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


by -

One local salon owner launched her own line of natural, organic and vegan hair care. Read on for all the Good Hair Day details.

Cara D’Ambrosio founded her own 100 percent natural hair care line, which is available at Me Salon Studios.
Cara D’Ambrosio, owner of Me Salon Studios

If you work so hard to put natural and organic foods in your body every day, shouldn’t you do the same for your hair?

That’s why Cara D’Ambrosio created her all natural, 100% vegan, organic hair care product line — free of parabens, preservatives, chemicals, sulfates, and gluten — only available at Me Salon Studios.

According to D’Ambrosio, the line has been tested to substantially improve shine, humidity resistance hold, moisture retention for smoothness, manageability and touch-ability. These highly concentrated formulas also put less strain on the environment from their natural product base, as well as amounts needed to generate lather and conditioning. All finishing products also contain sunscreen to further minimize hair damage from sun and heat.

D’Ambrosio brings a bloodline of hair care, and decades of experience into developing this line. In 1992, she began working at her father Pete’s hair salon. Learning all about the hair industry and how to make the perfect cut and color, D’Ambrosio fell in love with the craft, and later took over her father’s salon in 2007.

Just a few of the products available from the all-natural hair care line at Me Salon Studios.
The all-natural hair care line available at Me Salon Studios.

Me Salon has since been recognized as one of the “World’s Best Salons” by Intercoiffure among other awards. To achieve this level of service, D’Ambrosio travels around the world learning new techniques, studying styling trends, and researching the best products.

With those demands, in addition to becoming a mom of twins 20 months ago, D’Ambrosio decided to increase efficiency by moving her business to a Salon Loft space, located at 9285 Governers Way.

“[It] was a quality of life decision. I’m passionate about hair dressing. Running a large salon with several employees meant I spent a large portion of my time on HR, accounting, and insurance,” D’Ambrosio explains. “I wanted to get back to the ‘roots’ of my artistry and spend my work time in the salon, not in my office. Before children, a 60 hour work week was a breeze. I’m an Italian American and family is really important to me. So, I downsized my business, I’m doing what I love and I have more time with my twins. Simple as that.”

To learn more about Me Salon and the Me Salon organic product line, click here.

by -

After 25 years in the food service industry, this local chef decided to cook up her own personal venture - The Esoteric Chef - catering to clients with specific dietary needs.

The Esoteric Chef is owned by Alison Mcelfresh, a personal chef who can meet the special dietary needs of any family.

From vegetarian, vegan and paleo to gluten, dairy and egg free, Alison Mcelfresh has catered to (pun intended) every special request in the book. But now, after 25 years of food industry experience, Mcelfresh is cooking up her own savory start-up: The Esoteric Chef.

Mcelfresh says she started her career in a funky Kentucky restaurant where she served up classic vegetarian and vegan dishes “before anyone knew what vegan was.” She eventually decided to hone her craft as a chef, so she attended the Greater Cincinnati Culinary Academy where she received training in classic French cooking techniques.

“Career stops along the way included catering and the hospitality industry,” she explains. “My resume also includes a stint at the legendary Masionette in Cincinnati.”

Before she launched The Esoteric Chef, Mcelfresh says, she was honored to have the opportunity to work with disabled adults where she taught them basic skills so that they could get jobs in food service.

There’s also a personal background that led Mcelfresh to launch The Esoteric Chef, which includes a journey of weight gain and loss – something she says is common among those in the food industry – as well as her path back to being healthy.

According to Mcelfresh, her determination combined with her cooking skills has helped her to lose 80 pounds so far. All the while, Mcelfresh continues to cook and eat tasty meals. “See,” she laughs, “you don’t have to sacrifice taste for health!”

That’s especially handy for clients with allergies, specialty diets or eating plans. Mcelfresh also enjoys modifying family favorites in order to meet everyone’s dietary needs. “I can create meals to support those with special dietary needs – vegetarian or vegan, paleo, gluten- or dairy- free – as well as comfort classes to name but a few,” she explains.

To learn more, visit The Esoteric Chef on Facebook. Mcelfresh says that she hopes to unveil her website soon.