The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

Authors Posts by Sara Elliott

Sara Elliott

Sara Elliott
Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. Sara started as an editorial intern before working her way up to assistant editor and then editor. She also serves as the Director of Strategic Communications, running Cincy Chic's social media sites. When she's not working for Cincy Chic, Sara is a mom to her toddler, Audrey. To contact Sara, send her an email at

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    A Cincinnati mom uses her role at a strategic design firm to help bring customer experiences to life. Read on to learn how she’s worked with international powerhouses such as Tiffany & Co. and even played a role in the newly designed American Girl store that will soon launch in New York.


    Robyn Novak is the Creative Managing Director of the Specialty Design Studio at FRCH Design Worldwide.

    Robyn Novak has a lot of experience in helping clients bring their visions to life through strategic design. As the Creative Managing Director of the Specialty Design Studio at FRCH Design Worldwide, she’s in charge of helping bring branded retail and restaurant experiences to life.

    FRCH is an international architecture and design firm that works with some of the biggest brands in the world. They have offices in Cincinnati, New York, and Los Angeles and strive to create memorable brand experiences for the retail, hospitality, restaurant, and retail-mixed use industries such as American Girl, Tiffany & Co., Sephora, and Luxottica.

    “FRCH collaborates with clients to see things from a new and unique perspective,” adds Novak.

    “I lead a very talented team of creatives who are culturally aware of the shifting changes within the retail and restaurant scenes at the moment,” explains Novak. “My role is part chief inspirer, part strategic designer, and always collaborator with my team and clients.”

    Novak helps bring consumer experiences to life through retail and restaurant branding.

    What Novak says she enjoys most about her job is that every day is different. She has been with FRCH for 17 years and finds that each day is more exciting than the last.

    “My job has a lot of roles, but simply put, each brand we partner with is unique, therefore as a team, we learn a lot about the brand’s consumers, products, and business model, and in turn strategically create a distinct customer experience,” she says.

    She says that she enjoys learning about each brand she works with and having fun with developing their strategic design.

    Aside from working with what she calls an awesome team of collaborators among her clients, Novak says that it’s really the people that make FRCH so unique. “We create a lot of really amazing designs, but our people are driving award-winning solutions to keep our clients on a clear growth plan,” she says.

    There have been several huge accomplishments experienced at FRCH. They developed the new flagship design for American Girl. “The new iconic store, unveiling at its new Rockefeller Center location in November, will reinvent the American Girl retail experience,” she says.

    The team will travel to New York for the grand opening, which Novak says she’s very excited about. “I cannot wait to see the ‘sparkle’ in the girls’ eyes when they enter the store,” she says. “After all the hard work and strategic design in the end it’s really all about their (the little girl’s) happiness.”

    To learn more about the company, Novak says you can visit She adds that the company also has a fun blog called Creative Fuel that you can follow along with as well.

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    A woman-owned and operated company on Cincinnati’s West Side is creating a bright future for her team and their clients. Read on for this enLIGHTening story.

    Angie Vice, Vice President of Color Brite Display

    Providing high-quality customer service is an essential for any business, but at Color Brite Display, it’s what keeps them going.

    According to Color Brite Vice President Angie Vice, this woman-owned and operated company on Cincinnati’s West Side strives to provide clients with an awesome team that will make them feel cared for.

    “Nothing feels better than being able to help solve a design issue or get a promotional rollout shipped in time for implementation,” says Vice. “When you have clients remark that ‘you’re a lifesaver,’ ‘we couldn’t have done it without you,’ and ‘we love working with you,’ it’s a fantastic feeling.”

    Color Brite Display is a wholesale and retail stocking distributor of display products with a large showroom and warehouse. They specialize in custom and stock acrylic, wire, wood, and metal displays and fixtures.

    “We have been fulfilling the display needs of many top retail and wholesale organizations for over 65 years,” says Vice. “The majority of the items we sell are specifically manufactured for our clients’ to meet the ever growing customization demands of today’s retail and visual merchandising world.”

    Much of the business Color Brite does is business-to-business, the company does service the public and welcomes anyone to stop by their location. “Whatever your needs may be, Color Brite is your one-stop shop for all your store display, visual merchandising, and decorative needs.”

    Owner Christine Brinker’s history with the history dates back decades. She worked for the original owners for nearly 20 years before the purchase the company back in 1991.

    “It was then that the founding fathers retired and turned the business over to the next generation who has helped it thrive throughout its history,” says Vice. “Since that time, Color Brite has shown fantastic growth, achieved by focusing on excellent customer service, unique and unusual designs, and attention to detail while closely partnering with our clients.”

    It isn’t just customer service, however, that makes Color Brite unique. Because they are a small company, they can more easily and quickly react to clients’ needs as well as think outside the box for more unconventional needs. “We are also able to accommodate ‘odd’ project requests that other companies may not,” adds Vice.

    Products from Color Brite focuses on store fixtures, hardware, supplies, and decorative aspects of visual display. “These are often items many people do not notice when shopping in a physical store location, although they are key to making business happen,” says Vice.

    Clients of Color Brite range from artists who travel to craft shows and even multi-billion dollar corporations, so the products offered through the company are as varied as the clients they service.

    Vice says Color Brite recently launched a new website, which they’re very excited about. “The new format looks fantastic and we’ll begin emailing clients soon about new products, industry updates, and special sales,” adds Vice.

    If you want to see Color Brite offerings, you can see them at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market at the Cincinnati Convention Center, where they hope to reach a new genre that may not be familiar with the products or business.

    To learn more about Color Brite, visit You can also “like” them on Facebook or stop by their location at 6915 Harrison Avenue in Cincinnati.

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    Inspired by a cultural movement, a Columbus-based clothing company is showcasing its art through apparel. Read on for more.


    FlyGround Clothing aims to inspire a culture movement through clothing.

    In a movement to inspire people to make the world a better place, FlyGround Clothing aims to do just that in the fashion world.

    “FlyGround Clothing is a movement for the culture to express creative art through fashion,” says Justice Dupree, Founder of FlyGround Clothing.

    Dupree says the business, based in Columbus, is based on and inspired by an acronym: “Feel Life Young, Grind and Rise Over Unwanted Negative Doubt.” 

    Not only is the company’s passion for inspiring a culture movement what makes it unique and continue its inspiration, but FlyGround also showcases the emotion behind the fashion line through its art.

    “The emotion behind the art is basically the feel of what you see. It’s more than just a picture on a shirt and a design with colors,” says Dupree. “I want the world to see my creations and be able to relate to it in their own way. Art comes from emotions and that’s what makes my creations.”

    When you shop FlyGround Clothing, you’ll find mens, womens, and kids apparel. While they currently only sell t-shirts, Dupree says they hope to launch a line of outerwear for the fall and winter seasons.

    Prices for items from FlyGround Clothing range from $8 to $45.

    The first t-shirt from FlyGround Clothing was released on July 1, 2016, and the brand has continued to see exceptional growth with its customer base.

    You can check out FlyGround Clothing for yourself at Cincy Chic’s Seasonably Chic Showcase on November 4 but you can look forward to their website launch in 2018 as well as its continued trailblazing in the world of cultural movements.

    To learn more about FlyGround Clothing, follow along on Twitter and Instagram.

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    When the economy dipped, a local company decided to soar! Learn more about how these public charter flights, going to several US cities without the time-consuming fuss.


    Ultimate Air Shuttle offers public charter flights from Cincinnati’s Lunken Airport to multiple US cities.

    Cincy Chic: What is Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Rick Pawlak, Managing Director of Ultimate Air Shuttle: Ultimate Air Shuttle is a public charter that provides flights to New York City, Cleveland, Chicago, Charlotte, and Atlanta on a 30-seat jet.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind launching a public charter like Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Pawlak: The leadership team wanted to start a new business segment for the company during the financial crisis. Ultimate Air Shuttle was created because of this crisis. Ultimate Air is built for the business traveler.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Pawlak: The leadership team of Ultimate may have implemented the plan to start flying out of Cincinnati, but it is a team effort every day, providing a high level of service to our customers.

    Cincy Chic: When did Ultimate Air Shuttle officially launch?
    Pawlak: Ultimate Air Shuttle began service out of Cincinnati’s Lunken Airport to New York City via Morristown Airport in New Jersey in July 2009.

    Cincy Chic: Where do you offer flights to and from?
    Pawlak: Ultimate Air Shuttle offers flights to and from Lunken Airport to: New York City, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, and Atlanta.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Ultimate Air Shuttle unique?
    Pawlak: There are many things that make Ultimate unique. We offer fast, hassle-free check-in, arrival only 15 minutes before departure, no change or cancellation fees if done 24 hours prior to departure, free parking, and no baggage fees. We even offer free in-flight snacks and drinks!

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Ultimate Air Shuttle?
    Pawlak: We are currently planning our next city expansion out of Cincinnati and Cleveland. Stay tuned!

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, follow along, and book a flight?
    Pawlak: To keep up on current events and daily promotions, go to

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      Blending the feminine with edgy, and fashionable with affordable, a local mompreneur just opened a boutique that channels her passion for fashion and her excitement for the new business development in Ludlow, Kentucky. Read on for all the fashionable details and watch a virtual tour video!

      Leeta Ruth Boutique is located in the heart of Ludlow, Kentucky, and features affordable fashions and a revolving inventory.

      When it comes to fashion, Kim Powers is all about bringing, blending, and merging seemingly opposing styles together through her store, Leeta Ruth Boutique.

      “Leeta Ruth Boutique is a women’s clothing boutique in the business district of Ludlow, Kentucky,” she says. “Having opened in November 2016, it celebrates the blend of feminine and edgy style and is for the woman that wants to stand out for her sense of style.”

      Kim Powers, Owner of Leeta Ruth Boutique

      Speaking of women who stand out, Powers was the granddaughter of two powerful women, Leeta and Ruth. “Both Leeta and Ruth were strong, determined women who exemplified chic, feminine, classic style,” she explains. The influences Leeta and Ruth had in their lives are seen throughout Powers’ boutique in the art, photos, as well as the clothing itself.

      When Powers was still toying with the idea of launching her own boutique, she was thinking about a way to bring an affordable boutique to her little corner of the Tri-State. She says Ludlow felt like a great place to take her venture, not only because it’s where she lives, but because she could feel the energy and momentum taking hold in the town. “There is an incredible sense of community and positive energy within the residents and business owners,” she says.

      She not only wanted to be surrounded by that energy, but also wanted to help contribute to the transformation of Ludlow, and felt that the boutique was the best way to do it.

      Prices at Leeta Ruth Boutique range from $19 to $98.

      When you step inside Leeta Ruth Boutique, you’ll find a relaxing, casual, slow-paced shopping atmosphere set in a historical part of town, Powers says. But it’s more than just the historic location that helps Leeta Ruth Boutique stand out in Ludlow. It’s also the boutique’s constantly revolving inventory. “New inventory arrives weekly as as the buyer for the boutique, my goal is to ensure that whether the piece is casual or dressy, when you wear it people say ‘Wow! Where did you get that?’”

      In-store, you’ll find items that vary from contemporary brands to curated accessories like hats, scarves, and local brand Hanks Pocket. “Our style leans toward a distinct blend of femininity with a  modern, playful edge,” she adds.

      Prices for most items at Leeta Ruth Boutique range from $19 to $89.

      As Leeta Ruth Boutique approaches its first anniversary, Powers continues to look toward the boutique’s bright future. She says she’s always excited to partner with other local businesses and organizations for fundraisers and Ladies Night Out events.

      “We just wrapped up a photoshoot with female business owners in Ludlow and we look forward to doing more events in the community as Ludlow continues to grow,” says Powers. “While we have no plans to move to online retail, you can keep an eye out for a website coming this fall or early 2018!”

      Leeta Ruth Boutique is located on the first floor of a 100-year-old brick building in Ludlow, at 325 Elm Street. To learn more, “like” them on Facebook or follow along on Instagram. If you have a question or you’re interested in hosting a group shopping event, contact Powers directly at

      Get a virtual tour of the boutique by watching the video below.

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      New community programs, many of which are free, are now available at a locally-based community college. Read on for all the details!

      Gateway Community & Technical College now offers many complimentary programs and workshops to the community

      Gateway Community & Technical College is expanding its reach to the community through new engagement opportunities with Gateway Local.

      According to Toni Bloom Mueller, coordinator of Community Engagement, “Gateway Local advances the college’s commitment to community outreach and engagement through non-credit professional and personal development programs, gallery exhibits, and community partnerships.”

      Through Gateway Local, Bloom Mueller hopes to bring more of the “community” aspect to the community college. She says that that the campuses of Gateway Community & Technical College are a hub for talent development, and giving the students, as well as the public, a chance to continue their talent and personal development with Gateway Local.

      “Gateway Local was created through conversations and collaborations that identified areas of interest in our community,” she adds.

      Here is a list of ways to check out these workshops, seminars, gallery exhibits, and more at Gateway Local:

      Fee-Based Classes:

      Check the website for a list of classes starting in February 2018.

      Free Workshops:

      Oct. 12: What’s in that Cloud – Learn how to access and use your cloud storage

      Nov. 9: Holiday Photo Booth – Bring the family for a photo with our whimsical props in our diverse holiday photo booth.

      Workshops are completely FREE and open to the public. Click here for more information and to register.

      Gallery Exhibits & Events:

      Sept. 27 – Oct. 27, Gateway Alumni Exhibit: Check out work from eight of Gateway’s talented graduate artists: Carly Hummel, Keith Neltner, April Bentley, Chris Dye, Alice Bergman, Aaron May, Todd Lipscomb, and Ben Wilson

      November 25, 10:00am-2:00pm, Shop Small Saturday Pop-Up Shops: Kick-off your holiday shopping by checking out the arts, crafts, household items, and yummy treats offered for sale by Gateway’s talented students and employees.

      You can find Gateway Gallery in the Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise at 516 Madison Avenue in Covington. Click here for more on the gallery.

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      Bourbon, bowties, and fashion? Bringing all this and more together, at one of the biggest events of the year, read on for more about the "Bourbon & Bowtie Bash" by JDRF Southwest Ohio!


      JDRF Southwest Ohio will host its sold out Bourbon & Bowties Bash on November 10.

      Cincy Chic: Tell us about this year’s Bourbon & Bowtie Bash!
      Melissa Newman, Executive Director at JDRF Southwest Ohio: The Bourbon & Bowtie Bash is Cincinnati’s hottest party, put on by JDRF Southwest Ohio’s Emerging Leaders Council, and it’s a night of pure fun benefiting a great cause, JDRF Southwest Ohio. The event features bourbon and cocktail samplings, tastings from the area’s coolest restaurants, tunes by DJ E-trayn, fashion show and pop-up boutiques, celebrity bartenders and best bar competition, silent and live bowtie auctions, and much more.

      Cincy Chic: When and where is the event taking place?
      Newman: The event will be Friday, November 10 starting at 6:30 pm. Because of the popularity of the event, we’ve moved it this year to the Duke Energy Convention Center.

      Cincy Chic: What’s new at this year’s event?
      Newman: This year at the Bourbon & Bowtie Bash, we are excited to have several boutiques available for guests to check out the night of the event. You can purchase accessories from Kendra Scott, our exclusive Fashion Show Accessory partner, where 20% of the proceeds to go JDRF. Or you can buy a scarf or clothing item from another booth during the early hours of the event to also support JDRF. In addition to the fashion show and pop-up boutiques we’ve partnered up with Cincy Chic on, we’re also adding Best Bar and Best Restaurant contests to allow our guests to vote on their favorites. We are also adding a new VIP area, with an elevated bar and lounge.

      Cincy Chic: Are tickets sold out?
      Newman: They are! However, sponsorships are still available for the event and can be purchased online at Sponsorships are $750 and include VIP perks!

      Cincy Chic: What are you most excited about when it comes to this year’s Bourbon & Bowties Bash?
      Newman:  I’m looking forward to the fashion show! This event always seems to attract Cincinnati’s best dressed, so it’s fun this year to more formally add the fashion aspect to the event. We have an exciting new partnership with Blaine’s Men’s Formalwear, which is generously dressing our Bowtie Barons and emcee Bob Herzog, and we can’t wait to see what stylish looks they provide.

      Cincy Chic: Where can those who are interested in a sponsorship go to learn more?
      Newman: Visit for complete event details. This is the one event of the year that you won’t want to miss!

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        A local blogger who wants to look luxurious without the designer price tag is sharing tips on her blog, A Style Breeze. Read on to see how she’s inspiring readers to get out of their comfort zone and affordably try new fashion trends.


        Alli Robben, Founder of A Style Breeze

        Alli Robben grew up as a rather shy and conservative person. But she noticed a change within herself when she was confident and comfortable in what she was wearing.

        “I wanted to share this feeling of confidence and expression of self with other people,” says Robben.

        To share her confidence and self-expression she launched the blog A Style Breeze, an edgy and minimalist fashion blog meant to inspire and encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and try out new fashion trends.


        On her blog Robben says she mixes affordable clothing brands with luxury accessories, which she’s showcasing with her most recent blog posts about her favorite fall trends for 2017.

        “Fall is my favorite time of year, so I always have a blast creating content during this time of year,” she says.

        And it’s Robben’s personal style in fashion that helps set her and her blog apart from other bloggers in the city.

        “My personal style will always make A Style Breeze unique because no one else will have that,” she says.

        When it comes to running her blog, she says that what she enjoys the most is being a fashion influencer in a city that isn’t so fashion-forward yet.

        “I used to feel self-conscious when people would stare at me for what I was wearing but now I full on embrace it because I like to think I am being an inspiration above all else,” she says. “On top of that, I’ve always had a heart for helping other people and my fashion blog has allowed me to combine that passion with my gift of style.”

        Robben currently runs the blog on her own, but hopes to continue expanding and collaborating with different photographers in the industry and even hire an intern in the future.

        Robben says she’s always working on something new, either for herself or for the blog. “A few months ago I launched my own jewelry collection with RachelKeppelerDesigns, so it’s been cool to see the success of that,” she says.

        At the moment, Robben is in the beginning stages of planning her first collaboration with a local Cincinnati hotel, Hotel Covington.

        To learn more about A Style Breeze, shop Robben’s looks, and read her blog posts, visit You can find daily inspiration on her Instagram page or get to know her personally on her YouTube channel.

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        In need of a creative outlet, a local medical professional launched a beauty and style blog. Learn how her cultural background draws inspiration for her intriguing topics.


        Yuliya Azirbayeva launched the blog Style As Needed while in her final year of pharmacy school.

        Yuliya Azirbayeva is a pharmacist by day and a style and beauty blogger by night. Azirbayeva says she launched her blog, Style As Needed, as a creative outlet.

        “I am a pharmacist so my day job does not provide for any creative ability and I have always been very into fashion and beauty,” she explains. “I have been a long time blog reader myself and I thought about starting Style As Needed for years before finally taking the plunge.”

        That leap of faith finally came for Azirbayeva about a year ago, when she was in her final year of pharmacy school. he launched Style As Needed, also known as Style PRN (PRN is the short code for “as needed”)

        Azirbayeva says that Style As Needed focuses on style and beauty, although she also loves to incorporate travel into her posts as well, as it is another passion of hers. Azirbayeva moved to the United States from Almaty, Kazakhstan when she was 10, and has lived in Cincinnati ever since.

        Azirbayeva says that one of her favorite things about running Style As Needed is getting feedback from her readers. “Nothing makes me happier after working hard on a post than getting a lot of comments and reader feedback,” she says.

        She also likes the planning and thinking that goes into blogging. “I enjoy the aspect of blogging that has to do with planning and creativity. You constantly have to be thinking about your next post or what you can write about that would be interesting for your readers, so I love the brainstorming aspect.”

        When asked what it is that makes Style As Needed unique, Azirbayeva says that it’s her cultural background. “My sense of style that draws influence from my culture makes my blog unique,” she says. “I am constantly looking into styles and trends from overseas and like to incorporate those into Style As Needed.”

        One of Azirbayeva’s favorite posts on Style As Needed was comparing beauty subscription services such as Ipsy, Birchbox, and Sephora Play. “That post took a lot of time and effort and I think it definitely paid, off,” she said. “I also love the posts I did on my Italy trip. I had details on our tours, where and what we ate, and absolutely stunning pictures from that trip.”

        Now that she is done with school, Azirbayeva says that she is hoping to put more time and effort into Style As Needed to help expand it as much as possible. “I am hoping to work with more local companies around Cincinnati since there are so many great ones around,” she says.

        Azirbayeva is also looking forward to upcoming seasonal fashions. “I am currently looking forward to working on all of my fall and winter style posts as those are my favorite seasons when it comes to fashion,” she adds.

        To learn more about about Style As Needed, visit or follow along on Instagram.

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        Loving talking food and drinks? Then you won’t want to miss this locally-based podcast led by a husband-and-wife team on a mission to tickle your tastebuds.


        Ginny and Charlie Tonic, hosts of the podcast the Charlie Tonic Hour.

        Ginny Tonic and her husband Charlie are passionate about exploring the world of food and alcohol. In an industry that can be both unexpected and delightful, the two use their podcast, Charlie Tonic Hour, in an effort to bring people close to the people, places, history, culture, and science that create the food and drinks everyone knows and loves.

        “Charlie Tonic Hour is dedicated to the wonderful world of events, eating, and especially drinking, in and around Cincinnati,” says Ginny Tonic, co-host of the podcast. “Every week we make recommendations for things to do, review a drink for you to order over the weekend, and explore some aspect of drinking culture in Cincinnati.”

        When it comes to her role in the podcast, Tonic says that she’s the co-host and is in charge of reviewing and making the drinks. As for her husband, Charlie, she laughs and says that he likes to describe himself as her alcohol crash-test dummy.

        Since the drinking culture in Cincinnati is so prevalent, with tons of breweries, distilleries, and more in the Greater Cincinnati region, Tonic and her husband wanted to create an informational podcast for food and alcohol lovers in the city.

        But being informational isn’t the only thing the Charlie Tonic Hour has to offer. “Our personalities really come through on our show,” says Tonic. “We want listening to the show to be like hanging out with friends.”

        The Charlie Tonic Hour has chatted with its fair share of those who have a mutual love for food and alcohol. “I love getting to talk to other people who are as excited as I am about cocktails and creativity,” says Tonic. “We’ve interviewed everyone from the best-selling spirits writer David Wondrich to local legend Molly Wellmann.”

        Tonic says that the Charlie Tonic Hour recently started releasing their drinks segment as a stand-alone podcast called Bottom’s Up with Ginny and Charlie.

        Tonic is also setting out on a solo adventure, too. “On November 1 I am launching a new inspirational podcast called Remeasured Life,” she adds. “This podcast is not alcohol-related. Instead, each episode I will interview someone who has had to make drastic changes to their life and have come out better for it.”

        To learn more about Charlie Tonic Hour, or to follow along with their podcast, visit