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Authors Posts by Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert

Sara Sybert
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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 selliott@cincychic.com.

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There’s nothing quite like A Bride’s Mafia. Read on as two local brides explain how this bridal concierge helped them plan their big day — saving time, stress and money in the process.

Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride's Mafia
Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride’s Mafia

Jennifer Sweis isn’t like most girls. She never thought she’d get married, and because of that, she didn’t dream of plans or specific details.

“I just knew I wanted to wear a wedding gown and I wanted my fiancé to be present,” she laughs. The Monday after she got engaged, she met with Nidhi Bedi, owner of A Bride’s Mafia for her complimentary consultation.

Planning a wedding can be stressful, even more so if you have no idea where to begin. Sweis says Bedi immediately made her feel more relaxed. “I explained that I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what she wanted for a wedding – no ideas for colors, flowers, locations, bridesmaid dresses, etc.,” Sweis recalls. “I wasn’t even sure that I needed a planner.”

Sweis says Bedi put her fears at ease, and ensured her that she could get married that summer “and that my fiancé would be there,” she laughs. “From there, she arranged everything.”

According to Sweis, being A Bride’s Mafia client was like having an industry insider at your fingertips. “I was able to meet with the best vendors of the business,” she says. “If I was not 100 percent satisfied with a vendor due to personal preference, Nidhi would arrange a meeting with a difference vendor.”

After all decisions were made, Bedi, Sweis and her fiancé met with the vendors together as a “team meeting.” There, they discussed the specifics such as timelines, the overall look of the wedding, photos, colors, flowers, video, music and everything in between.

“I had never felt more at ease during our planning adventure than that day,” says Sweis. “and for the first time, I understood what was really meant by ‘A Bride’s Mafia.’”

Sweis says that what she loved the most about planning her big day with A Bride’s Mafia is that she wasn’t just a client to Bedi. Everyone involved in the process treated her and her fiancé like real people with real visions, beliefs, families, friends and memories. “Many of the people we worked with for our big day,” Sweis says, “we still has a relationship with today.”

The only thing Sweis says she would change about her experience is the rain that dried to dampen her day – not that it really mattered, because Bedi had it all under control.

“Even then, Nidhi walked up to my mother and I -in a dripping black dress, wet hair stuck to her face, with a smile- and said, ‘I have it under control, Jenn. Everything is going to be amazing,’” Sweis recalls. “She was right. Her ‘Mafia’ -including the florist, photographer, linen organizer, assistant, DJ and caterer- scrambled to move the beautiful chairs under cover so the rain would not damage them. We pushed back the ceremony 30 minutes, and with a rainbow in the sky, we still had the most beautiful day that she had promised.”

Sweis isn’t the only one who’s had a wonderful experience with A Bride’s Mafia. Mona Mislanker says that she initially heard of Bedi and A Bride’s Mafia through a friend who recently got married.

“At first I wasn’t sure if I needed a planner, but then quickly realized that I was in over my head without one,” says Mislanker. On top of planning a wedding, she was also working 100-hour weeks.

Since most of her working hours were spent outside of Cincinnati, Mislanker heavily relied on Nidhi and her team to help her navigate the logistics of her big day when she was unable to be there.

“From the second I met Nidhi during our initial consultation, I knew that she was going to be a great fit for me and my dream wedding,” says Mislanker. “Having someone on your side that knows the ins and outs of the wedding industry, the appropriate timelines, vendors and the do’s and don’ts of planning a wedding is exactly what every bride should have so they can spend their time focusing on the smaller and more personal details to make their wedding what they want.”

The best part for Mislanker, though, was the ability to work with the best vendors in the city who made her feel like a million bucks, without actually spending it. Between the complimentary consultation and special offers she got from vendors by being a “Mafia” member, Mislanker says she was able to stretch her bridal budget much further.

“All the vendors we worked with were amazing and always put me at ease,” she adds, “I’ve already recommended each and every one a thousand times and will continue to do so.”

For Mislanker, she loved how Bedi and her team were there by her side for the entire four-day wedding weekend. “It not only felt like they were helping with the logistics, but were truly there for me to help me celebrate and enjoy my wedding,” she says.

To learn more about A Bride’s Mafia, visit abridesmafia.com.

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Learn about a local lady who launched a full-service event planning business, who specializes in weddings and also corporate planning.

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Maura Bassman, owner of Cincy Weddings by Maura

She remembers watching “Father of the Bride” like it was yesterday. It was the first time Maura Bassman saw an event planner in action, and she knew immediately that’s what she wanted to do for a living.

“I was so excited because it was the first time that I realized my love for weddings could actually be translated into a career,” she recalls. “From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a wedding planner and I continued to keep my eye on the prize.”

Today, Bassman is the owner of Cincy Weddings by Maura, which launched in October 2014. While weddings are her main focus, she also enjoys social and corporate planning.

For brides, Bassman created a variety of easy-to-understand package options allowing couples to choose when they need planning advice – the beginning, the middle, the end, or everything in between. “The first step in the planning process is to meet with me to discuss your wedding vision, budget and other details relevant to your wedding,” she explains. “From there, I help you choose a package option that is perfect for you. Through vendor relationships and our planning expertise, I make sure you are making the best investments possible regarding your wedding day.”

A Cincinnati transplant, Bassman moved here from West Virginia in 2005 and studied Entrepreneurial studies at Xavier University. During college, she conducted her co-op at March of Dimes and helped with the planning of large fundraising events, where she was able to really get experience in the planning industry. Then, after she graduated from Xavier, she worked as an event coordinator for a restaurant as well as two large Cincinnati wedding venues.

Bassman says her favorite part of what she does is building relationships with couples and their families. “I find that by building those close relationships with my clients, I am able to provide couples with the wedding they’ve always envisions,” she says. “It’s so much fun being part of this process with them – I get to meet them when they are newly engaged and then see them become man and wife!”

To learn more, visit the Cincy Weddings by Maura website, visit her blog, or email info@cincyweddingsbymaura.com.

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There’s a new bootcamp in town, and it’s specifically designed for brides-to-be. Learn more about the 8- or 12-week program that can help you look and feel your best on the big day.

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Need to get in shape for your wedding but not quite sure where to start? Blushing Brides Bootcamp by Queen City Kettlebell offers a comprehensive 8- or 12-week program designed just for you that will help you get healthy and toned just in time for the wedding bells to ring.

The bridal bootcamp program is comprised of high-intensity interval training, a nutrition plan built around whole foods and realistic goal-setting that will guarantee results and ensure you look your best for the big day.030915HEALTH2

The 8- or 12-week programs include goal-setting and planning sessions, orientation training sessions, three 1-hour high-intensity workouts per week, small group settings that foster personalized training, private sessions with a certified trainer and nutrition specialist, bi-weekly measurements, a variety of class times, phone and email support and a workout and photo journal to chart your progress.

Daniel Wittekind, owner of Queen City Kettlebell, says that the program is designed to help brides-in-the-making eliminate some of their health issues and concerns that are often pushed off to the side during wedding planning. “Instead of having the additional fitness component on the table and stressing over it, we take it off and leave all the decision making to our expert coaches,” he says.

Participants of the program will get an introductory kettlebell class to teach them basic kettlebell skills as well as the weekly workout sessions. There is no bouncing or jumping, strictly weight training, so you don’t have to be too coordinated to reap the benefits of this bootcamp or doing monotonous workouts on the treadmill, stair climber or elliptical.

Wittekind says that the cost of the program varies depending on your needs. “This isn’t a one size fits all program, and sometimes that means some participants can afford to attend more often than others,” he says. “However, that shouldn’t mean that anyone willing to work for their goals should be left out.”

The best part? Blushing Brides Bootcamp offers a money-back guarantee for brides – not that they anticipate falling short in helping anyone reach their goals. According to Blushing Brides Bootcamp, those who fail to achieve the goals agreed to during the initial consultation will receive a refund of 50 percent of the bride’s original cost as long as all other factors including class attendance, food journaling and dietary guidelines are followed.

In addition to their program for brides, Wittekind adds that they’re currently working on a program for postpartum mothers. Although the details are still being worked out and the initial beta group is still going through the program, he says that participants can expect the same level of professionalism you get with the Blushing Brides Bootcamp program.

Queen City Kettlebell is located at 2577 Duck Creek Road in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit www.blushingbridesbootcamp.com, reach out to info@blushingbridesbootcamp.com or call program organizer Ben Eisenmenger at 513-549-0552.

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One local photographer is helping ladies shed their shyness and step out in front of the camera for beautiful boudoir sessions. Read on for all the undressed details.

Jacalyn Mains, Owner of JMM Photography and Forza Boudoir (Photo: Nathan Peel)
Jacalyn Mains, Owner of JMM Photography and Forza Boudoir (Photo: Nathan Peel)

Cincy Chic: What is Forza Boudoir?
Jacalyn Mains, Owner of JMM Photography and Forza Boudoir: Forza is a photography experience that empowers women to break out of the mold that society places on the definition of beauty. My hope is to help women find their inner beauty and how that radiates to their outward beauty. I chose the word Forza because it means “strength” in Italian (I’m Italian). My goal is to make every woman who does a session with me see herself in a light she never knew.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
Mains: I’m the owner of Forza and JMM Photography. I was named after the Charlie’s Angel Jacalyn Smith (my maiden name is Smith). On my birth certificate my mom thought Jaclyn Smith spelled her name J-A-C-A-L-Y-N, so that’s how I got my unique spelling. I’m married to an ever so supportive husband, Aaron, and we have two super cool children together. I see life through “rose colored glasses” and enjoy living that way – it’s easier to see the glass half full. God gave me the gift of seeing things a bit differently when looking through the lens of a camera. I am passionate about using this gift to remind women how beautifully God created them.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind Forza Boudoir?
Mains: I want to empower women to love themselves and their bodies! So many times we hear and see what the media and society says a woman “should” look like. I call bull on that! We doo a good enough job beating ourselves up, we don’t need society to help with that. Thus, for me, boudoir photography is an artistic interpretation of you – a strong, powerful being. (Think: “I am woman, hear me ROAR!”). It’s an expression of your inner beauty and how it is reflected on the outside. My goal during a boudoir session is to, first and foremost, make you feel comfortable and to have fun, but also to showcase your beauty, no matter what your size or shape, while leaving as much to the imagination as you want. Honestly, this is a gift for you as much as it is for your loved one.

Cincy Chic: How did you get involved in boudoir photography?
Mains: Boudoir, lucky for me, kind of fell in my lap in that I had a friend reach out to me on behalf of her friend that was interested in such a session. I jumped at the chance to photograph a woman and focus on the beauty behind the female form. I loved the session so much, as I found it so rewarding to show a woman how I see her – through an artist’s eye – that I knew I had to continue to offer boudoir.

Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
Mains: I almost feel guilty because I feel like I get as much back from the session as my clients do. The joy I get from hearing a woman so enthusiastic and bewildered on how her images turned out is insurmountable. I can easily say that this is the most rewarding side of photography for me. I simply love to make a woman feel good about her. Forza does that.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Forza Boudoir?
Mains: Actually, I just recently moved into a new studio at 821 York Street that has gorgeous sets to offer my clients! For some photos of the classic studio v. the vinage/rustic set, try thishttp://forzaboudoir.com/the-studio/. Not only that, but next month on April 15 and 24, I’ll be teaming up with Lyndsey from Glossa Professional Makeup Artistry http://www.glossamakeup.net/ for Forza Boudoir mini session days! For $300, clients will get professional hair styling, makeup application and a 20-minute shoot in one beautiful location as well as some mimosas for liquid courage.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Mains: My website of course! www.forzaboudoir.com. However, just a heads up: There are no photos on my site. I know some of you are like “show me the pictures!” – I mean, I am a photography company, right? However, to protect the privacy of my clients, I do not post my boudoir images publicly. But, I can share them privately. Drop me a line at info@forzaboudoir.com to see Forza’s private gallery.

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    While snow still covers the ground, we’re dreaming of Spring. Not just for the warmer, sunny weather, but also all the fresh fashions the new season will bring. Read on as Courtney PeGan, owner of Curate Boutique, gives us a sneak peek into her latest buying trip and explains which trends will be heating up your wardrobe when the temperatures rise.

    Courtney PeGan, owner and head curator at Curate Boutique
    Courtney PeGan, owner and head curator at Curate Boutique

    What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. At least, not for Courtney PeGan, owner and head curator at Curate Boutique, who recently went on a buying trip to Las Vegas and couldn’t wait to give us the scoop on new trends.

    One of spring’s biggest trends, according to PeGan, is a new class of graphic prints. “While we’ve seen graphic prints as a trend for many season, it’s the blending of hard and soft patterns – making them more abstract than what we normally see – that makes this particular trend stand out,” she says. “From skirts and pants to tops and dresses, prints will be everywhere. Embrace the bold, colorful prints for an immediate boost to your spring wardrobe as they will look killer paired with white denim or chambray – my favorite warm weather staples!”

    Also on the trend radar for this spring is mixing luxe textures and fabrics. According to PeGan, leather and lace will be big this season. She adds that in addition to leather and lace, you can be sure that rich brocades, tweeds, chiffons, 100 percent pure silks and other luxurious fabrics will be some of the hottest styles this spring. “We often talk about how clothing looks, but this season will have everyone talking about how it feels,” she says. “For spring and summer, you definitely should invest in lace, silk and chiffon. These little luxuries have never been so accessible.”

    For the girly-girls out there, be ready for ladylike details, including bows, ruffles, full skirts and florals, to be big this season. “From subtle accents that soften edgier styles, to full on 1950s vintage-inspired cocktail dresses, there are so many fun ways to wear this trend,” says PeGan. Pretty, girly details such as soft colors, soft fabrics and demure necklines will give even the edgiest of styles, such as PeGan’s, a feminine touch.

    “My style personally tends to be a bit edgier and tougher, but I am a sucker for floral and chiffons and lack and polka dots, oh my!” laughs PeGan. “The key to incorporating this trend into my wardrobe is to mix in one piece at a time. I cannot wait to pair my favorite moto with a full floral skirt.”

    In addition to prints, skirts, chiffon and other fashion trends, PeGan says that wearable technology is another trend to watch (pun intended) this season. She adds that the area she’s most personally excited about is the intersection of technology and fashion.

    “I sometimes consider my iPhone to be an extension of myself, kind of like a third hand,” she explains. “But my gadgets are definitely not a reflection of my personal style. Enter, the Wearable Tech Trend.”

    She says that designers are doing more to find ways that technology can not only be more accessible and user-friendly, but to also be more stylish, allowing us to incorporate it into our everyday style.

    She says that a couple of her favorite examples of wearable tech come from the accessories world and include pedometers and fitness trackers disguised as jewelry in the most stylish way possible. One of these is Tory Burch for FitBit as well as purses that can charge your phone while you’re out and about. These trends, she says, will be making an appearance at Curate Boutique very soon. “Now your tech can be more than just an extension of your body, it can be a reflection of your style too,” she says.

    PeGan shared some of the newest brands that she’s brought into Curate including Kingdom & State, Angeleye London, See You Soon and LA Made. Kindgom & State is from London. PeGan says the brand blends high fashion, craftsmanship and pocketbook-friendly prices. They also do swimwear, so PeGan says you can expect to see vintage inspired bikinis at Curate this spring. See You Soon is a top French brand that offers style and “Parisienne chic,” as PeGan calls it, with feminine and trendy looks. LA Made was launched in 2004 and boasts a variety of colors, prints and fabrics.

    Angeleye London was created out of the inspirational markets found in London, including the urban style of Portobello in Notting Hill, vintage from Spitalfields in the East and the rock and roll style found in Camden Market. “I studied abroad in England and have seen and shopped in all those markets, and as soon as I saw this collection, I was immediately transported back to England,” says PeGan.

    Curate Boutique is open on Monday by appointment only. Tuesday hours are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday – Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Curate Boutique is located at 3433 Edwards Road in Cincinnati. You can click here to check out their website,
    here<https://www.facebook.com/CurateBoutique> to like them on Facebook or follow along on Twitter<https://twitter.com/CurateBoutique> and Pinterest<https://www.pinterest.com/curateboutique/>.

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    Listen up, moms! Two local ladies launched a collaborative blog written by Cincy moms, for Cincy moms. See how this momtourage is finding fun for your family.

    (left to right) Jesika Roy and Sarah Braukman, co-founders of Cincinnati Moms Blog
    (left to right) Jesika Roy and Sarah Braukman, co-founders of Cincinnati Moms Blog

    Between balancing meals, activities, studying and work, it’s easy to forget that there’s a world of activity going on just outside your door.

    That’s why Sarah Braukman and Jesika Roy launched Cincinnati Moms Blog. According to Braukman, the duo started this collaboration in order to be a trusted resource for all things mom and to bring online mothers together offline in a meaningful and lasting community.

    “Whether you live on the East Side or the West Side, Cincinnati Moms Blog strives to bring together a variety of experiences and perspectives, which when combined with the history, culture and tradition of the Queen city, make Cincinnati a great place to raise a family,” explains Braukman.

    At Cincinnati Moms Blog, Braukman and her co-founder Roy aren’t shy about showing off their passion for parenting, community and Cincinnati. “We want to encourage our local moms to connect with and support one another, while also hopefully having some fun – both with and without the littles,” she adds.

    When reading Cincinnati Moms Blog, you can find pediatrician recommendations, the best products and services to use with your families and maybe even form new friendships you might not have otherwise found without the blog. Braukman says it’s important to Cincinnati Moms Blog that they’re able to offer readers a venue for socialization and support both online and off.

    Braukman, a Cincinnati native, and Roy, a Cincinnati transplant, started Cincinnati Moms Blog because they want to take advantage of all that the Queen City has to offer the families who live in it. They also enjoy having the ability to use a blogging platform in order to support and empower local mothers – which isn’t always easy to come by. In all, Cincinnati Moms Blog is comprised of 14 writers and parents.

    The content at Cincinnati Moms Blog is relevant and interesting to local moms. Some of these topics include: infertility, pregnancy, humor, education, parenting perspectives, local resource lists, family-friendly activities, recognition, product reviews, giveaways and more. “We strive to produce fun, thought-provoking and varied content so that hopefully everyone who follows us will find something of interest or inspiration to them,” says Braukman. “Our goal is to inform and entertain.”
    Since officially launching in September 2014, Cincinnati Moms Blog has hosted multiple play dates as well as a Moms Night Out event. Braukman adds that there are a number of opportunities coming up for the blog that don’t involve the Internet. “We’re in the process of planning some discounted mini-photo sessions with the goal of getting moms out
    from behind the camera and into the pictures,” she says.

    They’re also planning a summer-long schedule of park play dates and other events for moms.

    To read the Cincinnati Moms Blog, click here. You can also like them on Facebook and follow along on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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    A new, locally-based app launched to connect you to the community’s latest happenings. See how it can keep you in the loop with just the tap of a finger.

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    Hapzing’s Co-Founders Jon Clements and Trisha Reperowitz

     

    Spring is just around the corner and that means new beginnings are all around, including for one digital service called Hapzing, which helps you find and share what’s going on in your community.

    “You can track organizations you already know have events you’d like to attend, and discover other things to do based on your current location or search terms,” explains Hapzing’s Co-Founder and CEO Jon Clements.

    Hapzing is the brainchild of Trisha Reperowitz and Clements, who have been working together for a number of years at a marketing agency in Cincinnati. According to Clements, the duo has a great working relationship and were both ready to start working on something of their own.

    “So we started brainstorming to come up with a big idea, and this came to us when we were at a happy hour,” he says. “We saw several fliers around the bar advertising different events and realized how hard it was to just keep up with what’s gong on. So with that problem right in front of us, we came up with this solution.”

    Now with Hapzing, Clements is in charge of business development and uses his more than 10 years of experience working with Fortune 100 companies and large brands on digital marketing and insight. Reperowitz has more than 15 years of project management experience and leads product development. She’s even worked with startups on both the East and West coasts including Metis, LLC, which was acquired by WebMD, where she served as the director of interactive development.

    When you use Hapzing, you’ll find that it provides organization as well as discovery. The app allows you to watch for a number of different organizations as well as venues in order to discover what’s going on in your community and where. Clements says that if you see an event going on that you’d like to attend, it just takes one click to add it to your calendar. Additionally, users can search and find events in the area using Hapzing that they may have otherwise never known about.

    The app is unique because of what Clements calls a sweet spot between discovery and decision. He says that we often find ourselves asking how many times we’ve seen a flier or add for an event we’d like to attend only to forget about it later. “Those aren’t in the right medium,” he says. “We’re living from our calendars on our cellphones. Hapzing integrates with that calendar so you can both discover events and immediately get it on your calendar so you don’t miss out.”

    Currently, Hapzing is only available in the App Store, as well as some curated calendars online that focus on specific interests. Clements says that Hapzing has recently partnered with HYPE to bring a young professional’s calendar and there is also a calendar of area start-up events that are sponsored by Cintrifuse.

    Despite the recent launch, Hapzing already has several exciting things on the horizon. Clements says he and Reperowitz are members of UpTech’s third class of start-ups, and with the term coming to an end they’re currently busy finalizing their business pitch to take with them as the business continues to grow, add dates and earn users.

    “We’re also forming a partnership with different organizations to build different calendars that are focused on a specific community, like the HYPE Calendar for Young Professionals and the Cintrifuse Startup Calendar” he says. “Keep an eye out on our social channels for news very soon on that front.”

    To learn more about Hapzing, visit Hapzing.com, “like” Hapzing on Facebook or follow along on Twitter.

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    A local entrepreneur launched a barbershop within his Covington-based menswear boutique. Keep reading to see why it’s a cut above the rest. 

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    Jerod Theobald, owner of flow – a shop for men, is taking on a new adventure. In late March, he’ll be opening Cutman Barbershop, a classic, two-chair barbershop located within his Covington-based menswear boutique, flow – a shop for men.

    Theobald says that to create the boxing-inspired space, he worked with local interior designer Corey Rineair as well as Durham Brand & Co. on the barbershops logo and branding.

    Despite the new launch of the barbershop, Theobald says that it’s been in his business plan all along, it just unfortunately had to be set aside when he opened flow – a shop for men, because he didn’t have the funding to launch both ventures at the same time.

    “After three years in my current location, an opportunity to move to a better space at the heart of downtown Covington opened up and I jumped at it,” he explains. “The new shop will be located inside the newly renovated Mutual Building and across the street from the future site of Hotel Covington on Madison Avenue.”

    Cutman Barbershop will offer traditional barbering services once the shop opens. Theobald says these services include men’s haircuts, straight razor shaves and beard trims. Additionally, the barbershop will carry a selection of grooming products from brands such as Blind Barber and Uppercut.

    The cost of a haircut and straight razor shave from Cutman Barbershop will cost $18 while beard trimming services will start at $6.

    Located at 619 Madison Avenue, Covington, KY 41011, Theobald says a soft opening is tentatively scheduled for March 27. In the mean time, the shop is seeking both part-time and full-time barbers. He adds that those interested in applying can reach the shop at cutmanbarbershop@gmail.com.

    To learn more, “like” them on Facebook. You can also find Cutman Barbershop on Twitter and Instagram.

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    She owns two of Cincinnati’s trendiest boutiques, recently launched an online store, and just opened a fashion boutique for girls. Keep reading for all the fashionable details.

    Cool-Girl Gingham
    Cool-Girl Gingham

    Cincy Chic: What trends are you carrying at Pink Tulip Club this spring?
    Maria Versluis, Owner of Pink Tulip Club: There are a lot of trends this season that we’ll be carrying in store:

    · Cool-Girl Gingham – Gingham print is nothing new to the fashion world. This spring it is spiced up more than your ordinary picnic pattern. You will see Gingham enhanced in size, orientation and printed on an assortment of different fabrics. Sassy and street-style worthy.
    · Subtle ‘70s – Every season, a decade takes over the runway. This spring, the ‘70s has won that role. Unlike previous seasons where the decade takes over completely, this year it is subtle touches. This season is all about retro lapel shapes, juxtaposing color combinations and denim, denim, denim! Don’t think full-fledged bell-bottoms in the back of your closet are appropriate attire just yet, but you will see different types of pant bottoms this season. Some flared, full and wide or your typical skinny jean, which is just as popular as ever!

    Out-of-the-Ordinary Animal Print
    Out-of-the-Ordinary Animal Print

    · Out-of-the-Ordinary Animal Print – Although it is a classic, the leopard print isn’t going to be seen as often this season as in the past. This year it is all about less ordinary wildlife. Night Crawlers, sea animals, chameleons and the less thought of will be represented in this season’s attire. Whether it is the skin pattern, print or full face of the animal, there is a different take on animal prints coming your way.
    · Sporty Minimalism – Sportswear has been so popular for years. This year, although it is still prominent on the runway, it is going to be all about the details Whether it is lace up, buckles, zipper pulls, drawstring, racing stripes, etc., there is a new take on sportswear. This year we will see a pared-down approach to athletic influences. Keeping you looking fresh and on trend.
    · Colored Suede – Not your normal spring material. This year, suede is hitting the runway hard for a pop of color. This gives the outfit a “cooled-down” effect. You will be seeing sued in purples, blues, grey and even reds and yellows!

    Power Shoulders
    Power Shoulders

    · Power Shoulders – Say goodbye to shoulder pads! YAY! Instead of having big shoulders to exude strength this season is all about less being more. You will see a lot of exposed shoulders, whether its off-the-shoulder or the bold one-shoulder, this season is all about showing off in a classy chic way.
    · Modern Safari – If only clothes could be transportive we would be going on a fantastic trip to the wild! The trench coat is forever a classic staple, but this year we will be seeing the idea of a trench transform into a dress. Poncho coats, fern print and interpretive camo-inspired pieces will keep you being anything but invisible. Although the thought of this can be scary to some women, this safari-inspired look has an upscale aesthetic.
    · The “New” High Neckline – Conservative dressing is an unexpected curveball for our wardrobes this season. The idea of a winter high-neck is making a come back in a lighter and more flirty way for the warmer weather. High-neck button ups, tanks and even turtleneck dresses will be hitting the stores.
    · Statement Stripes – Stripes are always in the spring wardrobe option. This year designers are playing not just with the sizing but the positioning and placement and even stripe treatment on textiles. Cool!

    10712488_1564514743771810_7107335262773054072_oCincy Chic: Can you tell us more about Girls’ World?
    Versluis: Girls’ World is a new boutique that is just for girls and toddlers to teens. The store is a blend of modern design and creative imagination. It brings many well-known clothing and accessory brands to the Cincinnati area, such as Miss Me, Splendid, Ella Moss, Catimini and Joe’s Jeans for kids. These fashionable clothing lines offer casual and dressy looks and make fashion easy for little girls, tweens and teens. The updated floor plan is a perfect setting to hang out and to shop. Girls’ World has a play area, crafts area and a movie/game room.

    The idea here is to give the girls options so that they can choose what makes them look and feel good about what they are wearing. Many styles offer casual comfort yet the durability much needed in a kid’s daily life. A girl will be able to express her own individuality and find the perfect style for herself. Age appropriate party dresses for school formals and holidays are also available in a wide range of sizes. The store is packed with merchandise for this Spring/Summer season. Girls’ World also carries accessories for computers and phones, fun jewelry and craft sets.

    Girls’ World boutique features Birthday Bash, a free monthly event, dedicated to celebrating birthdays of our young customers who were born in each particular month. Every birthday girl receives a gift and can invite her friends to have pizza, cupcakes and a dance off party! Birthday Bash is scheduled for last Saturday of every month.

    To show customer appreciation, Girls’ World will offer the exclusive customer loyalty discount as its sister boutique, Pink Tulip Club. The customer loyalty program is free and it provides special discounts on everyday purchases.
    Cincy Chic: What types of fashions are being carried at Girls’ World this spring?
    Versluis: Girls’ World has a beautiful website<http://www.girlsworld.com>, where readers can view the Spring 2015 collection.
    Cincy Chic: We heard you’re hosting a Girls’ World event, can you tell us more?
    Versluis: We are still in the planning stages of this event, so readers will have to stay tuned to our Facebook page for more information as we move forward!
    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about the upcoming Girls World event?
    Versluis: For more information on Girls World, and our upcoming event, visit www.girlsworld.com.

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    From Louis Vuitton and Prada to Michael Kors and Coach, these designer bags join fashionable forces to not only improve your wardrobe but also improve literacy across the community thanks to one special upcoming event. Keep reading to bag up all the details.

    022315FEATURELiteracy isn’t a luxury everyone enjoys. That’s why the Literacy Network hosts their annual Handbags for Hope event: so you can invest in a new bag, while also investing in the community.

    This year’s event will be the 4th annual Handbags for Hope, and it’s slated for February 26 at the Cincinnati Club downtown.

    According to the Literacy Network’s Director of Communications and Grant Writer Kim Raterman McDermott, the idea for the event is to welcome those from across the Tri-State to celebrate literacy in the city in a one-of-a-kind way.

    The night features a number of activities including live and silent auctions of handbags, raffles, cocktails, dinner and entertainment. “The Literacy Network hosts the event to raise awareness and funding for our children and adult literacy programs,” explains Raterman McDermott.

    The Literacy Network’s President, Kathy A. Ciarla, started Handbags for Hope because she wanted to raise awareness and funds for the programs in order to honor the students who are working hard to improve literacy and serve as an inspiration for those around them.

    “We wanted to bring the community together in a unique way and create a one-of-a-kind evening designed to inspire guests and treat them to a great night out to help improve literacy,” Ciarla says.

    Raterman McDermott also says that the event is also about reminding people that without the ability to read, many things in life are challenging. It’s also about empowering Handbags for Hope attendees to make a difference and help grow the programs that serve those in need.

    “The Cincinnati Club and their staff are extremely helpful and supportive of the Literacy Network staff in helping make this event a success,” says Raterman McDermott.

    In addition to the Cincinnati Club, there is a huge team that is behind the event. Ally Kraemer, multimedia journalist at WCPO Channel 9 News, will be this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies, Big Dave, Chelsea and Jason statt from the B105 Mornign Show promote and attend the event and Maggie Beckmeyer from Auctions by Maggie will host the live auction.

    Then there’s event co-chairs Josh and Melissa Gerth who have worked for the last year to support the Literacy Network as well as Sharon Johnson and Jarmall Sweeten who will be honored for their work in the Adult Literacy Program.

    Event sponsors for Handbags for Hope include Tri-County Mall, Raymond James, Charitable Words Scholars, Holy Grail-Banks, Zaring Family Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Busam Nissan, Ulmer & Berne LLP, Keating Muething & Klekamp, Scripps Foundation, Empower Media Marketing, Fifth Third Bank, Diamonds Rock, Read Aloud, David Powell-Bill Gerth (Partner), Ken and Cathy Feldmann, Graydon Head, Mercy Health: Dr. Robert Cranley, Mansion Hill Custom Floors, Kroger, Macy’s, Spark People, Prestige, Jeff and Lee Rose, Auctions by Maggie, M. Hopple & Co., The Cobb Group, Mary Meinhardt, Katy Meinhardt, Fox 19 News, B105, Saks Fifth Avenue and Josh and Melissa Gerth.

    “All of our amazing event sponsors, prize sponsors, board members, volunteers and supporters continue to make the event a success and help it grow so we can serve more adults and children throughout the city who struggle with literacy,” says Raterman McDermott.

    A limited number of tickets for Handbags for Hope are still available. You can purchase them by calling the Literacy Network at 513-621-7323.

    To learn more about the event and the Literacy Network, visit www.lngc.org or “like” them on Facebook.

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