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Northern Kentucky

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In honor of February being heart health awareness month, we learn about the scans that can test your cardiac age compared to your calendar age.

 

St. Elizabeth is traveling with its CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit.

Heart health is the responsibility of the young. After all, most of us get only one ticker.

Knowing how it’s working (circulation) and what it’s up against (plaque that can block the arteries) can help you make changes to protect your heart and keep it beating strong.

Long before symptoms appear, key medical tests can provide a baseline for you and your doctor. Four of those tests are offered on the St. Elizabeth Healthcare CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit, which visits shopping centers, churches and senior centers as part of St. Elizabeth’s community effort to promote heart health.

“For younger people that come on and have the screening, it’s kind of a nice affirmation of ‘yes, I’m doing things right’ or ‘boy, I need to straighten some things out because if I don’t, in 10-15 years, I could be at risk for cardiovascular disease,’” said Jeanie Foley, Patient and Wellness Coordinator for the mobile unit.

A quick blood test and smoking history, as well as height and weight, are used to determine your cardiac age. It estimates the risk of developing heart disease in the next 10 years. “So, if you are 42 and you have a cardiac age of 64,” explained Foley, a registered nurse, “it’s a clear wakeup call.”

People are really surprised when they see their cardiac age is 20 years older than their calendar age, said Foley. “[They often say] I really do need to stop eating fried chicken and get moving a little more.”

Also offered on the mobile unit: carotid ultrasound which can reveal plaque buildup and blockages in the arteries of the neck which supply blood to the brain.

People can be doing all the right things – exercising and watching what they eat – and still want to check things out using the tests.

“If you are 55, there are ways to improve … perhaps your cholesterol isn’t quite being managed right … your statin isn’t as effective as it should be,” said Foley. A visit with the doctor may be in order.

The specifics:

  • Four tests are offered for $100; or you may choose individual tests for $25.
  • Bring a check, cash or credit card. Insurance is not accepted.
  • A typical visit is 30 minutes with a reservation at 859-301-WELL (9355).
  • A four-hour fast is required for the blood test.

“It is a non-threatening, easy way to get some good baseline information about your health,” said Foley.

 Upcoming dates for the St. Elizabeth CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit:

TUESDAY, FEB. 14 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Women Take Heart Screening Dillard’s
2900 Town Center Blvd.
Crestview Hills

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15 1-5 p.m.
R.C. Durr YMCA
5874 Veterans Way
Burlington

THURSDAY, FEB. 16 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Kroger
9950 Berberich Drive
Florence

FRIDAY, FEB. 17 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Remke Markets
5016 Old Taylor Mill Road
Taylor Mill

MONDAY, FEB. 20 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Town and Country Sports and Health Club
1018 Town Drive
Wilder

TUESDAY, FEB. 21 Noon to 6 p.m.
St. Elizabeth Florence
4900 Houston Road
Florence

TUESDAY, FEB. 22 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kroger Marketplace
375 Crossroads Blvd.
Cold Spring

THURSDAY, FEB. 23 8 a.m. to noon
Five Seasons Family Sports Club
345 Thomas More Parkway
Crestview Hills

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One woman’s dedication to improving the lives of area foster children has become a city wide campaign to collect items for those in need. Learn how you can help, too.

Sweet Soles For Love gives donated shoes to foster children in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Dayton.

Sweet Soles For Love is a community outreach campaign requesting donations of shoes to be given to foster children throughout Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton.

Julie Phillippi-Whitney of Phillippi-Whitney Communications came up with the concept during the summer of 2014. She was watching a television broadcast about foster children in Virginia that had to carry their belongings in trash bags when they moved from home to home. This inspired her to collect suitcases for foster children in our region making 2017 the third year the organization has collected items for area foster children.

“Julie reached out first to Hamilton County Job & Family Services to confirm the need for suitcases. She then contacted Sibcy Cline as a partner since she thought we conveniently located branch offices for drop offs. We immediately said yes,” reports Susan Knabe, an employee of Sibcy Cline. With a goal to collect 500 suitcases, the organization ended up with over 10,000 pieces of luggage through the Cases For Love campaign. The next year they collected over 6,800 mittens, hats and scarves for Gloves For Love. This year, they are less than 50 pairs of new shoes away from meeting their goal of 500 pairs with the Sweet Soles Shoe Drive campaign and plan to exceed their goal as they have in the past.

“People have been very generous by donating everything from the smallest of baby shoes, to kid-sized Star Wars sneakers, to larger-sized athletic shoes and boots. It has been thrilling looking at all of the different shoes coming into our offices. We know the foster children are going to love their new shoes,” says Knabe.

One heart-warming story of this campaign comes from a family whose little boy is having a birthday party and does not want any gifts. Instead he has sent out special Sweet Soles For Love party invitations requesting his friends and family come with new shoes to donate towards the Sweet Soles Shoe Drive!

You can get involved by dropping off new, closed toe shoes at any Sibcy Cline location Monday-Friday from 9-5 pm. They are collecting new shoes of all sizes now through Valentine’s Day. If you or someone you know would like to collect shoes through an organization or individually organize an effort, Sweet Soles For Love and Sibcy Cline are happy to provide a digital flyer for the cause.

Our area’s foster children have a great need for new shoes! Many times these children have very few belongings and sometimes lack the basics such as sturdy shoes. Sweet Soles For Love hopes the public reaches out and gets involved with the Sweet Soles Shoe Drive.

Follow the cause by clicking here or find a Sibcy Cline office here.

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Say “yes” to more of life’s unexpected opportunities in 2017 with this local child care facility that offers all-day drop-in care without advance reservations.

Skidaddles offers drop-in childcare without advance reservations.

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Skidaddles!
Tiffany Sams, Founder of Skidaddles: Skidaddles is Greater Cincinnati’s provider of convenient, top-quality drop-in childcare. The centers are open all day for drop-in care without advance reservations whether it is for one hour or all day. Pre-school, after school care and summer camp are also available. Skidaddles’ popular Friday and Saturday night Date Night allows parents a night out for dinner, parties or shopping. The Florence facility stays open until 11 p.m.; Mason closes at midnight.

Cincy Chic: What inspired a drop-in childcare facility like Skidaddles?
Sams: Skidaddles was created by busy parents for busy parents. We struggled with finding flexible childcare options for our daughters, and knew other parents had the same needs. Skidaddles not only meets the flexible needs of parents, it is also educational, safe, and fun.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Skidaddles?
Sams: Skidaddles has a creative and hands-on management team that is leading the company into a phase of growth through franchising. Holly Matteoli will lead the operations side of franchising and Stacey Alexander will focus on the marketing aspects of the franchises.

Cincy Chic: When did Skidaddles officially launch?
Sams: Myself and my husband Michael founded Skidaddles in 2008. As parents, we recognized the need for top-quality, flexible, and reliable childcare. We talked to other parents with similar needs who sought care while they worked part-time, had a doctor’s appointment, needed childcare on a school snow day or wanted to shop without the kids in tow, especially during the holidays.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers find a Skidaddles location?
Sams: Skidaddles has two locations: 8660 Bankers Street, Florence, KY (859) 647-PLAY and
5939 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, OH (behind Whole Foods) (513) 204-3482.

Cincy Chic: What are the rates for using services at Skidaddles?
Sams: A one-time $50 registration fee per family is required along with immunization and medical records. After that, parents pay for the number of hours their children attend Skidaddles. Parents also have the option of flexible full-time care that can be paid on a weekly basis.

Cincy Chic: What makes Skidaddles unique?
Sams: Skidaddles is much more than just a place that watches children. The trained teachers engage the children in age appropriate activities so they can learn and explore. Special theme days such as a Harry Potter Day or Circus Day encourage interest and creativity. Special guests make attending Skidaddles exciting.

It’s also unique through its options that are more convenient for the parents than for the people behind the business. The centers are open 90 hours a week with no advance reservations necessary. They are open for before school, after school, pre-school and summer camp hours. Skidaddles is especially popular on school snow days when parents are faced with what to do with children when bosses expect them to show up at work.

Skidaddles is also open on Sundays to host birthday parties.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Skidaddles?
Sams: Skidaddles is poised to enter a franchise phase at the beginning of 2017. Its management staff has perfected what it takes to run thriving drop in care through operating the centers on both sides of the river. They have worked for over a year to create a business plan that replicates all aspects of their success.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Skidaddles?
Sams: Information can be found at www.skidaddles.com. We’re also on Twitter and both our Mason and Florence locations have Facebook pages.

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A Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce committee is helping entrepreneurs experience the community in innovative ways. Read on to learn more about it!

Upstart helps local entrepreneurs
Upstart helps local entrepreneurs make connections, exchange ideas, and come together.
Are you an entrepreneur living in the Northern Kentucky area? Upstart is a Northern Kentucky organization created to connect people, startups, entrepreneurs, funders, and services. Upstart started in 2012 as a Leadership Northern Kentucky class project. 
 
“The class collectively recognized an opportunity in the region to bring together the many resources and organizations that support, guide, and fund budding entrepreneurs,” says Jason Payne, President of the Leadership Northern Kentucky class of 2012.
This idea has turned into an annual street festival where over 500 entrepreneurs attend. “The Upstart event is a one day celebration that allows all these resources and organizations in the region to come together, exchange ideas, and make connections in a festive environment,” Payne explains.
 
The last Upstart event happened on October 6, where the committee launched “Innovation Alley” in Covington’s Innovation District. The alley connects Russell and Washington Streets between Sixth and Pike. Upstart hopes to transform the alley into a community event and gathering spot. The Duke Foundation, Republic Bank, and U.S. Bank provide financial support to Innovation Alley, which is led by a volunteer team of multiple organizations.
“I really enjoyed seeing people from established businesses come to the event to see for themselves what’s happening in Covington,” says Debby Shipp, Vice President of Business Growth and International Trade. 
“They knew there was a lot of innovative activity, but didn’t know the ‘whole picture’ or completely understood what startups, accelerators, and incubators were and what they mean to our local and world economy.”
 
There are many positive things about Upstart. These things include: investing in the city and each other, opening businesses, creating new friends, sharing ideas, learning about resources available to them as entrepreneurs, and having new people assist entrepreneurs with their business growth. Upstart positively affects the community by educating entrepreneurs about what is going on in their region. The Upstart committee thinks that its important for business owners to celebrate entrepreneurship and build personal relationships with each other.
 
“The thought is to help create a little synergy with people -it’s a cool place to work, it’s a cool place to live, it’s a cool place to have a beer, there’s a craft brewery right around the corner,” says Trey Grayson, President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “We think it’s a good asset for all of Greater Cincinnati and it’s the kind that attracts the type of people and the type of businesses we’d like to have more of in our region.”
 
As an organization, Shipp sees Upstart growing. “It’s an easy going and fun way to promote all the good things happening in Covington, in Innovation Alley and how our region can participate in the growth,” she says. 
 
To learn more about Upstart, follow them on Facebook or follow the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

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    Looking for trendy styles at an affordable price? Keep reading to learn more about three local ladies who set off on a mission to make fab fashions easy to buy - online and at fun social parties - at affordable prices.

    Beth Feldmann, Sara Heinrichs, and Wegford
    Beth Feldmann, Sara Heinrichs, and Megan Wegford of Blue Clover.

    Beth Feldmann, Sara Heinrichs, and Megan Wegford all share a similar passion: They wanted to bring affordable and unique fashion to other women in the Tri-State.

    “We started Blue Clover as a side business, as we all three have full-time jobs and families,” says Co-owner Sara Heinrichs. “This was a way for us to have something of our own, do something that we love (shop!), and bring affordable clothing to friends, family, and other women we have met along the way.”

    Blue Clover is an online-based boutique that sells a variety of clothing items.
    Blue Clover is an online-based boutique that sells a variety of clothing items.

    Based out of Northern Kentucky, Blue Clover officially opened for business in March 2016. The online women’s clothing boutique carries reasonably-priced scarves, hats, tops, sweaters, dresses, jackets, and more.

    Based solely online, Blue Clover offers free shipping on all orders. But if you’re hoping to see them in the flesh, you can check them out at several events, as Heinrichs says they love to promote Blue Clover locally.

    “We also attend social parties,” says Heinrichs. “If you are looking to get together with your girlfriends, enjoy some cocktails, and browse some of the latest seasonal trends, we are happy to attend and we’ll bring the clothes to you for a fun night of shopping.”

    Heinrichs says that what’s even better is that if you are the host of the part, you’ll receive special pricing on products Blue Clover brings along with them.

    Products found at Blue Clover come from various brands, and the majority of the brands are perfect for women who are between ages 20 and 50. You’ll find items that are suited for both wearing to the office and even on nights out on the town.

    Prices on products are affordable, as it’s a main part of Blue Clover’s mission. Heinrichs says that prices range from $15 to $70, so there’s something for every budget.

    fall clothing
    Blue Clover also aims to bring trendy fashion at an affordable price.

    The ladies behind Blue Clover say they will continue to be ambitious with their business and keep reach for success. “The primary goal is to continue to grow Blue Clover, by helping people learn more about who we areand learning to love our brand,” says Heinrichs. “However, we have set many goals for ourselves and for Blue Clover, and we hope to have you be a part of our journey.”

    You can check out Blue Clover as several upcoming events, including Fort Thomas Music and Merchants on September 24, Ludlow Bromley Ladies Day Out on September 25, Cincy Chic’s Seasonably Chic Showcase on November 5, Cincy Chic’s Holiday Glam Fashion Show on December 2, and Fort Thomas’ Giving Back Bazaar on December 3.

    Heinrichs says you can also book your own private party to complete your holiday shopping.

    Check out Blue Clover’s website at www.bluecloverky.com. You can also follow along on Instagram and like them on Facebook.

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    Learn about the creative mind behind this local woodworking business that creates handcrafted items to perfectly match your personality and home decor.

    Seed Signs by Lexi offers handmade wall decor and mantel decorations.
    Seed Signs by Lexi offers handmade wall decor and mantel decorations.

    Lexi Robinson believes that her calling in life is to love and encourage others, and she’s doing just that through her handcrafted wall decor called Seed Signs by Lexi.

    “The ‘seed’ in Seed Signs by Lexi represents the seed I feel like I am planting in the lives of people who see and/or receive one of my signs,” she says. “It seems like a small thing, but when you plant words of encouragement and positivity into someone, it grows and eventually makes a big impact.”

    The biggest inspiration behind Robinson’s business is her faith. She creates her wall decor with a deeper purpose, using both custom designs as well as her own designs, stencils, paint, and reclaimed wood Robinson creates something that allows you to decorate your home with a personal touch.

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    “By intentionally using designs that are positive, comforting, and encouraging, Seed Signs creates an atmosphere of the good things in life within your space,” she says. “Your name, hometown, favorite scripture, favorite book, or movie quote are all things that you can hang on your walls to be reminded daily of what makes you happy.”

    She adds that having your favorite items around and on your walls will also remind you to strive for your purpose in life, whether it’s family, community, adventure, faith or just simple happiness.

    Robinson runs the business herself, with help from her mom when she needs it. “My mom loves my signs, and her support is one of the most important things to me,” she says. “She is also the perfectionist/organizational one out of the two of us so I realize I need her a lot, about every other day, when it looks like a bomb went off in my shop.”

    Seed Signs by Lexi can create custom home decor pieces for your home.
    Seed Signs by Lexi can create custom home decor pieces for your home.

    Robinson launched Seed Signs by Lexi after helping out a friend who started a small woodworking business called 517Woodwork. “She taught me all the tricks and I started helping out,” she says. Then, at the end of last summer, her friend decided to pursue her passion in dietetics and handed the business over to Robinson. “I sold at a few craft fairs that fall, became deeply passionate about it, had an extremely positive response to the product,” she adds. So by the end of 2015 Robinson decided that this business was something she wanted to pursue and take seriously, so in January she rebranded and became Seed Signs by Lexi.

    Robinson says that she can create just about anything you request. She encourages clients to visit her Etsy shop where they can either request a duplicate an item she’s already made, customize a replicate of what she already has listed, or request a custom order and tell her directly what ideas they’ve got. “I am usually in a lot of communication with clients, sending them proofs of what their design will look like and discussing styles and colors before they purchase,” she says.

    All of the products from Seed Signs by Lexi are wall or mantel decorations. The most popular product you’ll find in the shop is the large, reclaimed wood family monogram sign. Robinson says it includes a large initial with the last name across the front.

    Robinson created this custom sign for her roommate's bedroom.
    Robinson created this custom sign for her roommate’s bedroom.

    “I usually add stain accents, established dates, or decorative wreaths for extra character,” she says, adding that the products are perfect for wedding, anniversary, birthday, and housewarming gifts.

    Other popular products include the state and skyline silhouettes. Robinson is able to create a more modern, clean look by purchasing wood from the lumber yard. However, she uses reclaimed wood to give customers the rustic design they’re looking for. “I didn’t always do that, but recently I have been wanting to reach out to a wider audience,” she explains. “My business is still young and developing, and I am excited to see where the future takes me.”

    Robinson says that she is slowly, but surely, starting to reach out to local retail shops to sell her products. You can currently find her signs in a small retail shop off Main Street in OTR called Featured.

    She also plans to start traveling throughout the city to host string art parties. “I have had the opportunity to attend a couple conferences where I did string art workshops and they went over extremely well,” she says. “String art is something that is really fun and easy for individuals and makes a great group activity for showers, birthdays, or any type of party – men really enjoy it too!”

    You can get in touch with Robinson about purchasing one of her signs over on her Etsy shop. But be sure to follow her Instagram account to see all the different types of signs she creates and all the new things she’s doing. Plus, her Instagram followers have the chance to win a free Seed Sign. She adds that you can also stay connected on Facebook.

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    Women’s Initiative of Northern Kentucky is launching its inaugural Women’s Summit with an upcoming event. Read on for all the details.

    The Women's Initiative of Northern Kentucky
    The Women’s Initiative of Northern Kentucky is launching a Women’s Summit on June 29.

    After seven years of helping professional women, the Women’s Initiative of Northern Kentucky is launching its inaugural Women’s Summit. The Women’s Initiative already has successful mentoring events, peer-to-peer roundtables, educational sessions, networking events, and an annual breakfast every January, so, said chair Laura Kroeger, a regional conference “seemed like the logical next step for such a dynamic organization.”

    The Women’s Summit is aimed at female business and volunteer leaders in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The summit has something for women who are at all stages of their careers, whether they are seeking a change, planning their own business endeavor, or just want to improve themselves and their careers. Kroeger wants to make sure the Summit offers tips that all kinds of professional women can use.

    “So often we get inspired at women’s conferences, but we don’t always leave armed with lots of practical information to implement right away,” she said. “We want to inspire and educate. For many women, I think the Regional Women’s Summit can be a substitution for professional development that they would ordinarily seek elsewhere.”

    Kroeger first thought of the Summit 3 years ago and it has been her baby ever since. After hard work and years of monthly meetings, “our dedicated group of women on the planning committee have made sure this is going to be the perfect women’s conference, from a detailed vetting process for presenters to a national search for a speaker,” Kroeger said. She stressed the committee’s dedication to the Summit and said that even though planning it was time consuming, “it has been a lot of fun to plan something new from the ground up.”

    The Summit’s theme is “It’s Time to Take the Lead,” inspired by a book by keynote speaker Betsy Myers, the first White House Director of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. Myers has worked with female entrepreneurs at the Small Business Administration, lectured at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, runs the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, and regularly addresses Fortune 500 companies on developing female leadership. The breakout sessions revolve around Myers’ seven principles of leadership: authenticity, connection, respect, clarity, collaboration, learning, and courage.

    Sessions based on Myers’ work cover such topics as Perfecting Your Personal Pitch; Confidence and Mastery: How to Maximize Your Own Leadership Development; The Balance of Self-Esteem, Assertiveness and Stress Management; and Developing the Courage to Conquer the Next Level. Another session, led by Dr. Adrianne Frech of the University of Akron, is called Enough With the Mommy Wars: New Findings on Women’s Workplace Participation, Family Formation, and Health.

    The Summit will take place on Wednesday, June 29, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center near the waterfront in Covington. Registration will begin at 7:30 in the morning, and the keynote session will take place at 8:45. The fee for the first day is $159, with the entire summit costing $179 and a 20% discount for companies registering five or more employees. The fee covers morning and lunch keynotes, four breakout sessions, a continental breakfast, lunch, and the Shore to Shore networking reception.

    Learn more about the Women’s Initiative as well as the Summit by clicking here.

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    Learn about a local women’s fashion boutique that provides scholarship and mentorship for some inspiring teenage girls from under-resourced communities.

    She's All That Boutique
    She’s All That Boutique donates all profits to directly benefit the young women who work there.

    It’s hard to believe that buying a cute top or some fashionable accessories can change lives forever, but it’s true.

    “Four years ago, Tara Furlough, multi-business owner, community leader, activist and entrepreneur, had a dream to start a business that would employ teenage girls from under-resourced communities,” Kelly Brake says. “Giving them the opportunity to change their lives forever.”

    Furlough, based in Alabama, founded She’s All That Boutique. In 2015, her best friend Kelly Brake opened She’s All That Boutique NKY in Ft. Mitchell, KY. The women’s fashion boutique concept donates all profits to directly benefit the young women who work there. While working and making a paycheck in high school, the girls also earn scholarship funds. As they transition to college, the girls continue to work at the store, keep up with their mentors and make positive changes in the lives of others.

    “All of the proceeds from the stores are directly donated to our 501(c)(3) Foundation, Wings of Faith,” Brake says. “The Foundation’s central purpose is to enhance educational opportunities for students through partnerships with educators and through our mentorship program. This experience helps each student develop a purpose in life and create avenues for advancing in higher education.”

    Because they work so closely with the girls for an extended period of time, Brake says the selection process is extensive. ”We work with local high school counselors to identify at-risk girls,” she explains. “Through an application and interview process, girls are selected based on several factors, including their motivation to succeed and desire to break generational poverty.”

    For example, when Brake originally interviewed a young woman named Stephanie and asked about her career aspirations, she was unsure and selected a career path others had chosen in her family. Now, when asked, she beams when she confidently says she wants to become an engineer. No one in her life had ever told her that she could become anything she wanted, nor did she have the resources to do so.

    For Stephanie, she said if she is given one sentence to say at her high school graduation, it would be to say thank you to Brake because if it wasn’t for her, she could not be where she is today. Thanks to She’s All That NKY, Stephanie will be the first in her extended family to get a high school diploma, let alone attend a four-year college. She was also the first to obtain a divers license.

    The Northern Kentucky store is newer, and doesn’t have college students in attendance yet, but has high school seniors that are enrolled to go to college next fall. Hannah, from Lloyd High School, and Stephanie, who attends Beechwood High School, are both seniors in the area that have accepted their fall enrollment at Eastern Kentucky University on scholarship.

    High school students in the program are paired with a mentor in the community, which is a successful woman who helps guides the student in the right direction. Brake, the store manager, takes a more personal approach to mentorship and relationship building. She takes the girls out to movie nights and dinner, making sure they’re always fed and in a safe place.

    She’s All That currently has two locations, serves over 20 high school girls, and has six young women in college through their scholarship program, Wings of Faith Foundation.

    She’s All That NKY is located at 2508 Dixie Hwy. in Fort Mitchell KY. Call (859)331-1292 or visit www.shesallthatnky.com for more information. To donate directly to the foundation, you can mail a check or donate online. Specifically selecting “She’s All That Boutique NKY” will earmark the funds to directly help the young girls in Northern Kentucky.

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    Learn about a fashionable way to get dressed up for a great cause that helps local young girls in need feel like a princess on prom night.

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    If one glass slipper can change everything for Cinderella, imagine what getting outfitted head-to-toe for prom will do for a young girl in need.

    That’s the idea behind Cinderella’s Closet, which opened its doors in 2007 and is now serving more young women than ever. The inspiration for this charity came about when Erin Peterson, the founder and director, met a young woman who couldn’t afford a dress of her own.

    “I overheard her ask a clerk if the beautiful, gently-used gown on display could be put on hold while she figured out how to pay for it,” Peterson says. “She asked her foster mother for the money, but a prom dress is an extra in life, and its price was out of their reach. Seeing her disappointment, I bought the dress for her. As tears flooded her eyes, she thanked me and said she would look ‘just like Cinderella.'”

    Cinderella’s Closet soon became a ministry of Immanuel United Methodist Church. Since 2007, the charity has helped nearly 4,000 young women find the dresses for their dream prom night.Glass Slipper Gala

    Junior and senior girls are referred to Cinderella’s Closet by their school, community organization or social care agency in Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. The Liberty Township location serves girls from all over Southwest Ohio.

    The Glass Slipper Gala is an annual event that fundraises for the organization so they can continue to grow and service the local girls in need. “The Glass Slipper Gala is a one-time special event to celebrate a decade of ‘Turning Dresses Into Dreams,” Peterson says. “It will be an elegant evening with dinner, dancing, games and a silent auction. At the Gala, you will also have the opportunity to hear from one of our previous princesses, Miss Jacquia Campbell. She attended Cinderella’s Closet in 2008 and 2009. Since that time, Miss Campbell has never missed an opportunity to volunteer with us.”

    The sponsorship of the Gala honors Ann Blackham, who was a pioneer of women’s rights in the 1960s. She was not only one of the first women to solely own a business in the 1960s, but also served on the President’s Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities. The gift of sponsorship is made by her son, Mr. Bill Blackham, and his wife Dr. Dora Savani. All proceeds raised from the Glass Slipper Gala on Feb. 26 will benefit the Lydia Sheerer Memorial Scholarship Program, which is a scholarship program occurring since 2014, designed to present three $1,000 scholarships to girls who serve their communities, participate in school activities, work hard in school and receive the recommendation of their school counselors.

    This scholarship is made in dedication to Sheerer, Peterson’s great-grandmother, who earned money from washing others’ laundry, and later earned money as a cafeteria attendant at the local school. “[She] sent two of her girls to college, each graduating with a degree as a Registered Nurse, one of the highest degrees a woman could earn at the time,” Peterson says. ”She knew the value of achieving your fullest potential no matter how difficult your circumstances.

    At Cinderella’s Closet, we want our princesses’ prom night not to be the greatest day of their life, but instead be the first day of the rest of their lives.”

    Every year, nearly 250 ladies volunteer to make sure that our princesses feel cherished. Volunteers are classified as ‘Fairy Godmothers’ who hold the young ladies’ coats, zip up their gowns and lastly, bend down and place the glass slipper on her foot.

    “This interaction, we believe, is the most important, Peterson says. “It is our hope that we are not only sending our princesses off with a dress, but more importantly with confidence in themselves. We want the girls that visit us, to ‘walk in a way that comes only from being cherished.'”

    For those looking to get involved, the volunteer positions for this year’s Northern Kentucky event filled in less than 10 hours, but there are still volunteer opportunities available at their Liberty Township location.

    Dress donations are accepted year round at several locations throughout the area, their website details how and where to drop off. Cinderella’s Closet is located at the Immanuel United Methodist Church on 2551 Dixie Highway in Lakeside Park, KY. For more information or volunteer opportunities, visit their website.

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    Learn about these locally-based teenage entrepreneurs who recently launched an online boutique with the mantra that dressing well shouldn’t break the bank.

    081015fashion
    (l-r) Kennedy McDermott and Anna Steffen, co-owners of Kandid Boutique

    From jewelry and accessories to tops, bottoms, and dresses, Kandid Boutique has it all. Except for the big price tags. Owners Anna Steffen and Kennedy McDermott believe you can dress your best without breaking the bank, and that’s the inspiration behind their online boutique.

    “What makes us different is that we strive to meet the needs of our customers and help style with styling tips and can be more one-on-one,” says Steffen, “as much as we can be via email and our blog.” According to Steffen and McDermott, they believe a woman’s style is personal to her, so her shopping experience should be personal, too.

    The idea of running an online-based personal shopping boutique came to fruition after expressing to each other they both had an interest in fashion. From that point forward, they began laying plans for what is now Kandid Boutique.

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    Kandid Boutique sells bohemian chic style with just the right touch of contemporary.

    This duo is not just accomplishing their goals but they are doing it at such a young age, with McDermott only being 17 and Steffen, 18. “We weren’t exactly sure how it all worked, starting a business. We had no prior experience nor have we taken any business classes. We spent months looking up information on what it took to start a business. Even at times feeling like we were in over our heads,” laughs Steffen. “We started this process back in December, but recently just launched the online boutique in March!”

    They wanted to choose accessories and apparel that reflected their personal style, so you can find handmade jewelry along with feminine, chic clothing. McDermott describes the styles they sell as a very bohemian chic style, with a touch of contemporary, reaching out to a young female demographic.

    A unique spin on this boutique is their selection of handmade jewelry made by jewelry maker, Sherry Steffen. She makes necklaces, earrings, and body jewelry. In fact, the body jewelry carried on www.kandidboutique.com are custom designed for the site.

    This young team is excited to show off their new selection for fall that will soon be showcased on their website and social media pages. They plan to leverage their social media savvy to communicate new merchandise and sales to their customers, via Snapchat.

    Future plans to grow Kandid Boutique include getting a storefront in their hometown of Northern Kentucky while expanding their shipments across the country. To learn more, visit http://www.kandidboutique.com/.

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