The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati

by -

A local high-end jeweler is launching a retail concept to develop a new take on luxury and consignment shopping.

Stafford Jewelers is launching a new luxury consignment shop in Hyde Park this summer.

Consignment is the new chic, according to Stafford Jewelers.

This local destination for fine jewelry with more than 20 years of expertise in the diamond industry, owned by a family with more than 35 years of expertise, recently launched a new luxury retail concept: ShopJacobJames.

“ShopJacobJames reimagines luxury resale and consignment, putting quality products and customer service at the forefront of everything we do,” says Amy Stafford, Co-Owner of Stafford Jewelers. “When a shopper walks into ShopJacobJames we want them to have the same high-end experience they would have walking into any of our Stafford Jewelry stores.”  

The inspiration behind ShopJacobJames comes from their goal in developing a new concept to luxury consignment shopping. “We really champion the art of hospitality in all of our stores and wanted to bring a new vision to what luxury consignment shopping could be,” Stafford says. “Our question was: what can we bring to the table that no one else is? ShopJacobJames offers a tangible experience with hard-to-find luxury items, and one-on-one customer attention, including a private consultation area for those wishing to be discreet.”

This is a natural extension of the family business, Stafford explains. “We have specialized in fine jewelry in Cincinnati for over two decades, and ShopJacobJames — named after my sons Jacob and Jimmy — is another way that we can offer a unique, luxury experience for our shoppers.”

In order to create and establish ShopJacobJames, they are able to use Stafford purchasers and portions of consignment items submitted by customers.

“We specialize in new and pre-owned luxury items including jewelry, handbags, watches and other fashion accessories at an inviting price point,” Stafford says. “The product inventory is curated by Stafford purchasers from an extensive partner network with a portion also comprised of ‘consignment’ items submitted by customers — all of which is sold in-store and online.”

The unique nature of ShopJacobJames is centered around their lively location and the personalized experience, Stafford explains. “We are a lifestyle centric destination located directly on Hyde Park Square, so we want our guests to make the day of it and experience our product on their own terms.”

The Stafford family has big goals for ShopJacobJames. “We want to be the first store people think of when they think luxury restore, the card they keep in their back pocket or talk about at cocktail parties,” Stafford says. “When our shoppers get an email from us, before they open it we want them to be excited because they know that inside is the latest and best in luxury resale at their fingertips.”

To learn more, visit online at, where you can also join their email list for sneak peeks at new inventory and exclusive deals, and on Facebook and Instagram.

by -

See how this Cincinnati-based fashion designer is making her mark around the world one handmade piece of art at a time.

For a little over a decade, Tara L. Smith has been crafting unique jewelry creationsTara received her B.S. in Art Education with an academic minor in Art History from Miami University in 2009. While her full-time job is an art teacher at a local Cincinnati high school, her passion for fashion shines bright through her one-of-a-kind Etsy shop. 

“I love the fact I am able to still be an artist and make some extra income by selling my work while working full time as an art teacher also,” says Smith on her Etsy page.

The pieces initially started selling through various pop-up shops, and then launching an Etsy Shop was the next step to build the business Smith and her team quickly found that e-commerce dramatically increased exposure and clienteleTo date, Smith’s pieces have been shipped to more than seven countries, including Dubai, United Kingdom, Germany and even Japan. 

“All of the pieces have so many layers. They have a simplistic look, but each piece has personality and bursts with color and boldness. The pieces do not come from inventory, they come from the customer’s stories, Tara’s mood, and pure wonder. They are each handmade 100%, that is 70% creativity and 30% custom.” says Leah Michelle, fashion stylist and owner of FashionYellow LLC., “Her biggest inspiration comes from her grandmother, who originally inspired Tara to start making jewelry. She loves vintage jewelry and art, so she combines an ‘old soul’ feel in each of her modern and high-end creations.”

Since each creation is handmade, the materials are gathered from local boutiques, thrift stores, online ordering and through global personal connections. Depending on the type and specifics of the piece, customers spend between $75-$500 on an order. “Some pieces are on the lower scale and some are custom, handmade route. It is a great range for anyone to shop in,” says Michelle

To reach an even broader audience, Smith and her team have utilized both photoshoots and social media to their advantage. “We have a lot of free giveaways on the website and across our social media pages. Our followers tag their friends and have them follow our account for a chance to win. We have found an increase in traffic and customers lately,” says Michelle. 

To enhance the image of the brand, Smith and Michelle directed a photoshoot that incorporated all things athletic and chic, the theme for the new spring line of jewelry. “Each look was personally pulled together by me. I mixed Tara’s athletic pieces with womenswear and shoes to highlight her passion for fitness and fashion. We formed the looks around the necklaces to make the concept cohesive and creative. We wanted a mix of bold, bright necklaces and also soft pastels with deep undertones,” says Michelle. 

Both Smith and Michelle have been pursuing their passions in both the fashion and business industries for a combined total of 10+ years. 

To learn more or visit her Etsy shop at:

Photo credits:

Hair and Makeup: Katie Haggard, Wild Hare Salon.

Photographer: Christina Denise, 33 West Studios / Heyman Talent Agency.

Models: Kianna V. and Chloe H., both represented by Heyman Talent.

Coordinator / Director: Tara Lea Smith & Leah Michelle

by -

A local business wants to help moms remember how loved and supported they are. See how you can help spread the love one fashionable find at a time.

Brand New Day as expanded its wellness wear, which aims to show mothers how loved they are.

Brand New Day (BND) was created by two Cincinnati sisters as a collective commitment to eliminate the incidence of suicide and relieve the negative stigma associated with mental illness. Their products serve as a physical symbol, a promise to others, to ask for help and help those who ask, and their goal is to help everyone affected see that there’s always a brand new day just around the corner.

“Mom guilt is real and momma bear instincts are strong,” says Mandy Hauer, co-owner of Brand New Day. “Truth be told, being a parent only seems to get scarier as our kids get older. The fear of losing a loved one is, at times, suffocating.”

Mental illness and suicide is a real thing that affects real families, and Hauer says she’s see too many famillies have their lives shattered.

“If you stop and look at the statistics, it is alarming,” Hauer says. “So we started thinking: how can we equip others to navigate life’s highs and lows while making a promise to ourselves? Could we create something that would let people know that they are not alone in this world?”

When Hauer and her sister launched Brand New Day, the idea was to wear a simple bracelet as a reminder to everyone about how loved and cared for they are. But since then, the bracelet has evolved into a significant promise to wearers to ask for help and help those who ask.

“We hope that BND will serve as a physical reminder that everyone is loved, capable, brave, and worthy of life. After all, tomorrow is always a Brand New Day,” says Hauer.

BND offers handcrafted, adjustable macrame bracelets in eight colors, priced at $16 each. The bracelets are packaged on a card with an uplifting message and/or reminder that you are worthy of life.

BND also just recently expanded it wellness wear line. Research on depression, anxiety and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety. BND is excited to introduce their Wellness Wear line that encourages exercise while giving back to suicide prevention organizations and programs.

For more information on BND, follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

by -

It’s that time of year again! The UC DAAP Fashion Show is back and better than ever! Keep reading for a preview!

Laurie Wilson is an adjunct instructor and associate director of non-academic programming at the University of Cincinnati. She’s also the fashion show director for the annual Fashion Show event put on by students in the university’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) program.

According to Wilson, the DAAP Show is the largest and most innovative fashion show in the region, and is the graduation event for the seniors in the Fashion Design program at the University of Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati has been hosting the DAAP Show since 1951, making this year’s event the 68th annual fashion show.

The inspiration behind the show is all about showcasing hundreds of original, one-of-a-kind designs created by the future of fashion.

“The show is designed to introduce the designers to industry professionals, community fashion influencers, and fans of fashion, and, of course, their friends and families,” says Wilson.

Each year the UC DAAP Fashion Show offers a unique experience for event attendees. This year there are 53 seniors graduating and no two collections are the same, giving way for plenty of diversity.

“There will be approximately 250 outfits shown on 30-plus models as they walk the 300-foot runway at Waypoint Aviation,” adds Wilson.

Wilson says that each of the collections produced by the students are thought out immensely, and the designs reflect that thought process.

“There is such diversity in style, execution, and purpose; from clothing designed for young people with Cerebral Palsy to swimwear to outerwear, and there are even bridal collections,” she says. “The models that walk in the show continuously call it their favorite and they clamor to be a part of it.

This year’s event is being held May 3, at Waypoint Aviation’s hangar in Lunken Airport, and Wilson says there is a ton of new things being added to the 2019 show.

“Virtually everything is new,” she says.

This includes the 53 new designers from graduating seniors, hundreds of new garments, and a new location. The location gives the edgy, industrial feel that students desire. This year’s runway will also be a floor level, within just a few rows of every audience member. The 300-foot runway will be set up like a large rectangle, a new format for the show.

“It is much more like a New York Fashion Week environment than the raised stage we have had for years,” she says. “Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret, along with Rhinegeist, Ultimate Air Shuttle, and Waypoint Aviation have supported the show and we are extremely grateful.”

A new designer collection book, produced by Tether, will be available at the show and given to all VIP guests or purchased the night of the show. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase a raffle ticket to win a roundtrip flyaway to New York City courtesy of Ultimate Air Shuttle.

VIP tickets for the show are $150 and include the Meet the Designers reception in advance of the show, along with exclusive seating. Friends of Fashion tickets provide a reserved seat for the show and sell for $50. You can purchase tickets here.

To follow along with the show and its designers, or to learn more about the DAAPworks events and exhibits, visit here or follow along on Instagram.

Wilson says tickets for the show are going fast and they may move to Standing Room tickets when it sells out. The show will also be available to watch here.

by -

See how a local suit shop is celebrating diversity both in-store and out with a campaign that’s getting national attention.

Since 2011, Pursuit has been using a combination of modern style, a simplified shopping experience with great service, prices that are affordable, and a strong media presence to stand for something that’s more than just clothing. That inspired its recent campaign that’s now garnering national attention.

“The ‘You Are Who We Are’ campaign is all about celebrating the diverse group of inspiring people who make Pursuit who we are. It was inspired by a deep sense of gratitude after the growth we’ve seen in the past year with recognition we’ve received and the new store and community in Cincinnati” says Nate DeMars, founder of Pursuit and also named Columbus’ Top Entrepreneur of 2018 by Metropreneur.

Since the campaign is centered around the people, their stories and backgrounds are prominent in the campaign as well, DeMars says, highlighting Pursuit‘s impact as a whole. “We shot a video featuring over 150 people from the Cincinnati and Columbus communities who have shaped Pursuit. We also created an interactive page on our website that allows you to learn about all 150 people in the video, their story, and their connection to Pursuit. From leaders, to athletes, artists, celebrities, to customers and Pursuit team members – it’s an impressed group of people, mostly from Ohio roots.” 

The video highlights individuals of all races and ages, copious Ohio scenery, wedding parties, live music, artwork, and much more – a perfect inside look into the thousands of stories that Pursuit has had a hand in writing.

The concept from this campaign was born out of a song from Big Red Machine, a band made up of Cincinnati’s Aaron Dessner of The National and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. “The song ‘Melt’ really helped solidify this feeling of gratitude for the diverse community that has rallied around pursuit,” says DeMars. On March 31, Justin Vernon and Bon Iver helped shoot a collaborative video while they got suits right before they played the Taft Theater. “(Their appearance) was a thriving addition to what was already a super meaningful campaign,” says DeMars. The song was also chosen to be the background music in the campaign video.

As far as next steps go for Pursuit, the sky is the limit. “In Cincinnati, we are only getting started, having just been open in Over The Rhine for just four months. We want to continue to build meaningful connections in the community so we feel as local here as we do in our first home of Columbus,” DeMars explains. “We believe Pursuit has the potential to be a national retail and suit brand and we are striving to build an innovate and impactful business model that helps us grow our reach.”

You can shop Pursuit in Over The Rhine, at 1433 Vine St, Wednesday through Sunday. They offer the Pursuit Tailored Collection of suit separates for $299 along with an in-house tailor, as well as a premium line of Pursuit Custom Suits and Shirts designed by the customer for the customer. Brands such as The Tie Bar, Mizzen + Main, French Connection, and other local brands as well.

To learn more, visit here.

by -

This Cincinnati-based fashion designer creates one-of-a-kind pieces using unconventional materials. Read on for all the fashionable details.

The idea of clothing and jewelry isn’t limited to just fabric, metals or gems for Da’Mon Butler. For the past 20 years, he has been designing clothing jewelry out of unconventional and repurposed materials through his brand, NOMAD3176. 

“I got started … for myself and my relatives quickly noticed and wanted me to design pieces for them as well,” Butler recalls. “I had no desire to start my business, but as my pieces were worn around, I received more requests for my icing and NOMAD3176 was born.”

Butler says NOMAD3176 is unique because each piece is unique — he has never designed an identical piece. “The [designs] I create is one-of-a-kind. When customers ask if I can make another piece like one I have made in the past, I tell them that I can make something similar, but not alike,” he explains. “I have grown collectors for my brand because although each piece is different, they all carry a piece of me and my love for the creating process.”

When it comes to sourcing materials, Butler finds inspiration everywhere. Friends and family often find random objects and challenge him to design a piece with it. 

I find my materials everywhere. If you set something down too long, I will find a way to create a piece of jewelry out of it. I let the pieces speak to me, it lets me know what it wants to become. Some pieces leave me speechless,” says Butler. “I repurpose a lot of items that would otherwise end up in the landfill, these are my favorite items. For example, when I first started repurposing bicycle inner tubes, a lot of people were apprehensive about wearing bicycle parts for accessories. As I wore my pieces around town, I loved the reaction I witnessed as they noticed what my icing was made out of. People are excited to find that my icing works for their life.” 

NOMAD3176 is based out of the Pendleton Art Center, Studio #107. You can find Butler working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-2:30pm, or by appointment by calling 513-709-8803. NOMAD3176 also hosts a studio open house the last Friday of every month from 6-10pm. To learn more, visit here.

by -

Learn about a Cincinnati-based brand that's not only designing an apparel line for today’s youth, but empowering them as well.

Royal Being, a Cincinnati-based apparel line, is about much more than clothing.

While the clothing line offers t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts for boys and girls from infant to 16 years, founder Ashley Dugar says the brand’s four underlying messages are the foundation of what makes them unique.

“Our mission is to provide apparel for boys and girls empowering them to take on four different concepts. First, we want our customers to know who they are, because no matter how old they are, they are never to young to know that they are important, smart, handsome / beautiful, loved, and so much more,” Sugar explains. “Second, I want to instill in them that they can be themselves and helping them know that it’s okay to be different because there is no one better than you. Third, that our clothes allow them to strive for greatness, because you must always do your best. Lastly, I want to encourage today’s youth to be powerful in their own right, because they all have unique gifts and talents within that can be used to change not only their lives, but the world someday.”

Dugar says she drew inspiration from her family. “The start of our brand was inspired by my two sons, Daniel and Kevin,” she adds. “I wanted to give them both a physical representation of the words I daily instill in them on a daily basis, as well as giving them a front row seat to witnessing their mother build a legacy filled with hard work and giving back,.”

The clothes themselves are filled with inspirational messages and bright colors to allow Royal Being to stand apart. “I believe we stand apart because we are a mother and son trio catering to the building of confidence and growth of our youth through clothing and building to be of service to the families in our communities,” Dugar says. “We believe that children need to know how special and important they are, that they are not alone, and that they posses overwhelming potential to do anything they can put their minds to.” 

Moving forward, Dugar says she has big dreams to make a reality soon. “We want to expand our brand through developing an entire apparel line in efforts to open multiple store fronts. With doing this, we will be able to actively serve more families in our Cincinnati community, and eventually the world,” she explains. “With all that is going on in our world today, it is more important now than ever that we instill and build an armor of self-awareness and assurance in our youth. One person should not have the ability to tear them down. What better way to reach out to our youth than through fun fashion?”

To learn more, visit online, as well as Facebook and Instagram.


by -

Now located in the former Girls World storefront in the heart of Montgomery is a new luxury consignment shop. Read on for details.

Your World is a new luxury consignment and resale shop located in the former Girl’s World storefront in Montgomery.

There’s something for everyone at Cincinnati’s newest luxury consignment store. Your World is located in the heart of Montgomery in the former Girl’s World Boutique.

“Girl’s World was such a cute boutique for girls and everyone loved it,” explains Owner Kate Mel. “I worked there for a few months before the previous owner decided to close its doors and I just didn’t want to let this place go. I used to be a regular customer there and loved buying clothes for my daughter from Girl’s World.”

Mel says her inspiration behind the luxury consignment boutique is her strong belief in recycling. “Fashion is so fast-paced now, so why not go with consignment,” she says. “Consignment shops are so trendy now and it’s actually cool to shop at them!”

Plus, she adds, kids grow up so fast, sometimes that they only wear an item once. “Or you buy a dress for a special occasion and end up wearing it once,” she says. “And it’s just sitting there in your closet.”

Kate Mel, Owner of Your World

Rather than let these only-worn-once items sit in your closet, Mel encourages customers to bring their items to Your World to sell.

“We carry all sizes for ladies and girls,” explains Mel. “And we added clothes for men and boys as well! We even have few small beautiful home decor items!”

What makes Your World different from other consignment shops around the city is that it’s half consignment half resale store.

“Since I bought the remaining inventory from the former Girl’s World and Pink Tulip Club, we are now selling it at the discounted price,” says Mel.

She adds that there’s a mix of high- and low-priced items, ranging from anywhere between $3 up to $500.

Your World is located at 7819 Cooper Road in Cincinnati. To learn more, give them a “like” on Facebook or a follow on Instagram.

by -

The bridal store trifecta is now complete and continues to bring new, fresh ideas into the largest bridal district in North America. Read on for more.


Photo: Green Peas in a Pod Photography

When Kelly Hill opened the doors of her first bridal boutique in2011, “Yours Truly, Kelly,” she only had six wedding gowns in inventory. Today, she owns three unique stores, Lace Bridal Couture, Love Bridal and the newest edition, Cincy Bridal in the Reading Bridal District. 

“I have always wanted my own business, but never in a million years would I have thought that I would own three bridal boutiques I love what I do and couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else. It’s definitely not out of the question to us opening other bridal stores in other locations. We have lots of plans for the near future,” says Hill.

The couple’s most recent venture reigns as one of the only luxury bridal boutiques in the Cincinnati area. “Cincy Bridal caters to the high-end fashionable bride and is by appointment only. When the bride is in her appointment, we actually lock the front door and the whole boutique is just for her and her bridal party,” says Hill. “The store holds well-known designer brands that cannot be found anywhere else in the tri-state area such as Anne Barge, Sareh Nouri, Muse by Berta, Antonio Gual, and Atelier Pronovias.”

The success of any business is not only in the product, but the people as well. The foundation of love and passion for brides-to-be that Kelly and her husband have laid is evident in not only Cincy Bridal, but in all of their locations. So much sothat they travel to New York and Chicago twice a year to handpick gowns for each of their stores. 

“I am on the floor in one of the stores almost every day alongside my bridal consultants and love to work with the brides to create their dream vision of their wedding gown. I love watching my consultants grow and develop into amazing sales people who truly care about the bride,” says Hill.

Green Peas in a Pod Photography

Cincinnati has the Largest Bridal District in North America. In the heart of Reading, Ohio, you can find 10 bridal boutiques, all within walking distance of each other. The Queen City truly strives to makes every bride feel like a queen. 

As for awards, Lace Bridal and Love Curvy Bridal have won “The Best of Knot” every year since opening up their doors. Lace Bridal Couture has also won the “Couples Choice Award” by Wedding Wire and holds a spot in “The Knot Hall of Fame”.The future is bright for Cincy Bridal, seeing as it offers a brand-new atmosphere that has never present in the Cincinnati area.

Lace Bridal Couture is located at:  100 West Benson St. Cincinnati, OH 45215

Price points at Lace start at $1,000 and go up to $3,500.

Love Curvy Bridal is located at:  133 West Benson St. Cincinnati, OH  45215

Love caters to our plus size bride with sizes starting at 16 – 32.  Price points start at $695-$2,500.

Cincy Bridal is located at: 307 West Benson St. Cincinnati, OH  45215

Cincy Bridal is a luxury bridal boutique catering to our high-end bride with price points starting at $3,000 up to $9,000.

by -

Read on as we chat with Tessa Clark, a Cincinnati-based designer competing for a $250,000 grand prize on the next season of Project Runway.

Photos by Brooke Shanesy

DAAP graduate, entrepreneur, boutique owner and fashion designer Tessa Clark, can now add a new title to her resume: reality television contestant. 

As a contestant on Project Runway Season 17, Clark will be competing against 15 other designers for a $250,000 grand prize. “I have watched Project Runway for years,” Clark says. “After I applied, I binge-watched the show and came to terms with what would happen if I got in or not. It is still so surreal the fact that I will be able to watch myself on television.”

Clark’s passion for fashion first sparked in early childhood. My upbringing wasn’t the norm, so it provided me with a lifetime of inspiration to pull from, I often think back to where I grew up and describe it as magical,” she explained in a previous Cincy Chic interview about her eco-friendly clothing line, Grind and Glaze. “Every day, I lived in my own universe and playground.”

Since then, she fostered her childhood-like wonder and applied it to her career. “I have learned that fashion is not just a ‘frilly’ career; it has real opportunity within a large industry,” Clark says, now the owner of Idlewild Woman, an OTR-based boutique, continuing to grow her own clothing line, Grind and Glaze, and serving as a proud member of Sew Valley.

Tessa Clark

While each day holds a different adventure, especially since Project Runway, Clark says it’s important for her to stay loyal to her roots. “Throughout the whole process of being on the show, I found myself making my strongest work when I remained true to myself as a designer. I pulled roots of inspiration out of everything and anything, and I am finding myself doing that now in my day-to-day life. The show really reinforced what my own personal morals and values are as a designer for me.” 

One value in particular that is extremely important to Clark is the power of sustainability and eco-friendliness within garments. One of my passions is to educate consumers –that’s everyone– about this topic,” she says. “The textile industry is the second largest pollutant in the world, after oil. That is largely due to the fast fashion industry. Most consumers are not educated on the destruction that the fast fashion industry has on earth.”

Project Runway is known for bringing talented designers from all different backgrounds together to compete on one platform“Competing on the show was a blast because getting to know the other 16 designers was so amazing,” she says. “They were all from different walks of life and each held such a diverse background. Designing alongside them while we filmed in Brooklyn was a dream come true.”

The cameras may have stopped rolling, but that hasn’t stopped Clark from diving deeper into the world of fashion. “In the future, I see myself eventually wholesaling my garments in places other than IdleWild Woman,” she explains. “I would love to take my garments to market and eventually have a showroom in NYC, maybe even spot my garments at fashion week. I want to represent Cincinnati well and bring national light to our fashion-forward cityAs far as sustainability in fashion, I strive to make it a standard, not just a trend.” 

You can watch Tessa compete during the television premiere of Project Runway Season 17 on March 14th at 8pm EST on Bravo.