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A unique market experience is making its way to Metro Dayton. Keep reading to learn more about this upscale, vintage-inspired market featuring original art, clothing, antiques, and so much more!

Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton features high-end market items in an indoor/outdoor setting.

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton!
Tonya Ross, Promoter for Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton: Vintage Market Days® is an upscale vintage and vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, furniture, seasonal plantings, live music and food trucks. Vintage Market Days® events are so much more than a flea market. One of Country Living’s “7 Flea Markets & Barn Sales You Won’t Want To Miss!”

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it market?
Ross: Vintage Market Days® began in 2012 as an indoor/outdoor Paris flea market style event in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We strive to make Vintage Market Days® more than just a sale. Vintage Market Days® is an event with it’s own theme, live music & a lot of charm! Vintage Market Days event is a unique opportunity for vendors from the local region and across the US to display their talents and passions in different venues.  The Market also provides the customer with a very special shopping experience and an opportunity for VMD™ to give back to the local community.

Cincy Chic: who’s behind the Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton?
Ross: I’m the promoter for Vintage Market Days® of Metro Dayton. I’m from a small town in east-central Indiana, a true mid-western girl! Growing-up with my 3 sisters, my family frequented and participated in auctions, garage sales, flea markets and antique shows. I LOVED the hustle and bustle of such events. VMD™ fuels my passion for mixing “old” with new, project management, creativity and philanthropy.

Cincy Chic: When is the next market being held and where?
Ross: Our next event, “Life’s a Garden” will be held June 1-3, 2018. The event is held at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. Our parking area is located at 210 Fairground Road in Xenia, Ohio.

Cincy Chic: How many vendors can attendees expect?
Ross: Just under a 100 vendors.

Cincy Chic: What types of vendors will be at the event?
Ross: Antique, vintage, furniture, art, signs, garden, boutique/upcycled clothing, jewelry, children’s vendors including an author, pottery, specialized lighting, bath/body and snack/food trucks.

Cincy Chic: How far do people travel to attend the market?
Ross: We have people travel up to 4 hours to attend. Check out the local Bed and Breakfast or book an Airbnb, the area has a lot to offer.

Cincy Chic: How many guests are you expecting at the event?
Ross: Our average attendance is 6,000-10,000 per event.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to purchase tickets?
Ross: Our website link for tickets is here. $10 for Early Buying Event. $5 General Admission. Group Discounts available-email for groups 10+.

Cincy Chic: What makes this market unique from other area markets?
Ross: Several items make our market unique- 1. We partner with local non-profits that benefit from our event. Our local non-profits are Making Strides against Breast Cancer and Circle of Victory, both benefit local cancer patients and their families. 2. We showcase local vendors and vendors from across the US. This event will have vendors from 19 different states. 3. Vendor success and customer shopping variety is our focus. We limit the number of vendors in the different categories to assist with their success and at the same time make sure the customer sees a large variety of vendors. 4. VMD™ offers a franchise opportunity. 5. You will experience professional live music, food trucks and juried vendors. Where else will you find fried pies from the South, antiques from the East, Midwestern goods and local favorites?

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Ross: Our website or our Facebook Event page.

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Microblading is taking the nation - and Tri-State - by storm. Learn about the local expert providing services to Dayton and Cincinnati’s northern neighborhoods.


Erica Kidder at Dayton Microblading offers microblading services for your eyebrows.

Erica Kidder, who has worked in the beauty industry since 2008, has focused on hair, waxing, and event style hair do’s. But now, Kidder is shifting her focus, and is making women all over the Tri-State feel beautiful and empowered.

Kidder started in 2008 at Square One Salon and Spa, in Centerville, Ohio, and has since expanded her horizons. Keeping up with all the new beauty trends, Kidder has decided to open a salon of her own, that holds a focus on microblading as early as May 2. “After five years, I left to explore a career as a small business owner- the past three years I’ve worked within Salon Lofts. Last year, my passion for the industry expanded into permanent makeup, and with the addition of microblading, I quickly outgrew my loft. I made the decision to focus almost exclusively on microblading and I am now leaving Salon Lofts and opening my first salon.”

Microblading is a newer concept, which is rapidly making its debut to the greater Cincinnati area. “When I discovered microblading, it was only popular in bigger cities,” explains Kidder. “I knew it was only a matter of time before it reached the Midwest. The service fascinated me. I love that there is an alternative to traditional permanent makeup, that typically leaves clients with a solid filled in eyebrow. Microblading offers the most natural result.”

Erica Kidder of Dayton Microblading

When someone talks about microblading, it can come off as a foreign concept. Microblading in short, is a non-permanent tattoo that fills and adds shape to one’s eyebrow, and Kidder understands just how important eyebrows are to women. “This luxury of a permanent makeup service replicates hair strokes in the eyebrow, creating fullness, definition and balance,” explains Kidder. “While microblading is deemed ‘semi-permanent,’ it is still in the ‘tattoo’ family. Due to the pigment being placed under the skin more superficially than a traditional tattoo, naturally it fades faster. Fading is considered a positive characteristic in microblading, as it allows for updates in shape, color and provides the ability to work with changes in aging skin.”

During a microblading appointment, Kidder says, you can expect to spend up to three hours at your initial appointment. During the first part of this session, she collaborates on a shape that is perfect for you. “We will take time to choose the appropriate pigment color based on your skin tone, and existing brow hair,” she says. “Once you approve your template, we will outline the brow and then provide anesthetics for comfort.”

The microblading is done with a small hand tool with sterile, disposable needles to implant pigment into the skin. The second appointment, which is included in the package price, will take place no sooner than four weeks of your initial appointment, and no later than 12 weeks after. “This is a touch up appointment and is absolutely imperative to your results,” Kidder says. “Without it, your results will not be optimal, as the service is only half done. The touch up corrects any irregularities in the microbladed hair strokes and it finishes the process.”

Since this new concept can generate many questions for the client, Kidder offers one-on-one consultations for $25. “During a consultation, I will cover every question a guest has, but most importantly I address expectations,” says Kidder. “We will talk shape, color, healing, pre-and post care, etc.”

Since microblading isn’t a permanent tattoo, it does require regular touch ups, fill ins, and a bit of TLC from the client after the session is finished. “For a tattoo,” says Kidder. “A machine is used to implant the pigment deep into the skin, versus microblading, a disposable manual hand tool with sterile one-time use needles is used to deposit pigment into the upper dermal layer of the skin. This superficial placement allows for natural fading with the exfoliation of skin.”

Depending on skin type, lifestyle, aftercare, and environmental factors, every guest will retain pigment differently, according to Kidder. For example, she says, if you have oily skin, you are a smoker, or you swim, or tan regularly, you will require more touch ups. “Some guests however will require more sessions without any of these factors applying to them,” she adds. “If you want to maintain your brow, you must touch them up. They are designed to fade. Yearly touch ups are typical, and are $250. I offer a ‘perfecting session’ for guests who want to supplement their initial two appointments for $150. If you don’t need a third visit, a yearly touch up is sufficient.”

Kidder has an appreciation for microblading for many reasons, but her favorite is the empowerment the women have when they leave her salon. “Having the power to improve someone’s self-confidence is by far the most rewarding part of microblading,” says Kidder. “At the end of every service when I show my guest their new brows, I feel overwhelmed with the same amount of joy that they do. It’s truly incredible to see someone smile ear to ear because of something you did. Last October, breast cancer awareness month, I had a very eye opening experience. I chose to do a giveaway on social media for breast cancer survivors who lost their brow hair due to treatment. I chose four winners during the month. The time I was able to spend with each survivor was incredible, and it proved to me that microblading is so much more than aesthetic. It’s life changing. To give back a part of someone’s womanhood is truly a humbling experience. To this day, I still think about how thankful I am to be able to add to their stories.”

Kidder says she is thankful for her business growing quicker than she can keep up with, as she is booking clients into August. “I’m happy to see this service is gaining exposure.” says Kidder. Currently, Kidder is with Salon Lofts in Washington Park Plaza, and her microblading sessions are $500. Her first available opening is at the end of July.

To find out more about Kidder, or to book an appointment, click here.

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Learn about a brand new community coming to the Dayton Centerville area and the grand opening event this week where you can check it out for yourself.


If you or a friend are looking for a new home north of Cincinnati near Centerville, listen up! M/I Homes is building a brand new community called “Wynstone” and it’s going to be BEAUTIFUL! Not only that, but it’s in a great location, with a great school district, and near some fabulous shopping! We just did a few stories recently on some awesome new Dayton/Centerville based shops popping up, so you’re definitely going to find some great stores to enjoy while living in this community!

You know what they say about shopping for a new home, location, location, location. This gorgeous new community features new homes in Montgomery County in the Centerville City School District. If you’re not familiar with this school district, it’s one of the only 7 districts to have received the Ohio Education Departments’ highest rating of Excellence each year since the schools rating inception in 2000. It was also awarded the United States Department of Education’s highest honor by becoming a Blue Ribbon School. I know that when looking for a new home that school districts are a big deal, as well as the general location of the community. This community is in a super convenient location with easy access to 75N, 1-675, 48 and 42, allowing you to get to both Dayton and Cincinnati quite easily! And another perk is its located close to the largest super regional mall in Dayton – Dayton Mall!

After learning more about the new homes they are building in this community, I can’t wait to see their model home at their grand opening opening event next week. They have such a great variety of homes ranging from ranch or single story homes to 2-story single family homes, with a variety of options to make the home really yours without the expense of building a custom home.   I fell in love with the Ainsley floorplan, with the option to have a 2-story family room or even an optional in-law suite built on the first floor! I can’t wait to walk through this floorplan now that the community is open!

With this new community just opening, they are hosting a Grand Opening of their stunning model home on Thursday, April 21st from 5-8pm. This event is going to be quite the celebration with the grand opening of a brand new professionally decorated model home called the Monroe. At the event you’ll get to see how Mary Cook Associates decorated and designed this gorgeous model home to utilize every inch of space. They will also be serving hors d’oeuvres and some delicious sweet treats, and will have raffle drawings and plenty of giveaways. If that’s not enough to get you there, they are also having live entertainment! I know I want to attend and hope to see you there – RSVP Today!

Check out all of the details about this community regarding the location, information on the homes, as well as more about the builder, M/I Homes on their website. They even have an aerial tour for you to get an idea of the where the community is!

For more information, contact:

Laura Kornaker
(513) 268-8460

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While some might think Dayton is the sleepy little town between here and Columbus, others would beg to differ. In fact, organizers of the first Dayton Fashion Week say it’s about to be the Midwest’s fashion hub.


Dayton Fashion Week was inspired and created by Junda Morris-Kennedy who says she’s always had a passion for fashion. Growing up with a mother, who taught her to sew at the young age of three, Morris-Kennedy became a fashion and pageantry enthusiast.


“I worked in the fashion industry for a while now. I just moved here to the Dayton area,” says Morris-Kennedy. “I did my market research for different events that happen in Dayton and with my background in the industry I decided to come up and put together Dayton’s first annual fashion week.”


Morris-Kennedy previously owned a Maryland-based modeling agency, while also producing pageants. She owns the National Miss Ebony U.S. pageant and even owns her own nail polish line. In regards to Dayton Fashion Week, Morris-Kennedy is most excited about the showcasing Dayton’s talent.


“I’m most excited about the momentum it has it brought to the city and all the artistic people it has given hope to within the city. This is an event that showcases talent and they [designers] don’t have to leave the city to show their talent,” she says.


Dayton Fashion Week is filled with various events each day, ranging from live runway shows to social gatherings with celebrities. Set to launch on July 24, Dayton Fashion Week will be a week packed with the latest and greatest from designers from across the world. To start off the week, there will be a launch gala built for networking and showcasing the designers in participation with the fashion week. There will also be a silent auction with proceeds going to the Hospice of Dayton.


On Wednesday, there will be a fusion of music and fashion in Dayton’s downtown scene. Thursday is all about the little ones with a children’s inspired runway show featuring a local Dayton designer and the international design house of AM Victorious.


Friday’s events will continue on with an emerging designer and ready to wear showcase filled with a village full of vendors for attendees to explore. Lastly, Dayton Fashion Week concludes with a grand finale runway showcase within the Dayton Convention Center featuring international, local and other national designers. Tickets to attend events for Dayton Fashion Week range from $7-$160.


For more information about Dayton Fashion Week or to buy tickets to the events, visit



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    Rooted in empowering female entrepreneurs, a Columbus-based movement is spreading its roots to the Queen City. Read in for all the inner-diva-inspiring details.

    The Diva Movement strives to empower other female entrepreneurs and leaders.

    Behind every successful woman is a group of women who are cheering her on. In an effort to provide women with a supportive and inspiring community of fellow leaders and entrepreneurs, The Diva Movement was created.

    “The Diva Movement is a community of women leaders and entrepreneurs where we provide support, tools, and resources to help women grow as they are growing their business,” explains CEO and Founder Noni Banks. “We offer online personal and business development resources, networking, events, entrepreneur workshops, and opportunities for women to connect in our private Facebook group.”

    Banks says that she was inspired to launch The Diva Movement off a quote by W.E.B. Dubois: “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.”

    “I was at a place in my life where I was tired of waking up every day and not being fulfilled,” explains Banks. “I was going through a divorce and I realized that I consistently placed my hopes and dreams on the back burner, while I pushed and [helped] build someone else’s dream.”

    In an effort to help build the dreams of the women around her, Banks launched The Diva Movement, which in 2018 served more than 600 women at 13 Diva Movement events. The organization also trained 50 female entrepreneurs in the workshop series for small business owners, mentored 75 female entrepreneurs, reached 18,000 followers in 16 countries on social media, and served 63 girls in the leadership session.

    “What started as a book club with 15 people has now grown into an organization with more than 300 members,” adds Banks.

    Every week there are women who join The Diva Movement and are sharing their stories of how they’ve reached the same point in their lives that Banks did – they want to pursue their own dreams and build on their own passions.

    “They are tired of playing small, tired of their voices not being heard, tired of not having a seat at the table, and tired of not believing that their vision for their lives matters,” says Banks.

    The main mission behind The Diva Movement was to create an organization that understands the challenges of women who were running a business, raising a family, and working a full-time job.

    “I wanted to create a space where these women could thrive,” says Banks. “We designed the memberships, services, and events to support these women by helping them grow as they are growing their businesses.”

    Noni Banks, Founder of The Diva Movement

    There are three levels of membership available with The Diva Movement. Membership is available for individuals and entrepreneurs as well as small business group memberships for companies and organizations.

    Member highlights with The Diva Movement include:

    • Membership pricing to select events
    • Access to member only events
    • Share your expertise as a guest blogger
    • Business mentoring sessions
    • Special vendor advertising rates
    • Opportunity to promote products or services on Facebook group
    • Personal and entrepreneurial downloads and resources
    • Access to connect with a supportive online community of women in a private Facebook group
    • Diva deals and discounts

    According to Banks, the uniqueness behind The Diva Movement is its design to meet the needs of women who are working a full-time job and running a business.

    “Our networking events are known for creating a dynamic, inspirational, and fun atmosphere where women can connect in meaningful and authentic ways,” says Banks. “Guests connect with other like-minded women and learn from our featured speakers of women leaders and entrepreneurs while having fun.”

    To give women a glimpse into what The Diva Movement can do for them, the organization is hosting The 2019 Women’s Wealth and Wellness Expo on Saturday, January 26, at The Ohio Deaf Alumni Association Center in Westerville.

    “The Expo provides resources, education, and tools to help improve the financial health and overall wellness for women,” explains Banks. “The Expo is a community event that brings together hundreds of women for a day of education, inspiration and fun. Guests will enjoy fitness demos, financial professionals, business resources, and beauty and wellness experts.”

    The history of The Expo goes back to 2014 when Banks was coming out of her divorce. She found herself as the single mom of four boys and needed to rebuild herself – emotionally, physically, and financially.

    “I thought it would be great to host an event where women can be equipped with the education, strategies, and tools to rebuild their lives,” says Banks. “In my mind, I only expected maybe 50 women to be interested. Unbelievably, over 200 women attended, and the rest is history. We have hosted over 2,000 women and we are expecting a wonderful turnout this year.”

    Banks says that new chapters of The Diva Movement are opening in both Dayton and Cincinnati this year.

    “We are working with women in a handful of countries to collaborate on some Diva Movement workshops, initiatives, and events,” adds Banks.

    To learn more about The Diva Movement, visit You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

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      Rooted in faith and a desire to make the world a little brighter, one local lady decided to take the leap into her own apparel business. Read on to hear more about the positivity she’s weaving into the community one trendy thread at a time. 

      At a time when it seems like the world is becoming more negative by the day, Whitley wanted to take her faith and spread it – one T-shirt at a time – through her business Blessed Attire.

      “Blessed Attire is a faith-based apparel and specialty items company featuring trendy men’s, women’s, and kid’s apparel as well as jewelry, signs, hats, and other items with more being added,” explains Whitley.

      The goal of the items sold by Blessed Attire is to spread positive messages to those who buy and see them while also starting the conversation of faith.

      “The world we live in is becoming more and more negative and chaotic as time passes,” says Whitley. “News stories, social media, etc. all report on the terrible things happening in our society but only rarely talk about the amazing things happening. This is where we come in. Blessed Attire is about spreading positive messages.”

      Andrea Whitley is a lifelong Cincinnatian. She also has deep roots in her faith and what she believes in.

      Whitley wants to change the narrative on seeing negative stories everywhere. “If we can start a conversation and change someone’s day then I am doing something right,” she says. “If someone buys a shirt that say ‘Be still know’ and it makes someone ask ‘what does that mean’ – just think of the impact.”

      Blessed Attire is owned by Andrea Whitley, alongside her husband and daughter. Blessed Attire offers faith-based apparel, jewelry, and accessories.

      Blessed Attire offers shirts and necklaces that say things like ‘just breathe’ and it helps someone breathe and calm a little – Whitley says that’s the kind of thing that keeps her going.

      All of the designs offered from Blessed Attire – from “blessed” to “love” – means something. “You are blessed and loved,” says Whitley. “You are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and if you ‘just breathe,’ you can handle anything.”

      All in all, Whitley says that the inspiration behind Blessed Attire is to let others know they are blessed and loved while also spreading positivity and faith to help make a difference in the world.

      When you shop Blessed Attire you will find men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.

      “We offer everything from T-shirts and hoodies to boutique styles,” says Whitley. “We also offer a wide range of sizes including plus sizes and we do not up-charge for plus/curvy sizes.”

      According to Whitley, some of the top selling pieces available from Blessed Attire include the hats and the women’s boutique styles. Because the store offers so many different items and designs, it can help customers to feel comfortable in what they select.

      Blessed Attire tries to keep prices fair and affordable for every size wallet. Most of the apparel items range from $22 to $40, hats run from $20 to $22 depending on the style, and the jewelry averages around $20.

      Aside from its passion for offering faith-based apparel, Blessed Attire also stands out in other ways.

      “When Blessed Attire was first opened, one of the goals was to give back to the community,” says Whitley. “We do that through our Church Partner Program. It is a 5 percent giveback program for organizations and churches to assist with mission trips, education programs, and more.”

      Additionally, the majority of items from Blessed Attire are original designs. Whitley says she creates a large majority of the designs and loves getting new ideas from customers. “I’m usually able to add a new design to the website within 48 hours,” she adds.

      You’ll be seeing a lot more of Blessed Attire in 2019, and Whitley says she couldn’t be more excited.

      You can find products for men, women, and children at Blessed Attire.

      Come January, Blessed Attire will be moving to a larger space within the Monarch Market Shoppes to Inspire, allowing the store to add new items and expand its line.

      Whitley will also be adding new athletic items in 2019 and plans on releasing new designs for all online apparel in February.

      A new blog and marketing plans are also in the works as Blessed Attire aims to have its products in 8 retail stores in the coming year.

      To learn more about Blessed Attire, visit You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram, or check out the products in person at the Monarch Market Shoppes to Inspire inside the Dayton Mall.

      To get in contact with Whitley, you can call her at 513-532-1494 or send her an email at

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        From running a business out of a spare bedroom to a fashion empire with stores in Wilmington and a second store now open in Hyde Park, a local lady is out to give shoppers trendy options without breaking the bank. Read on to learn more.

        Everyday Chic Boutique is a women’s clothing store with locations in Wilmington and Hyde Park.

        Since its opening in May 2014, Everyday Chic Boutique has seen nothing but growth.

        Karli Harris, the boss lady behind the business, first launched the business from a spare room in her house.

        After she graduated from college, Harris was working for Wright-Patt Credit Union in Dayton. While at work, she found that she wanted to feel trendy in her clothing option, but didn’t want to break the bank either.

        That’s when she came up with the idea for Everyday Chic Boutique, and now she’s opened a second location in Hyde Park Square at 2643 Erie Avenue.

        Harris says that she chose a spot in Hyde Park because she wanted to open another location of Everyday Chic Boutique closer to the city, but while still maintaining the store’s “small town feel.”

        “I avoided strips or malls when pursuing a new area, so when I found the Square I instantly fell in love with its charm and history, and I knew this was the right spot for Everyday Chic Boutique,” she says.

        The new location opened its doors on November 17, with hours 7 days a week, Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.

        Although they’re already open, Harris says she’s planning on a big celebration with a Grand Opening event in January.

        At Everyday Chic Boutique, you’ll find brands like Free People, Bed|Stu, and 7 For All Mankind among a wide selection of privately-labeled pieces.

        “We have apparel, denim, shoes, accessories, and gifts,” says Harris. “We also make it a priority to purchase lines available that focus on giving back to the community and environment such as Love Your Melon, Cecelia Jewelry, and Noah & Co Candles.”

        Harris says that what makes Everyday Chic Boutique different from other boutiques is that it aims to change the way women shop while also offering a personalized experience that she says she wasn’t getting at big box stores.

        “Fast forward 6 years and we’ve expanded our original store into a 2,500-square-foot location and are opening new storefronts,” she says.

        Harris personally selects every piece that hits the floor to ensure that customers are given a unique and high-quality selection to choose from when they shop at Everyday Chic Boutique.

        “Our inventory is constantly changing to guarantee you will always find new, exciting items,” she adds. “It is our mission at Everyday Chic Boutique to provide every guest with a tailored, empowering customer experience. We believe shopping should be easy, and that the process should be painless. We strive to create a friendly and fun experience for everyone that steps in the door.”

        Price points for items at Everyday Chic Boutique range from $25 to $150 depending on the brand and season. The private labeled options are the bulk of the inventory, according to Harris, and range from $25 to $75.

        The store carries a wide selection of inventory, so there’s something for everyone.

        At Everyday Chic Boutique, the focus is on quality, fashionable options at an affordable price point.

        “We want you to be able to ‘guilt-free’ purchase an entire outfit when visiting our boutiques, an outfit that will last you multiple seasons,” adds Harris.

        Harris says that when you mention this article while shopping at any of the boutiques, you’ll get 15% off your first purchase through the end of the year. There’s also a VIP Text Club, which you can join by texting “ecbhydepark” to 51660 for deals throughout the year.

        To learn more about Everyday Chic Boutique, visit You can also check them out on Instagram and Facebook to learn more, see new arrivals, and check out specials and promotions.

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        We're chatting with a Dayton-based gift store that sells cheeky items aimed to empower women.

        Heart Mercantile is located in the heart of Dayton’s Oregon District.

        Cincy Chic: What is Heart Mercantile?
        Amanda Hensler, Co-Owner and Manager of Heart Mercantile: Heart Mercantile is a fun and unique gift shop located in the historic Oregon District in downtown Dayton, Ohio. We feature many offbeat gifts that you can’t find anywhere else. We are known for our Dayton t-shirts, an array of products with adult humor and female empowerment items.

        Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
        Hensler: Brittany Smith and Carly Barrett opened Heart Mercantile in 2015. Brittany’s son has a heart condition that he has had since birth and that is where the name and logo stem from. At the time, they had a booth at Antiques Village and had collected enough unique vintage items that they decided to open a shop. Avid lovers of Dayton and wanting to bring life back to the downtown area, a space on 5th Street of the Oregon District was the perfect location to open their shop. With their vintage collection, they began adding cards, everyday items that had funny messages on them, soaps, bath bombs, books and more. At one point they had even sold plants. That sparked the idea for a local plant shop, Luna Gifts & Botanicals, in 2016 in the same neighborhood. Heart has evolved from a hodgepodge gift shop to a female powered local business that finds the humor in living. We try to find products that people don’t normally see in bigger retail stores. We love hearing people laugh as they slowly make their way through the shop, reading every last line on our funny desk signs, mugs, soaps, cards and even t-shirts.

        Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
        Hensler: In 2017, Heart Mercantile added two more owners to the pot; Kait Gilcher and Amanda Hensler, who also manage the shop. With four women running the show, Heart Mercantile has been able to blossom into the snarky, bad sister we know her as today. If you follow us on social media and see our daily chalkboard signs, you’ll see what we mean. 😉

        Cincy Chic: Where is Heart Mercantile located?
        Hensler: Heart Mercantile is located in the historic Oregon District in downtown Dayton, Ohio, at 438 East 5th Street. Along with its two sister stores, Luna Gifts & Botanicals at 261 Wayne Ave. and Hedges & Wolf at 504 East 5th Street (women’s clothing boutique) and many other small local retail shops and restaurants on 5th Street, the Oregon District is a great holiday shopping day trip.

        Cincy Chic: What types of products do you carry in store?
        Hensler: We carry an array of gifts for everyone in your life that has a sense of humor. We have barware, locally printed and designed t-shirts, mugs, a variety of books, Dayton, Ohio items, some local brands like Whiskey River and Right Candle Company (formerly 419 Candles) and more.

        Cincy Chic: What are some of your most popular items? 
        Hensler: Our Dayton t-shirts, such as our ‘Dayton Till I Die’ tee, funny mugs, socks and soaps are probably our more popular items. We have lots of Female Empowerment items as well. Last year, at Christmas we sold felt vagina ornaments we found from an ESTY vendor that caused quite the controversy. We ended up selling out of them 3 times.

        Cincy Chic: What are some of the items you recommend as gifts for the holidays?
        Hensler: We have tons of stocking stuffers for all kinds of people. We carry lots of funny sock brands if you want to spice up your boring Christmas sock game. Our celebrity prayer candles and wooden laser cut ornaments and key chains are always hot sellers, as well as our funny coffee mugs and Dayton t-shirts.

        Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the store?
        Hensler: We hope to get our website updated and running soon so we can expand to an online store with select items. As of now, if customers see something we post on social media that they like, they can email us at for any holds or shipping requests.

        Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
        Hensler: Readers can follow us on Instagram and on Facebook.


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          The end of summer is near, which means it’s time to throw on your favorite fall boots (yay!) and gear up for all the fall and winter holidays! Learn more about an upcoming vintage shopping event, full of curated entertainment, local makers, and fun for the whole family — all for a great cause. 

          Imagine a place packed with one-of-kind pieces for your home with a fun vintage flair, the live entertainment has you tapping your toes as your kids get their face painted, and you smell the yumminess coming from all the food trucks. Those are just a few things you’ll experience at the upcoming Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton “Home for the Holidays” event – and it’s all for a good cause.

          It’s all taking place November 2-4 at the Greene County Fairground in Xenia, Ohio, and will feature two barns full of vendors showcasing vintage finds, antiques, art, handmade items, seasonal plants, consumable goodies, furniture, children’s items, home decor, boutique clothing, and jewelry.

          “Think HGTV show ‘Fixer Upper’ where older homes with ‘good bones’ are transformed into bright and airy homes and accented with refinished or retro furnishings,” explains Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton Promoter Tonya Ross. “Think Makers’ Market meets Estate Sales meets Etsy meets your local boutique. You will find something for your family, home, and closet at our event. Something for everyone.”

          Ross believes that one’s home should tell the story of who they are, and that it should be a collection of what they love, and she believes event attendees will be able to find items that do just that at Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton.

          Ross recalls a story of a customer who attended an event and found a family heirloom. “A customer found a painting of a pink rose at one of our events, after purchasing it for her daughter’s bedroom she discovered it as painted by her husband’s great-grandmother,” she says. “A piece lost by the family, but rediscovered at our Vintage Market Days event.”

          There have also been customers who have purchase their first homes and found furniture and decor they needed – from a dining room set to entryway benches.

          “We’ve had bridal parties attend looking for wedding decor, professional photographers come to find photo props, and many more stories,” she adds.

          Each of the events has a theme and that theme is carried out with vendor tags, entrance decor, staging decoration, and on the photo opportunity walls, which Ross says is a customer favorite.

          “Our theme for November is ‘Home for the Holidays,’ and you will find our decor a mix of farmhouse, Victorian, and traditional,” she says. “So you can start your holiday shopping with us.”

          In addition to shopping, there will also be workshops at the November event. There will be DIY paint demonstrations at 11 am and 1 pm Friday through Sunday and a fresh wreath class on Friday and Saturday at noon.

          Food trucks will be at this event for shoppers to enjoy as they wander through each vendor booth.

          As far as entertainment goes, there’s a lot lined up for the event, Ross says, as coffee house-style musicians will perform all day Friday through Sunday. “There will be a stage with a seating area for shoppers to grab a snack or meal and enjoy,” she explains, adding that face painting will be available for free for children on Saturday from 10 am 1 pm.

          Ross does have a few tips for those who plan to shop at the event. “Wear comfy shoes, bring a wagon or totes to carry your items, and take time to meet the makers at each booth,” she says. “They all have a story behind their business, where they found a piece or their inspiration for their handmade items.”

          Vendors for the event represent not only the local region but also 14 states from throughout the country as well, so you’re bound to find something for you or someone you love at this curated event.

          Event proceeds from the event will go to Circle of Victory, which helps cancer patients and their families on the cancer journey with financial assistance.

          A three-day ticket is $10 and general admission on Saturday and Sunday is $5. All tickets allow for re-entry all weekend with a wristband and all vendors will be indoors, with food trucks located outside.

          You can learn more about Vintage Market Days of Metro Dayton here or follow along on Facebook and Instagram. To check out additional information on the event, click here and purchase your tickets here.

          Watch below for a sneak peek of the upcoming event:

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          Get all the delicious details about a new artisanal cheese company that pairs locally-sourced cheeses, fine wines, and lots of fun in an urban oasis.

          Urban Stead Cheese is the city’s first urban artisanal cheese company.

          Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Urban Stead Cheese!
          Andrea Robbins, Owner of Urban Stead Cheese: Urban Stead Cheese is Cincinnati’s first urban artisanal cheese company; we opened our doors on February 23, 2018. We make a variety of cheeses using local jersey milk that we pick up each week from Bohls Jerseys, located in Mowrystown, Ohio. We also age all of our cheese on-site, and have viewing windows into both the production room as well as the aging rooms. We have a Tasting Room where we serve a variety of cheese-related menu items as well as a full selection of beer, wine and cocktails. Urban Stead Cheese also retails all of its cheese and other locally-sourced products, in addition to beer and wine, from the Tasting Room.

          Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
          Robbins: Scott and I have a passion for travel, for food (especially locally-sourced food), entertaining and of course for cheese. We visited a handful of cheesemakers in our travels, and really fell in love with the idea that we could bring the typical farmstead cheesemaking to the city. It’s also important to note that both of our grandparents were dairy farmers; we’re really thrilled to have the opportunity to honor our family heritage.

          Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
          Robbins: Scott and Andrea Robbins are the husband and wife team behind Urban Stead Cheese. Scott is the Cheesemaker, while Andrea runs the operations of the business; both of them can frequently be found in the Tasting Room working behind the bar and chatting about all things cheese! Scott has been in the food and wine business for nearly 30 years; he is a Certified Sommelier and has spent the last four years studying cheesemaking and leading the conversion of the building into the cheesemaking facility. Andrea has an Accounting Degree and an MBA from the University of Dayton and worked in the accounting industry for nearly 15 years prior to joining Urban Stead Cheese full time in December 2017. She now oversees the operations of the business as well as community outreach. Where are you located? Urban Stead Cheese is located at 3036 Woodburn Avenue, which is in the East Walnut Hills/Evanston neighborhood. The owners revitalized the former East Walnut Hills Medical Clinic, which sat vacant for nearly 10 years prior to their purchase of the building in 2016.

          Cincy Chic: What products do you offer in store?
          Robbins: We offer a full selection of our cheeses in the Tasting Room; we make beautiful cheese boards that feature a selection of our house-made cheeses. We currently have a bandaged cheddar (Street Ched), an aged gouda, our Alpine-style Tomme, fresh cheddar curds, quark (a German farm-style soft cheese) and our Misty River Camembert. We also have several soft spreadable cheeses that we make using our quark; these include our Ohio Valley Pimento, Beer Cheese and a Sun-Dried Tomato Basil spread. We also work with our baker, Natalie Butcher of Hungry Noodle, to serve a traditional Quark Kasekuchen as well a Quark Cake that is topped with local fruit and honey. We’re really excited to be working with several great local producers that make their products in either the Findlay Market Incubator Kitchen or the Newport Incubator Kitchen. We serve Tuba Baking Co.’s soft pretzels alongside our beer cheese; these pretzels are really amazing and showcase a traditional German Swabian-style pretzel. Queen City Shrub fruit mixers are the foundation of our cocktail program; we also sell shrubs for retail from our shop. We source our bread from Allez Bakery on Main Street; Tom McKenna – the owner and baker at Allez – has been a fantastic partner for us.

          Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
          Robbins: Our newest item is our beautiful selection of catering cheese boards; customers can call the shop and we can help you customize a cheese board for your party. We also offer a variety of gift baskets, in addition to gift cards. Keep your eyes open for a fun holiday gift baskets that feature some a variety of local cheeses. We’ll also be debuting a reserve wine list this week; Scott’s picked some really fun wines that can be enjoyed in the Tasting Room, but can also purchased for retail. We’re always working to evolve; our goal is to get better every day. We’re thrilled with the cheese that we’re making; we’ve found a wonderful partner in our milk supplier and its enabling us to make really good cheese. As we’ve just passed our six month mark, we’re going to start seeing these cheeses come into their own as they get a little age on them; we’re super excited to see these cheeses develop their own unique personalities. We also continue to expand our partnerships with local restaurants; currently, our cheese is served at Bauer Farm Kitchen, Metropole, Nine Giant Brewing and can often be found at Madison’s at Findlay Market; we’re in discussion with quite a few other restaurants to offer our products in their establishments. We’re also working on several publicity pieces that should be in print by the end of the year.

          Cincy Chic: What makes Urban Stead Cheese unique?
          Robbins: We have “Cheddar for the Better” painted in huge letters behind our bar in the Tasting Room. Cheddar for the Better is of course about making world-class cheddar, as well as other cheeses; however, it’s about so much more than making good cheese. It’s our litmus test for the decisions we make in this business. We feel very strongly about making an investment and a positive impact in the City of Cincinnati and in the Evanston and East Walnut Hills neighborhoods. From the get-go, we knew we wanted to use a vacant building and we wanted to be in the city limits; we want to be a part of the neighborhood momentum that is going on across the city, and we want to bring better cheese to the people of Cincinnati while doing so. We make every effort possible to minimize our footprint during the process. One of the by-products of cheesemaking is whey; most of us know whey as a powder product that we put in our smoothies, but we produce about 500-600 gallons of liquid whey each week when we make cheese. We work with the Shinkle family, who owns TS Farms, to give them our whey; it’s a positive both for us and for them. Tiffany Shinkle comes into farmers markets several days a week; she brings totes and picks up our whey and takes it back to her farm to supplement the feed for her pigs, cows, sheep and goats. This partnership is something you often see in the farmstead cheesemaking world, and it was important to us to continue the completion of this circle in our urban cheesemaking venture. We’re always looking for opportunities to create meaningful partnerships and relationships.

          Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
          Robbins: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and for new product offerings. You can also find more details on our website at, where we have links to all of the great publicity we’ve received. Edible Ohio Valley recently wrote a beautiful piece that really tells the full story of Urban Stead Cheese; the Fall 2018 edition is available on newsstands and in local shops starting this week.