The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

by -
Dress codes as a whole have relaxed since the pandemic, and much of it has to do with re-accommodating staff that may have been working from home for the past two years. As stated by University of Maryland Professor, Jie Zhang, relaxed dress codes make the transition back to the office easier and serve as an incentive for those who may have become accustomed to the comfort of telecommuting. While many industries still have strict suit-and-tie or jacket-and-skirt dress codes (such as the legal and financial sectors), others have embraced fashion choices that look smart but don’t necessarily conform to past standards.
Comfort and Style Are Not Mutually Exclusive
Comfort is the order of the day in fashion, whether you’re talking about underwear or office wear. These industries actually have more in common than you may think. For instance, trending underwear is softer and stretchier than in the past. Shapewear is effective yet far more comfortable than traditional girdles and corsets used to be, and push-up bras now have comfortable gel inlays instead of hard metal underwires. The same goes for casual business clothing items, many of which are made with materials like spandex, elastic waistbands, and relaxed styles. In creative industries (including journalism, graphic design, and fashion design), employees are styling themselves in boldly patterned tights, vividly-hued eyeglasses, and creative nail designs, feeling freer to wear outfits that lift their mood and express who they are.
Double Standards
Despite the relaxation in dress codes in many industries, statistics show that women are still expected to ‘look the part’ if they want to rise in their careers and earn a higher salary. The persistent wage gap is still very much alive in the US, and it is accentuated when race, age, industry, and other factors are considered. As pointed out by In These Times’ Mindy Isser, women also have to battle against the ‘grooming gap’. Women who purchase the right clothes and invest in hair and makeup are more likely to earn higher salaries. Men may also have grooming and fashion standards to adhere to, but these tend to be simpler. Just one example lies in the cost of haircuts for men, which is much lower than for women. Moreover, men (sans those who do invest in beauty) save thousands on skincare and makeup during their lifetime. Women also take more time to get themselves ready, with many taking almost an hour to do their hair and makeup before the workday starts.
Battling Discrimination
A recent UK study has shown that 53% of plus-size workers have felt left out of their work teams owing to their weight. The issue affects women more than men. Some 38% of women said their weight worked to destroy their confidence, compared to only 26% of men. Clearly, updated diversity and inclusion policies still need to take pervasive ‘fatphobia’ into account. People of all body sizes need to feel safer at work and feel like they are on level playing fields.
In Search of Authenticity
One trend that is making life a little easier for women is the search for authentic self-expression. Actors like Kate Winslet have argued that women should be allowed to look their age. The British actress emphasized that she did wish to use filters or excessive makeup in the series, Mare of Easttown, and many influencers and celebrities have followed her lead. Entrepreneurs like Lizzo and models like Ashley Graham have posed bare-faced on Instagram and on numerous campaigns, with both arguing for more inclusive, body-positive attitudes in fashion and daily life. The zeitgeist has undoubtedly embraced this concept, with many women feeling more comfortable about attending work in clothing that respects professional standards but while also expressing their personal sense of style.
Dress codes have been relaxed over the past two years in many industries. Of course, for some sectors, business suits, elegant tops, and tailored pants and suits are still the order of the day. Although the gender gap still exists, influencers are pushing for more inclusive environments where women can feel free to be comfortable and authentic, without losing an iota of professionalism.

by -
Dressing in smart business attire doesn’t just help you look the part: it’s also been found to improve abstract thinking, which is key for creativity and long-term strategizing, Scientific American reports. When it comes to work, appearance matters. Striking the perfect balance between professional and chic can be challenging, but it’s possible as long as you follow some key basic principles.
Quality over quantity
Your business wardrobe isn’t the place to penny pinch. Investing in high-quality, staple pieces may initially seem expensive, but you’ll get plenty of wear out of them over the years — this results in a low cost per wear. So, when you’re shopping for new pieces, pay particular attention to the materials and craftsmanship, and aim for quality over quantity. It’s also just as important to take excellent care of your garments after you purchase them. That means getting them professionally cleaned on a regular basis. The right care can help you extend the life of your wardrobe considerably. 
Accessorize smartly
When it comes to accessories in workplace fashion, less is always more. Accessories typically create a focal point for your outfit, and can end up either making or breaking your look — so choose wisely. For example, there’s no need to overdo it on the jewelry. Instead choose a single classic piece like a sapphire necklace. Sapphire gemstones offer a beautiful deep blue hue that can add an elegant sparkle to your look. Allow the stone to take center stage here: there’s no need to overwhelm it with other colors or stones. As an alternative to jewelry, opt for a designer handbag or briefcase. A chic, business-appropriate bag can elevate your look and fit all your work essentials.
Don’t show too much skin
Showing too much skin in the workplace is a big no-no. You can avoid doing this by ensuring your dresses and skirts are the right length: they should fall in line with the tops of your knees at minimum. Keep in mind that dresses and skirts may naturally move further up when you sit down, making them look even shorter. It’s also wise to avoid dresses or skirts with high slits. If you’re ever in doubt, take a look at your employee handbook to read up on the exact dress code for your workspace.
Assembling a chic business wardrobe can help you make a good impression at work. By following key style principles, you can easily dress for success.

by -

Learn about a local UC student who has turned her love of reading into a creative side business.

Just Bookish Creations was started by University of Cincinnati student Rachel Mowry.

University of Cincinnati student Rachel Mowry combined her creative side with her love for reading to create a unique business called Just Bookish Creations. 

With classes moving to an online format, it provided the perfect opportunity to start a side business, says Mowry.” 

Just Bookish Creations is a small business that creates handmade folded book art, customized just how you like!

I can create any name or date to make a one of a kind design.”  

Just Bookish Creations is a very unique talent that not many people know how to pursue. “You would be truly getting a unique, one of a kind item at my shop.”

The companies presence is completely online, and she accepts orders through her Instagram or Facebook page. 

Mowry is very excited for the future and her new products that are coming soon. 

I hope to launch my book earrings soon, these will also be completely customizable and more affordable then my folded books, says Mowery.” 

To follow along follow their Facebook, Facebook shop or Instagram

by -

This local creative is bringing a spark of joy to your life through pressed flower art. Click here to read more.

It’s hard not to love flowers. Whether it’s a fresh bouquet, a newly potted plant, or a pressed piece of flower art, flowers have the power to put a smile on your face. 
Ashley Balzer is someone who loves flowers and the power they have, and thus is the founder of The Bloom Hive, a business featuring handmade and crafted glass and copper wall hangings and tabletop frames showcasing the beauty, color, and detail of pressed flowers, plants, citrus, and other natural elements.
“I was inspired to launch The Bloom Hive by the spark of joy a flower can bring, the memories a single flower can hold, and a small vintage pressing in a soldered floating frame that hangs on my wall,” she says. 
Balzer is a one-woman show behind her business. She’s also a mom to a 4-year-old who’s love of nature inspires her to discover unique and diverse natural subject matter for her frames. She also credits her husband, who she says often patently waits for her to gather unexpected blooms that grab her attention. 
When you shop The Bloom Hive, you’ll find that she offers one-of-a-kind pressed floral, greenery, citrus, and other natural elenemtkn in hand-crafted floating frames for walls or tabletop decor or gifts. She also sells seasonal ornaments and charms and custom wedding bouquet and memorial pressings. 
Items made by The Bloom Hive start at $14 for pre-made products, and pricing on other pre-made items are determined by the size and subject matter.  She says that custom orders and bouquet and memorial pressures are custom quote. 
Balzer says that she ensures that every piece she makes has vibrant color and pays close attention to detail through her specialty pressing and preservation techniques. 
The Bloom Hive is currently online and has plans to attend local markets and shows as they start to make returns from COVID. 
You can learn more about The Bloom Hive on their website and by following along on Instagram and Facebook for product releases and updates. 

by -

A local designer is bringing her own experimental style to her jewelry collection. Click here for the details.

Libby Andress finds inspiration through personal expression. 

“My style has always been very unknowingly experimental and I partly attribute this to my mother, and her enjoyment of outfitting personalities,” says Andress. “As a child in the 80s, I slept under a Fiorucci poster with angels wearing sunglasses that my mom brought back from Los Angeles. If you know the brand, then you probably understand that it has a reputation for being experimental.” 

Fiorucci was also all over Italy at a time when her family frequently traveled there. This brand encouraged her to be more demonstrative about her personal expression – in fashion, music, and art. 

Personal expression is key at Shop Libby, a jewelry shop with a wide array of jewelry options. Andress also designs some of the jewelry she sells in her shop, which is part indie designer brand.

“Personal expression is firstly the responsibility of the individual, and there is plenty to choose from out there in the world,” she says. “This is why I offer so many styles from all over the world to customers – so they can express themselves how they want, and everyone’s happy and no one feels insulted.”

Andress is the one-woman show behind her jewelry shop. Although she doesn’t currently have a storefront, you can find her online and at local pop-ups, including at Findlay Market on the weekends April through December.

Andress says she enjoys the unique blend of styles that she’s experienced in Cincinnati. “I grew up in Cincinnati and am familiar with the retail history of the city even back to before I was born – the local department stores and retail institutions that helped create a vibrant retail landscape,” she says. “Cincinnati definitely has a unique blend of style and I have experience trying all of it personally. I know what customers want here.”

She also credits her personal intuition for buying that helps to set her shop out from the rest. 

Her inventory and collections are constantly evolving, as most of what she sells is something she loves from the moment she buys or makes it. “If I don’t have a wow moment I typically won’t bother,” she says. 

Shop the collection at or follow along on Instagram.

by -

Fashion isn’t just a trend, it’s a lifestyle. Click here to read more about a brand that welcomes you as you are. 

Savvi Lifestyle Co is an athleisure brand with Brand Partners and new launches every week.

If you’re like many other busy women, the idea of transitional pieces making up your wardrobe is a dream come true. Whether you’re going from the office to date night, Savvi is a lifestyle brand that wants to help you get there without the need to change your clothes.

“Savvi is a lifestyle brand. Our focus is fashion,” explains Savvi Brand Partner Danielle Reinhart. “We currently focus on athleisure wear with transitional pieces that are designed with the intention of being able to take you from working out, to the grocery store, to meeting a friend for coffee or drinks, or even date night.”

The founders of Savvi are Ken Porter and Jenn Ashby. They were inspired to launch a brand that brings people together. 

“Our logo represents a community moving forward together,” says Reinhart. “And Savvi means to know or to understand, but we spell it with an ‘i,’ so it’s I know, I understand. We want people to come as they are and know that they’ll be embraced for that. Our mission is to empower you to feel good about yourself and inspire you to get moving and accomplish the dreams that only you know and understand for you. Yes, we are a clothing brand, but it’s so much more than that.”

Reinhart says she decided to get involved with Savvi initially because she thought they had a great business model.

“I didn’t think I had the time to start a business, but the simplicity of being able to monetize what we as women already do on the daily – wear cute clothes and tell people where you got them – was too good to pass up,” she says. “And when I heard that the plan was to launch brand new, fun and on trend pieces each week on our Fashion Friday fashions shows, I knew this was a brilliant way to keep things fresh and people interested in the brand.” 

There are many popular pieces currently available from Savvi, but Reinhart says she’s loving the Amy Sherpa. Other popular pieces include leggings, key for a mom-on-the-go, the Geos, the Indies, and Opals, and the Ashtanga.  

“I could go on and on,” says Reinhart. “This clothing makes you feel amazing, so there are many favorites.” 

As Battaglia continues her growth as a brand partner at Savvi, she’s looking forward to seeing what company can do while keeping a laser focus on serving its customers.  

“We are also working on being as sustainable as possible,” she says. “Currently our fabrics are sustainably sourced and we are very intentional about who we partner with on manufacturing. It’s important to me that we know that the people who made your clothing are being paid well and have good working conditions, but we are also working on reducing the carbon footprint and are developing some organic and green fabrics, and are working on being able to offer that type of clothing.”  

To learn more about Savvi or to shop, click here. You can learn more about Reinhart on her new Facebook page

by -

Stay fashionable at a reasonable price with this newly launched online boutique. 

Miranda Gullette, founder of Oak & Pine Boutique

Miranda Gullette graduated college in May 2020, at the peak of the pandemic. The economy was on its way down and many of her job interviews were cancelled because of that.  

Instead of using this time to worry, Gullette reflected on what her real passions were. She soon concluded that corporate America wasn’t where she wanted to be and she did something about it.  

Today she is the founder of Oak & Pine Boutique, a clothing boutique offering clothing for men and women as well as a plus-size line, soy candles, jewelry, and accessories. 

“I have always loved fashion so I did some research on different things I could do,” she explains. “Many of them required going back to school and starting over. I thought to myself, ‘Why not start my own business?’ And what better time to learn than during a pandemic. I think I read articles for a few weeks before I finally got my business plan written up. At first I thought there is no way I will be able to make this a successful business, but I won’t know until I try. This pandemic has been awful in many ways but it has also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and try something for myself! I don’t think that if I would have gotten a job right after college I would be here doing something that I love and for that I am so grateful!” 

When you shop Oak & Pine Boutique you’ll find a variety of items for both men and women. “Clothing is always changing with the seasons,” she says. “But we also carry soy candles and a variety of accessories like belts, jewelry, and bags.” 

Gullette says that what makes her shop unique is that she’s doing it all on her own.  

“I package and send out all orders from my home,” says Gullette. “This allows for better customer services, sending our orders right away, and to make sure each item has the best quality before reaching each customer.” 

Currently, Oak & Pine Boutique is an online-only shop offering shipping and free pickup, with the option of curbside or contactless pickups.  

And with a new year here, Gullette says that she’s set a lot of goals for 2021. “Our main goal we hope to accomplish by the end of the year is our mobile boutique,” she says. “We want to offer a unique place for our customers to shop and with a mobile boutique we can do just that and be able to bring this experience to our customers.” 

To learn more about Oak & Pine Boutique, visit their website or check them out on Facebook and Instagram

by -

Take your fashion from office to glam night with this locally based online boutique. 

Immaculate Bere is a mom, wife, and entrepreneur. In what feels like a journey through ever-changing roles, Bere says that she knows the struggle that can come with finding transitioning outfits to take working women from the office to a night on the town. 

“We thrive on eliminating the need to go back home after work to change and provide add-ons that will make a plain outfit change,” she explains when talking about her reasoning for opening Koku’s Boutique, an online brand selling accessories to women.  

Koku’s Boutique can help women make a statement with an ordinary outfit by adding accessories from her shop. 

“We offer a wide range of accessories that are chic yet colorful and can be transitioned from work to a late-night dinner, brunch, or just going to hang out with your friends and family,” says Bere.  

While the store is online only, there’s no shortage of pieces to take your outfit from drab to fab. You can find fedoras, blazers, purses, and jewelry at Koku’s Boutique. 

“Our stylish and quality accessories can be worn all year round,” says Bere. “Our wide selection of products and colors guarantees you to stand out and be complemented wherever you go.”  

While the main offering from Koku’s Boutique is currently accessories, Bere says that she’s looking into incorporating clothing into the brand as well.

To learn more about Koku’s Boutique, you can check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

by -

A passion for showcasing everyone’s uniqueness inspired this local creator to launch a collection of polymer clay earrings. Click to learn more.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss.

The notion that we are all unique and there is no one else like us in the world is the inspiration behind Rare + Good Clayworks, a small, woman-owned business that designs and creates small batch polymer clay earrings that also give back.

“We all deserve something as beautiful and unique as we are – at an affordable price,” explains Rare + Good Clayworks Founder Jamie Glavic. 

Each of the pieces from Rare + Good Clayworks is handmade, so no two pieces are exactly alike, just like all of us. 

In addition to creating unique pieces at an affordable price, Rare + Good Clayworks gives back a portion of proceeds to the community.

Jamie Glavic, Founder of Rare + Good Clayworks

“Last month, 10 percent of our sales were donated to Welcome House of North Kentucky,” says Glavic. “Currently, $5 from each sale of earrings from our Pollinator Series will go to support the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Pollen Nation program.”

Glavic herself is a University of Cincinnati alum and currently works as a public relations professional. “I started Rare + Good Clayworks during the pandemic, officially launching the shop at the end of November 2020,” she says. “I’m an earring collector and I began experimenting with polymer clay in August 2020. One YouTube tutorial led to another and in a matter of weeks my love of art, color mixing, and design inspired me to jump in and commit to starting my own LLC.”

When you shop Rare + Good Clayworks, you’ll find a variety of earrings ranging from studs to drops to dangles. “We have a style and design you’ll love,” adds Glavic.

Glavic says that although her business is young she’s always refining and adding new designs to the collection.

With the arrival of 2021, Glavic says she’s hoping to build wholesale relationships with other women-owned boutiques and businesses in and around the city who complement the Rare + Good Clayworks brand. They’ll also be participating in local community markets when it is safe to do so.

To learn more about Rare + Good Clayworks, check out the Etsy shop or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

by -

A local business wants to bring joy into the New Year as they celebrate the Cincinnati community. Keep reading to learn more.

Meredith Finn loves her community and finds joy in celebrating the communities around her. She took that love for her home and shares it with the world through the Newtown Shirt Company.

“Newtown Shirt Company launched in 2018 out of a desire to celebrate and support our great city and local communities,” she says. “We are focused on supporting our community with a great quality product while having a lot of fun. We strongly believe that having fun, looking good, and being comfortable doesn’t have to break the bank.”

And after 2020, Finn wants to help others share a laugh of two with her apparel.

Finn herself is a local Anderson Township resident. She’s lived in Cincinnati for 30 years, after growing up in Columbus, Georgia, and landing a job in the Queen City after graduating from Miami University. 

“I fell in love with Cincinnati because it is such a great place to live, work, play, and raise a family,” she says.

After spending a decade as a stay-at-home mom, she wanted to go back into the workforce. That’s when she and her husband purchased Chica Sport, a sports accessory company that manufactures Chic Bands and Seat Heroes. “While working in our Newtown store, we began to receive a lot of requests for custom, locally-themed t-shirts, thus Newtown Shirt Company was born,” she says. “Word began to spread and my focus became helping schools, businesses, and individuals create some awesome apparel.” 

Finn says that Newtown Shirt Company focuses on the local community.

“We love getting to know our customers in a community that we have been active in for years,” she says. “Word of mouth is how we started and that is the biggest compliment to hear someone say, ‘I called you because my friend told me how great you were to work with on their shirts.’”

Newtown Shirt Company is also unique in that it partners with groups to create a catalog of apparel for a swim club, school, non-profit, business, or neighborhood. Some of these collections include work for the Turpin Hills Swim and Racquet Club, Mt. Carmel Brewery, Main Street Cafe, Summit Country Day, R.O.A.R., 1N5, and the Forest Hills 5k. 

In addition to their catalog collections, Newtown Shirt Company is expanding into tumblers and coffee mugs that highlight Cincinnati, like the 513 Tervis and the Evelyn Henson Cincinnati tumbler and artwork.

With the arrival of a new year, Newtown Shirt Company says that they’re committed to creating joy in 2021. “We want to make people smile, to feel happiness, to laugh a little or a lot,” says Finn. “Newtown shirt Company is launching a new line of sweatshirts and t-shirts at the end of January to start the year off that speaks to this. Our Wag More, Bark Less line is designed to remind you to lead with joy and kindness.”

Finn adds that they are also looking forward to expanding their line of Cincinnati-inspired products other than apparel, which you can stay updated on by subscribing to their newsletter.

To learn more about Newtown Shirt Company, visit You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram. You can contact Finn directly by calling 513-871-4300 or by emailing