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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Local apparel designers and entrepreneurs are teaming up to make “urban grade” masks for the community. Read on for more.

The apparel designers and entrepreneurs behind Sew Valley and Hemmer Design are answering the community’s call for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). “We are manufacturers, and people need masks, so it seemed obvious that we should use our skills to help during the COVID-19 crisis,” says Sew Valley’s Shailah Maynard. 

Sew Valley is a non-profit in Cincinnati’s West End that exists to provide resources to apparel designers and entrepreneurs. Their aim is to help brands grow in a sustainable and thoughtful way by offering small batch production services, studio membership and educational workshops.

Hemmer Design is an apparel and soft goods design consultancy, having expertise in trend forecasting, product development, product design, performance material development and advanced manufacturing.

“Through this collaboration with Sew Valley, Hemmer Design is really helping to strategize, design product, source materials, coordinate sales, raise funds and coordinate partnerships,” says Jessica Hemmer, Founder and Creative Director of Hemmer Design. “This collaboration has been wonderful because we are able to create a more dynamic manufacturing ecosystem here in Cincinnati by pulling our capabilities together.”

These unique “Urban-Grade” masks are being created to help slow the spread of the virus and free-up any medical-grade masks for healthcare workers who need them. “The masks are made of double-layer cotton, with fabric ties. They are reusable, washable, and meant to be washed after use,” says Maynard.

The masks are being made by a team of 12 people, with new equipment coming in to speed the process up. “Our new assembly line of machines, supported by the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Jr and U.S. Bank Foundation, allows for seven people to actively work on expediting mask manufacturing at once, with others behind the scenes prepping, packing and shipping,” Maynard explains. Each day, the team is hard at work producing these creative and sustainable masks for the Cincinnati community.

“My favorite part of watching our PPE initiative come to life has been seeing how quickly our team has adapted to a new form of manufacturing, as well as being able to partner with, and work with other creatives, designers, and makers in the Cincinnati community,” says Maynard. “At the end of the day, everyone has the same end goal in mind: do what you can NOW to help.”

How can you help, connect, or donate? 

Those who are interested in joining the volunteer list to help sew or making a monetary donation to keep the Sew Valley + Hemmer Design operation going can visit their website at You can also support Hemmer Design’s GoFundMe campaign as they work towards manufacturing 1500 masks for the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.

Sew Valley: Website and Instagram

Hemmer Design: Website and Instagram 

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A local theater is bringing a Date Night tradition into the comfort of your own home — plus, free movie popcorn! Read on for more.

Since opening its doors in July 2019, RJ Cinema has welcomed in couples for Date Night Tuesday. Date Night packages include two entrees from the menu (choice of movie soft drink or drinks of choice from the bar), a special dessert for two and two movie tickets for a price of $39 + tax. In light of the recent shutdown due to COVID-19, RJ Cinema is giving away FREE buckets of movie theater popcorn for couples to keep the Date Night Tuesday tradition and romance alive, just this time, in the safety and comfort of your own home.

“Since we were forced to close normal operations in our cinema, restaurant and bar, we decided that we would create a way for our customers to keep their Tuesday Date Night time together going, just this time, they would need to do it in their home,” says RJ Cinema Distillery and Taproom’s General Manager, Ric Welker. “However, watching a movie at home is never the same as experiencing the large format screens and digital surround sound that a movie theater provides. So, we decided we could provide the taste and smell of real movie theater popcorn to make that at-home movie just a little better.”

Typically, RJ Cinema’s favorite part of Date Night Tuesday’s is seeing couples coming out for a dinner and movie date. Today, the same couples are still participating, just through selfies and social media. “The experience of seeing a movie at home is almost always augmented by the smell and taste of popcorn. It’s almost impossible for at-home popcorn to replicate those emotions, so seeing the families who are posting pictures online of themselves at home enjoying the simple gift of the popcorn, makes it all worth it,” says Welker.

After society goes back to normal, RJ Cinema Distillery and Taproom will have its doors open for guests to enjoy one of their eight digital theaters, a scratch made meal from the kitchen, craft beers and custom cocktails, or even hosting an event in the taproom. 

Freshly made popcorn is being made every Tuesday and Friday at RJ Cinema. Pull up to the front door and a worker will bring a bucket our to your car, no purchase required. 

Tuesday – 5:30-8pm EST

Friday – 5:30 – 9pm EST

For those interested in supporting RJ Cinema by purchasing drink mixes, RJ Distillery bottles, and other products, pre-order is available on their website, To ensure enough product is on hand and your wait time is kept to a minimum, please pre-order. Payment can be made when you arrive to pick up the order.

To stay connected with RJ Cinema Distillery & Taproom, visit their website and Facebook.

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Check out the fun ways a local greeting card company is spreading humor and joy in the midst of COVID-19.

Everyone has checked their mailbox to find a card from a big box store with a mundane message inside. For Colette Paperie founder, Keli Spanier, that scenario was all too real and in 2010, she hit the ground running with her business to make eco-friendly cards that people really wanted to send and receive.

All of the cards are created in Spanier’s studio. “My studio is a hip little space called my basement in Northern Kentucky. I have different little workstations for creating, cutting, packaging and shipping,” says Spanier. “I design and print everything here, and I use recycled paper products manufactured in eco-friendly mills. Nothing is outsourced.”

At Colette Paperie, color and witty designs work hand in hand.“I love creating new designs – tapping into what people are laughing about, social trends and getting to hand-letter sayings are some of my favorite parts of the company,” says Spanier. “I also love knowing how far my cards travel – to be opened by surprise and the emotional reaction when the recipient opens it. It’s a cool feeling knowing that I am fueling one person’s need to show love for another person that they can’t be near.” Colette Paperie has fulfilled orders, both wholesale and retail that in the United Kingdom, Australia and Switzerland.

In response to COVID-19: Colette Paperie has been both designing fun cards to uplift spirits during quarantine and giving back to the community. “I’ve really enjoyed creating some cards that link us all together in how we’re feeling being stuck at home. I had heard about GO Pantry in the past, but what I didn’t know was that around 700 children in the Northern Kentucky area depend on their food and that now, more than ever, they need our help raising money. Colette Paperie has been able to raise $1000 just through card sales alone and I am so pleased! They have a wonderful organization with some very kind souls working nonstop to feed hungry children,” says Spanier. “I have been discovering what cards people like the best. The top sellers so far have been ‘Just a little social distancing check in note’ and ‘I’d like to share my last bottle of hand sanitizer with you’. We have a total of 15 different cards available about the coronavirus.Snail mail will always be revelent and enjoyable for everyone involved in sending it.”

To stay connected with Colette Paperie, you can find them on Instagram and Facebook. To shop, visit their website at

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Check out this hands-on, creative team building experience for groups coming to Cincinnati in Fall 2020.

Cincy Chic: What is Artigo Cincinnati?
Ellen Muse-Lindeman, Executive Director of the Kennedy Arts Center: Artigo Cincinnati is a social enterprise operated by the Kennedy Heights Arts Center, a well-respected and experiences arts organization in Cincinnati. Artigo offers hands-on, creative team building experiences for groups. Each experience has been crafted to activate high performing teams by building collaboration, encouraging creativity and promoting diversity…no artistic knowledge is required! Everyone has creativity inside and our professional artists make it fun and easy to find.

Cincy Chic: What is the inspiration behind Artigo?
Muse-Lindeman: For over 15 years, the Kennedy Heights Arts Center has been partnering with artists to provide collaborative projects that bring diverse people together and build community through the arts. Over the years, we have heard from our participants that these experiences have gone deeper than surface level and truly created a deep connection between people that overcame differences. This innovative program borrows from proven employee engagement strategies in the corporate world and pairs it with authentic cultural art practices to create a unique and impactful experience that delivers results.

Cincy Chic: When is Artigo set to launch?
Muse-Lindeman: Artigo is a new company just set to launch in Greater Cincinnati in Fall 2020. We have spent the last 18 months developing and testing the arts experiences, conducting pilot events and focus groups and building our brand. We are taking bookings now!

Cincy Chic: How many different experiences will Artigo offer for clients?
Muse-Lindeman: Clients may choose form six signature arts experiences in visual arts, music or movement, led by professional artist. All of the artists at Artigo hold a very impressive resume, making Artigo truly one-of-a-kind. Each experience ranges from 1 to 3 hours and can be a stand-alone event or part of a full day training or conference.

Cincy Chic: Where are your events held?
Muse-Lindeman: Events are held in our modern facility centrally located in Cincinnati at 6620 Montgomery Road. We offer catering services, integrated audiovisual system, plenty of free parking and handicapped access with capacity up to 100 guests at our facility.

Cincy Chic: Who is the target audience for Artigo?
Muse-Lindeman: Artigo is specifically designed to meet the needs of corporate and nonprofit teams but can adapt to other types of groups. Artigo experiences are suitable for participants of all ages and abilities. Our staff can work with you to determine the best activities for your organization.

Cincy Chic: What is your favorite part about Artigo?
Muse-Lindeman: My favorite thing about Artigo is seeing the participants’ creativity and collaboration. I have personally observed how the art and activities help participants better understand themselves and each other and leave them feeling bonded. I also love working alongside each of the incredible artists, they are truly rock stars. 

Cincy Chic: What does the future hold for Artigo?
Muse-Lindeman: Although we currently offer six experiences, we intend to continue to create more arts experiences allowing companies to choose new experiences for years to come. I believe Artigo will grow and impact the way people interpret the power of art and creativity in the workplace.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to connect with Artigo?
Muse-Lindeman: You can visit our website at We are also @ArtigoCincy on both Facebook and Instagram.


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Learn more about this one-of-a-kind couple who travels the globe to film love stories, one couple at a time.

For the past 10 years, Mike and Ali Kamper have filmed hundreds of weddings coast to coast, in over 15 states, and even internationally. 

Happy Kamper Films is a husband and wife videography team who creates commercial and wedding films. The business was born 10 years ago when Alison bought a camera to take pictures of her handmade jewelry. Not long after, requests began to file in for her to take pictures of their families. The photography business grew and grew, and Happy Kamper Films was born.  

“(The inspiration behind the company) comes from our love to tell stories, whether they are for small businesses or for couples getting married. Our inspiration comes from the ones we are working with and our own vision as we interact,” says Mike, adding that since each film is centered around a wedding, the emotion and memory behind the shots are the true motivation. “(When it comes to film), emotion comes much easier. Movement and sound add so much more depth. When you add music and audio, you can retell an amazing story with emotion.”

Happy Kamper Films is based out of Ohio, but for majority of the year, you can find Mike and Ali traveling across the US in their cozy camper. “Wedding films have taken us to two countries and over 15 states,” says Mike. “We have traveled through many more states in our RV as we adventure around the US.” 

In 2020, their travel schedule on their website entails places such as Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, Italy and Louisiana…in just the first 5 months! According to their website, “At Happy Kamper Films, we truly love having great adventures, meeting new people, experiencing life, getting to work in a really fun way and most importantly, going just about anywhere to film your love story.”

Interested in having Happy Kamper Films play a part in your big day? “The first step those interested can do is to connect with our work and style from the films on our website,” they say. “Once you have determined that we are available on the couple’s date, it’s a simple process of signing a contract and paying a retainer. As we get closer to the wedding, we will send a questionnaire that will help us determine who and what is important to them on their big day.”

To stay up to date with Happy Kamper Films, connect and follow them on the following platforms:

WebsiteHappy Kamper InstagramHappy Kamper Travel InstagramAli’s Jewlery, Wild Roots Handmade JewelryWild Roots Creative Instagram

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The ultimate wine weekend stars 20,000 bottles of wine, from 18 different countries, all while benefitting local charities. Read on to drink up all the details.

Since 1991, wine-lovers from near and far have gathered in Cincinnati to celebrate the wine industry while benefitting over 35 Greater Cincinnati arts, education, and health and human services charities, raising just over $6 million. This year, the Cincinnati International Wine Festival will be held on March 12-14th. The Cincinnati International Wine Festival is one of the largest of its kind in the country, hosting just over 5,000 guests last year alone, and expecting even more this year for the 30th anniversary celebration.

The event itself features many different aspects so attendees, both wine connoisseurs and newcomers alike, can enjoy their ultimate wine weekend with over 700 wines from over 200 wineries.

At the wine festival, there will be grand tastings, education sessions to learn about various types of wine and wine-making, gourmet dining, a charity auction, a NEW collectors tasting room, and more. 

Who will attend the event? Cincinnati natives, out-of-town relatives, wine lovers from over the nation, and guests from 18 different countries. This year, 7 new countries will be in attendance, including Austria, Bolivia, Georgia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Uruguay, according to Wine Festival’s media contact, Candice Terrell.

“This festival is truly the ‘ultimate wine weekend’ and has something for everyone… from intrigued beginners, to foodies, to wine experts, to collectors,” says Terrell. “Whether you’re looking for a girls’ night out, a fun couple’s weekend, or an intimate date night, the wine festival has it all and it’s all for a great cause. The wine festival benefits 35 local charities, so you’re drinking wine and having a good time, all while giving back to the community. Plus you get a FREE keepsake Riedel wine glass, valued at $15, with your ticket purchase… winning all around!”

March 12th: The Winery Dinner Series: Cincinnati’s finest restaurants

March 13-14th: Duke Energy Convention Center: Grand Tastings, Education Sessions, NEW Collectors Tasting Room

March 14th: Hilton Netherland Plaza: Charity Auction and Luncheon

For event information and tickets, visit Cincy Wine Fest’s website

To stay up to date with the latest updates and behind-the-scenes of the event, follow the Cincinnati International Wine Festival on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and follow the hashtag #cincywinefest

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This Tony Award-winner performed for three presidents, Princess Diana, and Queen Elizabeth — and she’s coming to Cincinnati soon! Read on for more.

When it comes to performing, Lea Salonga has been on stage for over 37 years. Over her nearly-four-decade career, she’s built an astounding musical theatre legacy, earning awards such as the Tony, Oliver, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards. And now, she’s making her way to Cincinnati in two months with two concerts on April 20 and 21.

At the mere age of seven, Lea performed in the musical The King and I with the Repertory Philippines. Since then, Lea has appeared in productions such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, and many more. She is also the singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II and was the lead role in Miss Saigon.

Throughout her career, Lea has  broken barriers for the next generation of performers. Lea was the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway and returned in 2006 to play Fantine. She also was the first Asian woman to win a Tony Award and sign with an international record label. Lea uses her voice to not just sing, but to truly perform and has impacted millions along the way, including six Philippine presidents, three American Presidents, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Lea Salonga will be coming to Cincinnati in April to perform and bring to life classic songs from her albums and roles. “I’m thrilled to be back on the road in North America, and all around the world in 2020,” says Lea. “We’ve got a lot of new music, some old favorites, and a few surprises in store. We had so much fun with our incredible sold-out audiences last year. I can’t wait to perform at these gorgeous venues and connect with fans, new and old, in the months to come.”

Lea Salonga will be performing two shows in Historic Memorial Hall, right in the heart of the revitalized arts district of Over the Rhine. The shows will be held on April 20 and 21 at 8pm. The show can be enjoyed by all ages, seeing, as her voice is timeless and can be recognized by all ages. Tickets range from $50-$95 and can be purchased here.

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Lace up for a fashion-forward cocktail party that is equal parts style and swagger, benefitting national nonprofit, Girls on the Run.

When it comes to cocktail parties, you usually reach for your favorite pumps to pair with your cocktail attire. But at the Sneaker Soiree, your favorite sneakers are all you need to dance the night away. 

For the first year ever, Girls on the Run and Fleet Feet are hosting a fashion-forward cocktail party that is equal parts style and swagger. Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Across the nation, there are 12,000 locations with programming available, one of them being in Cincinnati. 

“At Girls on the Run, trained coaches lead small teams through our researched-based curricula which includes dynamic discussions, activities and running games,” says Amy Elmore, Development Manager for Girls on the Run Greater Cincinnati. “Over the course of the ten-week program, girls in 3-8th grade develop essential skills that allow them to navigate their worlds and establish a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness.”

At the Sneaker Soiree, guests can expect many fun twists and turns. The night will be emceed by B-105’s co-host, Amanda Valentine. Guests will enjoy dinner by the bite and drinks while mingling with other GOTR supporters and be invited to attend an athletic / athleisure wear fashion show featuring a live auction of the outfits with auctioneer Jeff Jeffers. Throughout the night, there will be several silent auction items for guests to place their bids and hear from GOTR girls, both from past and present. 

“The inspiration for this event came from other Girls on the Run councils around the country that also host Sneaker Soirees. We have held the same spring fundraiser, a casual happy hour, for the past three years and were looking to change things up and offer supporters a new event,” says Elmore. “A Sneaker Soiree seemed like a great fit and Fleet Feet Cincinnati was willing and ready to co-host and coordinate the fashion show.”

The event is open to anyone 21 years of age or older. It will be held at the Summit Hotel, 5345 Medpace Way on February 28, 2020. 

VIP Tickets are $100, including an open bar cocktail party from 6-7pm in addition to general admission. 

General Admission Tickets are $75, including two drink tickets and dinner by the bite. 

For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit the Girls on the Run Cincinnati’s website.

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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.