The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
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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A local couple was inspired to live a healthier, more natural life. So they started their own CBD business that offers a range of products and also supports area farmers. Read on for their story.

Christian Watt’s mother was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2015. She watched her mother go through the grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments and knew there had to be a better way. 

“I started reading blogs about CBD and the benefits for cancer patients, those dealing with chronic pain, and anxiety,” she explains.

From there, she became increasingly interested in plant-based self-care, and an increased need to teach about the benefits of these products like CBD.

Thanks to the passage of the Farm Bill, Watt, alongside her husband Chad, went on to launch Kentucky Botanical Co. a retail outlet with four locations in Northern Kentucky dedicated to spreading knowledge about plant-based care. 

“We specialize in Kentucky-grown, non-GMO, full-spectrum CBD products, including but not limited to, tinctures, salves, lotions, and edibles,” says Watt. “What started out as a dream to bring awareness to the community and share our love of the hemp plant, became a family that grew really quickly.”

The Watts are focused on creating and carrying Kentucky-grown CBD products for Kentucky Botanical Co because they want to keep products as local as they possibly can while celebrating the farming tradition of the Commonwealth.

The products created with the farming partner creates products that are pharmacist-formulated to ensure the quality of the product without making them too complicated. 

“We are committed to not adding any flavors or fillers to our product,” says Watt. “It is our opinion that the natural compounds are terpenes from the hemp plant is all that we actually need to enjoy the true benefits.”

The Watts didn’t stop with just CBD as they also work with several vendors from around Kentucky, including Garden of Eten, Sage Co., and Indigo Sundries.

“Indigo Sundries has been with us from the very beginning making some amazing lotions, all natural soaps, herbal salves, infused oils, and plant-based scents,” adds Watt. 

The total line-up of products from Kentucky Botanical Co includes: full-spectrum CBD products such as tinctures, capsules, salves, lotions, and edibles; isolate CBD products with zero THC including tinctures and gummies; CBD bath bombs, CBD pet products such as tinctures, treats, peanut butter, and soft chews; Garden of Eten Botanicals & Elderberry syrup; other plant-based soaps, lotions, salves, and more; and local artwork available at some locations.

Kentucky Botanical Co is one of the few stores in Northern Kentucky that sources its products within the state. “We like to call it from seed to sale,” says Watt. “The entire process occurs in the same facility – from extraction to bottling – then it comes straight to our locations.”

Additionally, the mission behind Kentucky Botanical Co isn’t just a CBD store. “We want to promote a healthier, more natural lifestyle,” says Watt. “We use sustainable products in every aspect of our business that we can – and put them in to make sure that while we run our business, we are also making the best choices for the environment.” 

Its dedication to helping its customers feel better is also part of the reason why Kentucky Botanical Co has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has been recognized by CityBeat as the Best CBD Retailer and Best New Store in their 2020 Reader’s Choice Poll. 

The four locations for Kentucky Botanical Co are located in Bellevue, Williamstown, Ludlow, and Florence.

To learn more about Kentucky Botanical Co, visit www.kybotanicalco.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram. 

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Learn about the only physician-led medical cannabis and life coaching office in Ohio, and how they can help you feel your best.

Cincy Chic: What is Green Harvest Health?
Dr. Bridget Williams, Owner of Green Harvest Health: Green Harvest Health is the only medical cannabis and life coaching office in Ohio. As physicians, we provide certifications to patients to obtain a medical cannabis card if they meet the qualifications and also life coaching services.  This year we have also added telemedicine, nutritional consultations, massage and other services at some of our locations. 

Dr. Bridget Williams, Owner of Green Harvest Health

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Williams: As a family physician, I became frustrated early in my career with the traditional health system.  I wanted to empower patients towards change instead of simply offering pills as a crutch more than a cure. I worked with patients to define wellness for themselves and set meaningful goals that lead to major positive life changes. When some of those patients expressed interest in cannabis I was hesitant but after doing research I became intrigued. Fast forward many years and I wanted to offer an opportunity to patients that could change their approach to their health, through empowerment, life goal setting, medical cannabis and CBD alternatives.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Williams: The patient is truly behind it.  We don’t all learn the same, heal the same or are motivated in the same way.  Providing an alternative to the traditional medical model will reach some patients that may also be frustrated or have limited options in the treatment of their condition.  They also may have never been able to find the right motivation to make major changes. I like to think I teach skills that will have a long lasting impact on the patient’s life. 

Cincy Chic: What types of products do you offer?
Williams: Along with Medical Cannabis Consultation and Life coaching.  I previously mentioned our nutritional coaching, massage at some offices and Avacen treatments which is a non-invasive treatment that is FDA approved to help patients decrease pain, anxiety and other symptoms.  We also are very proud of establishing our own line of CBD products, GHH CBD Medicinals. As a physician, I take the quality of our product very seriously and work with the cultivators to create products that we find to be effective, organic, free of chemicals and high quality. 

Cincy Chic: What makes Green Harvest Health unique?
Williams: We are a physician-owned medical cannabis clinic.  So the care and education of the patient is first and foremost. I am also a certified life coach, CTR physician and faculty at the Cleveland School of Cannabis. We  operate as a concierge medical service so the price you pay for the medical cannabis evaluation covers all follow ups for the year. It is important to us that our patients are successful in their new alternative endeavor.  When I am not seeing patients, I am often speaking to groups about the possibilities, safety and research findings of Medical Cannabis and CBD. 

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and support you?
Williams: Patients can learn more about myself and Green Harvest Health on our website: www.GreenHarvest.Health which is where we also sell our CBD products.  You can check out our Facebook pages for Green Harvest Health and Green Harvest CBD Medicinals. We’re also on Twitter and Instagram

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See how a recently launched organization is banding together crafters and makers from across the Tri-State to make thousands of handmade masks for frontline workers.

There’s an organized group of makers in Cincinnati who are on a mission: Creating and donating mask covers to front line workers who are fighting to keep up safe in the face of an unprecedented health crisis. 

This organization is called Sew Masks 4 Cincy, and Esther Kang was inspired to launch the group after she read that the FDA was recommending that people use bandanas as a last resort for personal protective equipment. 

“I called my friend who is in my small group,” she explains. “She’s a nurse at UC Health. I asked her if I should get a small group to sew a couple masks.”

And from there, Sew Masks 4 Cincy was born, on March 20 to be exact. By that evening, Kang says that Sew Masks 4 Cincy was a group of 500 people and within 72 hours there were 6,000 people in the group. 

“It’s been absolutely incredible watching the community rally together to protect our own,” says Kang.

When she first started the group, Kang says she was hoping to find a group of women to sew 50 masks. 

“50 masks meant 50 people: moms, sisters, dads, brothers, uncles, sons, and daughters protected a little more in accordance to the new FDA guidelines,” says Kang.

The two styles offered by Sew Masks 4 Cincy were chosen by TriHealth, and any hospital or frontline facility that receives masks from Sew Masks 4 Cincy approves the mask styles and will be providing optional, disposable filters that can be put in the filter cover pocket.

So far, a total of 14 facilities in the Greater Cincinnati Region have received masks from the group. “We are working with TriHealth, UC Health, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Christ Hospital, Veterans Affairs Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati Police Department, and have over 100 front line facilities on our waitlist, and it’s growing by the minute,” says Kang.

As of April 10, a total of 6,500 masks have been donated at the drop off sites, just three weeks after the group’s launch. 

If you’re interested in helping to support Sew Masks 4 Cincy, you can visit www.sewmasks4cincy.org. You can also check out the Facebook group or the fundraising page.

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CBD is seeing a bigger boom than ever thanks to its anxiety relief and immune boosting benefits. See how two local experts teamed up to the most natural, fresh CBD products to Greater Cincinnati.

While the CBD industry sees a boost amid the COVID-19 pandemicJimmy Carter and his business partner Scott Remer are longtime believers in the power of CBD and its ability to improve your health. That’s why they launched Accoy Health. 

“Accoy Health is a CBD store that has teamed up with a local Kentucky family-owned company to bring the most natural, fresh CBD products to Cincinnati,” says Carter. 

Carter and Remer have been using CBD products for years, so they’re well-versed on its benefits. The desire to spread the message about the benefits of CBD is what led to what would become Accoy Health. “We want to expose people to it so they can enjoy the benefits as well,” adds Carter.

Accoy Health offers a wide variety of products for customers. These include: bath salts, lip balm, bath fizz, topical products, gummies, and droppers. According to Carter, the store’s best-sellers are lotions and droppers.

The store is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Carter says the online store is available for people to shop at www.accoyhealth.com

Carter is excited about the future of Accoy Health, as he says they are planning a Grand Opening celebration after the current health crisis comes to an end to introduct products to the community. He says to keep an eye out on a date for that as things begin to slowly reopen. 

Accoy Health is located in the heart of Mt. Lookout at 1028 Delta Ave, across the street from the UDF.

You can learn more about Accoy Health and see their products at www.accoyhealth.com

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Get back that just-left-the-salon look with new hair survival kits from a local salon and spa.

Raise your hand if your beauty routine is taking a hit with all the salons and spas currently closed across Ohio.

To take some of the stress out of missing hair appointments, Kim Harper Salon & Spa is offering hair survival kits to clients. “During this time when we are unable to see our clients, we wanted to give them an option to help recover their roots/grey regrowth at home without taking on the risk of store-bought box color,” says Tara Thal, Salon Director of Kim Harper Salon & Spa. 

The Hair Survival Kits consist of two products from the salon’s professional color brand Wella. They include an easy, ammonia-free, conditioning color enhancer that provides up to 30 percent grey coverage paired with a touch-up root powder that can be applied to further camouflage roots, similar to an eye shadow.

“We match both to your current color for a customized solution that can help our clients feel like themselves while waiting out the pandemic safely at home,” says Thal. “We can arrange for pickup or delivery.”

Also during COVID-19 and the lockdown, clients can order their favorite, typically salon-exclusive Kevin.Murphy products directly from the website and have them shipped to your doorstep. “Our other brands, such as Davines and Bioelements, can be ordered through our email address or social media accounts for pickup and delivery,” says Thal. “We are also posting some fantastic styling tutorials and hair hacks on our social media accounts.”

Once the doors to salons are permitted to open again, Harper Thal and her team are looking forward to continuing their connections with clients and to help elevate the perception of women-owned businesses, particularly those within the beauty industry. “Our team is a tight-knit group of strong, professional, intelligent women who love their craft and are constantly honing their skills,” says Thal. 

Kim Harper Salon & Spa is located in Mason near Deerfield Towne Center. “We offer a range of hair and skin services and high quality, eco-friendly products,” says Thal.

To learn more, visit kimharpersalonandspa.com or reach out to them directly at kimharpersalon@gmail.com. You can also follow the salon on Instagram and Facebook to see hair tutorials and the latest news.

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See how a local effort is reducing poverty in the Tri-State by implementing new practices for businesses while bridging gaps between leaders and employees.

The Workforce Innovation Center was established by business leaders who wanted to make the reduction of poverty in the region a priority. 

“The business community is a key partner in that effort through the employment opportunities it offers and the practices that companies employ within their workforces to encourage their employees’ success and economic growth,” explains Workforce Innovation Center Vice President and Executive Director Audrey Treasure. 

This business-focused resource is part of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and primarily funded through the generosity of businessman Dave Herche. Through this, the Workforce Innovation Center is able to offer support to companies while helping them solve challenges and find new sources of talent, consider new ways of doing business to support their success, and engage companies in the process of increasing economic mobility for those in poverty. 

“We consider this work largely under the banner of ‘inclusive capitalism,’ which aims to make capitalism benefit employees, communities, and shareholders with the positive results,” says Treasure. “The Center is largely focused on companies with a frontline or early skill workforce in industries like manufacturing, retail, food service, and hospitality.”

Workforce Innovation Center Vice President and Executive Director Audrey Treasure

The Workforce Innovation Center works to support companies in solving challenges and growing their businesses. “We take a direct approach of consulting with companies to understand what is happening within their workforce,” explains Treasure. “Through an assessment process of a company’s identified challenges, policies, and employee experience, the Center proposes solutions that can improve the business’ operations and can also help address challenges that employees might be experiencing. A company may have a tardiness policy that is overly punitive and results in a high turnover rate of employees that could otherwise be successful. The Center can then support an employer in implementing practice changes in order to achieve its desired outcomes and improve its bottom line.”

Not only does the Center offer this support, but it also serves as a hub between businesses and the workforce ecosystem that exists in this region. “These social solutions organizations excel at removing barriers for people who are looking to advance their lives through work and can bring companies new sources of talent that employers may not have previously considered,” she says. “An example is hiring citizens who have returned from the criminal justice system. There are tremendous examples of employers who have hired returning citizens, sometimes called second-chance or fair-chance hiring, and have had great success for both the business and the employees.”

Now that COVID-19 is having a significant economic impact on the community, the Workforce Innovation Center and the Cincinnati Chamber are working diligently to ensure that they are doing all they can to respond to the needs of companies to keep them alive and to get people into jobs. “We anticipate that we will continue to evolve as the rest of the world does,” adds Treasure. 

To learn more about the Workforce Innovation Center, click here. The Workforce Innovation Center is also part of the work being done as part of the new Bloomberg Philanthropies national initiative to improve economic mobility, which you can read more about here

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A recovering addict found the light at the end of the tunnel with an unsuspecting source: screen printing. See how it’s now changing lives for many others across the region.

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can turn things around. That’s what happened to Brandon Swinehart, Co-Founder of SRO Prints, a full-service branding company with a unique social mission. 

“We employ and later offer shares of the company to recovering addicts,” explains Swinehart. “We have over 25 years of combined experience in the graphic design, promotional product, and apparel decorating industry. Our screen printing is all done in-house and we are one of the best apparel decorations in the region. Our co-founder, Brandon Swinehart, trained and worked alongside the industry leaders in apparel decorating from California to New York.”

The journey to establishing and building SRO Prints wasn’t an easy one for Swinehart. He was the middle child of 4, and never felt like he fit in. 

“I grew up in an educated, upper middle class home with my three siblings and parents,” he explains. “One bad choice after another I somehow found myself an addict and homeless in San Francisco with a lengthy record I had obtained to support my habit.”

Swinehart said enough was enough and decided to change his life and get clean on May 5, 2005. Coming back to grips with his reality, he hadn’t had a job in nearly a decade and didn’t have many skills to offer – just a prison record and bag full of donated clothes. 

However, he was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel when he was offered a job at a nonprofit in San Francisco that screen printed shirts. And that’s when he fell in love.

“I became friends with the general manager who was also a recovering heroin addict and soaked up everything I could about the industry like a sponge,” he says. “I’ve worked for and with some of the best apparel decorators in the country, but I still felt like I had something more to offer.”

That’s when he was inspired to team up with his wife and business partner and launch SRO Prints, because he wanted to help other recovering addicts get through the stigma that’s too often attached to them when they struggle with a drug problem. 

“I know the fear, frustration, and struggle that comes with rebuilding your life after destroying it for years,” he says. “Sara, my wife, who is not in recovery, saw addiction and recovery in a new light and felt it was our mission to help those who needed a second chance by offering a career and not a job, a place where you are accepted and not judged. We are a tightly knit company with a very high standard of excellence.”

Swinehart credits his wife Sara, the CEO behind SRO Prints, for much of the company’s success. SRO Prints was a finalist for Bad Girl Ventures, now known as Aviatra Accelerators, and Artworks’ Big Pitch under Sara’s guidance. Chase Stein serves as the company’s lead designer and account manager. Swinehart is the COO of SRO Prints and has all the connections in the apparel and promotional products industry. 

With COVID-19 hitting the country hard, Swinehart is currently the only employee coming into the warehouse as many of their clients have closed. “We are currently running a campaign to help one of our clients, Over the Rhine Community Housing,” he says. You can learn more about the campaign here.

Swinehart is looking forward to fully opening up SRO Prints again when things return to normal, as they have plans to purchase a 10-color automatic press for screen printing apparel and also setting up a new shop.

To learn more about SRO Prints, visit www.sroprints.com. There you can follow along with their blog. SRO Prints is also on Facebook and Instagram.

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Need something fun to keep the kids busy or cure your cabin fever? Learn more about a local company’s new DIY pottery kit.

Cincy Chic: What is Star Glazers?
Ann Flynn, Founder of Star Glazers: Star Glazers is a mobile paint-your-own-pottery service. We can turn any space into a PYOP studio. We do the setup, help you accomplish your masterpiece, then clean up and take everything back to our workshop! All you need is tables and chairs. Once the pieces are glazed and fired, we bring them back to you for distribution. 

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Flynn: I am Ann Flynn, owner of Star Glazers. With a passion for encouraging creativity, I have helped thousands of people of all abilities create pottery masterpieces over 18 years in business. 

Cincy Chic: Can you share more information on the DIY kits you’re offering? How can they be ordered? What inspired you to offer these kits?
Flynn: Need a cure for cabin fever? A Star Glazers DIY pottery painting kit is just the thing! The pieces still get glazed and fired! Remember Mother’s Day is coming!  

• We coordinate a time I can place the kit on your porch. I can walk you through it in-person (from 6 ft) or on the phone.  

• It includes pieces in your specified price range, the most popular colors,  brushes, water bowls, etc.  

• You just paint and pay for the pieces you want and return the rest. Pieces start at $9. You set the upper limit. 

• Minimum 8 pieces painted.  

• I bring about a dozen or more of what I have in stock at the time in your price range. It’s always a nice variety. It’s like shopping when you go into one of the studios.  

• I pick everything up a day or 2 after to process.  

• Once the pieces are glazed and fired, I return them to you. 

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, follow along, and order a kit?
Flynn: Call us at 513-474-6364, send an email to ann@starglazers.com or message us on Facebook to reserve your date for kit delivery.

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    Looking for experts to help you with balance and well-being from the comfort of your home? A former P&G'er recently set out on her own to launch a wellness community for women to achieve true whole-self wellness. Click here for all the details.

    Stevi Gable Carr spent 10 years at P&G working in brand strategy, design, and insights, where she was able to pour her passion for cognitive and behavioral sciences into her work by .learning about the power of building brands through habit formation. 

    “Most recently I spent my last two years at P&G leading Brand, Marketing & Creative Services in clinical health care where I established an understanding of the gap in knowledge between being ‘sick’ and ‘healthy,’” explains Carr. “Women most often back-burner their wellness until there is an urgent need, and I realized I wanted to change that.”

    That desire, partnered with inspiration from McKinsey’s “Women in the Workplace” study, she launched WISe Wellness Guild, a community dedicated to the advancement of women through whole-self wellness, helping them to achieve peak performance and avoiding burnout. 

    “Our mission is to match health and wellness subject-matter-experts with those seeking health and wellness services,” she explains. 

    Stevi Gable Carr, Founder of WISe Wellness Guild

    Carr says the study inspired her to see that women and men enter the workforce at relatively equal rate, however, when it comes to promotions at the management level, there is a sharp decline. “This is characterized as the ‘broken-rung’ phenomena,” she explains. “After my own experience with burnout and more than 500 interviews later, I realized that high-achieving, high-performing women have their growth stunted in (or leave the workforce) due to the lack of ability to manage all aspects. Many people call this ‘work-life balance’ but WISe believes that it is characterized by a lack of maintaining ‘your center’ across the eight pillars of whole-self wellness.”

    Carr established WISe Wellness Guild in August 2019 and offers curated programming, content generation, networking, and individualized coaching across our digital and in-person platforms.

    Members of WISe Wellness Guild receive a 100-point wellness assessment and special insider access to exclusive events such as Secret Suppers, Member-to-Member Mentoring Affinity Groups like book clubs, beauty hours, and new mothers.

    “The subject of our content and programming is centered around the 8 pillars of whole-self wellness: occupational, financial, physical, nutritional, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental,” explains Carr.

    At WISe Wellness Guild, the goal is to provide clients with a data-centric, fact-based approach to wellness. 

    “In order to develop healthy habits we must start small and focused, working our way towards a more centered state of being,” says Carr. “Further, we make a conscious effort to support other women and minority-owned businesses to support the equity of all.”

    While in-person connection may be at the heart of what WISe Wellness Guild does, Carr knows that it isn’t necessary in order for members to form new bonds. “Since COVID-19 has shifted the way all of us interact, we have moved all programming online, built a more robust online platform for both health care providers as well as women working and living at home,” says Carr. “This community has an incredible bond, sense of purpose and resiliency. Together we will conquer this!”

    To learn more about WISe Wellness Guild, visit www.wisewellnessguild.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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    Want to hone in on your digital marketing skills during quarantine? Learn about a local company offering digital marketing courses for entrepreneurs, sales professionals and more.

    If you have the time on your hands, self-isolation is as good a time as ever to learn a new skill. For those who are entrepreneurs and want to learn more about digital marketing or want to hone your digital marketing skills, Boot Camp Digital wants to help.

    Boot Camp Digital is a digital marketing training company that focuses on helping businesses and organizations grow using online tools and platforms, including social media.

    “Boot Camp Digital offers a huge library of online courses, from beginning to advanced, plus globally accredited certifications in digital and social media marketing and SEO,” explains Digital Training Manager Melissa Byers. “We teach you how to properly set up your profiles and accounts, create compelling content, grow your audience, engage with them effectively, and measure the results.”

    Byers says that those who are not digital marketers but want to sharpen their personal online presence can also check out the program called Launch Yourself that walks you through the steps of defining, designing, and delivering a strong personal brand that’s uniquely you and stands out from the crowd. 

    “Thousands of sales professionals, executives, consultants, authors, speakers, trainers, and more have completed this course and are now attracting the types of opportunities they actually want thanks to their online personal brand,” adds Byers. 

    In the midst of stay-at-home orders and self-isolation, Boot Camp Digital is offering custom webinars and full workshops virtually for corporate, non-profit, and government clients. 

    “Just because teams are working from home doesn’t mean the learning or business stops,” she says. “We’re able to deliver engaging and interactive training experiences virtually just as we would if we were all in the same room.”

    Byers says that Boot Camp Digital broadcasts weekly from the members-only Facebook group with digital marketing news updates, member Q&As, expert interviews, cast studies, and high-impact topics. 

    There is a five-day free trial available, giving them access to the All Access Pass, which includes the entire online library of courses and certifications. To learn more about the All Access Pass, click here

    To learn more about Boot Camp Digital, visit www.bootcampdigital.com

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