWhenever I sit down to write these letters to you, my first thought is always “I can’t wait until she reads this one day.” But I stopped myself this time.

    As a new mom, I bought a sea of books before your big arrival, and drowned myself in information. I wanted to prepare in every way I could. So, now that you’re finally here, it’s like the pages are all coming to life before me. All your little developments are unfolding like the chapters of my books said they would.

    I’ve found myself saying “I can’t wait” a lot these past few months. “I can’t wait until she can wear this…go here… do this… say that” …and the list goes on.

    But the truth is I can – and should – wait. This is the one chance I get to raise you. This is the one time in my life where you’re completely dependent on me. These are the years I’ll have on repeat in my mind when you’re long moved out and living your life as an adult. Why be impatient and wish it all away?

    I know I’m not technically wishing these moments away. But every time I say “I can’t wait” for something, I’m not just enjoying the moment. A part of my mind is already turning the page on the next chapter. I’m anticipating “what’s next,” instead of soaking up where you are right now, what you’re doing, and how special it is that I get to share it with you.

    Today, during a feeding, you grabbed the bottle and held it yourself. I asked myself – with welled up eyes – was that the last bottle I’ll ever get to hold for you? I would have cherished the prior feeding had I known it would be my last. That’s when it hit me: I’ve been so caught up in the excitement of all your new developments that I failed to realize many of your “firsts” come with a “last” of something else. I never know when these delicate transitions are coming, either.

    You can apply that to just about anything in life, though. You usually never know when you’ll have a first or a last, but you spend a lot of time anticipating them both. It prevents you from being able to cherish, soak in, and enjoy each moment as if it’s your last.

    Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. So, the next time you find yourself saying “I can’t wait,” softly whisper back with a “Yes, I can” and just enjoy.

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