The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Hattie Martin

Hattie Martin

Hattie Martin
Hattie Martin is an editorial intern at Cincy Chic. She attends University of Cincinnati, majoring in Public Relations and Fashion Studies, complimented with a Creative Writing Certificate. When she is not found writing, you can find her at your local coffee shop or spending time in her hometown of Owensboro, Kentucky. Contact her at

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See how a local Cincinnati family has turned their passion for plants into a community full of succulents, workshops and love.

There’s something gratifying about growing a plant. After a little time and love, you see it grow, thrive and maybe even blossom.

That’s the idea behind The Hearty Leaf, a family-operated and community-focused business, founded by Mike and Janet Grueter, hosting private and public succulent workshops, as well as arrangements for gifts, home décor, party favors, and table arrangements. 

“The Hearty Leaf started with a small cactus that was maybe six inches tall. Twenty five years later, and it sits in our house over seven feet tall,” says Janet. “There’s a sense of satisfaction and happiness watching your sweet plant grow and thrive through the years. With the right care and the right love, we know everyone will be able to enjoy a succulent arrangement that makes their life a little sweeter.” 


Today, The Grueter’s house has grown since its humble beginning of a cactus and Jade plant party favor to 160 arrangements and 23 single potted plants. The family’s memories of “Succulent Sundays” with their daughter Olivia and connecting with one another by making living pieces of art are the inspiration behind The Hearty Leaf.

The two options customers have with workshops are public and private. Each month, several public workshops are held all over the Cincinnati area. “We partner with local businesses and venues for public workshops. Our next one will be held on January 12 at the Gorman Heritage Farm. Guests will not only make a fun barnyard succulent, but also receive a tour of the farm,” says Janet. “On January 21, we are continuing our partnership with Branch and Bone and hosting a succulent workshop with a complimentary beer and brewery tour.” 

The Hearty Leaf’s public and private workshops are unique, just like their succulents. The Hearty Leaf also specializes in party favors. “Weddings, showers, birthdays, baptisms, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, or a corporate gift, we will make your event unforgettable with succulent favors and table arrangements,” says Janet. 

“People tell us all the time all they do is kill their plants. We hope that providing a workshop or even best care suggestions when they purchase an arrangement that will utilize the provided proper sol and light so when a little leaf falls off, a new baby can propagate from it. Afterall, our tagline is ‘We love succulents, and so will you,’” Janet says.

For more information on The Hearty Leaf or those interested in partnering to host a public succulent workshop, visit their website and follow on Facebook and Instagram.

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While they’re known for artisanal wine curation, this local business is extending into the event space with the launch of Crush -- a new concept that will have you crushin’.

A Cincinnati-based concierge-style consulting service, Hart & Cru, is expanding into their latest evolution, Crush Events. Hart & Cru’s main focus is on bringing artisanal wines to avid drinkers through special events, wine tasting, cellar offerings, and wine classes. Hart & Cru was officially launched in 2015 by founder Kevin O. Hart after years of venturing and connecting within the world of wine. “The inspiration behind the company comes from Kevin’s love of telling stories, and belief that food and wine are central to building and sustaining communities, says Sarah Wilson, Hart & Cru’s Director of Client Relations and Logistics. “We champion incredible passion and talent of farmers and winemakers, giving them a voice in the wine world.”

Since curation and hospitality have been at the center of Hart & Cru’s philosophy since the beginning, on November 6, 2019, Crush was launched. Crush is an extension of the passion, wine curation and storytelling that serve as the foundation of Hart & Cru into your event experience. “Whether you are hosting a private dinner party or a large-scale event this style of hospitality, where attention is paid to every detail in the décor, the wine, and the food, is what inspired us to launch a new event planning service,” says Wilson. 

The term Crush goes deeper than just a name, it is also a vital part in the winemaking process. After the harvest, “Crushing” occurs during the “pressing” of the grapes to allow the juice to flow and the winemakers to officially experience the fruit of their labors.

The process of planning an event with Crush has 4 simple steps that are outlined on their website:

Introduction: An email, quick call, or a cup of coffee or wine with Crush’s team to gain a sense of the client’s vision. “Through the years, we have helped to host many events, large and small, and not one has been the same as the other – the evening should be catered to both the host and the guests’ unique experience,” says Wilson.

Inspiration: Ideas are shared for the experience, everything from design to proposed vendors to drink of choice.

Details: Approve budget and guest list to plan the logistics.

Event: Time to enjoy and become a guest at your own party!

Since they Crush is a new launch, the events are focused around only wine and food and the team is small-scale in size, but mighty in impact – seeing as they have support of several Cincinnati partners in the community and years of experience under their belt. Businesses and restaurants such as Dutch’s, Boca, Sotto, and The Budding Florist, just to name a few, work together with Crush to create a top-tier experience for clients and guests. As far as the future is concerned, Crush hopes to expand to larger events incorporating many elements, such as design, décor, and entertainment, on top of the best in class food and beverage and continue to make a positive impact in the Cincinnati community.

For more information or to contact them to plan your next event, visit Hart & Cru’s website or Crush’s website. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Making cocktails easy and smoothies even healthier, one local woman’s creation is creating quite a stir. Read on for all the delicious details.

It’s an all natural, frozen botanical mixer, locally-made to easily shake up any cocktail or make smoothies even tastier.

Mixicles — a concept created by co-founder Jen Morales — are an all-natural, frozen, non-alcoholic botanical mixer that can be popped into any cocktail or sparkling wine, and even used as a natural foundation for distinctive zero-proof drinks and smoothies. 

The idea came to Morales the summer of 2018 when she wanted to make some cocktails for some friends, but quickly realized how cumbersome the concoctions were to make.

“I wanted to come up with a way to make cocktails as easy as pouring a glass of wine, without compromising flavor or freshness. Traditional cocktail mixers last longer, but they are full of syrup, preservatives and artificial flavors,” says Morales. “The ingredients in Mixicles are 100% natural and frozen immediately, so you get the pure taste of flavor of the botanicals perfectly preserved in your drink and can sit in your freezer for up to a year.” 

Mixicles are vegan, dairy free and naturally low in sugar and calories and less than 25 calories a cube. Currently, the mixicles are being crafted in small batches at Findlay Kitchen, the non-profit business incubator located in the heart of Findlay Market. They are sold directly to consumers, restaurants, special events, and soon, Findlay Market. 

Picky about flavors? No problem! Mixicles come in 12 different flavors, as well as seasonal and limited-edition flavors. Collaborations with customers to create custom cubes for weddings and special occasions are also available. The cubes have been spotted at Cincinnati events such as Ombre Gallery, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and openings hosted by Miller Gallery in Hyde Park. 

As far as the future is concerned, Morales has big dreams. “We are currently focused on bringing Mixicles to retail outlets in the Greater Cincinnati area, and then expanding from there. We are always exploring opportunities for growing our customer base, including in the service industry, but believe that our core business will be in retail for home use,” says Morales. 

Mixicles come in a 12-cube package with an MSRP for $14.99. For special event and larger orders, Morales says wholesale pricing is an option. For more information, visit their website and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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Need meditation or a cleared headspace? Check out Cincinnati’s unique Reiki Master, Intuitive Healer and Meditation Teacher who is making an impact.

If you are looking to find your inner light or taking a step back and relaxing through meditation, Moira Shine Free could be the perfect place. For the past 20 years, founder Moira Reed has been meditating, receiving energy healing and teaching the Cincinnati community in her unique practices. 

Moira Shine Free entails individual healing sessions, group meditation classes and intuition classes, all taught by Reed, a Reiki Master, Intuitive Healer and Meditation Teacher. 

When it comes to finding inspiration, Reed discovers it through motivating others. “The inspiration behind my brand is encouraging everyone to shine their own light. I believe we all came to this earth with our own unique qualities and I believe this world needs us to share them,” says Reed. “I want everyone to be confident in themselves and proud of who they are; this is why I stand by the manta of ‘Shine in your own way and shine free.’”

Meditation is not simply sitting in silence; it is an art form, Reed explains. If performed just right, mindsets can be shifted, and lives can change, she adds.

“The Life Force Energy that is inside all of us can be blocked by pain, trauma and false beliefs. When you receive Reiki, an ancient Japanese healing modality, you clear and remove blockages from your energetic body. When we meditate, the Life Force Energy naturally allows our moods and lives to flow more smoothly,” Reed explains.

Within Moira Shine Free, the healings offered can be found one-on-one, in a corporate setting or in a class setting. The Corporate Meditation Package that spans over 15 consecutive working days and on-campus visits to schools to speak about the importance of mediation are also available. 

Moira Shine Free also has a studio that offers hour-long Intuitive Healing and Reiki sessions, group-oriented meditation classes, and sessions with Moira to learn how to open up one’s intuition.

In the future, Reed sees nothing but expansion and growth. “I am constantly learning and helping others grow to becoming more self-aware in terms of their energy,” she says. “I would like to participate in more speaking engagements to discuss the importance and beauty of our inner energy, specifically to an audience suffering with anxiety and depression, as well as children.”

The studio is located in Cincinnati at 5912 Kellogg Avenue, Suite 2. 

For more information, call 513-235-1435 or visit Moira Shine Free’s website. You can also follow Moira on Instagram and Facebook.

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See how a local organization is helping children afar with an upcoming gala that’ll be filled with fun, food and fundraising. Keep reading for details.

Great food, delicious drinks and supporting a good cause…name a better way to spend your Saturday night. Infinite Chance, a local nonprofit, 501©(3) organization, is hosting their first ever MasquerAID to celebrate their success and work towards their goal of building a trade school in Guatemala. 

In early 2011, founder Daniela Weaver traveled to Guatemala after college and after a life-changing trip, decided to relocate her life in the country. After falling in love with the people and discovering a deep need of education in the country, Daniela established Infinite Chance. 

“The organization is dedicated to providing infinite chances to Guatemalan children, through education,” says Infinite Chance’s Rachel Atkinson. “By means of our many ongoing projects and future plans, we are able to provide long-term opportunities for children to escape poverty. We strive to create sustainable programs that ultimately provide much brighter futures for Guatemalan children, all thanks to our donors and sponsors.”

MasquerAID is the inaugural fundraising event of Infinite Chance, the first large scale fundraiser of the organization’s kind. Guests can expect live music, delicious food and open bar, exquisite auctions, entertainment by the Cincinnati circus, the founders of Hogar Miguel Magone in Guatemala and emceed by Paola Suro of WCPO 9 On Your Side. All aspects of the night will serve as a celebration of Infinite Chance’s success to date and the impact that both Infinite Chance and attendees can have across the world. 

Funds raised will assist with ongoing projects. “The money will go towards our computer and English programs and the future goal of establishing and building a trade school in Guatemala,” says Atkinson. If individuals want to become involved in the organization, other than the MasquerAID, they can join the team, travel with the team to Guatemala, or sign up for the DARÉ program by pledging $20 a month. Infinite Chance is expecting between 150 to 200 people to be in attendance. 

“We want all of our attendees to leave the event with knowledge of how big of a difference they can make in a child’s life, and also Infinite Chance as an organization.”

MasquerAID will take place on December 7, 2019 at 6pm at the Manor House in Mason. To learn more, or purchase tickets online, visit the Infinite Chance’s website.

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Take a behind-the-scenes look at Cincinnati’s Human Trafficking multi-media art installation coming January 2020.

A new experiential exhibit will shed light on a dark topic. On January 10, 2020, Motel X, a multi-media art installation, will be on exhibit at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The purpose of the exhibit is to bring awareness and prevention to Human Trafficking within the Greater Cincinnati area. 

The inspiration behind the exhibit is something very close to creator, Christine Shrum Marque. “I came across the words ‘Human Trafficking’ at 14 years old while I was researching a paper for school. I didn’t understand what it meant and thought it was a type of highway violation. After searching for the definition, I found that it means modern day slavery,” says Marque, “I had no idea as a 14-year-old female in Ohio that I was most at risk for being Trafficked, I had to do some about it. I created Motel X as an interactive experience for visitors to uncover clues and information about Trafficking that happens in our backyards.”

The name of the exhibit derives from both the anonymity and location of Trafficking. The letter “X” has an anonymous feel bringing attention that it can happen anywhere. In 2018, Ohio was reported as the state with the 5th most reported trafficking cases. In 2016 alone, 1,000 were identified in the state of Ohio. Human Trafficking is the highest-grossing industry worldwide, seeing as it has affected 24.9 million people and counting, according to Marque.

When visitors plan to attend, they will be welcomed by a 70’s motel meets Alice in Wonderland visual inspiration. The experience will be unlike anything you could ever imagine. “Motel X will allow participants to touch anything and everything. You’ll look for clues hidden in the furniture following an aggregate story of a sex traffic victim and a labor traffic victim, intended for all ages,” says Christine. Visitors are intended to take away practical information about the Human Trafficking that happens in front of our very eyes, a conversation starter to start the process of preventing this act within our own circles.

For the past three years, Christine has been pouring her heart and soul into this exhibition and she is very excited to see it come to life. Along the way, she has received a lot of support from many partners in the Cincinnati community. “We have been lucky enough to partner with the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center since the beginning. We have also worked with Kim Belew, The Freedom Center, US Bank Haile Foundation, Deerfield Construction, and so many more to allow the exhibition become what it is today.”

January 10, 2020: The sponsor-inclusive Premiere Night event will be at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

January 14, 2020 – April 4, 2020: Open to the public during Freedom Center’s operational hours. 

If you would like to snag opening tickets or donate to Motel X and the mission, please visit Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or visit their website for more information.

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Local real estate gurus teamed up to launch a new tool to help buyers build their dream home without the typical nightmares of custom builds.


When one thinks about building a house, the word “easy” does not usually come to mind, but the idea behind WhiteBox is to make the process of building a home much easier. 

WhiteBox, a tool for people considering building a home, leverages an online platform created by builders, agents, new home buyers and construction experts to ease each pain point where buyers may struggle. With WhiteBox, the building process is simplified and less intimidating.

For the past two years, founders Michael Hines and Matt Stanley have helped families build their forever homes. With Hine’s background with Build Collective, a local real estate team with Coldwell Banker West Shell focusing on new construction and Stanley’s background with a local high-end builder, the two make up quite the dynamic duo. “We know that one of the most difficult parts in getting started and understanding what the home of your dreams could cost. Our goal is to put the Buyers in the driver’s seat by giving them necessary information to make good decisions when considering building a home to save them time, money, and a LOT of headache,” says co-founder, Matt Stanley.

“We have been compiling necessary new home data within our proprietary database so that Buyers can accurately price out a house by answering key questions,” says Hines. The best part? The service is absolutely free!

How does the process work to use WhiteBox?

  1. Visit WhiteBox’s website.
  2. Answer the New Home Quiz questionnaire, a new feature to the site.
  3. Explore the price range for your house, lot cost averages, home price range based on recent new home averages, top builders in the area, top lenders, and even your Pinterest board.
  4. Create profile to share with builders so they can know exactly what you are looking for. 
  5. Connect with a Building Coach for follow-up questions and additional guidance.

According to the co-founders, their clients have been the inspiration behind launching this new tool. Since the website has the consumer’s experience as an end goal, Buyers also have access to a Build Coach. “A Build Coach is a building expert that are local, custom home experts that can answer any questions on builders, building costs, the process and pretty much anything you can think of,” says Hines, “Our partnership with various professionals as your Build Coach allows you to obtain non-biased information and even land, lot, or new home opportunities since the search process can be quite a bit different than the search for a typical home.” 

In the future, Hines sees WhiteBox becoming a “Go-To” community for custom home buyers across the country. “Building, just like real estate in general, is local and our goal is to compile hyper-local building information by leveraging Build Coaches in areas across the US that will help Buyers make the best decisions and realize the potential in building a new home. “We plan to expand with podcasts, blogs, and articles published by our very own Build Coaches across the country.

“Getting started on the right foot by using WhiteBox will allow buyers to avoid the rabbit hole of misinformation that flies around when it comes to home building. The potential with WhiteBox is limitless and we are excited to see where it goes,” says Hines and Stanley.

You can see WhiteBox in-person at the Ferguson on December 12th.

For more information, visit WhiteBox’s website or email them at

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A new glassmaking studio opened in Oakley that offers everything from kids classes to “glassy hour” social events. Read on for more.

Glass has always been a fascination and passion for Sandra Gross. In 2009, it became an entrepreneurial endeavor as well when Gross launched Brazee Street Studios in Oakley.

Brazee Street Studios is an artist community housing over 25 professional artist studios, Brazee Street School of Glass, and C-LINK Gallery. And as of September 2019, it’s now also home to Glassroom, a one of its kind walk-in glass fusing studio. 

Those interested can join in anytime during their open hours and create in glass! Students will select from a range of glass project options in person, such as plates, platters, coasters, ornaments, among other options. Then they will use colorful glass accessories to design and create their own glass projects. Glassroom instructors will get get you settled at a table when you arrive, show you the process, and are available as needed while you create.

Gross says the program was conceived by artists and educators, so no experience is necessary, all skill levels are welcomed. The projects vary from plates, coasters, ornaments, and much more. The process fusing the glass in the kiln takes 18 hours, so there is typically a week between when the student comes in and create their project to when they pick up the finished piece. 

According to Glassroom’s website, the involvement during your visit will be an experience you will never forget. 

  • Sign a waiver and receive safety glasses to wear in the glass studio if you do not wear prescription glasses.
  • Instructor will walk through process with group.
  • Pick from over 25+ glass projects
  • Instructor will walk through design material and displays finished samples to spark inspiration.
  • Relax, create and have fun!

Want to get involved in the glass magic? “To experience Glassroom, you can reserve a time during our walk-in hours or sign up for a spot in any of our special guided classes by visiting our website, calling us or stopping in the studio,” Gross says. “Walk-in hours allow for a student to create whatever they can imagine, while out guided classes offer a step-by-step walkthrough of a specific design.” 

As far as prices go, the most popular projects range from $15-$35 and guided classes vary by the project the class is focused on. “All of the materials are provides and there are no hidden fees – the price of the project includes the cost of materials and the cost to fire the project in the kiln,” Gross explains. 

The Glassroom also hosts many events to accommodate any group. “Whether it be a baby shower, corporate team building, birthdays, GNO, etc. – we would be thrilled to help you host an event here,” Gross says. 

The Glassroom is more than just glass fusing, it is a time for one to feel truly empowered by their creation. “After one has come in to design their project, we want all students to feel creative, empowered, confident and happy,” Gross says. “Once they’ve picked up their finished piece, we hope they feel all of the above, plus successful.”

Glassroom is located within Brazee Street Studios at 4426 Brazee Street, Cincinati, OH 45209. 

Walk-in hours are:

1pm-8pm on Thursdays, with “glassy” hour from 5:30-7:30 for students to enjoy specials while they craft. 

10am-4pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Private events can be hosted any time Monday-Saturday.

For more information, call them at 513-321-0206, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

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Find out more about OTR’s newest bar, offering craft cocktails, hospitality, and the escape you didn’t know you needed.


The escape you didn’t know you needed is located right in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. The Kitchen Bar is the perfect place for you to try not only a new venue, but a new drink as well. Homemaker’s Bar just recently launched its grand opening in June 2019. Even though the establishment is new to the OTR area, their impact they are making is wide-reaching. 

“Homemaker’s Bar is its own, unique experience. Whether you want something more intimate, offered by the Kitchen Bar, or an all-night dance party fueled by world class cocktails – everything is done within the spirit of Homemaker’s and a fun, playful energy,” says Julia Petiprin and Catherine Manabat, founders of Homemaker’s Bar. “It’s a stitched together, perfectly imperfect, well-traveled but not-so-well-mannered vibes and forever a place where the welcome mat truly welcomes.”

The Kitchen Bar is an extension of Homemaker’s Bar’s passion for craft cocktails and hospitality. The inspiration from the Kitchen Bar came from the desire to create a unique space within Homemaker’s that allowed the team to craft cocktails and hone in on hospitality skills while offering an alternative experience for guests looking for something new private and intimate. 

The Kitchen Bar’s specialty is world-class drinks and small bites. “Currently we are inspired by Baja California (Surfer’s on Acid). Guests will have a chance to try a variety of spirits and ask questions. Take our Peel Out, a beachy cocktail made with banana-washed rum and mezcal, pequeno pepper tea, coconut syrup, and a H. Made mole tincture; which pairs perfectly with fresh rooted vegetable salsa and pico de gallo,” says Petiprin and Manabat. The menu is constantly changing, but the intimacy and commitment to creating a memorable, one-on-one experience will always remain constant.

Want a taste of the action? The Kitchen Bar takes reservations beginning at 8:30pm for a minimum of two guests. Walk-ins are welcome after 9pm, but seating is limited. If you want the full experience, make a reservation using this link.

“At the end of the day, we want our guests to feel like they have made a real, lasting connection with out team and with each other. We want them to leave feeling like they’ve surprised themselves by learning and trying something they weren’t sure about,” says the owners.

The Homemaker’s Bar + The Kitchen Bar can be found at 39 E 13th Street in Over-the-Rhine. The main bar is open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm to 2am, Fridays from 3pm to 2am, Saturdays from 1pm to 2am, Sundays from 1pm to 12am.

For more information on visit their website.

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From entertaining reviews and #momlife realness, to style inspiration and traveling experiences, learn about the local blogger behind this go-to lifestyle resource.

When it comes to entertaining reviews, style inspiration and traveling experiences, Angie Haering is your gal. 

In 2012, “Angie Knows the Truth” was launched as a public journal to share her tried and true recipes, travel memories and even restaurant reviews. Today, it’s developed into a bonafide lifestyle resource in the Cincinnati area, with an inside look into the real life of being a mom, embracing new adventures, and trying to dress the part.

“The inspiration behind my blog is simply being fabulous and keeping things real as an everyday life Mama,” says 31-year-old Haering, adding that life can be messy, chaotic, and majority of the time not ‘Instagram-worthy,’ but she celebrates that as well.

The website has many different components to it. Haering says readers can shop her Instagram, read up on her current obsessions, get notified with sale alerts and even dive into her travel explorations from all over the world. The travel section is split up into different categories of states and even continents. Though her explorations are wide, her favorite topic to write about is close to her heart and under the category titled “Mom Life.”

“My favorite topic to write about is my two boys, JJ and Fitz. They are 3 years old and 2 years old,” she explains, adding that her content covers adventures such as their day at Gorman Farm Oasis and even the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo.

Since 2012, her blog audience and traffic has grown tremendously. “My blog receives between 5,000-6,000 views on my website per month. I reach between 5-10,000 impressions on Instagram and Facebook reaches around 300-1000 impressions. My main target market is the women who are looking for inspiration for style, mom life, entertaining reviews, and traveling experiences…and love Amazon. The bulk of all of my followers on Instagram reside in the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area,” says Haering. 

What is her purpose behind the pictures, editorials and posts? “I want my readers to be inspired to live their best life and know that not everything is ‘Instagram perfect,’” Haering says. “Readers will enjoy a lot of different aspects of my daily life in a very real way.”

Though the blog is online, Angie tries to make it as interactive as possible. “I mostly interact with my readers by offering fun giveaways or discounts on brands / businesses that I work with. I always try and support my followers by keeping in touch via email, DM, or liking and commenting on their photos,” says Haering.

For the future, Angie Knows the Truth will continue to keep a realness attitude with the blog by bringing honest reviews, fashion deals, and like always, being fabulous.

To visit her website, visit

To read her blog, visit