The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Career

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Being an entrepreneur is not always easy. In fact, it can be hard! And yet you still decided to become one. Our business and life coach identifies one key way on how to grow successfully.

Too many women business owners lack the clarity and support they need to grow successfully. Doing it all on your own can be like running in quicksand. I’ve run and scaled several companies and know all too well how paralyzing it can feel. 

You are full of great ideas but often have no clear strategy to implement them.

Shooting from the hip while watching others succeed is frustrating. It makes you wonder how they have it, and you don’t? 

The reality is, running a business is hard no matter who you are.

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to win in the marketplace. However, with effort, the right strategy, and the guidance of someone who’s been there, your business can thrive too. 

Time and time again, I’ve seen once struggling entrepreneurs pull in six figures.

There are plenty of tools available to teach you how to successfully grow your business, but it’s the execution of the knowledge and information learned that ignites the magic. The challenge is you’re trying to overcome the overwhelm of growing your business and simply don’t have (or make) time to implement the tools. 

What are other successful entrepreneurs doing to reach their entrepreneur goals? 

Successful entrepreneurs are identifying the obstacles, getting the support of a mentor/coach, and creating a plan on how to overcome them.

The result? An empowered woman entrepreneur equipped with the clarity she needs to be a confident and profitable business owner while being held accountability and supported through each challenge of scaling her business successfully.

If you doubt whether you’ve got what it takes, I totally get it. Imposter syndrome is real. Let me reassure you. With the right guidance, you, too, can build the business of your dreams.

To learn more grab a copy of “The Number One Secrete to Small Business Success” at melissakirkpatrickbusinesscoach.com.

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A local nonprofit on a mission to help women in the workforce is moving to a new location.

The mission behind Dress for Success is to provide interview attire to women returning or entering the workforce as well as a variety of workforce development programs offering a lifetime of career support to women in the community. 

However, they recently announced big news. Dress for Success Cincinnati is preparing to move into a new location in Norwood. To support that goal, they’re also launching a $1.2 million campaign called TransformHER.

Pam Sibcy and Lisa Massa are serving as the campaign chairs for TransformHER and head the upcoming plans to move in June 2021. 

The move, which resulted from their current downtown Cincinnati location being converted to residential units, was officially initiated after a thorough search. 

“While we were not eager to leave our current location and its favorable lease—especially during the pandemic, our building was sold, and we had no choice, ” says Dress for Success Executive Director, Lisa Nolan. “But, we are using this as an opportunity to think and plan strategically for our future.” 

The new location for Dress for Success Cincinnati will allow for headquarter offices, a styling boutique, a clothing donation center, and the ability to co-located the earned-income venture and resale boutique Portaluca. 

“Having such a large space gives us the chance to provide even more seamless delivery of client services and pushed us to dream bigger for ourselves,” says Nolan.   

In terms of the TransformHER Campaign to help with the relocation, this first-ever funding campaign in the organization’s 22-year history aims to raise $1.2 million, of which $650,000 is already raised. 

“These funds are needed to relocated the organization to its new home, further develop programs to support its clients, and ensure sustainability for the future,” the organization says. 

There are three parts to the campaign:

  • Moving to a large location that allows for cohesive programming and strategic growth
  • Setting up a Fund for the Future which can only be distributed at the Board of Directors’ discretion for new opportunities, programs, and important growth
  • Building fundraising capacity by establishing a Major Gifts program and recruiting a development director

“The three-pronged plan provides the foundation necessary to further help women out of poverty and achieve economic independence,” the organization says in a press release.

 And today, the mission behind Dress for Success Cincinnati has never been more prevalent. Women have been the hardest hit during the pandemic as a recent CNBC report shared that more than 2.3 million women left the workforce since the onset of the pandemic in February 2020. 

“Millions of women are being pulled into poverty, forced into looking for work in an environment of tough competition, or both,” Dress for Success Cincinnati says. “The impact of poverty on women and their families can be long-lasting. Therefore, addressing all women’s needs is central to improving the quality of life for women and her family, future generations, and the community.” 

The new Dress for Success Cincinnati location will be at 4623 Wesley Avenue in Norwood. Learn more about the organization and their mission to provide interview attire to women returning or entering the workforce at https://dfscincy.org. To learn more about the TransformHER campaign or to make a donation in support of the campaign, go to dfscincy.org/transformher

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Latest figures from the Bureau of Labor reveal that Ohio’s private industry employers reported almost 92,000 workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019. More than half of these were considered serious, involving at least one day off from work. In addition to dealing with the stress and pain of recovering from injury, returning to work after an accident can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you are already juggling the needs of your family and other commitments. As well as making sure you are physically fit, knowing that you have adequate financial, legal and social support can help to ensure a smooth return to work.
 
Finalize a Compensation Claim
 
If your injuries were because of an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have filed a claim for compensation while you were off work. Research has shown that a stressful settlement process can be detrimental to long-term recovery, and also increase the time it takes to return to work. Legal professionals at FVF Law understand that it can be intimidating to negotiate a fair settlement. However, with reliable legal support you will be in a better position to complete your claim promptly, receive an appropriate amount of financial compensation and get back to work sooner.
 
Take Adequate Sick Leave
 
A number of studies have shown that working when sick can prolong ill health and can increase the risk of having to take more time off over a year later.  While you might feel you need to get back to work as soon as possible, if you are not fully recovered your work and your health may suffer. Whether you are working from home or have returned to the office, it is important to take proper sick days when you are feeling unwell. 
 
Look for Social Support
 
Even once you have physically recovered from your injuries, there are several other factors that may influence how quickly you are able to settle back in at work once you return. If necessary start with a less pressurized role and if your injuries limit the type of work you can undertake, make sure your employers are aware.  Social support is important and sharing your feelings and concerns about returning to work with your family, colleagues and employer can be very beneficial in ensuring the process runs smoothly.
 
Recovery from an accident can be a long and overwhelming process. Even when you are feeling better, returning to work too quickly without plenty of support can be detrimental to your productivity and prolong your recovery to full health.

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Read about an upcoming event to help you nail down your money personality.

Have you ever thought about why, where and how you spend your money?

SheMoolah believes that by understanding and joining forces with your money archetype, or money personality, you will introduce new riches and lead a more fulfilling life. 

Are you a Maverick, an Alchemist, a Romantic or one of the other 8 money personalities?  How averse are you to risk? How do you feel about giving money to the less fortunate versus investing for future growth?  In order to better manage your money you must first recognize your positive and negative money patterns, find clarity and create a plan to proceed forward.   

“When you understand how money impacts your decision and relationships, you can understand how to make better conscious choices for the future” said Dawn Parks, co-founder of SheMoolah.  “If we can fall in love with our personality, we can identify how we are helping or hurting our ability to achieve life and financial goals.”

Liz Kitchell, co-founder of SheMoolah added “Once we recognize our money personalities, we can have more effective, transparent discussions with ourselves, team members, planners and significant others.”

Take a sneek peek of SheMoolah’s Money Personality event by joining their event on April 14th at 11:30am ET on Zoom. SheMoolah will walk through how each personality type deals specifically with budgeting, money details, accumulation, spending and investing for the future.  

RSVP HERE for free due to the generosity of Paycor.

Learn more about SheMoolah’s classes, offerings and expertise at shemoolah.com.

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We're chatting with a locally-based wedding photographer to learn more about how she's capturing couples' timeless memories.

Photo: Odessa James Photography

Shelby Odessa Albertz credits wedding photographs for inspiring her to become a wedding photographer. She says it was the look on her grandmother’s face that stuck out and stayed with her.

“It radiated her genuine laugh as my grandfather swept her away in their getaway car for a moment alone,” she says. “I’d like to think that in reflecting on that photo, my grandparents felt a renewed rush of love as they remembered their wedding day. Ultimately, that is my goal.”

Albertz aims to capture those moments and inspire them to fall morein love through their photos.

“If I can create heirlooms that bring authentic joy and love into the hearts ofmy couples both in the moment and for decades to come, then I’ve absolutely done my job,” she adds. 

Today she is the owner of Odessa James Photography, a Cincinnati-based destination wedding photography company. 

Albertz focuses solely on couple sessions and wedding or elopement photography.

With a background in graphic design, Albertz has a knack for telling stories through a camera lens. “As a graphic designer I created visuals for brands that told their story and spoke to their consumer,” she says. “I was capturing images for some of these companies when I got tagged by a friend to last-minute assist him with a wedding. Long story short, I found that crafting gorgeous photos for real couples in real moments was so much more fulfilling.”

Albertz says that when she’s photographing, she focuses on her client. “Showing you off is key,” she says. “Your photos should 100% reflect you two and your story. At Odessa James, we keep our style timeless and let our posing be inspired by you. We don’t force fit trendy editing filters or make each couple do the same poses. Instead, I get to know you both and develop a relationship with you so when it comes to your photos, you can let loose and just be you.”

With a sense of normalcy on the horizon, Albertz says she’s busier than ever with destination weddings and she’s excited to share her knowledge with other up-and-coming photographers through her West Arrow Workshops. 

“We’re so excited to safely host some amazing shoots and lessons out in areas like Sedona and Yosemite this year,” she adds.

You can learn more about Odessa James Photography at www.odessajames.com. You can also get social with her on Facebook and Instagram.

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One local entrepreneur is helping young women and teens find themselves and feel confident in uncomfortable situations. 

Shelby Speaks is an organization that helps young women and teens.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” 

Shelby Pressley is on a mission to be that change through her coaching business Shelby Speaks.  

“Shelby Speaks is the brand I created that encompasses my passion for motivational speaking, education, and self-awareness for young girls and women as they learn about themselves and their individual paths through life,” she says. 

The inspiration for such a business started back in 2019 when Pressley was going through a transition in her career and found herself doing some soul searching.  

“I was thinking about my skill sets and things that interested me and how I could merge the two,” she explains. “I made a list and the two things that stood out to me was my love for education and my desire to educate young women.” 

From there she started building a curriculum that specifically focused on girls and young women, and touched on the things they wouldn’t learn inside a classroom.  

“I wanted to have an open dialogue and a safe space for girls to discuss things like sexual health, bullying, dating, anxiety/depression, self-esteem, and personal goal setting for the future,” says Pressley.  

She says the curriculum was built around one question: What were the things I wish an older woman would have shared with me? 

As the one-woman show behind Shelby Speaks, Pressley says that her self-awareness and experience with many female youth struggles helps her to stay motivated and passionate about what she’s doing to help today’s youth.  

“I want to be that bridge that expresses they’re not alone and equip them with tools they can use now and as they continue to grow,” she says. “I create lesson plans and curriculums that target many of the issues young women are currently facing but may not feel comfortable disclosing to a parent or guardian yet.” 

Before COVID struck, Pressley was teaching weekly classes at Hughes STEM High School, her own alma mater, to the seventh and eighth grade girls. Two days a week she was having engaging discussions with the girls as well as group activities and weekly challenges. She’s also hosted group events and various speaking engagements at Mount St. Joseph University and the University of Dayton, and has worked with individual girls on a one-on-one basis to help them personally address challenges they are facing.  

While her business model has been altered due to the pandemic, she’s still enjoying working with her current clients and having a positive impact on their lives. 

“I absolutely love when I have someone who reaches back out to me and says that something I’ve taught them helped them get through a difficult situation or that they had an encounter like something we previously discussed and felt confident and comfortable on how to handle it because they remembered what I said,” she says. “I think one of the greatest gifts you can give is the endowment of knowledge to someone else.” 

Pressley says that due to COVID, she is continuing her work with goals via weekly Zoom calls and holding live online chats and check-ins.  

“I hope to hold another group event around female health and relationships when I feel it’s safe to do so,” she says.  

To learn more about Shelby Speaks, click here. You can contact Pressley directly via email

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Two brothers turned their obsession into a business idea with high-quality, handmade accessories and apparel. 

Obsess Worldwide was founded by two brothers in Dayton, Ohio.

Luke and Jake Turner are dedicated. They’re dedicated to their hobbies and new-found skills, and they have been since they were young.  

Today, they are the founders of Obsess Worldwide, a handmade accessories and apparel brand based out of Dayton, Ohio. 

While the duo says they grew up looking at their “obsessions” in a negative way, they realized they were able to obtain the skills they need to create these items because of their obsession. 

“We were obsessed with our craft and now, after seeing the outcome of our habits, we see the positive side of obsession as well,” says Co-Founder Jake Turner.  

With the products they create, the Turner brothers wanted to bring together people from all over the world, thus giving the name Obsess Worldwide.  

“Worldwide came in to show unity,” says Turner. “I love the term worldwide because it includes everyone, not just a certain country or area. We all share the same home, and that’s Earth.” 

The world of creating is nothing new to the Turner brothers. They grew up at their father’s canvas shop called Gilman Canvas Products.

“He custom makes boat covers, enclosures, pool covers, etc.,” explains Turner. “By about age 18 Luke was there working full-time and developed his sewing skills very quickly. He was never one to turn down a job, and consistently tests his skills. While Luke was working there full-time, I was in college, working at Cheesecake Factory and teaching myself to become a photographer, and later on a videographer as well. After doing work for other brands, and realizing we possess the perfect skills to start something of our own, Obsess Worldwide became an idea.” 

Obsess Worldwide officially launched January 1, 2021, and their current inventory includes bags, shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. 

Obsess Worldwide stays true to its mission of providing high-quality goods rather than the cheaper, mass produced items on the market. “Even if we have to expand, we will keep the products genuine and always created with human hands,” adds Turner.  

The business is looking forward to the future as they create more products for their collection as well as custom-made products for customers.  

To learn more about Obsess Worldwide, visit www.obsess-worldwide.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  

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#makeyourownhappy with creative illustrations from this local artist.

More Art | More Heart is run by a local artist who wants to help you spread happiness with her creative illustrations.

Jacquelyn Sommer lives by a guiding principle: “We can change the world for the better, one little piece at a time. Even the smallest force can make big changes. Go make happy.” 

She makes her own piece of happy to share with the world through her business More Art | More Heart, a studio and brand that she founded back in 2016.  

“The ethos is about spreading joy one piece of art at a time,” she explains. “It originated as a concept to spread joy and creative positivity through found art and art making.” 

Then, in late 2020, the business evolved beyond the hands-on workshops and summer camps to a full-on brand that includes an Etsy retail experience, Indie Maker Markets, a blog, and a full social media presence. 

Now, what started as an art postcard style project is now on a mission to help you #makeyourownhappy with its one-woman show in Sommer. 

“I am the lone unicorn that makes the engine run,” she says. “I hand illustrate each character in my sketchbook with graphite, watercolor, and micron ink pens. From there I create a digital drawing and begin to design the line of products that each character is featured on.” 

When you shop More Art | More Heart, you’ll find a variety of products that help people make their own happy including: 

– Vinyl Die Cut Stickers 

– Thermal Tumblers 

– Home Décor, such as throw pillows, rugs, and funky items for your bathroom like shower curtains and bath mats 

– Apparel and Accessories like totes, waist packs, watchbands , T-shirts and hoodies 

– Journals and Notebooks 

– Dog Beds 

– Face Masks  

Sommer says that she finds joy in connecting with the people who engage with her shop in addition to the creativity involved in designing her products.  

“I love the creation of a community that comes with spreading joy,” she says. “Knowing that my illustrations are making someone happy is why I do what I do. It’s what keeps me motivated to keep creating and growing the brand.” 

If you ask Sommer what makes her business unique, she says that its ability to be more than just retail is what sets it apart. “The goal is to ‘make happy’ and ‘spread joy,’” she says. “I am looking to create joy and community. It’s important to feel connected. I have each illustration available on a range of products, making it obtainable. If you love Mr. Chicken but can’t get a T-shirt or a tote bag and a vinyl sticker make sense, then you can get more of what makes you happy and give one to your BFF. The shop is about giving joy to yourself and others. Every item has to pass the test, “Does this make me happy?’” 

Every few weeks with More Art | More Heart you’ll find a new character illustration and product line featuring the character. “Every illustration is paired with a companion playlist found on the More Art | More Heart Spotify channel,” says Sommer. 

To learn more about More Art | More Heart, visit moreartmoreheart.com. You can also follow along on Instagram for up-to-date works in progress, playlist announcements, and blog post announcements. You can also shop her Etsy store here

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Fate and friendship brought together a group of experienced business people who decided to launch a coffee brand that stands out among the rest.

Oakley Artisan Roasters offers a variety of coffee roasts for a unique coffee experience.

When a group of strangers was brought together by fate, friendships blossomed and a business idea grew thanks to their shared love for coffee.  

The business idea became Oakley Artisan Roasters.  

“That connection rooted and grew immediately into the idea of a company that exceeds the expectations of the typical coffee experience,” says Oakley Artisan Roasters Managing Partner Tim Eckert. 

Oakley Artisan Roasters is a company of small batch, custom roast coffee that aims to produce something distinctly different from other coffee shops, with a focus on the customer and their experience. 

“Our mission has been to engage growth but at the same time keep our customers at the center of what we do each day and deliver a superior product experience, whether it be in a restaurant, coffee shop, at work, or at home,” adds Eckert.  

In addition to Eckert, the team behind Oakley Artisan Roasters includes Joe Krimmer and Beth Thress. Together the three owners bring to the business a variety of levels of experience that help to round-out their acumen.  

Their backgrounds include experience in the coffee roasting and custom coffee production industry, formal education in custom roasting for flavor extraction, management of national chain coffee shops, and 32 years in retail and whole distribution management and marketing.  

“We knew we could appeal to a broader base of customers and delight consumers while also supporting local, high caliber businesses and also financially supporting farms that we source from,” says Eckert. 

Oakley Artisan Roasters is based in Oakley and calls 3000 Robertson Ave. home. There you’ll find their new, large facility of nearly 8,000 square feet and where all of the products are located. In addition to having a home base, coffee from Oakley Artisan Roasters can be found at many small local retailers and attractions in and around the Cincinnati area including the Cincinnati Art Museum, Lehr’s Prime Markets, and Country Fresh Markets. 

Those who are unable to visit the area to shop local retailers can also utilize the Oakley Artisan Roasters e-commerce site. 

“Our customer base has grown to extend our reach from coast to coast, literally, as we have customers thousands of miles in any direction across the country,” says Eckert. 

When you shop Oakley Artisan Roasters, you’ll find 13 different beans and roasts from regions like Africa, Central and South America, Mexico, and others.  

“We currently roast, blend, and offer flavors totaling over 25 different varieties of offerings and that’s just our hot coffee,” he adds. “Add another few offerings when you factor in our cold brew coffees.”  

Lately, Oakley Artisan Roasters has been sourcing beans from farms that they know they can provide a truly positive financial contribution to. “Just recently, we have begun a new relationship with a farm in Honduras who deals in Fair Trade and provides economic stability to an entire community through his model of sustainability, fair wage, and focus on growing and exporting high quality coffee,” says Eckert. “It’s just a way to do business that we feel good about and we know every dollar we spend and subsequently sell helps to support an entire town.”  

Eckert says the team at Oakley Artisan Roasters is currently working on building out a new office as well as moving roasting and cold brew production into a single-visit, friendly space.  

“We are always watching the industry and looking for new ways to innovate,” he says. “Bringing new products to market and expanding our brand footprint as well as delighting our current and future fans is always at the top of our list.” 

To learn more about Oakley Artisan Roasters, visit www.oakleyartisanroasters.com. There you can learn more about their products and shop their e-commerce website. You can also keep up with them on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/OARcoffee> and Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/oakleyartisanroasters/>. 

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After COVID-19 threw a wrench in literary plans, the Cincinnati Public Library is bringing back its Writer-in-Residence for a second year.

The Cincinnati Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence is bringing back Dani McClain for a second year. 

“Due to COVID-19 limiting the type of programs we could do with Dani, as well as the importance of  understanding journalism and nonfiction writing, the Library Foundation is pleased that we can present Dani for  a second year as the Writer-in-Residence,” says Staci Dennison, the Thomas W. Jones Executive Director of The Library Foundation. 

In addition to serving in her Writer-in-Residence position, McClain is also continuing work as the library’s literary ambassador to the community by hosting the library’s monthly “Inside the Writer’s Head” podcast, writing blog posts, holding office hours, and leading writing workshops. 

McClain is hosting a virtual introduction to reporting workshop in March as well as a variety of other virtual events to maintain safety during COVID-19. For a  calendar of her upcoming events, go to cinlib.org/WIR2021.

The idea for McClain to host a virtual introduction to reporting workshop arose from her experience as a reporter. She has been featured in Time, Slate, and Ebony.com, and is a contributing writer for The Nation magazine and a fellow at the Type Media Center in New York, where her work focuses on reproductive health, race, and activism. 

McClain is the author of numerous pieces including “We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood,” which was shortlisted in 2020 for a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and contributed chapters to “Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence” and “Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements.” 

You can read McClain’s blog posts on CincinnatiLibrary.org/blogs/ and listen to Inside the Writer’s Head podcast on Spotify at cinlib.org/InsideWritersHead.