The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Jessica Hurley

Jessica Hurley

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Learn about an urban flower-florist located in the heart of Over-the-Rhine.

Christina Matthews, Founder of The Flower Lady

Looking for some beautiful blooms to celebrate the warmer months approaching?

Christina Matthews, owner of The Flower Lady OTR has a passion for all things floral. She grows her own beautiful flowers and uses them in her designs straight from the garden to the vase. 

Matthews’ inspiration for her company came from her former career with Paul Mitchells Schools. 

They had a “culture that encourages employees to do more for their community by giving back.” 

From here Matthews and a close friend were able to secure $10,000 worth of garden funding from the CEO of Paul Mitchells Systems, John Paul DeJoria, Grow Appalachia program for the OTR People’s Garden. 

After years of learning how to grow flowers, food, and her own business she resigned from her job and decided to pursue creating The Flower Lady full time. 

She had “hopes of making a positive impact for our planet and community while also earning a honest living that is in tune with nature and my personal beliefs.” 

The Flower Lady has grown into an amazing company, and grows different flowers based on the season:

  • Spring: Tulips, ranunculus, anemones and mint
  • Summer: Zinnias, dahlia, snapdragons, strawflowers, gomphrena, basil, eucalyptus
  • Fall: Sunflowers, dahlia, celosia, amaranth, basil, eucalyptus 

“My most popular arrangement is my newspaper wrapped bouquets during flower season and in the fall and winter it would be my hand-made wreaths,” she says. “Right now, I make eucalyptus and lavender wreaths.” 

The Flower Lady has a strong dedication to give back to the community and has volunteered with Wesley Chapel Mission Center, in OTR that offers different educational programs for the youth living close to the community garden. 

We have developed a garden club called “Grow Your Business” where I teach all about flower farming, we taste the fresh food our community garden grows, and we learn how to make money by designing flower arrangements and making boutonnieres.” 

She is a huge animal lover and even creates floral collars for some of the dogs and cats that are looking for forever homes at the Animal Adoption Foundation. 

The Flower Lady has much on the horizon for her flower business. 

I recently won a grant from the Made for More small business fund created by Newell Brands, the maker of Ball home canning products. I plan to use the money to expand my urban flower business! This fall became involved with the City of Cincinnati’s Urban Agricultural program, and just acquired a 1/3 of an acre lot to grow more flowers for the city I love so much” 

To learn more or place an order visit her website. For daily updates from her garden follow her on Instagram or Facebook

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Inspire your littles to grow up and be anything they want - even a future President!

Today, you can be anything you want, even a future female president. 

That’s the message Ohio-based author S.R.D. Harris is portraying with her new children’s book “Future Miss President.” 

“‘Future Miss President’ is a book inspired by this past election and our first female Vice President,” says Harris.

The book, she says, features a minority girl with a positive message of hope, inspiration, and dreaming.

“It was really important to us to have very beautiful illustrations, and also send positive message that can resonate with people of all ages,” she says.

To boost the aspirations of those who read the book, Harris says the book offers daily affirmations thought the book to help make it even more unique.

“Children and adults can recite the affirmations to encourage themselves, and build their self-esteem, on a daily basis,” she says. “We know how hard peer pressure can be, so we wanted to include a useful tool to inspire greatness in children. The book inspires children of all ages to dream really big dreams!”

Harris, as a mother to three girls, wanted to create and publish stories that kids can relate to, learn from, and grow their love for reading.

We chose to establish S.R.D. Harris Books, LLC to self-publish our books, so they could get to market quickly and into the hands of readers all over the world,” she says. “We are able to partner with schools, children’s groups and charities to spread a positive message very quickly.”

“Future Miss President” has been a hit with parents, educators, and readers since its release. 

We have adopted classrooms at Tussing Elementary and Windsor STEM Academy [in Columbus], where we donate signed copies of the book for each student, as well as their school library,” says Harris. “We have also donated books to Bexley Schools, The Mansion Day School, IPromise School in Akron, and Pickerington Public Libraries.” 

Harris says she has a total of 5 children’s books to be published this year and with painters with CHA Animal Shelter to publish a book about a rescue puppy named Gracie. 

“The book will teach children compassion towards animals and others, and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to CHA, so that they can continue to rescue animals and find them loving homes,” she says.  

You can find signed copies of “Future Miss President” on her website or at many Columbus-area bookstores including Prologue Bookshop, Gramercy Books Bexley, Ice Cream Rollery Reynoldsburg, and Donna’s Delicious Dozen in Gahanna. You can also buy her e-book on Amazon.

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Learn about a local event center that has a goal to cater to all.

Looking for a place to celebrate, host a charity event, or just looking for a place to collaborate with your coworkers? 

The Benison Events & Coworking, located in a historic building in the heart of Hamilton, wants to help you accomplish your goals, celebrate milestones, and support local. The 1920s building features vaulted ceilings, hand-carved walls, and original walnut doors and wood beams. 

“We have an event center on the main ballroom floor with a 2 million dollar bank vault room, bridal and groom suites with changing rooms and restrooms for both suites, kids zone playroom, balcony, full bar and a duel sided serving buffet, outdoor covered area, DORA, which includes an outdoor bar and green space and much more,” says Director of Events & Coworking Yvonne VanBibber.

The remainder of the floors in the building offer coworking spaces, a full kitchen, a podcast/video room, and office space. 

Although the building housing The Benison has been around for a while, the concept itself arrived on the scene in 2018 when owner Christy Nelson opened its doors. 

They say that what really drew them to the space and inspired them to turn The Benison into what it is today is the details and architecture of the building. That was also when the duo decided they wanted to create a space that would be a blessing to the community, bringing together a space focused on exceptional customer service.

“The word Benison resonated within the vision,” says VanBibber. “We learned that ‘Benison’ is derived from the Latin word benedictio which means to bless. The vision to create a blessing in Hamilton was birthed.” 

“Whatever your reason for gathering at The Benison — a celebration, business function, or charity event we declare a blessing over your event,” she adds. “Rest assured that we will surpass your expectations merging the right space with your dreams.” 

The Benison is an ideal space for connecting and networking or grabbing lunch or drinks at the bar. 

We can accommodate for groups up to 200 for business events or even something as small as a virtual mailbox,” says VonBibber. “At The Benison, our goal is to provide a professional place for connecting, working and taking full advantage of our facility which ranges from a podcast room to exercise classes.” 

And while it seems they’ve got it all covered now, there’s even more on the horizon for The Benison.  

We are creating the Hamilton’s first outdoor Green Space, which will include a life-size, fully interactive Cinderella Ball Carriage,” says VonBibber. “The ribbon cutting for this amazing new feature will be on Earth Day April 22nd.”

They are still hosting events and following COVID guidelines while tailoring to the clients’ needs.  

To learn more and for a full tour visit their website. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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Read about a local wine importer and distributor that brings exclusive wines from Spain straight to the Queen City.

Key Wines brings imported wines from Spain to Cincinnati.

Key Wines, a local wine importer and distributor, is built on the idea that everyone deserves great wine. 

“Our name Key Wines comes from a passion to unlock this undiscovered world of wine and give people access to it,” says Key Wines Co-Founder Robin Hunsucker. “We also believe that wine is ‘key’ and has been culturally important throughout history and is something that brings people together still today.” 

Robin Hunsucker, a Cincinnati native and wine lover, and Gil Nuñez, a wine maker and Sommelier from Barcelona, are Co-founders of Key Wines and met on a trip to Spain. They fell in love and the rest is history. 

The couple’s main goal for the company was to give people in Cincinnati the same access to the same great wine from small producers that they typically drank in Spain. 

Key wines works directly with small, family-run wineries in Spain to bring exclusive, affordable and high quality wines to the Cincinnati area.

We cut out all of the middle men and import/distribute ourselves in order for the wine to reach the end consumer without as many of the normal mark-ups, says Hunsucker.

As if Key Wines wasn’t unique enough, some of their wines can only be found in Cincinnati and no other place in the U.S. 

All of our wines are farmed organically or almost organically and they don’t use chemical products, additives, stabilizers or the other crap that many wines have,” Hunsucker says 

Key Wines warehouse is located in Evendale. You can find their wines all over Cincinnati in many local bars, restaurants and stores. 

“You can find our wines at any of the following bars/restaurants/stores around the city: Alfio’s Buon Cibo, Anjou (opening soon), Dear Restaurant & Butchery, E+O, Higher Gravity, Hoppin’ Vines, Mash Roots, Mita’s, LouVino, North High Brewing, Rebel Mettle Brewery, The Fix, The Hub, The Spicy Olive, Wildflower Café and World Glass Bar,” she adds. 

Cava, a sparkling wine, “is definitely a crowd favorite,” Hunsucker says. “Some other popular wines are our Albariño (a classic white wine from the Atlantic coast in Spain), Las Garnachas (a juicy Grenache from Rioja), Merian (a line of organic wines made of Grenache that comes in red, white and rosé) and MIN (a red blend from Priorat).”

Key Wines is looking to get into more bars and restaurants around the city and continue their mission of giving people access to high-quality wine that is affordable for everyone. 

We also do private tastings at people’s homes, so our hope is that once things go back to normal we can expand that side of our business,” she says. 

To follow along you can find them on Instagram or on Facebook.

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