The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Cheyenne Krieger

Cheyenne Krieger

Management Intern - Cheyenne Krieger, a Texas native, studies English and Journalism at the University of Cincinnati. As the Management Intern, she contributes editorial content, oversees all interns, and assists with events for Cincy Chic. Aside from her beloved internship duties, Cheyenne stays involved on campus by serving on the board for two honor societies, tutoring in the Academic Writing Center, and participating in various clubs. She also enjoys writing for the Lala, marketing as an Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, and traveling. Contact her at

by -

Two local ladies launched a hair studio that specializes in blowouts and braids. Read on to learn more about them and their upcoming Daddy & Daughter Braiding Class!

BLOWN Blow Dry Studio isn’t your average hair studio. Opening in May of 2014, owners Sarah Brown and Jayne Heekin created a studio that focuses on blowouts and hairstyles rather than cuts and colors. “We were inspired by separate experiences we had in different cities where we each went with a group of girlfriends for blowouts and makeup. It was so easy and so much fun. We wanted it to be here so we started our own brand,” explains Brown, adding that as native Cincinnatians, the two could only imagine starting a business in their hometown.

Brown and Heekin have unique backgrounds that led them to their business adventure. “With a master’s in counseling, I began my career counseling suicidal and mentally ill children. From there my career moved to managing corporate training departments and, in the last 10 years, consulting businesses on building their teams and developing leaders,” explains Brown. After years of working with people and building teams, Brown’s professional development came in handy as she and Heekin created BLOWN, which focuses on helping people feel and look great. Heekin, who has a BS from Saint Louis University with an emphasis in IT, accumulated years of experience in PM work for Gensuite. “Ten years ago, I left GE to pursue a new business venture with two partners specializing in event management and strategic planning. Looking for a new challenge, I decided to team up with Sarah when I heard she wanted to open a blowout bar. And here we are,” exclaims Heekin. The two have a combined skill set that makes their business both functional and fun.

“Our staff is licensed by the state of Ohio and then extensively trained according to our BLOWN values and superb customer service,” says Brown. “It’s not just about looking beautiful, but feeling beautiful on the inside too. We don’t do gossip, cuts, hair color or highlights. We just arm our team with the best tools in the business for creating perfect blowouts, updos and makeup.”

Brown adds that BLOWN values a personalized experience with each other their guests. “Blowout bars, as they are called, are a huge trend in other cities. Jayne and I both visited them and dreamed of having one in our backyard. I always wanted to re-create what my stylist did after I got a cut or color. Now, I don’t have to wait 4 weeks to get in to see my stylist but can book the day of at BLOWN. It is convenient and BLOWN stylists give me a style that lasts 3-4 days,” she explains.

As for the tools and styling products used at BLOWN, Heekin says guests are rest assured that they’re receiving quality treatment. “We carefully selected product lines that were unique to Cincinnati, meaning they were not widely available here when we picked them up. It was important to us that we chose something different than what our guests were used to seeing at their salons. The products also had to provide our stylists with the very best in styling and they had to help improve the quality of our guests’ hair,” Heekin explains. Rather than choose the same name brand products that most salons use, Brown and Heekin chose Amika and Number 4 High Performance Hair Care. Both brands are unique and high quality. Number 4 is even paraben-free, vegan, and gluten-free.

Daddy & Daughters Braiding Classes are hosted by BLOWN to help dads and daughters connect through a learning experience
Daddy & Daughters Braiding Classes are hosted by BLOWN to help dads and daughters connect through a learning experience

Aside from blowouts, updos, and makeup, BLOWN also provides guests with a braiding bar. “BLOWNBraidBar was inspired by an increase in the braiding trend in recent years. We wanted to be the first salon in the city to offer a dedicated service where women could come and have a braid, ponytail or bun put in their hair quickly and beautifully. BLOWNBraidBar has developed a following that crosses different age groups. Braids aren’t just for little girls anymore. Women come in to have their hair braided before an exercise class and then we show them how to spice it up for a night out with friends. Braids are versatile, they are beautiful and they are affordable,” says Heekin. Braiding can be difficult to recreate on your own, though, which is why they also offer braiding classes.

Daddy & Daughters Braiding Classes are hosted by BLOWN to help dads and daughters connect through a learning experience. “First and foremost, they can expect quality time. What better way to connect! And in today’s fast paced world, it is imperative for dads and daughters to get time together. Secondly, they will learn the ins and outs of braiding and handling their daughter’s hair,” Brown says.

Little girls are always looking for ways to do their hair, but that can be tricky as they learn different techniques for the first time. Dads are often called in for assistance, but, like their little girls, may struggle with the braids, too. Dads and daughters can learn everything there is to know about braids – and dads can have a beer from local, regional and national craft beers provided by Stagnaro Distributing. Braiding 101 and Advanced Braiding are other braiding classes that are available as well.

The first Braids & Beers: Daddy Daughter Braiding Class will be held on September 27, 2015, from 11:00-12:30pm. To register, click here. To keep up with BLOWN and their exciting future – including a full makeup service launching in October, a Home BLOWN mobile makeup service, and a corporate headshot program – visit their website.

by -

Read about Spavia, a spa that promises to provide a high quality experience without the high prices, and its exciting new Tri-State location.

Spavia Cincinnati

Want to go to the spa and take care of that pain in your neck, but don’t want it to cost you an arm and a leg? That’s where Spavia, the brainchild of Allison and Marty Langenderfer, can help.

Spavia Day Spa’s mantra is to high quality spa services without the steep bill. Gearing towards affordability, the Langenderfers created a spa that is relaxing and practical for the average consumer. They opened their first spa in the Denver-Boulder area in 2005 and have continued expanding in other areas ever since. Local franchise owners Julie and Tom Gady expect Spavia – Rookwood to open in late September.

Elizabeth Schuler, who manages Spavia’s media relations through the Eisen Agency, highlights the fact that Spavia is unlike other spas. “Spavia provides a high luxury spa experience at an extremely affordable cost. They offer an assortment of services, like many other day spas, but focus on the long-term wellness of guests,” she says. Rather than aim for a quick turnaround in the spa, Spavia’s team focuses on aiding in overall wellness even when their clients leave the facility.

Spavia also offers a membership program that further helps people save money as they indulge in a quality spa experience. Aside from massages at a reduced rate—which range from deep tissue, hot stone and couples (Just to name a few!)—the membership program includes discounts on retail products, service upgrades and extra visits for guests. “Spavia makes the spa experience an affordable luxury, especially through membership programs. It is a place for guests to come regularly to relax, escape and thrive. It is not just a service, but an experience. When you come into a Spavia location you will be pampered from the moment you walk in the door, with amenities such as spa robes and sandals, heated neck wraps, personalized services and more,” Schuler explains.

Spavia contributes to various causes in the community. “Spavia strives to support local communities and plans to find nonprofit partners as soon as we are settled into this new location and open for business. We encourage all organizations to reach out to us regarding opportunities to give back. Spavia—Rookwood will be working with Sophie’s Angel Run in September to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research,” Schuler states. This location will be opening soon and the franchise owners plan to open two more locations in the region.

As far as the products being used, Spavia takes pride in using all natural materials. “Spavia uses the most organic, cleanest materials and ingredients in product and service offerings. Our efforts include buying locally made products to support local businesses and reduce shipping waste, striving to use only natural ingredients in our skin and body care products and [using] makeup that is 100% pure mineral without fillers and synthetics,” she explains. Among those efforts is a multitude of efforts to reduce waste by recycling and doing laundry in a highly efficient way.

To learn more about Spavia and to start your own spa experience visit their website,

by -

Learn about a local beauty mecca that encourages people to embrace a natural lifestyle by providing healthy hair and skin products.

static1.squarespaceAfter graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a BA in Journalism and the Art Institute of Ohio with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Charell Frazier embarked on her entrepreneurial journey. She and Danielle Williams began working on the Honey Hut Beauty Bar Boutique in the summer of 2012, opening their doors in March of 2014.

“We wanted to create a place where men and women could embrace a natural lifestyle by providing products that encourage healthy hair and skin while also providing apparel, accessories and jewelry that bring enlightenment about multiculturalism,” explains Frazier. Multiculturalism is the co-existence of diverse cultures. The two noticed Cincinnati lacked a major beauty company that focused on this blending of cultures and decided to make a change. “There wasn’t a place like this anywhere in the tri-state area, and we felt there was a need for a place like ours,” Frazier says.

The Honey Hut thrives on being unique, right down to the very products they sell. “Our company is different from other beauty brands because we bring our consumers products that you wouldn’t be able to find while doing your daily shopping. We source products from all over and they are all natural, organic and handmade,” Frazier states. With all natural products, the Honey Hut encourages people to embrace a simpler lifestyle that can’t be obtained through more mainstream products. Many of their products are also made locally, which is a big selling point for people in the Tri-State area.

“We help people embrace their natural lifestyle by exposing them to nature’s finest ingredients, and by helping them to understand why those things are beneficial for their skin. If you’re going to embrace being vegetarian, vegan, organic, and holistic for the betterment of your body internally, then you should do so externally as well,” Frazier claims. The Honey Hut works to provide quality products for people who are looking to make a healthier change in their lives on the surface.

The Honey Hut carries a multitude of soaps, body butters, and other hair and skin care products. In addition to those, they also sell handcrafted accessories, incense, and vintage clothing, all of which help people go one step further in feeling great about what is on their body.

On the topic of multiculturalism in the beauty industry, Frazier says, “One cannot exist without the other. So many of the great ingredients, jewels, gemstones, designs, etc. come from other diverse cultures and it is embracing multiculturalism that allows everything to come together to create one amazing product. For example, a butter from Ghana, oil from Morocco, and a scent from Egypt all come together to create an amazing body butter.” The combination of cultures brings their products to life.

To learn more about the Honey Hut Beauty Bar Boutique, visit their website.

by -

Learn about the local makeup artist who’s passing along her best tips and tricks (for day and night!) through in-depth makeup lessons.

Photo by Michael Bambino

The art of makeup is one that some people excel at from an early age. Summer Holmes, founder of A Touch of Summer Makeup Artistry, is one of those people.

Holmes has loved makeup for as long as she can remember. Growing up and playing with makeup turned into a lifelong passion and career – one that still excites her to this day. “I’ve been fascinated with makeup since I was a teenager. I’ve been pursuing my makeup career my entire life and get so excited every time I get the opportunity to brighten someone’s day,” she says.

A Touch of Summer Makeup Artistry has been in business since 2007 and Holmes couldn’t be more proud of how her company has evolved over the years. Makeup is so much more than something people use during their daily lives—it brings out the most beautiful aspects in a person to make them feel more confident. Holmes strives to make everyone feel gorgeous. She states, “What inspires me is makeup and my passion for making women look and feel beautiful.” When she steps back and sees a woman glowing because of her makeup, that’s when Holmes feels the most successful. “The most rewarding aspect of my job is making my clients look as good as they should feel,” she says.

Photo by Michael Bambino
Photo by Michael Bambino


Holmes has pursued makeup artistry her whole life, which gives her a competitive and unique edge to other makeup artists. She has had the opportunity to learn different techniques over many years, allowing her to become a fantastic makeup artist. “What makes my company very unique is my advanced training, experience in esthetics, and makeup artistry. I’ve dedicated my entire life to the beauty industry for almost 20 years. I understand the fundamentals of corrective skincare and the perfect makeup application,” she claims. Holmes graduated from Ohio University with an associate degree in Business Management and then went on to earn her Managing Cosmetology license from Aveda Fredrick’s Institute in Cincinnati. After that, she earned her Advanced Training Certification in Makeup Artistry from Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts. One thing is for sure—she is extremely qualified and experienced in her field.

Between her years of experience, there is nothing Holmes can’t handle. She does makeup for all occasions, including bridal parties, beauty pageants, boudoir photo shoots, prom pictures, etc.—just to name a few! Because she offers services for so many events, Holmes is always prepared for any client that comes her way. Finding the perfect match for all skin colors and types is no problem for Holmes as she states, “I assess every clients’ skin first to determine what products are best suited for all skin types.” She also uses any makeup on the market—high-end and drug store combined.

Aside from simply doing someone’s makeup, Holmes also offers in-depth makeup lessons. “My makeup lessons are very interactive. We will start off with a daytime look and then transform into a look that’s more dramatic. I will explain product usage and recommend proper brushes for a flawless application,” she states. So often women walk away from having their makeup done only to wish they could do the same looks on a daily basis. Holmes understands that desire and makes it a possibility as she teaches her tips and tricks during lessons. She provides makeup lessons for individuals or for groups and in a location the client prefers.

To see Holmes in action, you can find her at the Afterhours Show with A Bride’s Mafia on November 11, 2015, at Cincinnati Music Hall from 6-9pm. Visit her website for more information on services and booking.

by -

Home-brewer turned business owner Scott LaFollette shares the story behind Blank Slate Brewing Company how they’re brewing up something truly unique. Read on to drink up all the details.

Scott LaFollette, Founder of Blank Slate Brewing Company

There are many local breweries in the Tri-State area, but the founder behind Blank Slate Brewing Company says they’re brewing up something truly unique. Scott LaFollette started his business in 2011, with production and selling starting in 2012. Although the Blank Slate wasn’t open to the public until 2012, LaFollette says, “It has been an idea inside my head ever since I started homebrewing in the late 1990s.”

Starting a business takes a certain level of dedication and a lot of inspiration. On the inspiration behind starting Blank Slate, LaFollette says, “[I like] being able to create something from the ground up and then step back and say, ‘Wow, I made this.’” He now has the ability to work for himself doing something he loves. LaFollette was also inspired by his background, jokingly stating, “I grew tired of huffing plastic fumes for a chemical company.” After spending over a decade working in industrial plastics with a degree in Materials Engineering, LaFollette was ready for a change – and craft beer was his passion.

Blank Slate started out as LaFollette’s hobby years before he thought of starting his company. “I started homebrewing and immediately fell in love with it. I spent several years learning, researching and practicing to (hopefully) get into the industry someday. I became a certified beer judge as well as a certified cicerone along the way and took some courses at a brewing school in Chicago.” LaFollette learned – and continues to learn – about beer so that his company would be a success.

“I think every brewery in Cincinnati is unique in their own way,” LaFollette says. “For us, it’s primarily the way we approach brewing that is a little different. We don’t like to make traditional styles. I always say that if you want a really good pale ale I can take you to the store and show you ten to choose from, so why should we bother making #11?” Knowing that there are tons of similar beers out there, Blank Slate focuses on creating unique flavors and tastes. “We like to put a different slant on our beers and incorporate some culinary influences whenever possible. Sometimes it’s a brown ale with mushrooms or simply a German Kölsch with American hops. Either way, we strive to expand the flavor profile of what beer can be but without loosing the fact that at the end of the day, it’s still beer,” he states.



Blank Slate takes pride in their seasonal beers. LaFollette claims, “Beer is something that is meant to be enjoyed in the moment. It is a part of the experience of that time and place (and season). I prefer to drink with the seasons, meaning more crisp, vibrant beers in the warmer months and more rich, sustaining beers in the colder months. Our brewing is a reflection of that. Although some of our beers are now available year round, a good portion of them rotate seasonally.”

Cincinnati is well known for its love of beer. Some people wonder, though, if this is a good place to start a brewing company. To that, LaFollette says, “It’s my home, so I never even thought about putting it anywhere else. This city has a rich and proud brewing heritage that had really fallen on hard times in previous years. I wanted to be a part of bringing it back to glory. There’s an old saying that says to be a truly great city, you have to have two things: a baseball team and beer. I think that the renaissance happening in this city right now is at least partly attributable to the strides we have made collectively in bringing beer back to prominence. The people of this city were ready for it (whether they knew it or not) and they have been so enthusiastically accepting of it.” The Cincinnati Reds paired with multiple breweries has helped bring this city an incredible sense of pride, and LaFollette’s Blank Slate Brewing Company is right there in the middle of it all.

Blank Slate currently sells beer at the PourHouse taproom in Hamilton County, keeping the products a local commodity. “We set up [the PourHouse] to be very open and intimate to the brewing space. There is a nice wood bar and seating for about 45 people inside with room for another 10-15 on the small patio in front. You are drinking beer literally 20 feet from the tanks in which it was made, which is what it’s all about for me. We have tried to capture the experience of drinking inside a brewery and all of the sights, sounds, and smells that come with it, but still have it feel cozy and friendly,” says LaFollette. Enjoying the beers mere feet from where they were made is such a unique aspect to this business.

Customers can visit the PourHouse and sample anything that Blank Slate has on tap at the time. While production is mainly focused on distributing within the PourHouse for now, LaFollette hopes to start canning in early 2016. Blank Slate Brewing Company’s motto is “Our minds may be empty…our beer is not.” LaFollette explains this, stating, “It’s just a little nod to how we think about our recipes. We empty our minds and start from a blank slate to create something new.”

Speaking of what is new, you can keep up with Blank Slate Brewing Company for more information by visiting the website.

by -

A local photographer launched a mobile studio concept that brings a variety of different photographers to you with tailored, flexible shoots of any size at any location.

Traveling Studios
Rather than a conventional location, Traveling Studios ventures out with clients for original shots in real locations.

After noticing huge companies closing their in-store photography studios, Brad Blackmore decided to form his own photography studio in 2013, but with a new outlook on how portraits would be taken.

“I noticed that portrait studios at Sears, Wal-Mart and Babies “R” Us were closing and several others were continually discounting their services, trying to stay in business. I felt the pain, as many others have, of your typical mall studio – waiting for hours, being haggled for upgrades, poster prints, and very expensive digital copies – but even worse [was] settling for cookie-cutter portraits and flat lighting,” Blackmore states.

Seeing that studios all around were either closing their doors or increasing prices to stay afloat among basic, washed out prints, Blackmore began experimenting with the idea of his business, Traveling Studios.

“I decided to bring the studio to the customer. I invested in mobile studio equipment and tested the concept with family and friends. It took off! Since Traveling Studios has no physical location or building to support, I was able to set the price of portraits far below what you would pay at a typical studio. In addition, I was able to offer tailored, flexible shoots of any size at any location,” he proudly claims.

Having no fixed studio means cutting costs for both his company and his clients – a huge bonus in the long run, seeing as how photography can be expensive at times. His concept of traveling for the shoot offers each client a unique, customizable experience.

“Within a year, other photographers wanted to join the fun. With a business already established and a friendly, supportive team of other photographers, talented amateurs were finally able to take the leap toward professional [photography] without risking their shirts. A team of diverse photographers formed, all pursuing a common passion,” he says. Traveling Studios consists of seven part-time photographers, all with different backgrounds in photography.

On the different photography his team enjoys, he continues, “Not everyone wanted to do in-home studio portraits. We began to diversify the type of photo shoots to include weddings, outdoor family portraits, youth sports, seniors and couples, newborns and even food and real estate. With a growing team of seven photographers, we offer both a wide range of photography services as well as a unique ability to specialize in many styles – all in one place. We share our knowledge and our resources to grow and learn together, while providing creative, top-quality photos for our clients.”

Since Traveling Studios has multiple photographers, they guarantee there is one amongst their team who is perfect for any shoot imaginable. Blackmore says, “With a diverse group of photographers, Traveling Studios can offer a wide range of services, while at the same time specializing in them. We pool our resources, so we can also offer our services at affordable rates. Traveling Studios is commercially insured and incorporated in the state of Ohio. Having insurance and being a legal entity makes it possible to provide commercial services and school pictures. We also have a large team to staff big projects such as youth sports leagues and large events such as the Heart Mini Marathon.” From big projects down to corporate headshots, Traveling Studios keeps their customers in mind and provide quality photos at a rate people can actually afford.

Although Traveling Studios focuses on going to the client, they do have spaces they rent occasionally if a studio is necessary. Aside from the sessions already mentioned, they also love getting creative with setting up photo booths, creating posters, printing magazines for dram clubs, and making cards for school kids. Traveling Studios also enjoys event photography, as Blackmore mentions, “We offer event photography for both commercial and private functions. We have worked with schools, including Symmes Elementary and St. Columban, as well as large events such as The Color Run and The Heart Mini Marathon. We have also worked extensively with Cincinnati Childrens’ Hospital.”

Having a team of photographers gives Traveling Studios as a competitive edge because they can have multiple people at any given shoot. Blackmore says his team is always looking for more photographers – and even marketing and sales associates as the team grows – but what makes his company so special is the people he has right now.

His ever-growing team has a couple of women who have helped to make his dream possible. Brandi Davis was one of the first photographers to join the company. As a woman with a full-time job in social work, she was looking for a creative outlet, stating, “I joined Traveling Studios to transition the hobby into a part time job, mostly because I just couldn’t get enough of taking pictures. I’ve never been in it for the money, but for fulfilling a passion and creating art. I knew Traveling Studios would help by handling the business side of things and giving me autonomy to speak my beauty. I’ve also really enjoyed the companionship and support that comes in working with a team of photographers as our team has grown over the year!”

Recent graduate from Lee University, Brooke Svitak, feels the same way. She says, “I started working with Traveling Studios because I valued the way that Brad would allow us to be creative in our own way and yet still work for the same company. It’s a place that allows lots of growth and feedback. This company is a stepping-stone for me along with a safe place to pursue my passion surrounded by supportive people that desire the same things.”

Katey Pittman, a Computer Science major at the University of Cincinnati, says, “I love portraits and sports photography. I chose to work with Traveling Studios to gain experience and learn.” Katelin Tirschek, who graduated from EKU, says, “I became a freelance photographer who focused on High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography. Brad approached me at a photo event with the idea of no longer competing for business in such a competitive field, but rather becoming a member of a photography team who pools our resources to offer clients the most convenient, affordable, specialized services available. He hit the nail on the head! The team dynamic allows us to stay on top of the latest equipment, techniques, and tricks, and. most importantly, it brings us together to share our passion with one another.”

To learn more about Traveling Studios and everything this diverse team has to offer, check out their website and Facebook page.

by -

The Milford Street Eats Food Truck Rally is back for their third annual food truck and entertainment festival. Find out what they’re serving up new this year.


Sampling gourmet foods from unique food trucks is a growing trend here in the Tri-State area and Milford knows how to impress their community.

Recognized in 2014 as the third largest food truck event in the state of Ohio and featured on Channel 9’s “The List,” the Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the return of Milford Street Eats.

“The ever-increasing popularity of food truck festivals with their eclectic variety of culinary treats draws increasing numbers of visitors from around the Tri-State,” explains the Chamber of Commerce. “Food truck fans, as well as those new to the food truck craze, have a chance to enjoy their favorite cuisine or sample new, sweet, and savory creations.”

The Milford Street Eats Food Truck Rally and Music Festival started in 2013. Chris Hamm, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce, states, “Each year we have been able to make it a bigger and better event.”

As the third annual rally and festival, attendees can expect this event to have more food and entertainment than previous years. There will be 20 of the area’s most popular food trucks at this year’s event. Instead of having a more typical food fair with vendors set up in booths, the city of Milford takes pride in hosting a one-of-a-kind event for foodies.

“Food trucks have grown and changed over the past 5-7 years in Southwest Ohio,” Hamm says. “They have focused on fresher ingredients, more unique flavors, and a lot of passion. We felt that the ‘food on wheels’ concept was unique and allowed us to bring many of these [trucks] to one place for many to enjoy for a one-day event.”

Each of the 20 food trucks is exactly as Hamm says: unique. They all offer a broad range of variety in terms of types of foods, styles, and flavors—and, ultimately, allow each truck to have a successful day as people support local businesses. No two trucks will be the same. Although most trucks will not have free sampling and haven’t in the past, that hasn’t stopped people from making their way to the Street Eats.

“Last year, we had about 7,000 [attendees] throughout the day. Depending on weather, we expect even more this year,” Hamm says. As far as expected pricing goes, he continues, “We have established a price point of around $5 for most items that will allow people to sample many different items from the different trucks.”

In addition to the food trucks, local craft breweries will also be at the Milford Street Eats Food Truck Rally.

“This year we will have our largest beer lineup to date,” Hamm mentions. Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, MadTree Brewing, Old Firehouse Brewery, and Budweiser of Cincinnati will all have a wide selection available for every beer lover out there. This event will be incredibly fun for not only adults, but for children as well. The Street Eats and Music Festival is a no admission charge, kid-friendly event.

“We are fortunate to have the characters from Picture Party Place back again this year. This is a group of [fairytale/storybook] characters that all kids will know and enjoy,” Hamm states. The actors will be around for meet-and-greets after their performance at 4:30pm.

Fit4Kidz Gymnastics will also have performers at both 4pm and 6:30pm in front of the main stage. Music will be playing all day from a line-up of local bands, and as Hamm proudly claims, “[It will be] great music, indeed.”

Quest Band performs from 3:15-4pm, The Fathead Davis Band goes on from 5-6:30pm, and the headliner, The Flipcup Allstars, will finish round out the music from 7-10pm. When asked what makes this event so enjoyable for him, as well as the rest of the Board of Directors, Hamm states, ”The ability to bring so many passionate foodies to one location each year and provide an atmosphere of fun and excitement.”

The Milford Street Eats Food Truck Rally and Musical Festival will be held on Saturday, August 1, from 3-10 p.m. at 701 Chamber Drive in Milford. Rain or shine, this event will be sure to impress foodies, beer and music lovers, and families alike. Special thanks to the event’s presenting sponsor, Lykins Energy Solution, for helping make this rally a reality.

To learn more, visit their website and like their Facebook page.

by -

Learn about the local company that turns your drink with friends into a lasting memory by repurposing bottles into unique glassware and decor.

Bottle Crafters owner Tim Gottschalk taps into his creative side, turning bottles into items for entertaining and home decor 

After enjoying a drink with his wife, Tim Gottschalk looked at his bottle of Absolut Vodka and thought it would make a perfect drinking glass if only he knew how to make one. “I went online and found a couple videos, bought a saw, built a flat lap (tool for grinding glass) and started experimenting. I thought this would be a great way for me to do my little part in helping protect the environment by upcycling,” Gottschalk explains.

Inspired to positively impact the environment, Gottschalk delved into his creative side, something that was on the backburner due to his busy life as a working husband and father, to make different forms of glassware from used bottles. “Something with this craft really clicked with me, and I decided to jump into it with both feet,” he says. “My first show, I was extremely nervous [wondering if] will people like my product, will they buy, etc. At that show, people were buying and mentioning how unique the products were. This gave me the confidence to continue.”

With his added confidence and growing support for his hobby, Gottschalk officially launched Bottle Crafters in 2011 after six moths of self-teaching. “My first year, I was selling mostly drinking glasses, bottle lamps and some jewelry pieces,” he recalls. “While doing this, I was getting a lot of wine and other liquor bottles that I could not make into a drinking glass, and I did not want this to end up in a landfill. I decided to buy a kiln to start slumping these excess bottles.”


Slumping is a technique in which glass – bottles, in this case – are shaped over molds at high temperatures in a kiln. Gottschalk’s process is what makes Bottle Crafters so unique. “I discovered a way to allow me to take the label off the bottle, slump it, put the label back on, and seal it so that it appears the wine label is still in the glass. I have created monogrammed wine bottles and wine saying which are popular gift items.”

Using mostly wine and liquor bottles – with the exception of some beer bottles and mason jars – Bottle Crafters offers a host of unique glassware, including cheese boards, sushi platters, spoon rests, drinking glasses, bottle lamps, candle holders and much more. Bottle Crafters also encourages customers to reach out for custom items. “Many customers want me to slump a bottle they drank to commemorate weddings or special occasions. They also ask me to slump their favorite brands if I do not have them in stock,” he explains.

Aside from creating one-of-a-kind items for customers, Gottschalk gives back to the environment through his business.

“Bottle Crafters creates unique glassware from recycled bottles. Our efforts help reduce landfill usage and allow us do our little part to help the environment,” he says. “Buying these recycled and repurposed products is a great way to make a positive impact on the environment by cutting back on resources needed to make new items.”

Instead of buying a mass produced lamp, Bottle Crafters can make one for you out of a bottle you drank with friends on the night of an anniversary or any other memorable event you’d like to commemorate.

Bottle Crafters will expand their business in 2016 as the company recently relocated to a new studio, which allows space for three kilns and plenty of room for cutting and crafting. Their products can be found anywhere from 15-20 Tri-State events and craft shows throughout the year. In addition to shows, Bottle Crafters can be found online at their website and Etsy store.

by -

We chat with two local photographers about their body-positive studio that focuses on the beauty of intimate boudoir shoots. Read on for all the candid details.

Paige Pederzani and Anna Penny started Roar Boudoir Photography in June 2014 to turn their passion for photography into a blooming business.

Paige Pederzani started dabbling in photography when her father gave her a Canon SLR A-1 as a child. Since her family was in the Navy, Pederzani frequently moved during childhood, which fostered her love for traveling and capturing the beauty of art and history. As a professional photographer, Pederzani says, “Once I get to a shoot, it never feels like work!”

Anna Penny shares the same passion for photography. She has lived in Cincinnati nearly all her life and in 2007 honed in on her love for what turned into more than merely taking pictures. She started shooting professionally in 2009, and, much like Pederzani, still loves what she does every day.

Together the two started Roar Boudoir Photography in June 2014. Boudoir is a French word that roughly translates to a woman’s bedroom or a private sitting room. Given the origin of the word, this type of photography focuses on highlighting one’s best features in a bedroom or other romantic areas.

Pederzani and Penny find inspiration in different ways during their shoots. “It’s all in the little details—the way your lips part, the curve in the small of your back and the nape of your neck,” Pederzani explains. “I love being able to focus on parts of the body that go unnoticed normally. Photography is great vehicle for that.”

Penny, however, looks for smiles and personality. “I really love portrait photography because I love people,” she says. “I love playful posing, chasing light, cracking a joke and making someone laugh. There’s something singularly rewarding about making a person feel comfortable in their own skin and, specifically, boudoir photography is a really powerful way to achieve that.”

According to Pederzani and Penny, because boudoir photography is so personal, many people can feel uncomfortable at first. To help their clients relax, the two help with posing. “I’m extremely fond of the art of posing, and am influenced greatly by works of Helmut Newton and Christian Coigny,” Pederzani says. “The playing of light and the shapes you can create with the human form are endless.”

Roar isn’t your typical boudoir photography company, though. “We offer two professional photographers at every shoot. That’s two points of view, two different creative styles and an overall broader range in your finished images,” Pederzani explains. “We also have a dedicated boudoir studio, which sets us apart from some other local boudoir photographers. We’re able to book more shoots as we can get into our shooting space anytime 24/7. We also have a plethora of props and accessories for your use.”

Having their own studio in the Pendleton Art Center offers a more private experience and they have an all-female staff, which is important to many of their clients. They also have several other locations throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, providing various locations to fit their clients’ styles. Between Pederzani’s editorial style and Penny’s traditional approach, the two produce a wide spectrum of images from each session.

Promoting a body-positive environment is also important to the shutterbug duo. “You don’t have to look like anyone but yourself,” Pederzani says. “We want to help you see how amazing and beautiful you really are and we know that sometimes it takes an outside eye.”

Aside from encouraging all shapes and sizes, they also encourage men and anyone who identifies as LGBT to schedule shoots.

“When we started Roar, we wanted to make sure we didn’t exclude anyone,” Pederzani says. “We made sure every page of our website said that we were LGBT-friendly. We’d also love to do a ‘dudeoir’ shoot for any man, no matter what he’s got between his legs or who he chooses to love. If you’re on the fence about doing a boudoir shoot because you’re concerned about being accepted by your photographer, please know that’s not going to be a problem at Roar Boudoir. We will cater our shoot to you and your needs and requests.”

Given the intimate nature of these shoots, their sharing is done privately. If you give Roar permission to share your photos, rest assured that they will never expose your whole name online. They want to show off your photos, but if you don’t, that’s fine too. Roar has three session options: solo, marathon and party. Whether you want to go at it alone or with all of your best friends, they are more than happy to work with you in any shoot you choose.

Destiny Ropati, their main stylist, is there to help you get ready the day of your shoot if you need some assistance. In the future, they plan to partner with BrideFace for bridal makeup packages coming in January.

“Roar Boudoir is about self confidence, beauty, and empowerment, so if our goals are the same, then let’s shoot,” Pederzani says.

To learn more, visit

by -

A local entrepreneur had the idea to pair a party bus with a tour of the area’s best wineries. Learn more about Cincy Wine Wagon and their fun, year-round tours.

The Cincy Wine Wagon takes you on a tour of the area's nearby wineries.
The Cincy Wine Wagon takes you on a tour of the area’s nearby wineries.

After working in the banking business for 15 years, Mike Stokes decided to transition into a full-time beer and wine enthusiast.

Stokes began working in the beer industry in 2013 when he launched Cincy Brew Bus, a beer touring business that samples some of the finest breweries in the Tri-State area.

“I, like many folks, came into craft beer about eight years ago and fell in love,” he says. “When the taproom laws changed in 2012, it opened up an opportunity for us to take people to local breweries and try their goods on site.”

With that initiative in mind, Mike left his banking job for good and has been his own boss through his touring companies for nearly two years now. The Cincy Brew Bus has been offering tours since October 2013.

“I love Cincinnati, beer and entertaining,” Stokes says. “I wanted to bring to light the amazing Cincinnati brewing history along with tasting the exciting new beers from these local artisans. I also wanted to be part of this renaissance that both the brewing industry and the city is having right now.”

Cincinnati is rich in brewing history and it is Stokes’ goal to provide quality information on his brewing tours alongside tasting local craft beers. Although beer is where he started, Mike also has a deep love for wine as well. He expanded his business to wine tours in January of this year. The Cincy Wine Wagon offers tours year-round, as does the Brew Bus, but to local Cincinnati vineyards and wineries.

On the quality of Ohio vineyards, Stokes says, “I love the grapes grown here. The climate is great for it. The vineyards grow Native North American Grapes and they grow French American Hybrids very well. Our region, the Southern Ohio Valley, is historically one of the best growing regions in the country.

In addition to the Great Lakes, Ohio is in the top 10 grape growers in the country. Nicolas Longworth, who lived in Cincinnati most of his life and produced the most wine in the country in 1859 at 500,000 gallons, is known as the father of the American Grape, which was grown right here in this region.”



The Cincy Wine Wagon tours start at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant at the Kenwood Mall and then go to Valley Vineyards, Vinkolet Winery and Henke or Meier. During the tours, people can expect history on Cincinnati wines, wine trivia and fun facts and wine tastings. Touring the facility can include seeing how the wines are made and, of course, more tasting.

Bottles will be available for purchase and the Cincy Wine Wagon has optimal storing containers based on which wines are bought. Stokes underscores that this is more than just a wine tasting company.

“I think our passion for educating our customers on local history, both in wine and beer, teaching proper tasting techniques, our knowledge of how to brew both wine and beer, and the laid back feel our tour provides really separates us,” he explains. “We employ Certified Tourism Ambassadors for the Cincinnati USA region. This program gives us additional education on local history and things to do in the entire region. It’s great because after our tour many folks want to know where to go and what to do next and with our training we are able to provide that.”

The duration of the tours typically last 4-6 hours. As of right now, beer tours are offered every week and wine tours are offered every other week.

To learn more about specific tours and pricing, visit Also, be on the lookout for Lou’s Brew Bus, the Louisville extension of the beer tour, which is slated to start operating this summer.