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Too many stumbling blocks thrown on your path? Our life coach columnist explains how to turn them into stepping stones instead.

Life sure can come with uncertainty. All the out-of-the-blue stumbling blocks that knock you flat are super challenging. Have you experienced stumbling blocks in your life?  They come in many situations including loss of a job, ending a relationship, or even poor health and money issues — nothing is off limits.  

Yet what happens when the stumbling block seems too big to manage? It’s torn down all your confidence and has emotionally taken you down to your knees, and it seems like there is no way out?  

If you recall as a child learning to walk you did stumble and fall flat AND you kept getting up and trying again, being encouraged and supported by others. As an adult, you don’t always have that support and encouragement. You navigate the stumbling blocks the best you can with what you know to do.

The key to overcoming stumbling blocks is to change your perspective and looking at the situation as a stepping stone where opportunities that you may never have known existed become evident.

By referring to the blocks as stepping stone, knowing it’s a temporary setback moment, ask yourself how you can step over or around in order to get to the next place of new opportunity. Perspective of going over and around a block may look something like this:

– Health report isn’t good, you don’t have to give up. You can seek answers and solutions.
– Financial circumstances seem bleak you don’t throw your hands up and quit. You find ways to save and make extra money.
– Lost connecting in a relationship, someone else will show up who loves you even more.

The way you manage the stumbling blocks is all based on the decision you make in the moment.  

Simply ask: “How does this support me in moving ahead?” and start doing what you can to get past the block knowing it is there as a steppingstone, moving you into something better.

Oh, and by the way, in those moments of the abrupt ending to a job, relationship, or opportunity –remember it can be the Universe’s way of pushing you out of your current circumstances so it can bring you to something better and greater then you ever imagined. Trust in the process!

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 Photo by Matthieu A / License

Mind sports are based on intellectual ability rather than physical ability. Unlike physical sports, mind sports do not require the physical strength, agility or hand-eye coordination that traditional sports require. They do, however, demand strategy, skill and practice. 

While some mind sports enthusiasts prefer silence over sound, others have found that certain types of music enhance (rather than breaks) their focus. In fact, silence can be very distracting for some. That is why you may have heard people say the words, “It’s too quiet in here.”

Besides serving as a source of personal enjoyment, some say music has positive scientific effects on the brain. The “Mozart Effect” is a term that was coined to describe classical music having the ability to enhance one’s intelligence. Some research also suggests that listening to music while studying helps people better retain information.

If you have never tried listening to music while doing a focus-oriented activity, such as mind sports, it may be time to give it a shot.

Deciding on the type of music you should listen to while engaging in mind sports largely depends on which one you are playing. Here are some tips for building the perfect playlist tailored to your game of choice. 

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Chess: Take a strategic musical approach

Brainwave Power Music created a special Chess playlist on YouTube, filled with binaural beats. Binaural beats are a form of music therapy. They are said to induce positive neurological side effects – including relaxation, meditation, pain management and, apparently, chess-playing abilities.

The science behind binaural beats centers around sound wave frequencies. BPM’s playlist features tracks with beta waves ranging from 11-15Hz, which is said to improve focus, attentive abilities, active thought processes, concentration and intelligence. Simultaneously, BPM goes on to say that the carrier frequency of 144.72 Hz supports strength of will, focused energy and achievement. 

Some musicians to check out for binaural beats are Noah Hornberger, I-Doser Labs and Brainwave-Sync.

Poker: Easy does it

Like Chess, Poker is an intellectually challenging sport that requires constant strategic thinking. The stakes can be high when you are playing this classic competitive card game and the atmosphere can be a factor in your performance. Choosing the right music to create an ambiance that stimulates your brain will help make you more likely to play your cards right. 

Calming, slow-paced instrumental music is popular among Poker players. Because words can compete for your focus, choosing purely instrumental options is a good strategy if you are easily side-tracked. Classical and jazz are ideal genres.

If you prefer music with words, choosing songs with lyrics that are not in your native language may be a good choice. You will still enjoy the vernacular, but will not be able to make out discernible words and thoughts. For English-speaking players, the French Cafe Radio station on Pandora is one to check out, as it has easy-listening music au français. 

eSports: Spotify can help

The ideal musical genre for playing eSports is as diverse as the types of games that exist. So, if you are playing a game centered around warfare, something that matches that energy (such as heavy metal) could be your best bet. Upbeat electronic dance music (EDM) can also give you an energetic jolt while putting you in the zone – or a focused head space. 

When playing something less extreme, such as golf, you probably will not gravitate toward tracks that sound like DJ club music. Something more low-key would better suit the situation.

If you need help deciding which gaming music will work best for you, Spotify can help. The music platform incorporated a gaming category that can be accessed by navigating to Browse > Genres and Moods > Gaming. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for mixing tunes and mind sports. A trial and error factor definitely exists, so determining which genre will work best for you may require some experimentation. Use these suggestions as a helpful place to start. 

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A local women’s organization is helping everyone feel included through its choral community. Read more about them and their upcoming UNCHAINED performance.

MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir, wants everyone to feel welcome. Whether performing or watching in the audience, the organization is an inclusive and feminist choral community advocating for peace and social justice. 

The mission behind MUSE is this: We unite our voices to raise awareness and inspire changes in ourselves, our audiences, and our world through partnerships that honor the humanity and enduring spirit of all people. We will create a more peaceful and just world through song.

The “herstory” behind MUSE dates back to 1984 when the organization was founded by Dr. Catherine Roma. 

According to the MUSE website, within six weeks of the first rehearsal, the group made its debut on International Women’s Day. “Twenty-four women performed three songs at the Cement Mixers Union Hall in the Walnut Hills area of Cincinnati,” the website states. “From the first, MUSE chose repertoire that reflected the lives of women and fit women’s voices. MUSE commissioned choral works by women composers and crafted choral arrangements from contemporary women’s movement singer-songwriters.”

The unique values, beliefs, and foundation of MUSE will be put on-show with its upcoming performance UNCHAINED on November 23 at 4 pm at SCPA, located at 108 W Central Parkway in Cincinnati. 

“UNCHAINED will be an experience like no other, as MUSE partners with Pones, Inc. to tell the stories of survivors who have been subjected to or continue to be plagued by the world of human trafficking,” says Jillian Harrison-Jones, Music Director. “At this concert, MUSE will premier a new work entitled ‘Have You Forgotten,’ a poem by Roxanne Buck set to stunning music by Emily Cooley, a Philadelphia-based composer. MUSE will also feature artwork by an artist from the Syracuse Cultural Workers and so much more, all of which will help set the stage for an unforgettable performance.”

Although MUSE’s performance is just around the corner, they are already planning for their spring concert on May 30, for a celebration of suffrage. Then, in June, members of MUSE will travel to GALA Festival 2020 in Minneapolis. 

To learn more about MUSE, visit or follow along on Facebook and Instagram. To purchase tickets for the upcoming UNCHAINED performance, click here.

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Save a ton of time but give beautifully-wrapped gifts this year with custom gift wrapping services from a local creative. Read on for more.

Cincy Chic: What is The Wraperie?
Hilary Halverstadt, CEO of The Wraperie: The Wraperie is a custom gift wrapping service located in Park Hills, Ky. It serves the greater Cincinnati area with decorative, unique custom gift wrap designs for all occasions.

Cincy Chic: What inspired you to launch a gift-wrapping business?
Halverstadt: I am a creative person and have a college degree in Fashion Merchandising from Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. I’ve worked in the retail field prior to this and have found that many major department stores and boutiques do not have gift wrapping services for their customers anymore, only bags or boxes. My vision was to create a gift wrapping service to help save time for customers. The idea is to not just to wrap a package but to design “looks” for wrapping which is what is similar in the fashion industry. The gift looks unique, appropriate for the occasion and ever-changing. The gifts are customized to create joy for the customers. Gifts are something personal and the wrapping should mirror that.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
Halverstadt: The idea for the service was created by myself. I have two other gift wrappers that have been trained by me to help with larger events!

Cincy Chic: What different types of gift wrapping services do you offer?
Halverstadt: We offer custom gift wrapping for all occasions at our office by appointment. We’re located at 1522 Dixie Highway, Suite #145, in Park Hills, Kentucky. We also do pop-up events for businesses(wrapping on-site), private parties, decorative window displays using wrapped gifts, wrapping in your home for an event, within the greater Cincinnati area and custom themed or holiday events.

Cincy Chic: What makes The Wraperie unique?
Halverstadt: The Wraperie is unique in that it is a one-of-a-kind service in the greater Cincinnati area. The concept of custom gift wrapping has been well-received and has saved time for our customers. I haven’t found any other gift wrapping service to match the customers‘ needs in the Tri-State.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Halverstadt: The Wraperie initially focused on the holiday season which is the busiest time of the year for our customers and with our many pop-up events. We are a year-round business and plan to extend our market on other occasions as well, such as the bridal season, graduations, baby showers, in addition to birthdays, just to name a few.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Halverstadt: They can follow The Wraperie on Instagram, where there are pictures of some of our custom-wrapped gifts! We can be contacted by email at and readers can also “like” our Facebook page.

The Wraperie will also be providing gift-wrapping services at Cincy Chic’s Seasonably Chic Showcase on November 16 at The Phoenix from 10am to 2pm. To learn more about the event, click here.

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Limiting beliefs are holding you back. Our life coach columnist explains how to remove those restraints, and finally be free to dream and achieve.

What if you knew for sure that you could create anything for yourself IF you are willing to get out of your own way? And if you got out of your own way you could create what you desire with ease and flow? Would you say “Yes, please!?!”

Interesting enough, you can! It all begins when you can get out of your own way (listening to the head talk with the why you can’t) and really drop into your feelings (your heart space that expands knowing that you CAN).  Aligning yourself with your heart and feelings, while quieting the voice in the head, is where you can energetically create the life you want by design with ease and flow.

Working with my clients, I hear it all the time.  The constant repeating of a story of “what they know to be true” as to why they can’t because that is how it is.  

Those stories are called limiting beliefs and will show up all the time just to remind you to stay in your lane of “comfort” and believe that what you have is what you’ll always have – and nothing more.

The best way to move out of your story and level up to your next version of YOU is to plug into those who have gone before you.  Learn from those who paved the way.  Oprah, Steve Jobs, Tiger Woods (just to name a few) – all started life’s journey as we did, putting their pants on one leg at a time, and they had a vision so big, nothing was going to stop them.  

Getting there isn’t always easy, unless you can see it so clear in your mind’s eye and feel it deeply in your heart, that any setback or plot twist won’t stop you from moving forward until you get to where you desire.

Let me remind you when you were a newborn, then a two-year old, to a teen, and now an adult – that definitely wasn’t an easy path but you showed up every day and continued to believe in yourself and what was possible. Nothing stopped you. You persevered and continued to grow and achieve endless goals every step of the way.

From this place, keep your vision strong, don’t lose sight. Be confident in yourself and get support.  Believe you are ready for what’s next, don’t delay. Go after it! No more limiting beliefs – get out of your own way. 

For more inspiration and support, visit my YouTube channel with all my motivation and tune-up videos to jumpstart your day!

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Leave the stresses of wedding planning behind when you check out an upcoming happy hour wedding show in November! 

Getting married and putting together all the big day details? You’re in luck! Ohio Wedding Shows is prepping for its upcoming Happy Ever After Happy Hour on November 7 at The Hilton Garden Inn Day South at Austin Landing on November 7 from 5:30pm-8:30pm. 

When you arrive to the wedding show you can grab a drink and get started with planning the best day of your life by checking out vendors for venues, photo booths, music, invitations, and even bridal fashions. 

“Allow us to entertain and educate you on services and products that will make your wedding unique and special,” says Tracy Claiborne of Ohio Wedding Shows. “Be sure to explore all the wonderful displays while you interact and experience music, fashions, photo booths, dancing, and so much more!”

The Happy Ever After Happy Hour will not only feature cocktail and beer specials, but there will also be free appetizers, catering samples, and cake samples. 

And you can really get into the planning spirit while saving money at the Happy Ever After Happy Hour, as participating vendors will be offering discounts and specials at the show. 

“Hundreds of dollars in door prizes and gifts will be given away at the show,” says Claiborne. “Plus, we will have two grand prize giveaways that include a 7-night resort dream vacation and a Sandals resort giveaway.”

The Hilton Garden Inn Day South is located at 12000 Innovation Drive in Miamisburg. Save 50% off tickets when you use promo code CHIC at

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Get some yummy in your tummy with this local bakery that all started with a grandma’s love for filling bellies with happiness.

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about GiGi’s Kitchen!
Ashley Baggett, Owner of GiGi’s Kitchen: GiGi’s Kitchen is a local bakery specializing in delectable butter yeast and cinnamon sugar rolls. 

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the bakery?
Baggett: As the owner of GiGi’s Kitchen my inspiration came from my grandmother GiGi, (Eva Ogletree). My GiGi taught me the love of baking, and the importance of giving. She willingly opened her heart and her kitchen to serve people who were in need of a good meal. That lesson of giving fuels my inspiration to continue her legacy. 

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind GiGi’s Kitchen?
Baggett: Our family had a dream to share our GiGi’s rolls with as many people as possible. In 2009, we began selling our handmade rolls to local businesses in the Greater Cincinnati area. GiGi’s Kitchen went from a dream to a reality through the hard work and partnership of Ashley Baggett, GiGi’s grand-daughter, and John Ogletree, GiGi’s son.

Cincy Chic: What bakery items can readers find at GiGi’s Kitchen?
Baggett: Readers will be delighted by the various options of butter yeast and sweet cinnamon sugar rolls available for purchase. GiGi’s rolls were my grandmother’s claim to fame and they are the star items of GiGi’s Kitchen.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers find GiGi’s Kitchen products?
Baggett: Our product is located exclusively at Clifton Market, Kremer’s Market, Findlay Market, and at featured events hosted at the Duke Energy Convention Center.

Cincy Chic: What makes GiGi’s Kitchen unique?
Baggett: GiGi’s Kitchen continues to hand-make buttery, soft yeast rolls and cinnamon-sugar rolls from scratch in honor of our GiGi. Our family’s commitment to mastering the recipe to deliver a  consistently high quality product is our goal. Our superb customer service further demonstrates our respect for both our products and customers. We have perfected this recipe and are proud to know our rolls are lovingly served by families and restaurants, in Cincinnati and across the country. 

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Baggett: Our butter yeast and cinnamon sugar rolls have been selected as a featured item for dinners at Cincinnati Duke Energy Convention Center. 

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Baggett: You can follow us on Instagram, like our Facebook page, and stay up to date with all things Gigi on our website.

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Your inner child may be running the show for you as an adult. Our life coach columnist offers insight and advice!

How often do you find yourself feeling a buildup of frustration or anxiety? Perhaps to the point you are acting like a child, hitting the floor in a full-on tantrum just because you are seeking something, but you can’t seem to get what you want? As an adult you may be frustrated not knowing where the emotions come from. Allow me to introduce you to your inner child. 

As a child you knew being loved, protected and nurtured was all you needed. Your parents did the best job they knew how, and you accepted what was given. However, when you didn’t get those needs met you had a reaction and those events have followed you ever since. 

Experiences you have as a child may relate to areas of trust, validation, shock and anger, sadness, remorse or simply loneliness. If these past experiences have gone unresolved, they may be showing up for you today. This is what is referred to as the “inner child.”

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “Your inner child is the part of your personality that still reacts and feels like a child.”

Healing the inner child comes with a deeper understanding in how she is not being seen or heard. Like a small child throwing a tantrum, your inner child maybe running the show. The work begins when you allow yourself to listen and understand why these emotions and feelings are coming up in your adult life.

For me, my work began with looking at pictures of myself from when I was a small child. Viewing the photo with a deeper look by focusing on the facial expression and eyes. Doing so, I began to recall more about my childhood than I realized. When looking close at one photograph, I see how my eyes lost their brightness during the time I was shifting into puberty.  

Now you try. Get a photo of yourself and look at the eyes. Do you see joy or is there sadness?  Ask the child in the picture “what do I need to know about you” and stay open and curious by allowing yourself to listen.

Although this process might seem strange or even incomprehensible, try it anyway.  You won’t heal your inner child overnight, but you will gain some deeper insights and begin to connect with her. If you’d like support to make the process easier and more fun let’s connect and get you well on your way to change your life. You’ll be glad you did.

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A new cop drama toes the line between reality and fiction. See if our movie critic says it’s worth the watch.


“OK, if they try to put Cardi B. in the next Fast & Furious movie, I’ll go – Wait! They already did it?!” New Orleans Police Officer Alicia West (Naomie Harris) prepares to fire on a would-be assailant as Mouse (Tyrese Gibson) looks on in a scene from director Deon Taylor’s action thriller BLACK AND BLUE. Credit: Alan Markfield © CTMG Inc. All rights reserved. 



KEY CAST MEMBERS: Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott, Beau Knapp, James Moses Black and Nafessa Williams 

DIRECTOR(S): Deon Taylor

THE BACK STORY: Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is many things. She’s a veteran with two tours in the Middle East. She’s a woman with no family now that her mother passed away earlier this year. And she’s a native of one of the most notorious wards that was done no favors by Hurricane Katrina.

Now, she’s a rookie member of the New Orleans Police Dept. working with her partner Jennings (Reid Scott) learning the beat. So, when Jennings begs her to take her place on a night shift, Alicia decides to take his place so he can go enjoy date night with his wife. 

Brown (James Moses Black), the veteran officer she’s with, isn’t the nicest fellow in the world, but he’s still a cop like Alicia so she respects him because, after all, they both back the badge. So, despite being told to stay in the car, once she hears gunshots, she’s going inside to make sure Brown isn’t in trouble.

Then she finds out Brown – along with narcotics officers Malone (Frank Grillo) and his partner (Beau Knapp) – are the ones she needs to be afraid of.

Aided only by an unlikely alliance with a local super market employee, Jackson “Mouse” Milo (Tyrese Gibson), Alicia is on the run to upload the footage on her body cam to put away the bad guys. But given that she’s now got (1) crooked cops after her; (2) local drug dealer Darius (Mike Colter) and his entire crew after her and (3) the ‘hood thinking she is the one behind a crime she didn’t commit, she’s going to be forced to make a choice: Is she more black than she is “blue” – and will it ultimately matter if no one believes her story.

THE REVIEW: On its surface, Black and Blue is a very easy movie to dismiss as it has a somewhat familiar premise (cop sees bad cops do bad stuff) and the inherent issues (African-Americans trust of the police, African-Americans in the line of police work – see HBO’s new take on Watchmen for more – etc.) within. What keeps Black and Blue from being another run-of-the-mill Training Day knockoff is how the cast and crew approach and deliver the story.

Now, to be honest, there are plenty of things that will either enhance or detract from your Black and Blue viewing experiences, hence a need to explain them here. So, if you:

  1. Are African-American;
  2. See the film with an audience also full of minority members relating to the characters on screen in a prime example of groupthink; and 
  3. Are familiar, either through the news or sadly, personal experience, with the types of police officers and “‘hood rules” present in the film, it will enhance your viewing experience.

On the flip side, if you:

  1. Are not African-American/a minority;
  2. Dismiss many of the stories in the news like this, or this, or this, or this, or this, or – I think you get the point; and 
  3. Don’t believe life imitates art and vice-versa, well … Black and Blue will likely just come off as another crime caper that ventures a little bit too far into the ridiculous (there’s really only one or two incidents of that) to be anything significant.

That notwithstanding, Black and Blue works on a basic level as Harris’ makes her character intriguing despite her extreme naivety (the audience is almost ahead of her the entire movie) and the tense nature director Deon Taylor builds throughout the film. Given that Taylor’s most three recent feature lengths were the awful The Intruder (2019), the forgotten Traffik (2018) and the absolutely atrocious Meet the Blacks (2016), it seems he’s finally found a way to take his knowledge of African-American cultures and put them into a thriller that actually makes sense.

While the film doesn’t feature anyone who’s a standout name on their own (Harris is a solid actress but be honest, you probably couldn’t pick her out of a lineup by name if you don’t follow her career), Taylor uses his players well. Grillo is a quintessential character actor in the role of either a criminal or cop (check his IMDB for proof), Brown channels Bill Duke extremely well to the point you’ll find yourself surprised it’s NOT him and Gibson wisely follows Harris’ lead to move things along well. Mike Colter even does a nice job of showing he can play the opposite of his better known Luke Cage alter ego as the drug dealer heavy Darius. Of course, that’s what an actor is supposed to do, but it’s done with convincing fashion. It’s a trope, but it’s one that works. The story turns are easy to see coming, but again, thanks to the dedication of the cast, they don’t feel as stale as they otherwise would.

But to go back to the earlier checklists and why they are relevant to your enjoyment of Black and Blue, let me explain it like this: If you have experienced harassment by the individuals meant to protect and serve you, you will feel a connection to the characters in the film that are not law enforcement officials. If you are a minority trying to toe the thin blue line, you will understand all of the internal and external strife Harris’ character does being turned away by both officers and her own community. And even if you haven’t experienced it, if you have watched recent developments in America you will understand the impact of these things on both Harris’ character and others in the film. But, if you do not and worse yet, care not to know, Black and Blue will ultimately be a work of fiction and nothing more. 

The reality is though all good works of fiction are stemmed in some form of truth – and Black and Blue has far too much reality around it to not make the fictional parts seem real, or, in the case for many, hope they could be, too. 



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A new glassmaking studio opened in Oakley that offers everything from kids classes to “glassy hour” social events. Read on for more.

Glass has always been a fascination and passion for Sandra Gross. In 2009, it became an entrepreneurial endeavor as well when Gross launched Brazee Street Studios in Oakley.

Brazee Street Studios is an artist community housing over 25 professional artist studios, Brazee Street School of Glass, and C-LINK Gallery. And as of September 2019, it’s now also home to Glassroom, a one of its kind walk-in glass fusing studio. 

Those interested can join in anytime during their open hours and create in glass! Students will select from a range of glass project options in person, such as plates, platters, coasters, ornaments, among other options. Then they will use colorful glass accessories to design and create their own glass projects. Glassroom instructors will get get you settled at a table when you arrive, show you the process, and are available as needed while you create.

Gross says the program was conceived by artists and educators, so no experience is necessary, all skill levels are welcomed. The projects vary from plates, coasters, ornaments, and much more. The process fusing the glass in the kiln takes 18 hours, so there is typically a week between when the student comes in and create their project to when they pick up the finished piece. 

According to Glassroom’s website, the involvement during your visit will be an experience you will never forget. 

  • Sign a waiver and receive safety glasses to wear in the glass studio if you do not wear prescription glasses.
  • Instructor will walk through process with group.
  • Pick from over 25+ glass projects
  • Instructor will walk through design material and displays finished samples to spark inspiration.
  • Relax, create and have fun!

Want to get involved in the glass magic? “To experience Glassroom, you can reserve a time during our walk-in hours or sign up for a spot in any of our special guided classes by visiting our website, calling us or stopping in the studio,” Gross says. “Walk-in hours allow for a student to create whatever they can imagine, while out guided classes offer a step-by-step walkthrough of a specific design.” 

As far as prices go, the most popular projects range from $15-$35 and guided classes vary by the project the class is focused on. “All of the materials are provides and there are no hidden fees – the price of the project includes the cost of materials and the cost to fire the project in the kiln,” Gross explains. 

The Glassroom also hosts many events to accommodate any group. “Whether it be a baby shower, corporate team building, birthdays, GNO, etc. – we would be thrilled to help you host an event here,” Gross says. 

The Glassroom is more than just glass fusing, it is a time for one to feel truly empowered by their creation. “After one has come in to design their project, we want all students to feel creative, empowered, confident and happy,” Gross says. “Once they’ve picked up their finished piece, we hope they feel all of the above, plus successful.”

Glassroom is located within Brazee Street Studios at 4426 Brazee Street, Cincinati, OH 45209. 

Walk-in hours are:

1pm-8pm on Thursdays, with “glassy” hour from 5:30-7:30 for students to enjoy specials while they craft. 

10am-4pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Private events can be hosted any time Monday-Saturday.

For more information, call them at 513-321-0206, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram or Facebook.