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See how a locally-based fashion icon is making Mother’s Day a little brighter, stylish and affordable.

While Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs is now internationally known, featured in your favorite movies and magazines, and touted by the biggest stars, Salyers always remembers her roots. As a mom, wife, and Northern Kentucky girl at heart.

“Fabulous-Furs started out as a one-woman faux fur operation, in the home basement, with Donna literally doing everything herself,” says Brian French, CMO of Fabulous Furs. “It has grown to a world-class, trend-setting business for over 30 years, that boasts 4,000 wholesale accounts in 46 countries.”

Her Covington-based Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs designs feature cruelty-free, luxurious faux fur alternative selling coats, vests, throws, and much more. French says they aim to offer the most luxurious faux fur outerwear, apparel, accessories, gifts, and decor on the market, and have sold their products across the country and the world. 

“Beautiful enough to compete with nature, our products are designed utilizing only the highest quality fibers, designers, and finishing processes,” he explains. “We proudly offer a collection that is certified vegan and 100 percent animal-friendly and cruelty-free.”  

French says Salyers, the woman behind the brand, has passion, vision, and values that continue to shape Fabulous-Furs today. Because Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and as a special recognition for those moms carrying an even heavier load these days, Fabulous-Furs is offering Cincy Chic readers free shipping and $50 off orders over $200 when you use code FABMOM20. 

In addition to their luxury faux fur, Fabulous-Furs is also selling Fashionable Fabric Masks as a Mother’s Day gift option, which you can purchase here.

Due to COVID-19, the Fabulous-Furs showroom is not currently open to the public. However, they are accepting orders via their website at fabulousfurs.com or via phone at 1-800-848-4650.  “We expect our showroom in Covington will be re-opened in late-May,” adds French.

To learn more about Fabulous-Furs, visit https://fabulousfurs.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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082211SPOTLIGHT.jpgCincy Chic: Why did you originally decide to become a clothing designer?
Kristen Bolt, designer at Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs:
I always loved art and fashion, and my mother always told me that I should design clothes, but for some reason I just couldn’t decide if that’s what I wanted to go into. After two years undecided at the University of Cincinnati, I had asked for a sewing machine for Christmas and taught myself the basics. I began customizing clothes for myself, and it didn’t take long to realize I had a true passion for it and that was the path I wanted to take. Shortly after, I applied at UC’s DAAP program and was able to transfer into the program. That was the best decision I ever made. What can I say? Mother knows best!

 

Cincy Chic: What are specific considerations you keep in mind while designing pieces made with fur? Why do you like this material?
Bolt:
Faux fur is definitely a challenge to work with. It has to be handled completely differently than regular fabrics. Sometimes it is forgiving, but sometimes just the opposite! That’s one reason I like working with this material though: I love the challenge! I learned a lot from Donna Salyers when I first worked here as her assistant. She taught me the ins and outs of how to work with faux fur. The weight, length, density and backing on the fur all present limitations, so it was an interesting process to which to adapt. You must keep all those things in mind when designing as well. You can’t use a really stiff, dense fur for certain products, but at the same time, some products need the stiffness to maintain a certain shape. You have to be mindful when making the pattern that seams won’t get too bulky to sew or that the fur is so thick and long it will be an unflattering silhouette. As we develop new furs, I have to adapt to each one individually, so it’s an ongoing learning process!

 

082211SPOTLIGHT2.jpgCincy Chic: How is it to work with Donna Salyers’ Fabulous Furs?
Bolt:
Working here at Fabulous-Furs has been the best experience I could ask for! Even though it’s a nationally-known, hugely successful business, the people behind it are a close knit group that feel like family. We all work together as a team on a daily basis and are involved in every aspect of the business. This opportunity has allowed me not only to use my design background to flourish and grow but has taught me so much about how a business in this industry operates. Not to mention that I get to be a fashion designer in my hometown, which is almost unheard of! I get to do what I love near the people I love, and for that I am truly blessed!

 

Cincy Chic: What is your favorite piece you’ve ever designed, and why?
Bolt:
Aside from my wedding dress, it’s really hard to narrow down just one particular thing. I love the new Plum Mongolian Fashionista Jacket in this year’s collection. The fashionista vest is great, too. You can see both on our website. Both of those products are pieces where I was able to play with color and use wild, fun furs! I also love designing the bridal and evening furs. They are so glamourous!

 

Cincy Chic: What are your plans for designing and furthering your career in the future?
Bolt:
I hope to continue to learn and grow and be inspired!

 

Cincy Chic: What advice would you give to an aspiring clothing designer?
Bolt:
Learn as much as possible about every aspect of design. Take any experience you can get a hold of, and let it help you grow. Find things that inspire you, and never turn back!

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Cincy Chic: Have you always lived in Cincinnati?
Salyers:
I grew up in Northern Kentucky and moved to Cincinnati when I married my husband, Jim, a Cincinnatian. We moved to the south side of the river about 15 years ago. I had just started Fabulous-Furs and it was quickly growing. We had a big five-bedroom home and I was also the yard person. Our daughter had just started college, our son was a high school senior and it seemed a good time to move from such a large home. We put it on the market and within a couple days, it sold, along with all our furniture. We were homeless and needed something quickly, so we created a loft apartment over The Madison – a banquet facility Jim had just begun. So, we're here by default but thrilled with how it all worked out.

Cincy Chic: What's your favorite spot in the Cincinnati area?
Salyers:
My husband and I love to roller blade and it's especially beautiful on the bike trail near Terrace Park, early on Sunday mornings.

Cincy Chic: How did you get your start in the bridal/fur scene?
Salyers:
Jim's banquet business grew quickly and much of it is wedding-related. The Madison brings about 2,000 visitors to Covington each week and he decided to create a Wedding District to better serve the bridal market. Fabulous-Bridal opened in November, 2005 and immediately become a destination for brides from Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, Indiana and Ohio. It's a very special occasion when a bride-to-be shops for a dress and we do everything possible to make it a fairy-tale experience.

Cincy Chic: Where were you 10 years ago and where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Salyers:
Ten years ago I was working really hard, building Fabulous-Furs. In 2017, I'll be working really hard, building Fabulous-Furs.


Cincy Chic: If you had to pick one thing that made you a success, what would you say it is?
Salyers:
Perhaps being totally clueless. About three or four years after I started Fabulous-Furs, someone asked about my business plan. I was naïve or clueless enough to ask "what's a business plan?" So, I've certainly worked from my gut and have always felt that no matter what, I'd find a way around, over or through. Maybe it's good not to know how difficult a task can be. But no complaints – I've enjoyed it all.

Cincy Chic: What do you love most about your job?
Salyers:
I love that it's always new and exciting. It's always changing and evolving and challenging. It's never boring or routine. I'm one of those crazy people who really enjoys working.

Cincy Chic: What's been your biggest bump in the road and how did you overcome it?
Salyers:
Many big bumps have appeared, but 9/11 triggered perhaps the toughest time. We were on a track to double that year and had a million catalogs in the mail, reaching people September 11-14. We staffed up and inventory was at an all-time high in order to handle our largest mailing ever. Of course, the business didn't come because most of us thought the world was ending. Shopping was the furthest thing from people's minds and the economy went spiraling out of control. It was dreadful. We had half-price sales just bring in cash to pay the few people not laid off yet. We'd take orders during the day then head for the warehouse in the evening to fill the orders. I feel very lucky and blessed to have a company that lived through such a dark time.

Cincy Chic: Personally, what's been your greatest success?
Salyers:
I love the dynamics of business and how building a business can help a community, provide jobs, add to economic development, contribute to personal development and hopefully make the world a bit better.

Cincy Chic: Any advice to impart to women out there wanting to start their own business/boutique here in Cincinnati?
Salyers:
It has to be something you love, because you'll need a real passion to sustain you over the hard times. Learn everything about everything and be prepared to be hands-on, then work really hard and pray.

Cincy Chic: Do you come across many "Bridezillas" in your line of work?
Salyers:
No – most brides are thrilled and relieved when a detail as important as a dress is resolved. Here's a really cute story: Mother of God Church is a block from Fabulous-Bridal and one of our brides needed a place to change. It happened to snow that day, so several of the girls kept the store open so she and wedding party had a place to comfortably get dressed. They ended up walking her to the church, one along side sheltering her with an umbrella and another behind, keeping her dress out of the snow and ice, all laughing hysterically.

Cincy Chic: What's the biggest trend in weddings these days?
Salyers:
Uniqueness – it can be color, or some special detail that makes the dress really yours. It might be a monogram, a four-leaf clover or any little detail that means something to the bride, the couple or their families.

 

 

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Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Bridal helped to change the face of Covington in 2005. Learn about the store’s recent relocation and exciting new chapter ahead.

Thinking back 15 years ago and you may remember that Covington, Kentucky, wasn’t quite the thriving business scene it is today. But when opening her business Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Bridal, Donna Salyers took a leap of faith in November 2005, although she wasn’t sure the whole idea was starting off on the right food. 

“In fact, a week before our scheduled opening, a car drove into the Sixth Street side of the building and we prayed it wasn’t an omen for what lay ahead,” she says. 

Luckily for her, that incident wasn’t a sign of things to come. It was the complete opposite. Fabulous-Bridal soon became a place for brides from all over the country – not just the Tri-State. 

“Fast-forward 14 years when, a few months ago, a Cincinnati bank looking to expand into Covington’s rapidly growing economic scene approached us to buy the building housing Fabulous-Bridal on Madison at Sixth,” explains Salyers. “That ask prompted us to consider the possibilities and we began exploring options.” 

Once figuring out what would work best for her business, Salyers has now decided to move Fabulous-Bridals into the Fabulous-Furs headquarters – and offer her customers even more than she already does. 

“The move has many implications benefiting our customers,” she says. “There will be plentiful and free parking and large dressing rooms to name a few. Today, the time feels right to combine the two businesses into one glorious space, tapping into the history of our 110,000-square-feet space and creating a magical, transportive setting.”

With Fabulous-Bridal and Fabulous-Furs now housed in the same space, Salyers and her team can offer customers an exciting environment that offers luxury, warmth, and beauty. “While distinctly different, both businesses share beautiful products along with special and unique occasions,” she says. “Seeing beautiful things linked with emotional moments in a fabulous setting is very appealing, and we’ll have great fun executing!”

Salyers describes now offering her clients a storefront where they can walk into a space that is full of beautiful designs that you can touch as they take your breath away without making the journey to New York or Chicago. “In fact, do it on your lunch hour,” she says. “Creating an approachable, beautiful, and convenient retail destination is very exciting to our team.”

Salyers says she’s got a lot more up her sleeve than this new move, but for now she’s focused on opening up the new space.

You can learn more about Fabulous-Bridal at https://fabulousbridal.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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    For our annual Women of the Year issue, we feature six fascinating local women paving new paths for business, community and generations of women to come. Read on as we learn more about Donna Salyers and her 30 years of entrepreneurship and is about to start an exciting new chapter.

    At the recent 30 & Three Celebration honoring the 30th anniversary of Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs and the third anniversary of Hotel Covington, Covington Mayor Joseph Meyer delivered a proclamation in honor of both Donna Salyers and her husband Jim, and announced “Fabulous West 11th Street” in recognition of the local pride and international success of Fabulous Furs.

     

    Entrepreneurship is nothing new for the Salyers. The dynamic husband-and-wife team of Jim and Donna Salyers are the brains behind several Northern Kentucky based, and nationally known, businesses. 

    The story of their entrepreneurial journeys goes back to the mid-80s when Jim purchased the Woolworth Building as an investment. Following some years, Woolworth announced they were leaving and that’s when Jim decided it was the perfect opportunity to step out on his own and start a business – The Madison Event Center. 

    At the same time Jim was starting his business, his fashionista wife Donna was launching her business Fabulous-Furs in the basement of their Cincinnati home. However, business grew much quicker than expected for Donna and she needed more space.

    Donna Salyers

    The couple wanted to do their part in growing their Northern Kentucky neighborhood, so they began buying boarded-up buildings that not only solved their space issue, which also improved the neighborhood. 

    “In the beginning we lived in a loft apartment above The Madison and experience firsthand the urban blight and neglect,” explains Donna. “Jim set out to change the neighborhood and, amazingly, it worked. It was painfully slow – nearly two decades – but make no mistake; it’s been a joint effort with my husband, our daughter, our son, and their spouses, as well as fellow entrepreneurs who risked investing in a troubled area.”

    Not only is the couple the founders of The Madison Event Center and Fabulous-Furs, but Donna also launched Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Bridal, as well as a couple of restaurants, a wedding mall, and more. 

    “Our son-in-law Guy van Rooyen spearheaded Hotel Covington that opened in late 2016,” she explains. “The Hotel has been a fabulous game-changed, bringing restaurants, shops, and specialty bars – places creating vibrancy and bringing people and credibility to Covington’s business core.”

    Salyers also credits her son, Scott, on his renovations to many of the community’s building to help make it “cool” again. 

    As the family has worked to change the face of Northern Kentucky, Salyers says that they live by the Golden Rule: Treat others as you want to be treated.

    That passion for treating others the way they’d want to be treated translates into a desire to create a community they themselves would want to live in. While at times that sounds like a walk in the park, it isn’t always the case. 

    “We’ve always believed in the power of small businesses leading the way,” she says. “Local government can only do so much. Covington, for example, teetered on bankruptcy with limited revenue-generating entities and neighborhoods. Big business is essential as well, but individuals and small businesses can be far more nimble and resilient in changing economic conditions and world events.”

    When it comes to running Fabulous-Furs, Salyers says that she finds inspiration in the people she works with every day, who inspire her to do everything possible to offer great products and lead fashion trends, which allows her to provide jobs that feed families, pay taxes, and expand the family’s reputation as the world’s leader in luxury faux fur.

    At the recent 30 & Three Celebration honoring the 30th anniversary of Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs and the third anniversary of Hotel Covington

    This same business she hopes to build a reputation with is what started more than 30 years ago as a sewing kit company. 

    “Fake fur was far different,” she explains. “Technology today produces faux fur so realistic, a furrier may be fooled. But I started with the best quality available, and it became my challenge to create a luxury market for something with a terrible reputation. I was naive enough to think Ic ould turn faux fur into a luxurious product even more desirable than the finest animal fur. We were embraced by the entertainment industry early on and, though it’s been a gradual process, today we’re sold by high-end boutiques, department stores, and casinos in 46 countries.

    Products from Fabulous-Furs have appeared in movies, on Broadway and TV, national publications and were even named as one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things.” 

    “Each year we get better still and customers tell us they really are trading up to something humane but just as luxurious as animal fur,” adds Salyers. 

    With a new decade approaching, Fabulous-Furs isn’t the only brand run by the Salyers that will continue to expand. Salyers says that Hotel Covington recently announced an expansion that will include moving into the historic former YMCA building to make way for a bourbon distillery experience, 10,000 feet of office space and an expansion of Hotel Covington.

    “It will be more than returning vibrancy to another long-vacant block,” she says. “A bourbon experience, VIP suits, and all sorts of unique features will make it one-of-a-kind. Jim and I are merely cheerleaders; our son-in-law is leading the way.”

    You can learn more about Fabulous-Furs, The Madison Event Center, Hotel Covington, and Fabulous-Bridal by visiting their websites.  

     

    Learn about the other 2019 Cincy Chic Women of the Year: 

    Rachel Felous, Simply Zero
    Learn about the woman behind a new zero-waste lifestyle shop in OTR who’s making the earth’s future a little brighter on fun find at a time.

    Ray Ball, Neighborhood Rose
    See how a woman from Bond Hill recently achieved her dream of designing a shoe for Nike, and how her neighborhood inspired it all.

    Emily Hoskins, Green Bee
    She’s a former makeup artist turned natural beauty product guru and advocate for the world’s pollinators. Keep reading for all the buzz.

    Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency
    This local tech guru helps businesses thrive through her marketing agency, and inspires personal development through her conferences and a new e-book launching soon.

    Mary Delaney of Education Matters
    She leads a local organization that removes barriers to learning for adults seeking to re-engage in education. Read on to learn her secrets to success.

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      For Donna Salyers, founder of Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs, fur and fashion are in her blood. “Even at the age of seven, I was compelled to sew clothes that my mother actually let me wear in public.” Growing up, she learned the technical side of sewing from a grandmother who worked in alterations in Cincinnati’s finest stores.

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      Salyers ended up in New York with a national TV show all about sewing and fashion. It’s there that she noticed something missing from her wardrobe. You guessed it: fur. Not having the funds to purchase a genuine fur, Salyers made her own faux fox coat. “People stopped me on the street to comment about my ‘beautiful fur,'” she recalls. “It was music to my ears, opening my eyes to the fact that faux fur could be truly beautify.”

       

      Later, as Salyers was on her way to buy her first real fur, she was listening to a radio show that happened to be about the down sides of the fur industry. Instead of going through with her purchase, Salyers was instead inspired to make faux fabulous. “Selling a faux fur coat sewing kit seemed a logical next step,” she says.

       

      The rest, as they say, is history. “It’s truly an ‘only-in-America’ success story,” she says. Her business is now 25 years in the making, is receiving international acclaim and has been featured in publications ranging from Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition to Oprah Magazine. In fact, a Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs coat just appeared in Oprah’s List of Favorite Things this month.

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      The business has also been featured on ShopHQ for the past three years. “ShopHQ reaches 87 million homes via cable and satellite and opens doors to an enormous new customer base for Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs,” Salyers explains. “I’m thrilled to be our spokesperson and actually just returned from Minneapolis where our products were featured on the air for 23 hours in a 27-hour period. My husband says that might be considered over-exposure but I disagree. Partnering with the third largest shopping channel in the country has been a wonderful thing for the past three years and our relationship with ShopHQ will be even more fabulous in 2015.”


      Although she’s been at it for decades, Salyers’ business is growing at an unprecedented rate this year. “So many new things I can’t count,” she laughs. “We must have 200 new designs well underway for Fall/Winter 2015. It’s a very exciting time because our merchandise team has never been stronger and our products are reaching an awesome new level. After every collection, angst over how we’ll ever top ourselves sets in. I’m awed and truly inspired by what our team has in store for the coming year!”

       

      Salyers says her team strives to stay on-trend each year, and this year is no exception. “Mixing textures like our Tibetan Lamb mixed with textured rabbit is a great example of mixed media,” she says. “Moto jackets aren’t new but are stronger than ever. And our fur-trimmed tam and scarf are another example of mixing fur, texture and metallics.”

       

      To learn more, visit www.fabulousfurs.com or “like” them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new arrivals, announcements, and sales.

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       091514POTLIGHT
      Donna Salyers, Owner of Fabulous-Furs


      Cincy Chic: What is the Women’s Small Business Summit?
      Donna Salyers, Owner of Fabulous-Furs: The Women’s Business Center of Kentucky, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration, recognizes the importance of small businesses to a growing and vibrant national economy. Small businesses grow to become big businesses and are truly the backbone of our economy. It behooves all of us to support up-and-coming entrepreneurs!

       

      Cincy Chic: When and where will the Women’s Small Business Summit be held?
      Salyers: The all-day event takes place at Receptions in Erlanger on Friday, Sept. 26. The address is 1379 Donaldson Highway, Erlanger, Kentucky, 41018.

       

      Cincy Chic: What’s the cost to attend?
      Salyers: The $25 fee covers both breakfast and lunch plus workshops, career counseling, networking and guest speakers! It’s a bargain!

       

      Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the event?
      Salyers: Thinking back 26 years ago when I started Fabulous-Furs, I can’t imagine a person less-qualified than I! I was a self-taught writer with a syndicated newspaper column. With no college, I had never heard of a business plan, knew nothing about human resources – really about anything! But I did know a great deal about creating and making what I considered beautiful things. It was that passion that launched a business that today leads the world in our category. I’m not the first clueless entrepreneur and it’s obvious if we can get guidance and help along the way, the odds for our success are greatly enhanced.

       

      Cincy Chic: What’s your role in this year’s Women’s Small Business Summit?
      Salyers: I’m the opening speaker: The warm-up act for the high-achievers who will deliver the really important meaty topics.

       

      Cincy Chic: What can attendees expect at the summit?
      Salyers: Crystal Kendrick, President & Owner of the Voice of Your Customer will speak. Debbie Simpson who’s President of Multi-Craft and who led our NKY chamber this past year is speaking and she has an awesome story about her journey from receptionist to president. Rebecca Volpe who leads the NKY Small business Development Center is speaking and she’s just an incredible speaker and motivator. Plus there are workshops on marketing trends, IT management tips, operations and on and on. I believe Heritage Bank is a sponsor and they’ll be there – because, like every bank, they’re looking for successful new customers.

       

      Cincy Chic: How much does it cost to attend and where can readers register?
      Salyers: You can register here. It’s $25 for the day and includes a continental breakfast and lunch.


      Cincy Chic: What do you hope people will take away from attending?
      Salyers:
      I attended a similar event in the early 90’s when Fabulous-Furs was just a toddler. It was profound! I found a new banker, a business form supply and added to my network of contacts – some of whom remain great friends and sounding boards over two decades later! Success breeds success and the inspiration we draw from one another can be the most important take-away.


      Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
      Salyers: Readers can visit www.wbcky.org!

       

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        “We’re in the midst of a faux fur revolution” says Donna Salyers, founder of Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs. As queen of the faux fur fashion industry, Salyers is ready to meet that revolution head on and en vogue.

         

        Salyers didn’t just wake up one day at the top of the industry, but fashion has always been a part of her life. “Fashion is in my DNA,” Salyers says. “Even at the age of seven, I was compelled to sew clothes that my mother actually let me wear in public.” Growing up, she learned the technical side of sewing from a grandmother who worked in alterations in Cincinnati’s finest stores. “She taught me a great deal, and at the age of about 29, I wrote a letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer editor advising even I could write a sewing column superior to what they published each week.”

         

        0310 TSH_INSTORY

        With this career foothold, Salyers ended up in New York with a national TV show all about sewing and fashion. It’s there that she noticed something missing from her wardrobe. You guessed it, fur. Not having the money to purchase a genuine fur, Salyers made her own faux fox coat. “People stopped me on the street to comment about my ‘beautiful fur,'” she recalls.

         

        “It was music to my ears, opening my eyes to the fact that faux fur could be truly beautiful,” says Salyers. Later, as Salyers was on her way to buy her first real fur, it was a radio show about the obvious down side of the fur industry that got her attention and ultimately jump started her business. Instead of going through with her purchase, Salyers opted for a most fabulous faux alternative. “Selling a faux fur coat sewing kit seemed a logical next step,” she says.

         

        The rest, as they say, is history. “It’s truly an ‘only-in-America’ success story,” she says. Her business is now 23 years in the making and is being aligned with runway fashions and is receiving international acclaim and has been featured in everything from Oprah Magazine to Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

         

        Faux furs are more than just a fashion statement these days, they are a political statement. “Young people now understand the degree of suffering behind animal fur,” says Salyers, attributing much of the newfound faux fur popularity to the vast resources available to educate people on the undersides of the mainstream fur industry. “It’s a personal choice, but I’m always thrilled when people go faux.”

        082012FF 

        Right now, the Covington-based company is focused on reaching customers and their quick expansion. Recently, Fabulous-Furs launched a new multimedia outreach through video, reminding business owners that a great product is only “half the story,” Salyers adds, “it’s equally important to be in the forefront of technology.” Salyers hopes that this will help the company achieve its goal of doubling their revenue in the next five years.

         

        So, what are this Fall’s emerging faux fur trends? Salyers’ gives the inside scoop about what rules to follow when choosing a piece. “Faux fur is so easy to wear,” she says. “Begin with the fur that matches or blends with your hair color.”

         

        She also recommends that you take body type into account when selecting a fur piece. “If you’re petite like me, a shorter jacket is likely to be most flattering,” Salyers explains. Taller individuals have a little more flexibility choosing a piece. “Have fun with something like our Manhattan coat,” suggests Salyers, “the copper-to-black ombre tones are very European. If you have a full figure, a lighter fabric will be more flattering and will better accentuate your cures. Again, Salyers recommends the Manhattan coat, since the fabric is thinner and less likely to add bulk to your frame.

         

        As always, choose pieces that personalize your style. Your faux fur should always reflect your personality and blend with the other pieces of your wardrobe. “If you’re happy to stand out, check out our Melange jacket,” Salyers recommends. “We’ve blended long/short furs for a very graphic, dramatic look,” she says.

         

        Are you worried that your faux furs will just be one big fashion faux pas? Not to worry, Donna Salyers offers up a bit of advice for first time buyers. “Personally, I believe in the one-piece-at-a-time rule,” she says. The rule of thumb generally being that you choose only one fur piece to wear with your outfit. But Salyers also assures that multiples can be successfully styles as well, referring to the younger, bolder trends of multiples.

         

        Has faux fur struck your fancy? Strut your stuff at Fabulous-Fur’s next event. The fall preview will be held in the Covington showroom Wednesday August 29 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. This event is perfect for repeat customers or for ladies wishing to buy their first faux fur. “We’ll have drinks, an informal fashion show and of course a 20% shopping discount,” says Salyers. “Make that 25% if you bring a friend.”

         

        If you can’t make it to the preview event, check out other events held at Fabulous-Furs here. You’ll have another great opportunity to attend the Saturday Salon held October 6, where proceeds will benefit Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary for the seventh year in a row.

         

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          From the basement of her home to an internationally-known brand named after her, a local entrepreneur is changing the faux fur and bridal game. Her Covington showroom is changing now, too, to new demands, behaviors, and even some rockstars. Read on for all the details.

          The story of Donna Salyers, her faux fur and bridal stores goes back to when she first opened their doors in 2003 and 2005, respectively. 

          Donna Salyers


          “With the city teetering on bankruptcy, surrounding storefronts were either boarded up or dramatically under-utilized,” says Salyers. “Opening a ‘luxury bridal boutique’ was somewhere between idiocy and a leap of faith. But thanks to amazing local and regional support, Fabulous-Bridal developed a stellar reputation for beautiful gowns and outstanding customer service.” 


          Then, following up on her passion for ludicrous ideas, Salyers and her family decided to open Hotel Covington in 2016.


          “It was a great complement to The Madison Event Center, which my husband Jim opened in the early 90s under similar circumstances, and our son-in-law Guy van Rooyen persevered,” she says. 


          From there, the Salyers brand and their businesses were thriving and growing right alongside the Covington community by 2019. 


          Now, following years of growth among their brands, Cincinnati-based First Financial Bank tapped Salyers and her team to purchase their Fabulous-Bridal building.

          “With Fabulous-Furs a few blocks away on 11th Street, it made sense to combine two specialty luxury stores into one glorious space, and so the planning began,” she says. 


          There was a slight hiccup in the plans, however, when the manager from KISS called to schedule a shopping visit. The band was going to be delivered to the (now empty) showroom from Lunken. 


          Quickly the Showroom was re-merchandised and we anxiously awaited their arrival,” says Salyers. “KISS guitarist and songwriter Paul Stanley, wearing our Spotted Wolf jacket, led the group of nine! They shopped until nearly 4 pm, just hours before their evening concert. As they paid for their purchases, Paul turned and invited everyone to tonight’s performance, promising front row seats, parking next to their equipment trucks and backstage access.” 


          The team gave a final goodbye to their showroom before its remodel as they headed to Lexington for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

           

          KISS band members shopping at Fabulous-Furs before its showroom remodel

          Fast-forward to living in a global pandemic and Salyers’ newly remodeled showroom is located at 20 West Eleventh Street, showcasing sections from both Fabulous-Bridal and Fabulous Furs.


          Salyers is excited about the future of her Fabulous brands.
          “I began Fabulous-Furs three decades ago in the basement of our Cincinnati home with a single product: a faux fur coat sewing kit,” says Salyers. “Today, with customers in 46 countries, our products have evolved and are successfully sold in boutiques, hotels, and design stories throughout the United States and Canada.”


          High-end accounts with the Fabulous brands include Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. “We’re ShopHQ’s largest apparel brand and, in 2016, we added TVSN, Australia’s leading TV shopping network, where I continue to do seasonal appearances,” adds Salyers. 

           

          The newly remodeled showroom for both Fabulous-Furs and Fabulous-Bridal

          Fabulous has also been featured editorially in everything from O Magazine and UK Vogue to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and the WSJ. Fabulous-Furs have appeared in hundreds of Broadway productions and TV shows including Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Frozen, Empire, Today Show, Miss USA/Universe, The View, CSI Las Vegas, Sopranos and Gossip Girl. 


          “With that said, every day brings an exciting, unexpected new client account or amazing customer,” says Salyers. “And with our humble beginnings, no one is more surprised, grateful and thrilled than me!”


          Are you newly engaged? Ready to buy a bridal gown? Fabulous Bridal is offering Cincy Chic followers an exclusive deal through the end of the year: Buy a wedding gown and get a free Donna Salyers Fabulous-Furs Throw. Click here to book your appointment.


          You can learn more about Fabulous-Furs here,
          and Fabulous Bridal here. You can also follow along on social media:

          Fabulous-Furs Facebook

          Fabulous-Furs Instagram

          Fabulous-Bridal Facebook

          Fabulous-Bridal Instagram

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          With a 17-year history, a local organization is hosting their first major fundraising event. See how they’ve helped hundreds of local children and their families and how you can attend their New York-style fashion show fundraiser this week!

           
          Ohio Valley Voices is hosting its Fashion with a Passion event this Thursday, November 3.
          Ohio Valley Voices is hosting its Fashion with a Passion event this Thursday, November 3.
          Cincy Chic: What is Ohio Valley Voices?
          Jackie Estes, Director of Ohio Valley Voices: Ohio Valley Voices is a unique school for families of young children living with deafness. Through extensive and specialized early intervention, coupled with cochlear implants and hearing aids, Ohio Valley Voices teaches our young students to talk and hear. Our current census includes 50 students ranging in ages from 6 weeks to 8 years from several counties located in the Southwest Ohio region. 
           
          Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Ohio Valley Voices?
          Estes: Ohio Valley Voices (OVV) teaches deaf children to listen and talk. Our objective is for children with severe hearing loss to reach their fullest potential and to communicate independently forever. OVV envisions a world where deaf children and adults are not set apart due to an inability to communicate effectively with hearing people. We imagine a world where all people, regardless of their ability to hear, have the same opportunities to learn, to experience, and to choose according to individual will and potential. Our overall goal includes to graduate 100% of students using oral communication as their primary means of communication and to graduate 100% of students reading at their greatest potential and achieving academic success in the hearing world. To accomplish this, we strive to meet the basic objectives of beginning oral language development as soon as the children’s deafness is diagnosed and to provide the tools necessary for parents and other family members to become their child’s advocate and coach.
           
          Cincy Chic: Who’s behind OVV and how long have you been serving the deaf community in Cincinnati?
          Estes: Ohio Valley Voices was formed in 1999 by three families who wanted their young deaf children tos peak. There were no local organizations that taught children with hearing loss to listen and talk. The founders recruited Maria Sentelik, MS, and began to raise funds to start an oral deaf education program for the Tri-State region. A program based on the award-winning curriculum of the Moog Center for Deaf Education in St. Lous, Missouri, was instituted and OVV opened its doors for the first time to serve children with hearing loss and their families. The program expanded rapidly and has grown to be one of the leading oral deaf education programs in the country. In OVV’s 17 year history, we are proud to say that we have served over 500 deaf children living with hearing loss and their parents through our early intervention therapy services. OVV is even more proud to report 135 children have graduated from our programs and are thriving in their schools, side-by-side with their hearing-age peers. 
           
          Cincy Chic: Can you tell us more about the upcoming Fashion Show Dinner & Boutique event?
          Estes: The Fashion Show Dinner & Boutique is our first annual event. We’ll be doing a New York-style runway theme for the event on November 3. The boutique will open at 5:00 p.m. with 20 unique vendors participating from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. The dinner will be by the bite and the fashion show will begin at 8:00 p.m. with fashion from Macy’s and Donna Salyers Fabulous Furs. We will have wonderful silent auction items.
           
          Cincy Chic: What inspired this new fashion show?
          Estes: The inspiration behind the Fashion Show Dinner & Boutique is to raise awareness of the school and to help with extra funding for OVV as they work so hard to educate children and help deaf children learn to speak. There are 25 committee members who have worked on this event for almost a year, all of whom have bonded and are happy to have developed friendships while working together. Proceeds from the event will benefit OVV as well as the lives we impact throughout this school year.
           
          Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more or purchase their tickets?
          Estes: Readers can RSVP by clicking here
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