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Fashion

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One local fashionista launched a business to build confidence of our youngest generation through cute outfits that help kiddos look and feel their best.

A passion for fashion, glam, and everything beauty is in Aleese Alexandra’s veins. Since she was a young girl she’s loved all things fashion, so it only made sense for her to take a leap and open up her own boutique as an adult. 

Today she is the founder of Kiddy Kouture, a children’s clothing brand based out of the Queen City that offers everything fashion-forward for your littles. 

“We aspire for our minis to be just as fashionable as we are,” says Alexandra. “We offer replica, adult-like clothing, but in a friendly, kid style. You can also find a few mommy and me looks as well, because we know how much little girls aspire to be and look just like mommy.”

Kiddy Kouture launched six years ago, when Alexandra felt that there weren’t very many places to shop for unique, stylish kids clothing, aside from typical department stores. So she wanted to give those in the Cincinnati area the opportunity to shop local. 

In the boutique, you’ll find a variety of looks from chic styles to street wear, fun accessories, and so much more. “We have our house brand clothing styles and you can find a vast majority of other brands, and even some local designers that are featured in our showroom as well,” adds Alexandra.

Alexandra prides herself on the quality of products that she offers in her store. “A lot of looks that you see at our shop you will not be able to find anywhere else,” she says. “We make kids feel good in our clothing and accessories and they only want to shop at Kiddy Kouture.”

The items that are curated for the store are chosen carefully and Alexandra works closely with designers to implement the perfect look. “Not only are we just a boutique for kids, but we’ve handled a number of fashion shows for kids all across the globe,” she adds. 

In addition to being a children’s boutique, Kiddy Kouture is a styling service and modeling agency. 

Alexandra is looking forward to the future for Kiddy Kouture. “We are actually working closely with another company by the name of ‘Pink Roses,’ kids modeling agency, where they are greasing up to film reality TV,” she says. “Kiddy Kouture will be the lead wardrobe stylist for the models on the show. We have also been back and forth from Los Angeles, New York City, and Columbus for filming and cultivating different looks for all the models. It’s fun, fun, and more fun! We are so stoked for this opportunity so stay tuned!”

Kiddy Kouture is located in East Walnut Hills at 2337 Victory Parkway. You can also shop online anytime at kiddykoutureboutique.com. Kiddy Kouture is also on Facebook and Instagram.

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Learn about a local jewelry shop spreading homemade love and inspiration, one fashion accessory at a time.

For the past three years, Faith Love & Leather Jewelry has been bringing homemade hope and love to customers all over Hamilton and beyond. The shop sells hand cut earrings, bracelets, necklaces and keychains. 

“Finding joy in the everyday life” is the foundation that keeps both the business and founder, Trisha Grantz, running. “It can be difficult as a mother of young kiddos to see the joy in changing diapers, constantly feeding, cleaning up dishes and laundry, little to no sleep or time to yourself. I struggled for years, just wishing for tomorrow or when the kids get a little older, or things get easier,” says Grantz. “I need to see each day as a gift and find something joyful in every situation. It’s not always easy to do so, but once you start working on it, you find yourself happier and more willing to see the blessings even in the hard situations.”

Faith Love & Leather offers many products that are made from mostly quality leather from suppliers out of Washington and Israel, along with a variety of metals. Grantz is also starting to explore the combination of acetate and leather for her products.

Grantz offers her robust selection of products, as well as a custom order feature as well. “For a custom order, customers can contact me through Etsy or social media,” says Grantz. “I work with them until their vision is just right. The whole process takes about two weeks to until full completion. I enjoy custom orders because they get my creative juices flowing in a direction that I wouldn’t have explored on my own.”

There are many great things about owning a small business and for Grantz, it is the irreplaceable relationships she has formed along the way. “I fiercely love people, but never quite found the right way to reach people outside of my family and friends,” she adds. “Owning a small business has stretched me outside of my introverted tendencies and I find myself making friends, encouraging strangers, and loving on people in situations I never would have been in before Faith Love & Leather Jewelry.”

Faith Love & Leather Jewelry can be primarily shopped on Etsy, www.etsy.com/shop/faithloveandleather, and at Sara’s House on Main Street in downtown Hamilton. 

To connect with Faith Love & Leather Jewelry, follow them on Facebook and Instagram. You can also email Trisha at faithloveleatherco@gmail.com.

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A mompreneur helping others look and feel fashionable grew her boutique from a small bedroom to her Milford-based storefront. Read on for all the inspiring and stylish details.

LeiMarie Limited started as an online business for mompreneur Chrissy Gedeon. It grew, and grew, until she opened up a storefront in Sharonville before eventually settling down in historic downtown Milford. 

The women’s clothing and accessories boutique is located along the banks of the Little Miami River, amongst a vibrant community of unique, family-owned businesses including shops, restaurants, and services. 

Throughout its growth, LeiMarie has remained true to itself. “From an online boutique to our first store to expanding to the Milford store, we have always remained true to who we are and where we started,” says Gedeon. “We focus on ‘comfy not frumpy.’ We strive for unique fashion pieces that you won’t find elsewhere, and that provides a sense of confidence and comfort to any woman who ventures into the shop.”

The history of LeiMarie dates back to early 2016 when Gedeon’s business was online and traveling to local pop-up shops. Then, in 2019, she opened her trial storefront in Sharonville. “We then relocated to the larger, more walkable space in Downtown Milford,” she adds. 

What started out as a naptime hustle has become so much more for Gedeon, a mother to two young children. 

“In 2014, we had our daughter, Gedeon explains. “I worked full time in finance, and craved creativity. I needed color, texture, and my own fun. After seeing several online boutiques in other states, I decided to try it out. I never dreamed we would be where we are now. We started in a 10×12 guest bedroom, and have grown to a 2600 sq ft storefront. Truly, our shoppers continue to inspire me to keep going. Seeing women feel great in our pieces, and seeing our fashion being worn to their special events, or even just date nights, is truly inspiring and motivating for me.”

As a #momboss, Gedeon says that she often finds herself doing work before her littles wake up or after their bedtime. “To tell you that keeping a balance between mom life and entrepreneur life isn’t hard is a lie,” she says. “A ton of credit is owed to our stylists. Each day, we have two in the store who handle shopper inspirations, and daily business operations. Cheryl, Shanna, Jen, Stephanie, and Emily are my rock, and the brand wouldn’t be what it is without them!”

A lot of the basis behind LeiMarie is supporting local. In fact, they have a “Love More Local” initiative, where local makers sell their items in the store. 

“Small businesses must band together in order to survive, and we truly feel the community over competition in our brand,” says Gedeon. “Currently, we host Thornwoods, a local husband-wife duo creating hand-painted signs. We also carry Lilian Grace Designs, a line of woman-created greeting cards, postcards, and stationery of all sorts as well as K&L Handmade Clay Earrings, beautiful, handmade clay earrings with natural earth tone vibes and a unique design.”

Gedeon is ready to find a new “normal” for her store, as she plans to host Love More Local sessions once they are allowed. These sessions involve a local maker hosting a DIY class. She also plans to host private parties for birthdays, bachelorettes, book clubs, or girls nights out.

“The storefront has a space dedicated to these types of events, which serves for a fun place for any group celebrating an event, or just wanting to get together,” she adds. “The store receives new inventory weekly and new arrivals hit the store each day.”

You can visit the storefront at 223 Main Street in Milford. You can shop at www.shopleimarie.com or follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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Learn about a new, eclectic online shopping experience that will satisfy your home, body and spirit. 

 

Looking for a unique online shopping experience to please your closet and spirit? Look no further. Witchy Woman Boutique is a brand new online boutique offering an eclectic mixture of handmade, gently used, and brand new items for the home, body and spirit. 

 

“Witchy Woman Boutique is about encouraging women to continue to seek their inner powers and strengths,” says Kristina Kennel, Witchy Woman Boutique founder. “The goal is to give our shoppers the opportunity to discover unique, high-quality products. Our hope is that Witchy Woman Boutique can foster a sisterhood of vendors and shoppers all coming together to enjoy a for-women, by-women experience.” 

 

The Witchy Woman retail space is currently online only, with the shipping and fulfillment done from a farmhouse in Shandon, OH. “The inspiration for the company came from the strong women I was surrounded by growing up who inspired me to be true to my journey and true to who I am with undying love and support,” says Kennel. When I decided to embark on the journey of opening Witchy Woman Boutique, the encouragement I got was humbling, magical and truly inspirational. As Witchy Woman Boutique continues to grow, I want to carry this same powerful energy within the Boutique.”

 

Witchy Woman Boutique is set to have a soft opening and launch date on June 5, 2020. To stay connected and get updated, visit their websitehttps://www.witchywomanboutique.com/, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook

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An OTR-based women’s boutique is taking their unique and personal shopping experience to a whole new, virtual level.

Since COVID-19, many things in our world look different, especially the traditional shopping experience. Idlewild Woman, located in the heart of OTR, is offering private virtual shopping hour sprees with manager, lead stylist and designer, Tessa Clark. 

Idlewild Woman is a boutique featuring ethical and sustainable clothing for people of all ages and sizes. Their goal is to enhance and empower women to look and feel their very best, while celebrating their bodies and personal style along the way. “Since the pandemic, our goal has been to stay engaged with customers as possible,” says Idlewild’s manager, Tessa Clark. “(Through virtual shopping), we are aiming to continuing building our relationships with current customers and hoping to gain new customers that might live out of state. We are taking a conservative approach to reopening – as we want our customers and employees to stay as safe as possible.”

How does virtual shopping work?

Virtual shopping is available every Wednesday through Saturday at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm. Customers can book their appointment on Idlewild Woman’s website, similar to booking a hair or nail appointment. Tessa will contact the customerabout which platform to use and a Zoom link or Facetime call will be with them shortly after that. Before the call, the customer is encouraged to peruse Idlewild’s website so they can have an idea of what questions to ask Tessa. The customer can expect a video call from Tessa a few minutes before the scheduled appointment. Tessa will be in store video chatting with the customer, showing any garments, jewelry, or shows the customer may want to see for an hour. At the end of the call, the customer can choose to pay by phone or invoice via email after the call.

“Virtual shopping has many benefits,” says Clark. “You get personalized time to shop with me, while practicing social distancing, easier online shopping benefits, you can schedule the appointment from anywhere, and you have the ability to add three friends on the call to shop with you virtually from all over the country!” 

Why shop local during this time? Small retailers and local business need your support now more than ever. “If you love your community, think about what makes it up,” says Clark. “It is proven that more money actually stays within your community when you shop small versus big box.”

For more information on virtual shopping or to schedule your session, visit https://idlewildwoman.com/..

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See how a locally-based fashion icon is making Mother’s Day a little brighter, stylish and affordable.

While Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs is now internationally known, featured in your favorite movies and magazines, and touted by the biggest stars, Salyers always remembers her roots. As a mom, wife, and Northern Kentucky girl at heart.

“Fabulous-Furs started out as a one-woman faux fur operation, in the home basement, with Donna literally doing everything herself,” says Brian French, CMO of Fabulous Furs. “It has grown to a world-class, trend-setting business for over 30 years, that boasts 4,000 wholesale accounts in 46 countries.”

Her Covington-based Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs designs feature cruelty-free, luxurious faux fur alternative selling coats, vests, throws, and much more. French says they aim to offer the most luxurious faux fur outerwear, apparel, accessories, gifts, and decor on the market, and have sold their products across the country and the world. 

“Beautiful enough to compete with nature, our products are designed utilizing only the highest quality fibers, designers, and finishing processes,” he explains. “We proudly offer a collection that is certified vegan and 100 percent animal-friendly and cruelty-free.”  

French says Salyers, the woman behind the brand, has passion, vision, and values that continue to shape Fabulous-Furs today. Because Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and as a special recognition for those moms carrying an even heavier load these days, Fabulous-Furs is offering Cincy Chic readers free shipping and $50 off orders over $200 when you use code FABMOM20. 

In addition to their luxury faux fur, Fabulous-Furs is also selling Fashionable Fabric Masks as a Mother’s Day gift option, which you can purchase here.

Due to COVID-19, the Fabulous-Furs showroom is not currently open to the public. However, they are accepting orders via their website at fabulousfurs.com or via phone at 1-800-848-4650.  “We expect our showroom in Covington will be re-opened in late-May,” adds French.

To learn more about Fabulous-Furs, visit https://fabulousfurs.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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Local apparel designers and entrepreneurs are teaming up to make “urban grade” masks for the community. Read on for more.

The apparel designers and entrepreneurs behind Sew Valley and Hemmer Design are answering the community’s call for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). “We are manufacturers, and people need masks, so it seemed obvious that we should use our skills to help during the COVID-19 crisis,” says Sew Valley’s Shailah Maynard. 

Sew Valley is a non-profit in Cincinnati’s West End that exists to provide resources to apparel designers and entrepreneurs. Their aim is to help brands grow in a sustainable and thoughtful way by offering small batch production services, studio membership and educational workshops.

Hemmer Design is an apparel and soft goods design consultancy, having expertise in trend forecasting, product development, product design, performance material development and advanced manufacturing.

“Through this collaboration with Sew Valley, Hemmer Design is really helping to strategize, design product, source materials, coordinate sales, raise funds and coordinate partnerships,” says Jessica Hemmer, Founder and Creative Director of Hemmer Design. “This collaboration has been wonderful because we are able to create a more dynamic manufacturing ecosystem here in Cincinnati by pulling our capabilities together.”

These unique “Urban-Grade” masks are being created to help slow the spread of the virus and free-up any medical-grade masks for healthcare workers who need them. “The masks are made of double-layer cotton, with fabric ties. They are reusable, washable, and meant to be washed after use,” says Maynard.

The masks are being made by a team of 12 people, with new equipment coming in to speed the process up. “Our new assembly line of machines, supported by the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Jr and U.S. Bank Foundation, allows for seven people to actively work on expediting mask manufacturing at once, with others behind the scenes prepping, packing and shipping,” Maynard explains. Each day, the team is hard at work producing these creative and sustainable masks for the Cincinnati community.

“My favorite part of watching our PPE initiative come to life has been seeing how quickly our team has adapted to a new form of manufacturing, as well as being able to partner with, and work with other creatives, designers, and makers in the Cincinnati community,” says Maynard. “At the end of the day, everyone has the same end goal in mind: do what you can NOW to help.”

How can you help, connect, or donate? 

Those who are interested in joining the volunteer list to help sew or making a monetary donation to keep the Sew Valley + Hemmer Design operation going can visit their website at https://sewvalley.org/svppe. You can also support Hemmer Design’s GoFundMe campaign as they work towards manufacturing 1500 masks for the Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.

Sew Valley: Website and Instagram

Hemmer Design: Website and Instagram 

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Shopping for a bridal gown is a mother-daughter tradition that shouldn’t be missed. See how one local bridal store is keeping the tradition of dress fittings alive with virtual appointments.

Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Lace Bridal Couture!
Kelly Hill, Owner of Lace Bridal Couture: Lace Bridal Couture is a refreshingly modern and chic bridal boutique for the stylish, fashionable, & sophisticated bride. It is one of the three bridal stores that are a part of “The Hill Bridal Collective.”  Lace Bridal Couture is located in the esteemed Reading Bridal District of Cincinnati, OH, along with it’s sister stores, Love Curvy Bridal & Cincy Bridal. The collections at Lace Bridal Couture support the incredibly creative bridal designers who strive for high quality, freshness, and effortless beauty.  

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Hill: Lace Bridal Couture was built out of love from owners Kelly and Allen Hill. We were actually married in our original bridal store location back in 2012. 

We opened our first store in 2011 called Yours Truly, Kelly. It was a bridal consignment boutique that sold ‘once loved’ gowns and bridal samples from other bridal boutiques. The store was incredibly successful at the time, which allowed us to grow the business and to start offering special-order gowns from highly sought after designers that were not found in other bridal stores in Cincinnati. In the span of 8 years, we have opened two other bridal stores in the Reading Bridal District and have now created “The Hill Bridal Collective.” 

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Lace Bridal Couture?
Hill: Myself and my husband are the two behind Lace Bridal Couture. We pride ourselves on seeking designers that are exclusive to the Cincinnati and surrounding areas. We love to develop relationships with the designers that are featured in the boutique so we can offer the bride true, one-of-a-kind designs that cannot be found anywhere else. 

Cincy Chic: In the midst of COVID-19, we heard you’re offering virtual appointments. Can you share more information about those?
Hill: Since the brides can’t come to us at the moment in the stores, we’re bringing the consultation to them through scheduled FaceTime calls and Zoom meetings. All consultations are at no charge. The virtual consultations are just like they would be if the bride were in the store working one on one with a bridal stylist – except it’s done through video! The stylist guides the bride through her options, showing available inventory, and relaying a lot of helpful information like we do normally in the store. We will ask all the same, pertinent questions, look through her Pinterest pictures, and help find the best gowns that suit her style and personality!

After the consultation, she is able to select up to five dresses to try on at home. We also offer curbside delivery of her gowns within 20 miles of the store!  

Cincy Chic: Why did you decide to start offering these appointments during this time?
HIll: The reason we started offering the virtual bridal appointments is because we knew that we had many brides who were still in need of a wedding gown for their Fall and Winter weddings!  March and April are prime shopping months for wedding gown shopping because the gowns typically take 4-6 months to arrive in stores. We wanted to create a way for our brides to still be able to shop and try on gowns during this unprecedented time so they can feel comfortable knowing that they can still have the gown of their dreams for their wedding!

Cincy Chic: Do you plant to continue virtual appointments once stores are allowed to reopen?
Hill: We do still plan on keeping virtual shopping as an option for our brides even when our stores are able to re-open! We know many brides may still feel uncomfortable coming into the stores to shop in person.  We also know that bridal gown shopping is going to be very different with the new health restrictions in place.  It will definitely be a “different normal” than we have originally been used to.  

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more, sign up for virtual appointments, or follow along for re-opening information?
Hill: We are committed to helping our brides create beautiful memories and prepare for important life events, even in the midst of chaos. We believe that it’s important to look forward to celebration and remember that even if things get delayed, love cannot be cancelled. Our brides can schedule their virtual consultation & begin the at-home process right through our websites, www.lacebridalcouture.com. www.lovecurvybridal.com, and www.cincybridal.com. Just click on the appointment link at the top of the page and go to virtual appointment.

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A yarn boutique wants to help you and your littles stay creative while in quarantine. Click here to read more about porch pick-ups and free kits for the kiddos.

Cindy Fitzgerald launched Fiberlicious back in 1996. “I was seeking a career change that would allow me to utilize my design background in a new, fun, and challenging way,” she explains. 

From that desire came Fiberlicious, a Madeira-based yarn boutique that has allowed her the opportunity to express her creativity and artistic sense of color through creating one-of-a-kind knitwear with clients.

Fitzgerald says that she was inspired to launch Fiberlicious not only to express her own creativity but to also help others find a love for knitting. 

“Over the years, I found that the most difficult part of knitting was reading and understanding patterns,” she says. “This pushed me to start writing patterns that everyone could understand and allowed more people, previously indicated by the technical language, to embrace and enjoy knitting.” 

Fiberlicious offers clients the encouragement they need while also teaching personalized classes to keep the confidence high. 

“I always keep the shop full of fabulous colors and textures, with something new to discover every time you visit,” she says. 

Currently, Fiberlicious is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Fitzgerald is available to personally select, package, and ship yarn and accessories directly to your home or via curbside pick-up. 

In addition to yarn kits, Fiberlicious is also offering free “Yarn Art” kits for children of all ages. The kits include yarn cut into lengths, beads, pasta, and large sequins for beading or gluing. Also included is an instruction page and links for more fun ideas to allow creativity to flow. 

Kits are ready for pick-up on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Fitzgerald says that larger groupings of yarn kits are available. 

To order your knitting kit, ask questions, or say hello, send an email to cindy@fiberlicious.com. Visit their website at https://fiberlicious.com or follow along on Facebook

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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.