The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Tags Posts tagged with "pets"


by -

We chat with a local lady who’s taking her sixth generation business and recipes into the future by giving pet parents the opportunity to bake-at-home healthy treats for their furry friends.


Cincy Chic: What is Whisk & Wag?
Elizabeth Barber, Brand Manager at Emmert Company: Whisk & Wag is a new way to show our dogs how much we care with a bake-at-home mix that allows pet parents to make fresh, nutritious treats. Our just-add-water-and-oil baking experience is simple and smells great, so Whisk & Wag nurtures your home,
your relationships, and your pet’s health.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Whisk & Wag?
Barber: We all want to feed our family members the best. Whisk & Wag was inspired by the idea that pets are part of the family and we want to feed them the best, too. Our mixes put simple, nutritious ingredients in the kitchens of pet parents and make it easy for them to bake treats homemade. You can learn more here.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Whisk & Wag?
Barber: The F.L. Emmert Company, a fifth-generation family-owned company in Over-the-Rhine, is Whisk & Wag’s parent company. Whisk & Wag’s recipes were developed by a sixth generation family member, in her Anderson Township kitchen, with three young kids and a dog by her side. Emmert is a WBENC
certified women-owned business with the highest level of pet food quality certifications.

Cincy Chic: What types of products can we find from the Emmert Company?
Barber: Emmert supplies a variety of high-quality, healthy ingredients and supplements to the agriculture and pet industries.

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for the products from Whisk & Wag?
Barber: All our mixes retail for $9.99, both on and at The Anderson Township Pet Center. Just for fun, you can add a dog bone
shaped treat cutter on the Whisk & Wag website for $1.99.

Cincy Chic: What makes Whisk & Wag unique?
Barber: Homemade love – it’s our motto and our mission. The at-home baking process preserves nutrients and flavors while inviting pet parents into the food preparation process. We source only the best American-made ingredients and don’t use artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Our formula also includes Emmert’s own brewers yeast blend, which has been shown to improve overall health and appearance.

Cincy Chic: What is the Whisk & Wag team looking forward to in 2017?
Barber: Growth! Our holiday Friends & Family launch was just the beginning. In 2017 we’ll introduce several new flavors and continue to partner with local and national retailers. Our goal is to make Whisk & Wag available to any pet parent who would enjoy a simple way to bake fresh, homemade treats.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along with Whisk & Wag?
Barber: Visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

by -

From the corporate world to the pet-grooming business, learn about a dynamic duo that’s bringing a family atmosphere to the mobile pet grooming industry in Cincinnati.

Happy Tails to You
Happy Tail to You Mobile Pet Spaw offers a friendly and approachable atmosphere to groom your pet.

In 2003, Karen Smith was working as a manager and instructor at a pet-grooming salon. While working there, she noticed mothers with young children and older people struggling to bring their dogs into the salon for grooming. “Dogs would get nervous, there’s noise and phones and all that,” she recalls, “so I thought there has to be a better way.”

This inspired her to research and find out more about the mobile pet grooming industry. Before opening Happy Tails To You Mobile Pet Spaw in 2005, Karen and her daughter, Sarah, had many brainstorming sessions. They needed to determine what kind of company they wanted to be: upscale and classy or friendly and approachable. They settled on being friendly and approachable. “We want people to feel happy when they see us, and the dogs to be happy,” Karen says.

In addition to being welcoming and accessible, she brings her skills from the corporate world; marketing, customer relation skills and customer service to the business. “I was able to take my experience and skills, and try to translate them into something else, and just kept trying to grow myself,” Karen says. “And this is kind of a culmination.”


On a typical day, Smith arises at 5:30 a.m. to prepare lunches for her family and complete bookkeeping duties before she leaves for the day. After that, Karen and Sarah fill their vans with water and they head out for their first appointments. Their business brings the privacy and convenience of a full-service pet-grooming salon to their client’s home or office. Some of their services include hydro massage bath, nail trimming, warm air fluff drying and thorough brush out and de-shedding. All this is done with love and care, using top of the line products.

Karen doesn’t answer her phone much during the day because she wants to give all her attention to her clients. “When I am working on someone’s pet, that’s what I’m doing,” says Karen. “I’m focusing on their pet.”
While working with the pets, there is the challenge of scheduling. The temperament of the pet sometimes causes appointments to last longer than normal. Karen has learned that dogs can be like two-year-olds, so flexibility is key.

“Some of the dogs come running to you, some run to mom, so that can be a challenge. You don’t know what the dog before you is going to do; if they are going to have any special needs, since the last appointment,” she says.

Even though there are challenges, Karen loves her job. Everyday, she feels a real connection with her clients. There are clients who have been with her since her business started 11 years ago.

“It’s good to be good friends and family with your clients; the people and the pets,” Karen says.

To learn more, visit, or call Karen at (513) 300-1080 and Sarah at (513) 205-9269.

by -

A local artist is creating custom drawings so you can cherish your four-legged friends forever. Keep reading for the picture perfect details.

Brandi Maples of Patou Pet Portraits offers custom drawings of your pet.
Brandi Maples of Patou Pet Portraits offers custom drawings of your pet.

Cincy Chic: What is Patou Pet Portraits?
Brandi Maples, Founder of Patou Pet Portraits: Patou Pet Portraits is an art studio specializing in custom pet portraits created in your choice of graphite or colored pencils.

Cincy Chic: What inspired you to start the art studio?
Maples: I have always enjoyed drawing, being told as a child that I was a good artist. I never thought of it as more than a hobby – in fact, I went to graduate school for Art History, seeing myself as teaching art, rather than practicing it. The idea of drawing pets probably first came to me when our cat, Max, was dying. I used to sit with him at night to keep him company, and then decided I needed to draw him. I wanted to remember these quiet moments with him. Our pets are our family! A few years later, when we brought home a giant Great Pyrenees puppy (known as a Patou in France where they were first bred), I absolutely fell in love. As she grew into a gorgeous, long-haired white dog, I realized that she’d make such lovely drawings. In fact, pet portraits – either to celebrate a best friend, or to commemorate the life of a pet recently deceased, would be the ideal opportunity to bring together my interest in drawing and love of animals. Once I got started and did my research, I found that pet portraits (especially dogs) have been highly valued by the British for hundreds of years and that commissioning a drawing of your lap or hunting dog is as common as having family pictures taken is in America. I’d love to see this become a common practice here where we most certainly treat our pets as family.


Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Patou Pet Portraits?
Maples: I am the sole artist, which hopefully explains why clients sometimes have a decent wait when they order a custom drawing! I have a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and my Master’s in Art History from the DAAP program at UC. I am a self-taught artist and have been focusing on colored and graphite pencils for the past couple of years. I live in Madeira with my husband, two daughters, my dog Daphne, and two house cats, Gabriel and Maggie.

Cincy Chic: What is it that makes Patou Pet Portraits unique?
Maples: While there are lots of studios that will take stunning photographs of your pet, there are not many that do custom drawings. There is something special about having an artist draw your pet. When I draw a pet I study many reference photos to examine every detail, from fur color to the curls on their ears, to the shape of their eyes. I talk with customers about their pet’s personalities, and then I see this personality expressed in the multiple pictures provided by the client. The drawing I create is done from a single photo selected by myself and the client. I like my drawings to have a high level of realism – for clients to be amazed that pencils can create something so life-like. But, unlike a photo, you can still see pencil marks. There is no doubt that this is a drawing that was given a huge amount of time and attention to detail.

Cincy Chic: What types of services do you currently provide clients?
Maples: I create custom drawings only at this point. Prints can be made of any of the drawings I’ve done, although I’d like to create original drawings for the purpose of printmaking in the near future. I’ve done drawings for anniversaries, birthdays, sympathy, and holiday gifts. Most recently I created a drawing to be used on a wine label. Gift certificates are available and are great because the recipient gets to be part of the process! I always send progress pics to customers so they can see their drawing evolve.

Cincy Chic: What are your prices for a custom drawing?
Maples: Currently my prices range from $175 (for a 5×7) to $250 (11×14) for a standard drawing. Because my work is custom, prices can fluctuate depending on the number of pets or a larger size.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Patou Pet Portraits?
Maples: Yes, I hope so! When I can find some time outside of commissions, I’d like to create some original dog drawings and have prints made for sale online and locally. I’m also playing with the idea of having pillows made from my drawings and possibly Christmas ornaments and mugs. I know I’d love to have my coffee in a Great Pyrenees Mug every morning!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Maples: Right now the best place to find me online is on Facebook and Etsy. I keep these updated frequently. A website is in the works and when it is up and running, all of my Facebook followers will be the first to know. I am always happy to get emails and will answer any custom portrait questions fairly quickly.