I suppose this is how a mother feels when her child – who she remembers as an infant like it was yesterday – holds up a whole hand and says “I’m five years old, mommy!”
About six years ago, I had the idea to create an online publication for women. For several months, I worked with a talented group of friends and previous co-workers who specialized in graphics, IT and writing. Lots of testing, tweaking and sleepless nights later, the site was ready.
On January 15, 2007, I sat alone in my apartment and made a little website called CincyChic.com go live. I whispered a little prayer, “I hope they love it as much as I do.”
Fast forward five years and 22,000 subscribers who love the publication later, and I sit here alone again on my couch. But this time I sit and write this as the most grateful girl in the world. It’s been a dream making this publication a reality, bringing you fun and informational weekly editorial as well as fabulous and philanthropic monthly events. But I couldn’t have done it without my trusty team.
That’s why I decided to treat them to a fun night out to celebrate the holidays, our fifth anniversary and just thank them for being amazing. I wanted everything to be a surprise, though, because surprises make everything more fun!
Each day leading up to the night out, I sent them one hint to get them buzzing:
- Hint #1: 5:30pm… we’ll meet at Newport on the Levee valet… but come dressed to impress… it’s a night to hit the town Chic style!!!
- Hint #2: With all the bubbles and bling, you’ll love all the joy our chic night has to bring!
- Hint #3: Bah, HUMMbug…
- Hint #4: Prepare to feast on Cincinnati’s newest fare.
- Hint #5: Fly me to the moon, let me play among the stars… and silver mannequins.
I rented a sleek black Hummer limo from Elements Event Centre. So, that was the “Bah, HUMMbug…” hint. They loved it and so did I. It was much bigger (or at least it felt like it) than regular limos. It had a great sound system, which of course we pumped up and danced to all the way to our destinations!
Our first stop was Krombholz Jewelers. Even though I thought the “bubbles and bling” would give them a clue, this is the one thing no one guessed from all the hints. When we arrived, owners Lee and Heather Krombholz handed everyone a glass of champagne and had a whole spread of food for us to nibble on. Then, we went back in the Versailles room (where all their estate pieces are) and there was a pretty present for everyone. Inside were gift certificates for everyone to pick out something of their choice. They lost their minds when they unwrapped the gifts and we set them loose into the store (see video below to watch for yourself!).
After everyone picked out their item, we hopped back into the limo and headed downtown. From the “Prepare to feast on Cincinnati’s newest fare” hint, everyone guessed we were going to Jimmy G’s and that was correct! Man, they’re good!
I’ve heard a lot of good buzz about it, so I thought we should check it out. And it did not disappoint! For an appetizer, we had cheese raclette, which I haven’t seen on a menu since my days as a foreign exchange student in Dijon France. We had to get it since it was my favorite thing to eat in Dijon and it’s so unique to see here in the states! Everyone loved it! For dinner everyone got something different – from salads and sides to steaks and fish – but everyone raved about the food. Then, we all split a crème brûlée for dessert. Chef Jimmy Gibson came out to check on us several times, which was nice, and we even snapped a picture with him.
Then, we headed next door for an after dinner drink at Lunar. This venue, with their silver mannequins in the window, is actually attached to Jimmy G’s. That made it nice and close for our chic staff to stay chic and avoid the rain that night! Usually on the weekends, Lunar is pretty “nightclubish,” but we were there on a Tuesday and it was remarkably calm and quiet. Perfect for our group who just wanted to enjoy each other’s company for an hour more before we parted ways for the night.
It was such a great evening and I want to thank Elements, Krombholz Jewelers, Jimmy G’s, and Lunar for making it so special. And most of all, I want to thank my staff for everything they do to make the publication, the editorial and our events a success. This dream wouldn’t be a five-year-old reality without them.
Check out the webcast below to see pictures from the night and see their reaction to the Krombholz gift certificate that I caught on film – Best. Reaction. Ever!