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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Learn about a Cincinnati-based brand that's not only designing an apparel line for today’s youth, but empowering them as well.

Royal Being, a Cincinnati-based apparel line, is about much more than clothing.

While the clothing line offers t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts for boys and girls from infant to 16 years, founder Ashley Dugar says the brand’s four underlying messages are the foundation of what makes them unique.

“Our mission is to provide apparel for boys and girls empowering them to take on four different concepts. First, we want our customers to know who they are, because no matter how old they are, they are never to young to know that they are important, smart, handsome / beautiful, loved, and so much more,” Sugar explains. “Second, I want to instill in them that they can be themselves and helping them know that it’s okay to be different because there is no one better than you. Third, that our clothes allow them to strive for greatness, because you must always do your best. Lastly, I want to encourage today’s youth to be powerful in their own right, because they all have unique gifts and talents within that can be used to change not only their lives, but the world someday.”

Dugar says she drew inspiration from her family. “The start of our brand was inspired by my two sons, Daniel and Kevin,” she adds. “I wanted to give them both a physical representation of the words I daily instill in them on a daily basis, as well as giving them a front row seat to witnessing their mother build a legacy filled with hard work and giving back,.”

The clothes themselves are filled with inspirational messages and bright colors to allow Royal Being to stand apart. “I believe we stand apart because we are a mother and son trio catering to the building of confidence and growth of our youth through clothing and building to be of service to the families in our communities,” Dugar says. “We believe that children need to know how special and important they are, that they are not alone, and that they posses overwhelming potential to do anything they can put their minds to.” 

Moving forward, Dugar says she has big dreams to make a reality soon. “We want to expand our brand through developing an entire apparel line in efforts to open multiple store fronts. With doing this, we will be able to actively serve more families in our Cincinnati community, and eventually the world,” she explains. “With all that is going on in our world today, it is more important now than ever that we instill and build an armor of self-awareness and assurance in our youth. One person should not have the ability to tear them down. What better way to reach out to our youth than through fun fashion?”

To learn more, visit online, as well as Facebook and Instagram.


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The bridal store trifecta is now complete and continues to bring new, fresh ideas into the largest bridal district in North America. Read on for more.


Photo: Green Peas in a Pod Photography

When Kelly Hill opened the doors of her first bridal boutique in2011, “Yours Truly, Kelly,” she only had six wedding gowns in inventory. Today, she owns three unique stores, Lace Bridal Couture, Love Bridal and the newest edition, Cincy Bridal in the Reading Bridal District. 

“I have always wanted my own business, but never in a million years would I have thought that I would own three bridal boutiques I love what I do and couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else. It’s definitely not out of the question to us opening other bridal stores in other locations. We have lots of plans for the near future,” says Hill.

The couple’s most recent venture reigns as one of the only luxury bridal boutiques in the Cincinnati area. “Cincy Bridal caters to the high-end fashionable bride and is by appointment only. When the bride is in her appointment, we actually lock the front door and the whole boutique is just for her and her bridal party,” says Hill. “The store holds well-known designer brands that cannot be found anywhere else in the tri-state area such as Anne Barge, Sareh Nouri, Muse by Berta, Antonio Gual, and Atelier Pronovias.”

The success of any business is not only in the product, but the people as well. The foundation of love and passion for brides-to-be that Kelly and her husband have laid is evident in not only Cincy Bridal, but in all of their locations. So much sothat they travel to New York and Chicago twice a year to handpick gowns for each of their stores. 

“I am on the floor in one of the stores almost every day alongside my bridal consultants and love to work with the brides to create their dream vision of their wedding gown. I love watching my consultants grow and develop into amazing sales people who truly care about the bride,” says Hill.

Green Peas in a Pod Photography

Cincinnati has the Largest Bridal District in North America. In the heart of Reading, Ohio, you can find 10 bridal boutiques, all within walking distance of each other. The Queen City truly strives to makes every bride feel like a queen. 

As for awards, Lace Bridal and Love Curvy Bridal have won “The Best of Knot” every year since opening up their doors. Lace Bridal Couture has also won the “Couples Choice Award” by Wedding Wire and holds a spot in “The Knot Hall of Fame”.The future is bright for Cincy Bridal, seeing as it offers a brand-new atmosphere that has never present in the Cincinnati area.

Lace Bridal Couture is located at:  100 West Benson St. Cincinnati, OH 45215

Price points at Lace start at $1,000 and go up to $3,500.

Love Curvy Bridal is located at:  133 West Benson St. Cincinnati, OH  45215

Love caters to our plus size bride with sizes starting at 16 – 32.  Price points start at $695-$2,500.

Cincy Bridal is located at: 307 West Benson St. Cincinnati, OH  45215

Cincy Bridal is a luxury bridal boutique catering to our high-end bride with price points starting at $3,000 up to $9,000.

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Read on as we chat with Tessa Clark, a Cincinnati-based designer competing for a $250,000 grand prize on the next season of Project Runway.

Photos by Brooke Shanesy

DAAP graduate, entrepreneur, boutique owner and fashion designer Tessa Clark, can now add a new title to her resume: reality television contestant. 

As a contestant on Project Runway Season 17, Clark will be competing against 15 other designers for a $250,000 grand prize. “I have watched Project Runway for years,” Clark says. “After I applied, I binge-watched the show and came to terms with what would happen if I got in or not. It is still so surreal the fact that I will be able to watch myself on television.”

Clark’s passion for fashion first sparked in early childhood. My upbringing wasn’t the norm, so it provided me with a lifetime of inspiration to pull from, I often think back to where I grew up and describe it as magical,” she explained in a previous Cincy Chic interview about her eco-friendly clothing line, Grind and Glaze. “Every day, I lived in my own universe and playground.”

Since then, she fostered her childhood-like wonder and applied it to her career. “I have learned that fashion is not just a ‘frilly’ career; it has real opportunity within a large industry,” Clark says, now the owner of Idlewild Woman, an OTR-based boutique, continuing to grow her own clothing line, Grind and Glaze, and serving as a proud member of Sew Valley.

Tessa Clark

While each day holds a different adventure, especially since Project Runway, Clark says it’s important for her to stay loyal to her roots. “Throughout the whole process of being on the show, I found myself making my strongest work when I remained true to myself as a designer. I pulled roots of inspiration out of everything and anything, and I am finding myself doing that now in my day-to-day life. The show really reinforced what my own personal morals and values are as a designer for me.” 

One value in particular that is extremely important to Clark is the power of sustainability and eco-friendliness within garments. One of my passions is to educate consumers –that’s everyone– about this topic,” she says. “The textile industry is the second largest pollutant in the world, after oil. That is largely due to the fast fashion industry. Most consumers are not educated on the destruction that the fast fashion industry has on earth.”

Project Runway is known for bringing talented designers from all different backgrounds together to compete on one platform“Competing on the show was a blast because getting to know the other 16 designers was so amazing,” she says. “They were all from different walks of life and each held such a diverse background. Designing alongside them while we filmed in Brooklyn was a dream come true.”

The cameras may have stopped rolling, but that hasn’t stopped Clark from diving deeper into the world of fashion. “In the future, I see myself eventually wholesaling my garments in places other than IdleWild Woman,” she explains. “I would love to take my garments to market and eventually have a showroom in NYC, maybe even spot my garments at fashion week. I want to represent Cincinnati well and bring national light to our fashion-forward cityAs far as sustainability in fashion, I strive to make it a standard, not just a trend.” 

You can watch Tessa compete during the television premiere of Project Runway Season 17 on March 14th at 8pm EST on Bravo.

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A one-of-a-kind art event returns to Cincinnati. Read on as we get an exclusive look into what’s new this year. 

The Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show is returning to Cincinnati March 3.

For fun and funky art — ranging from wearable art, yard installations and home décor — the Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show is coming back to Cincinnati for its second annual appearance.

The event takes place March 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Oasis Golf Club & Conference Center. Admission is $3 to public, and free for 12 yrs and under.

Since last year was our first year in the Cincinnati market, we only expect the show to grow and become bigger every year. We promote our events through tons of media outlets and are always finding new ways to get the word out there about our shows,” says Amanda Look, the show’s event coordinator.

This is not just your average craft show, Look says, as all of the artwork featured will be handcrafted by more than 80 local artisans in the Cincinnati areaAccording to Look, the range of items featured at the event will include: apparel, rustic home décor, jewelry, woodwork, and more.

Personally, the best thing about being a part of the Avant-Garde show line is being able to connect with and see all of the incredible local talent,” Look says. “Each and every vendor brings something so unique and special to their craft and they truly love what they do and it shows in their pieces.”

For the past seven years, the Avant-Garde Art & Craft shows have been cultivating handmade artisans and crafters around the Mid-WestNot only do the artists and buyers benefit, but a local charity does as well. While part of their mission is focused on the arts and crafts, another aspect is their charity work and reinvesting back into the community, supporting more than 20 different charities. 

This year’s spring show will benefit the Dragonfly Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting young cancer and bone marrow transplant patients and families to find their joy again. Based in Cincinnati, the Dragonfly Foundation offers assistance in many different ways, from Adopt-A-Family and gifting programs to fun, Dragonfly hosted events for patients and their families.

It is so important to shop our local artisans and crafters because when you shop local you’re supporting your community, a family, a person,” Look says. “Not only are you keeping more money within your community but each item you get has its own character and passion behind it, and that is not something you can find in a department store.”

For more information on this year’s event and for special sneak peeks, check out their social media or visit their website at