The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Authors Posts by Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert
Editor & Director of Strategic Communications - Sara is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree in English literature. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. To contact Sara, send her an email at

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    See how one local woman’s sense of wanderlust turned into a unique travel agency that helps everyone - on any budget - travel the world like a local.

    Something ventured is something gained. That’s the motto, and inspiration, that Sarah Baker applies to her full-service travel agency Something Adventured Travel. 

    “Something Adventured Travel is a full-service travel agency that makes the client a priority,” she says. “It takes a client’s dream vacation and turns it into a reality. I offer personalized planning an on-call support should any issues arise during your travels.”

    Baker says that the inspiration behind her business, something ventured is something gained, is applicable especially to travel. 

    “When you get out and see the world, venture outside your bubble, you learn so much,” she says. “You learn about the world you live in, gaining a new understanding of the cultures, people, and yourself. Therefore, Something Adventured is gaining something priceless.”

    Baker’s love for travel has always been a part of her, but it really took off when she and her husband decided to sell everything and live somewhere else in the world.

    “Starting with an exploratory trip to Costa Rica for our 10 year anniversary, we decided that was a great place to start,” she explains. “We wanted to experience a new culture and have an adventure with our young children.”

    The Bakers sold their home, stored everything they wanted to keep in a storage unit, and moved to Costa Rica. 

    “We were fortunate to rent a house located in a coffee field on the side of the Poas Volcano,” she says. “The view was breathtaking. We ended up staying there for about seven months, leaving a little earlier than expected due to a family need.”

    Sarah Baker, founder of Something Adventured Travel

    While their journey in Costa Rica ended early, her desire to continue traveling never slowed down. The family then went to Europe for just over 5 months to stay in southern Spain, France, and England, where they explored and immersed themselves in the culture the best they could.

    “We were able to go anywhere with an internet connection, still working remotely, being digital nomads,” says Baker.

    Eventually they returned home, but the itch was still there. Baker realized that she loved planning trips and enjoyed being able to help others who said they felt overwhelmed in planning their own trips.

    Baker opened Something Adventured Travel in January 2018 and has since been able to help people take trips they were not able to or did not want to plan alone. “I have met some amazing people and formed priceless relationships,” she says. “And my personal bucket list has at least doubled.”

    Baker can help her clients plan trips to anywhere in the world. 

    “From the Caribbean sea to the rivers of Europe, hiking to Machu Picchu, on safari in Kenya, seeing the glaciers of Alaska, or even the glaciers of Antarctica, I can help you explore wherever your heart desires,” she says. “Whether you are looking for a first-class honeymoon to an exotic locations, a family adventure to Universal Studios, or a fun group vacation with your own private, local guide, I can customize your vacation to make it all your own.”

    Sarah Baker specializes in offering tips and opportunities to travel like a local

    With travel comes a price tag, an area in which Baker is well-versed. With her former career in finance, she realizes how important it is to stick to a budget and make small payments leading up to the trip instead of big lump sums. That’s why she works with vendors who allow clients to do a down payment and then pay the remainder of their planned trip closer to the travel date. “Even better, this is at no extra cost to my clients for the flexibility in payments,” says Baker. “The down payment and final payment date vary based on the travel arrangements.”

    Baker prides herself on being able to offer clients perspective on what may be good places to visit, with or without children. “I offer clients VIP service in their travel planning as well,” she says. “As a small business owner, I truly value your experience. Not only do I help you plan your dream vacation, but I can also offer ideas for packing, places of interest in your destination, and amazing value for your desired travel style and destination, many times matching or beating the cost of booking on your own – all the while offering your personalized service that cannot be had with an online booking site.”

    You can find travel inspiration and see what’s going on in the world on Facebook. You can also sign up for the Something Adventured newsletter or start planning your next vacation at

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    A new report on the growth and development of minority-owned businesses in the city is out. Keep reading for all the details.

    The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has a group dedicated to accelerating and developing minority businesses in the city through its Minority Business Accelerator.

    The Minority Business Accelerator has a goal to help expand the minority entrepreneurial community in the region by helping to accelerate the growth and development of sizable African-American and Hispanic owned businesses. 

    The Minority Business Accelerator does this by providing individually-tailored advisory support and docaching to help Minority Business Enterprises to obtain what they need to be successful while also acting as an extension of another program to connect them with MBE Portfolio Firms.

    Since its inception in 2003, the Minority Business Accelerator has worked to address disparity in the region’s business community to drive economic activity and increase employment in underemployed segments.

    Because the Chamber has a goal of growing the aggregate annual revenues of minority businesses in the region by $1 billion and creating 3,500 jobs by the end of 2022, they want to offer a yearly update on its Minority Business Accelerator with an annual report.

    “This bold vision and plan have galvanized regional and national stakeholders desiring to partner with us to not only accomplish something transformational for Greater Cincinnati, but something that might truly inform and transform this work across the nation,” says Cynthia Booth, Minority Business Accelerator Board Chair. “Our four key pillars to achieve these bold goals, which are to grow our existing portfolio firms, build a robust pipeline, attract larger-scale minority firms to the region, and create new minority firms via acquisition of mainstream businesses, have each enjoyed major developments over the past year, and have collectively served to further elevate and position the Minority Business Accelerator as a national best practice.”

    To learn more about the Minority Business Accelerator at the Chamber, click here

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    Years in the real estate industry led one expert to launch her own coaching business for other real estate agents. Read on for more.

    Monica Weakley spent years in the world of real estate. After a lot of hard work, she was offered the chance to take a leadership position with one of the largest real estate offices in the Queen City. 

    During her tenure, she was the one in charge of coaching and training realtors on a daily basis – and a light bulb went off. “I realized then that this is what I wanted to do,” she says. “Shortly after that, I started my coaching company and began doing one-on-one coaching and group coaching with agents from all over the United States and Canada.”

    Today, Weakley is the founder of My Coach, Monica, a coaching company that helps real estate agents grow their business, and income, by showing them how to turn their relationships into referral-generating machines. 

    Weakley offers three different types of coaching services through her business: One-on-One Coaching, Referral Revolution, and Referral Blueprint.

    The one-on-one coaching is $899 per month, and the Referral Revolution is a membership program that costs $99 per month. Then, there’s the Referral Blueprint, an online digital course that gives participants the system an agent needs to build a lucrative referral business.

    Weakley says that what makes her business unique is that she knows what her strengths are when it comes to helping other real estate agents – and she sticks to it. “My strength is helping agents who want to build a business by referral,” says Weakley. “If you were a real estate agent, how would you like the secret referral formula? That’s what I offer so that agents can create a predictable and steady flow of income to their business.”

    She’s also known for her ability to ask questions. “When I can ask an agent the right series of questions, I can help them self-discover their challenges, their fears, their excuses, and their path to success,” Weakley adds.

    All of the coaching offered by My Coach, Monica, is a system that utilizes the teachings of Hank Avink’s 36 To Life product and expands on it to include even more activities and daily blueprints to follow.

    Weakley says that what she doesn’t do is help agents who only want to cold call, knock on doors, or any other form of what she calls transactional business. 

    To learn more about My Coach, Monica, visit You can also follow along on her personal Facebook page or her business page.

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    One of the first full-service climbing gyms in the Midwest has opened its doors in a new location in Oakley. Keep reading for more.

    It’s been 26 years since Climb Time opened its first location in Blue Ash. Now, in 2019, they’re opening their doors at a second location in Oakley.
    “Climb Time Oakley is a 45-ft tall facility with lead climbing, top roping, speed climbing, and, of course, bouldering,” says Climb Time President Patty Law. “We are open to beginner intermediate, and advanced climbers, and our pro shop offers climbing gear, clothing, books, and accessories.”
    Those who want to get in the rock climbing game or who want to advance their skills can check out the facility that was built from the ground up and features nearly 11,000-square-feet of climbable wall space.
    In addition to the climbing offerings at Climb Time, you’ll also find other amenities including a Tension board, a campus board, a rowing machine, kettlebells, and free weights. 
    “Yoga classes and fitness clinics are something that we will have in our offerings in the near future,” says Law. “Our location, which is within walking distance of MadTree Brewing, had its grand opening on August 31 and saw a massive turnout with a line of patrons that wrapped outside around the corner.”
    Law says that those who want to turn their passion for climbing into a competition can try out the competitions that are held at Climb Time, including the famed circuit America Bouldering Series that was born in Climb Time in the late 90s.
    Climb Time Oakley is located at 4460 Orkney Avenue in Cincinnati. 
    To learn more about Climb Time, visit You can also follow along on Facebook.

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    A boutique in Old West Chester gives women size small to 3X a golden opportunity to feel like a million bucks in cute clothes without spending it.

    A boutique in Old West Chester helps women brighten up their wardrobe, regardless of their size or budget.

    Golden Day Boutique sells “Women’s comfy, affordable, fun clothes sizes small-3X,” says Caron Armstrong, owner of Golden Day Boutique. The boutique originally opened five year ago in the Grand Antique Mall in the Reading/Evendale area. They recently opened their current location at: 9035 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Old West Chester, Ohio, two weeks ago. 

    The inspiration behind starting Golden Day Boutique came from Armstrong’s passion for retail. “I managed Victoria’s Secret for 13 years in Nashville, managed Pottery Barn Kids for five years… then opened the Pandora Store in Franklin, Tennessee,” she says. “Moving back to Ohio, I decided to take a leap of faith and see where God would take me.” The name of the business came from a voicemail that she had for years that said “Have a golden day.”

    The boutique has a wide variety of products that they sell, including: clothing, jewelry, ornaments and other items. “My boutique doesn’t feel like anything else we have locally,” Armstrong says. “It’s definitely got a southern flair.”

    The boutique’s mission is “To help all women feel confident and beautiful in their own eyes the way God sees them in His,” she says.  Golden Day Boutique doesn’t just care about the way you look in your clothes. Armstrong defines success by “Women coming back over and over because they wore something that made them feel special,” she says. “My boutique isn’t just about buying a shirt or sweater, it’s about a feel. I want you to feel special.”

    As for the future of the business, she doesn’t know thing are going to go, but she trusts that God will provide. “I will say, He wants us all to Dream Bigger, so I know He will take me there,” Armstrong says. 

    Her favorite moment of the business so far is taking out money from her retirement. “Taking money out of my retirement to start a 10 x 10 spot in my husband’s Antique Mall. Trusting and walking in faith, even when people said ‘everyone sells boutique clothes, people can just buy online, etc.,’ didn’t get to me because I knew not everyone has my passion and it drives me,” Armstrong says. “Now having my own building! I purchased my friend’s Montessori school last October and it was perfect timing for both of us to grow!”

    If you want to keep up with what Golden Day Boutique is doing, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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    A locally-loved, trendy children’s clothing store just moved from Kenwood to OTR. Keep reading to learn more.

    Cincy Chic: What is Hutch Baby?
    Alexus Hight, Owner of Hutch Baby: Hutch Baby is a children’s clothing store that features hand-picked brands that offer sustainably sourced clothing ranging in size from newborn to youth 14-16. Hutch Baby also carries infant accessories and natural skincare products for babies and children.
    Cincy Chic: Tell us about your new location in Over-the-Rhine!
    Hight: Hutch Baby got its start in the Kenwood Towne Centre back in 2014. We then moved into a temporary space at 1432 Elm Street before finding our permanent home at 1209 Vine Street. 
    Cincy Chic: When does the new location open?
    Hight: Our permanent space opened on November 29, Black Friday, where we celebrated with lots of discounts.
    Cincy Chic: What makes Hutch Baby unique?
    Hight: Our new space features a play area for children in the back, which keeps them entertained while parents shop. We also have a lactation room for mothers so they can pump breast milk or nurse in privacy and comfort. We want customers to have a personal, interactive experience, and we want to help our customers out as parents. We’re watching the kids grow as we grow as a business.
    Cincy Chic: When can readers stop by and visit the store?
    Hight: Hutch Baby’s regular hours are 11am to 7 pm Tuesday through Saturday. 
    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Hight: Visit our website at We’re also on Facebook and Instagram.

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      After a life-changing trip to Indonesia, one local woman wants to make a difference in the world selling Fair Trade jewelry, accessories, and apparel. Click here to read the inspiring story and how you can help one beautiful buy at a time.

      Mandy Nagel is on a mission. She wants to expand the global marketplace of hardworking people in developing countries. 

      “By designing and selling Fair Trade accessories, apparel, and jewelry, we offer products handmade from natural and sustainable resources,” says Nagel. “Each purchase represents a building block for constructing a business that provides income to people who need it most.”

      When people choose to shop Fair Trade, the styles those customers purchase help to transform real lives in real ways while also reusing upcycles and eco-friendly materials.

      “The artisans who craft these styles are inspiring women who have found steady and rewarding work through this sustainable venture,” adds Nagel. “Fair Trade items take on a whole new value of living a life with greater meaning. By practicing conscious consumerism, the question of what you want to own is actually a reflection of how you want to live your life – your purpose becomes giving others a purpose.”

      Nagel, who was inspired to launch I Thought of You after a trip to Indonesia, says that she felt her brand was “meant to be” because of its start based on circumstance and coincidence. 

      While in Indonesia, Nagel met a woman selling handmade jewelry at a local market. The woman, named Yulia, was selling pieces that had a unique beauty and undeniable craftsmanship about them. “I bought roughly 20 pieces and returned home with the, excited to show off my new ‘collection’ and to share Yulia’s story,” she says.

      When people began commenting on her pieces purchased in Indonesia, Nagel knew that she needed to build a fashion brand that was there to support artisans and makers like Yulia. 

      From there, the rest was history. “Our story began from the experience of this trip,” says Nagel. “We wanted to creative positive change so we set out to make it happen. We’re a small but powerful team of five and we just celebrated our 5th birthday this November.”

      Nagel says she enjoys being able to help artisans from around the world and making a positive impact on the lives of the women with whom she works. 


      “The choices you make when you shop reflect your intentionality in creating a lifestyle that leads to substantial impacts,” says Nagel. “What you own can also stand for something truly significant. These impacts are what drive us to always be a company for good.”

      There are a range of modern styles available at I Thought of You that range from accessories, apparel, jewelry, and sunglasses. “Because each and every product is handmade, they will always be one-of-a-kind,” says Nagel. “When you buy our products, you are truly buying something that is uniquely yours.”

      Products in-store include:

      While I Thought of You is online-based at, you can also find them popping up at local events in Cincy, around Ohio, and beyond.

      Nagel is excited about the future of I Thought of You because of the work she gets to do with artisans from all over the world. 

      “This January, we will be releasing a whimsical collection of accessories and apparel handcrafted in India, Indonesia, and Peru,” says Nagel. “These new products will feature one-of-a-kind fabrics, semi-precious stones, and real shells. From hues of pink to bright pops of red, these styles will be perfect for thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifting.”

      Then, in March, I Thought of You will celebrate the arrival of spring with statement tassel necklaces, glitzy glam backpacks, new designs of some of the store’s best-selling upcycled fabric headwraps, and more. 

      “Keep your eyes peeled later in March when we introduce Zoo Babies, a collection that has been more than a year and a half in the making,” she says. “This collection will feature the daintiest, miniature animal earrings made from ceramic and polymer clay. You can’t help but go wild for these adorable styles.”

      To learn more about I Thought of You, visit You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. There’s also an Insiders Facebook Group for others to join as well. 

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      New skincare services are now available at a spa that specializes in helping women enjoy a luxurious, toxin-free spa experience. 

      Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound has a new location in Florence, Kentucky, in addition to its Mason, Ohio location that just celebrated a 15 year anniversary. 

      But that’s not the only thing new at Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound. They just launched several new services, expanding the use of the new performance-based, all-natural skincare products line, Pevonia.

      The spa isn’t just for those who are expecting, either, says Marnie Gosser, spa manager of Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound. In fact, she adds, because they only use products that are all-natural yet result-oriented, their spa is a regional destination for those who want a toxin-free spa experience. 

      All staff receives additional training to cater to their mom and mom-to-be guests as well. “We offer services before you are pregnant, during your pregnancy, and after you deliver your baby,” says Gosser. “We specialize in spa services that are therapeutic, relaxing, and pregnancy-safe.”

      The specially trained therapists at Becoming Mom are there to help customers feel pampered with products and techniques that are safe yet performance-based. Gosser says they see dramatic results with issues like acne, swollen feet, dark spots or bags under eyes.

      New services now available at Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound include the Glow Facial Plus and the Royal Treatment Facial. 

      “The Glow Facial Plus uses three different ancient Chinese tools that help you get the results you’re looking for without all the chemicals and toxins that are out there in the beauty industry,” Gosser says.

      The facial boosts collagen production, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and helps to even out pigmentation issues you may have with your skin. Specialists also use beauty oils that are customized to your skin type – so whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or acne, the Glow Facial Plus can help your skin.

      The Royal Treatment Facial is considered to be the ultimate facial offered at Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound. 

      “Our aestheticians use ancient techniques and selected products that address acne, oily, dry, devitalized, or aging skin,” says Gosser. “This exquisite but relaxing treatment includes lymphatic draining to produce radiant, younger looking skin.

      Becoming Mom Spa + Ultrasound has gift cards available for purchase to use for yourself or as a gift for someone for the upcoming holidays. To learn more, visit You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram for pop-up specials and giveaways.

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      A new high-end women’s clothing boutique just opened downtown. Read on for all the retail therapy details!

      When you step inside Le Lieu, you feel the style and panache of luxury boutiques around the world, all right from its new home in the Carew Tower downtown.

      “When initially coming up with the concept, it was integral to us that we become the destination for women of all ages and sizes, where they shop for pieces that they can’t find anywhere else in Cincinnati, while also being able to gain styling knowledge in order to better shop for themselves in the future,” says Le Lieu co-founder Melissa Ohntrup.

      The upscale women’s boutique is part of Hellman Retail Group – the parent company behind Hellman Clothiers and Blaine’s Fine Men’s Apparel. 

      Owner Chuck Hellman spent the past 30 years working for and running successful fashion brands in New York before returning to his hometown to bring the finest clothing the world has to offer to the Queen City. That’s when he teamed up with Ohntrup, a native Cincinnatian, who has seven years experience in image consulting and wardrobe styling, to launch Le Lieu. 

      Currently, the store carries women’s clothing, outerwear, shoes, accessories, and jewelry. “When buying pieces for the store, I try to be sure that nothing is too trendy as to where it can only be worn for a short period of time,” says Ohntrup. “It’s very important to me that each item be high quality, yet stylish. Each seasonal buy is also strategic in that most of the pieces in the store can be paired with one another, creating multiple, versatile looks.”

      Ohntrup says that she designed the space at Le Lieu to be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, where the customers who walk through the door can not only shop for new clothing but can also talk about their wardrobe struggles. 

      “Unfortunately, the climate of retail has changed drastically over the years and has really lost what I feel is the most important aspect – the experience,” she says. “From being able to talk to someone who has knowledge and experience to making them feel welcome, as well as trying clothing on in a fitting room that is well lit and clean, my goal is to be sure every customer leaves Le Lieu not only with pieces that can be integrated into their current wardrobe, but also feel as though they have a better understanding of how to build a cohesive wardrobe that’s easy to wear and has longevity.”

      Ohntrup prides herself on being able to help customers find pieces that they can add to their current wardrobe and even how to make their current wardrobe more versatile – thanks to an on-site tailor who comes in on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

      “Most people don’t have an off-the-rack body, sometimes all it takes for a garment to turn into the perfect piece is a little tailoring,” she adds.

      Le Lieu is located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, inside the Carew Tower Atrium on the first floor. Carew Tower Atrium is located at 441 Vine Street.

      To learn more about Le Lieu, visit You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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      Get in on the growing popularity of social media marketing with this upcoming networking and speaker event at Union Hall. 

      Dooley Social Studio is gearing up to host its final Social Media Show & Tell of 2019 on December 5 from 3-5:30pm at Union Hall. 

      The last even of the year will feature social media experts from Twitter, BallR Media, and BrandTrue.

      Social Media Show & Tells have grown as the importance of a social presence among customers and clients grows stronger. 

      “What started as a small gathering for social media enthusiasts has grown to a quarterly event series featuring practitioners who share a behind-the-scenes look at how businesses succeed with social,” says Matthew Dooley of Dooley Social Studio. “Since its inception, the event has served as a gathering space for executives, strategists, and consultants to learn the latest and be their best.”

      The event this Thursday features Ray Ball, founder and CMO of BallR Media. She’ll be sharing the details about her recent project with Nike, while focusing on best practices for igniting community activism both online and off. “She’ll then moderate a panel of local micro-influencers to discuss the pros and cons of this trend, including how to grow your online influence and what brands should look for when establishing influencer partnerships,” Dooley says.

      Also speaking at the event is Rebeca Arbona, president and chief-truth teller at BrandTrue. Arbona will speak using her knowledge of brand strategy and consumer behavior. “Rebeca will teach us how to build a brand that connects,” says Dooley. “You’ll come away with an understanding of your brand’s underlying truths so you can connect with people in a powerful way that’s real, sincere, and sustainably differentiating.”

      Mindy Brack, lead product specialist at Twitter will share whether you’re a brand or individual and how you can use Twitter to create meaningful connections to the people and audiences that matter to you.

      These Social Media Show & Tell events are ideal for CMOs/Directors of Marketing, Digital Media Managers, Social Media Strategists, Agency and In-house Creatives, Marketing Consultants, Internet Marketers, Public Relations Professionals, Brand Strategists, Small Business Owners, and Nonprofit Leaders.

      Since the events have become so popular among social media and marketing pros in the region, there is limited seating available. “In order to keep the event intimate and maximize learning opportunities, we’re limiting the ticket quantity,” says Dooley. “Get in on this event early, as it will sell out.” 

      To learn more about the event or to purchase tickets, click here