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    From the Windy City to the Queen City, one local nutrition expert is returning to her roots to share in all that Cincinnati’s fitness and food scene has to offer. Read on for all the delicious details!

    Kayla Hansmann, the founder of Cincyfitfoodie.

    Cincinnati may not be one of the biggest cities in the country, in terms of size alone, but its fitness and food scenes are big, bold and beautiful. Capturing this beauty is what inspired the platform Cincyfitfoodie, launched by Cincinnatian Kayla Hansmann.

    Hansmann, a registered dietician, fitness instructor, and local foodie, says Cincyfitfoodie is a platform for sharing her food, fitness, and fun, which is usually related to food and fitness, throughout Cincinnati.

    “I share #foodoftheweek highlights, where I utilize one food item or ingredient in several ways throughout the week,” she explains. “I also show clips, videos, and ideas from my workouts, clases I teach and my own personal workouts, to motivate and encourage others to do the same.”

    Hansmann says she was inspired to launch Cincyfitfoodie after spending a few years in Chicago.

    “Since moving back home, I’ve found that the food and fitness scene in Cincinnati has just what most every other big city has to offer, but without some of the hype and features,” she says. “We have such great talent here and I love highlighting that and especially really enjoy meeting others who are doing cool and innovative entrepreneurial ventures.”

    Although Cincyfitfoodie’s story got its start in January 2018, Hansmann’s blogging past goes back further.

    “I had previously started a food blog with a friend from grad school living in Nashville, and while it was a lot of fun learning the process and getting started with a really good friend passionate about all the same things and food trends, we both had our own cities and clientele to pursue, so we made the decision to branch off into each of our own niches,” she says. “It’s crazy to think it’s only been a year, but I love the whole branding, design, and social media component of this world so I dove right in and tried to learn as much as I could and meet and network with others right off the bat.”

    Hansmann also offers nutritional information and recipes on her platform.

    Through Cincyfitfoodie, you can find personalized nutrition services for individuals and groups. Hansmann says that she does one-on-one assessments as well as monthly accountability to ensure she’s following along closely with clients to meet their goals.

    She’s also dipping her toes into corporate wellness speaking engagements and events – which she says is fun because she gets to reach large groups of people in environments that can sometimes be toxic to health and wellness.

    “In these sessions, we talk about timely nutrition hot topics and taste recipes for easy workday lunches and busy weeks,” she adds.

    Hansmann is looking forward to the future as she prepares for yet another adventure.

    “I very recently started a new business/branch off of Cincyfitfoodie with my mom – it’s a business targeted mostly to moms, pregnant and nursing moms, called Milk’d Nutrition,” she says. “We offer a wide array of baked goods, energy bites, smoothie mix and nut butter that have specific ingredients that are beneficial to mothers for lactation but are delicious and nutritious for everyone.”

    Hansmann says Milk’d is something that she’s been thinking about for a while thanks to her role in her part-time job at Children’s Hospital.

    “It’s an amazing opportunity to work with my best friend and mom who is retired and recently receive her culinary certificate from the Midwest Institute here in Cincinnati,” says Hansmann. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness and support of other local businesses here and really excited to see where this venture takes us.”

    To learn more about Cincyfitfoodie, visit www.cincyfitfoodie.com. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

     

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      The founder of a powerhouse digital marketing startup has a story you’ll need tissues to read. Read on to hear how this local entrepreneur turned a nightmare into inspiring a dream come true.

      David Brauntz, the founder of Hudson Brauntz, was inspired to launch his business by the loss of his son. Photo: Melanie Pace

      David Brauntz, the founder behind the digital marketing startup Hudson Brauntz, and his wife have traveled some treacherous terrain on their journey. But through it all, they’ve found peace, inspiration, and love in their tragedy.

      David Brauntz, founder of Hudson Brauntz

      Hudson Brauntz, based in Northern Kentucky, works to connect small and mid-sized businesses with customers in order to help propel their business forward.

      “We help clients thrive by delivering high-impact digital marketing solutions,” explains Brauntz. “We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with our clients to create digital work that helps them grow and succeed in an increasingly digital world.”

      Brauntz likes to focus on the relationship his business has with its clients. “It drives our decisions, our business model, and our pricing structure,” he says. “We help clients enhance their online presence. At the same time, we are committed to maximizing the return of our clients’ online spend.”

      While Brauntz focuses on bettering the business of his clients, there’s much more to his story and the story that inspired him to take the first step toward his dream.

      Brauntz has more than a decade of experience working in the digital marketing world for a variety of companies. He loved what he was doing but owning his own company was always in the back of his mind.

      However, at the front of his mind, and of his wife’s mind, was starting a family. After years of trying, Brauntz and his wife Rotha were pregnant with twins thanks to fertility treatments. As expectant parents are, they were over the moon. Everything was going just fine, until it wasn’t.

      “On February 20, 2017, while at a meeting, I received a phone call from my wife that would change my life forever,” Brauntz recalls. “At first, all I heard was my wife crying hysterically and then a voice came on informing me she was the nurse from our OBGYN and that I needed to come to pick up my wife immediately and take her to the hospital because they couldn’t find our son’s heartbeat and that he had passed in utero at 32 weeks. However, because we were expecting twins, a boy and girl, we needed to get my wife to the hospital to see how our little girl was doing.”

      The Brauntz twins following their delivery. Photo: Melanie Pace

      Brauntz did what anyone would – he acted without thinking to get to his wife’s side as quickly as he could. “All I knew was that I needed to get my wife to the hospital,” he says.

      Despite being told that there was indeed no longer a heartbeat coming from his son, Brauntz says it was something he needed to see for himself.

      “What used to be my son’s sac was just darkness,” he explains. “My son, my baby boy, my daughter’s twin brother was gone in an instant. I was in shock and numb.”

      While the loss was devastating and beyond anything they could have ever imagined, they found solace in knowing that their little girl was still doing well. However, she was tiny, so the goal was to keep her in the womb for as long as possible in order to give her the best possible chance of survival.

      Brauntz’s wife stayed at the hospital on bedrest for the next two weeks, until doctors decided she would deliver both babies at 34 weeks.

      Brauntz says that March 8, 2017 was both the happiest and saddest day of his life.

      “We said goodbye to our little man and hello to our little girl,” he says. “Born at only 3lbs and 3oz, she was rushed to the NICU where she would spend the next four weeks growing and learning how to eat.”

      Those tragic six weeks made Brauntz rethink everything he thought he knew. To him, time and fear had an entirely new meaning and everything that he had feared before simply didn’t make sense anymore.

      “I had just lived through one of the worst fears a person could face and somehow managed to come out OK on the other side,” he says. “While he was only on this earth for 32 weeks, his impact on my life lives on in everything I do.”

      That tiny little person, who impacted the lives of more than just his parents, also gave Brauntz the courage to do something he’d always dreamed of doing – starting his own company. “So when it came to naming the company, it only made sense to name it after him,” says Brauntz.

      At Hudson Brauntz you’ll find a variety of digital marketing services available from its team of strategists, designers, and social media experts who have decades of experience with small and Fortune 500 companies. These services include:

      • Brand Design & Identity
      • Brand Positioning
      • Local SEO Content Strategy with Blog Writing
      • Website Design, Development & Hosting
      • Ratings & Review
      •  Local SEO Directory Listings Package & Voice Search Readiness

      There are multiple distinctions that make Hudson Brauntz unique, aside from the company itself being a lifelong vision of its founder.

      “For the most part, digital marketing agencies offer similar products and services,” says Brauntz. “However, I’ve learned it’s how you provide the services that makes the difference. We treat our clients like we would treat our friends, which means 100 percent transparency.”

      Brauntz also has experience in a range of industries – from retail to merchant services – and with businesses of all sizes. This experience, he says, has taught him that, above all else, it’s about being honest, respectful, and kind. “This will bring in more success than any pricing model or marketing efforts,” he adds.

      While the first year of Hudson Brauntz was focused on getting up and running, the future of the business is looking to sharing its journey and providing tips along the way.

      To learn more about Hudson Brauntz, visit http://www.hudsonbrauntz.com. You can also follow along on Facebook.

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        This isn’t your typical gyno. Learn about the local doc who recently opened Elevate MD, a new practice with a spa-like atmosphere where you can get everything from a yearly exam to cosmetic services, hormone replacement therapy, body contouring and more.

        Dr. Joseph Franzese is the physician behind Elevate MD.
         

        You don’t typically look forward to an OB/GYN appointment. But one local doc aims to change that. 

        Dr. Joe Franzese started Elevate MD in order to give his patients an approach in care that was centered around them. He wanted to provide those clients with quality treatment plans that combined both functional and conventional medicine in order to care for the whole person.

        “We understand health and well-being are personal, and we pride ourselves on spending time with each individual to ensure you reach your health and wellness goals,” explains Franzese.

        Elevate MD is located in a state-of-the-art facility that hosted its grand opening on November 30, 2018, and offers a full range of yearly exams, making it much more than just a gynecologist’s office.

        Franzese says his practice is now accepting new patients and even has a number of special offers that includes complimentary consultations for cosmetic services and hormone replacement therapy.

        “We offer women’s yearly exams, ultrasounds, and minimally invasive surgery to in-office cosmetic treatments such as body contouring, liposuction, Brazilian butt lift, and tummy tuck procedures,” he says. “We also offer cosmetic gynecology, in-office ablations, Botox/injectables, spa services, PRP therapy for men and women, hair restoration, facial rejuvenations, and sexual medicine.”

        Other services offered in the practice include skin care products, pleasure enhancing shots, and even high-quality supplements.

        What makes Elevate MD different, aside from its medical offerings, is that Franzese is the only physician in the Tri-State area participating in Millennium TBI program, which helps both civilians and veterans affected by traumatic brain injury.

        “I’m humbled by the opportunity to help those who protect and serve our country,” adds Franzese.

        “Elevate MD is continuously challenging ourselves to be on the cutting edge of new medicine and techniques,” adds Franzese. “With a shift in health care and more awareness around sexual wellbeing, our functional and traditional medical approach creates endless possibilities to elevate the quality of life for our patients.”

        To learn more, visit www.elevatemd.com. You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Realself, and Twitter.

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          A local fashionista is on a mission to not only help you look great but feel great starting from the inside out. Read on to learn more about the personal struggles that got her to where she is today and how she’s on a mission to show her children what a strong, independent mother looks like.


          Paige Parker grew up in the deep South, so for her, being well-dressed has always been seen as a form of politeness.

          “I was always taught that ‘good manners and great style go hand-in-hand,” she explains. “I remember from a young age watching in awe as my grandmother teased her platinum blonde hair (the higher the hair, the closer to God), piled on so much jewelry that I was sure her neck would be sore, and never left the house without her lipstick.”

          Parker learned much of what she knows about styling and fashion from her grandmother and mother. “I’ve learned that style and strength start from within,” she says. “A few years after college I opened a women’s clothing boutique in my home state of Mississippi and it was there, in that little storefront, I realized there was nothing I enjoyed more than helping someone improve their confidence by transforming their appearance.”

          This passion for fashion and looking good, inspired by Parker’s grandmother, inspired her to launch Paige Parker Styling, a wardrobe styling firm based out of Hyde Park.

          There are two motivations for Parker when it comes to running her business. First, and foremost, her children.

          “I want them to always see a strong, determined mother who finds great joy in helping others,” she explains. “I want them to know that with a little imagination and a whole lot of hustle they can do anything they set their minds to. But ultimately, I’m motivated to be the person that I hope they become one day.”

          Another motivation for Parker is her personal experience. She went from having 3 children in five years and then going through a divorce to essentially losing herself in the personal struggles.

          “I was engrossed in motherhood, a failed marriage, I had this body I didn’t recognize and when I looked in the mirror I wasn’t myself,” she says. “It was when I made an effort to rediscover my style and the image that I was portraying to the world that I found my happiness again. Looking at my reflection brought me joy again, rather than misery. So, I want to bring that joy back to others, I want to fill them up with not only a great wardrobe but with confidence from within.”

          There are a variety of services available from Paige Parker Styling, including services for both men and women in order to fit the needs of all clients.

          Parker’s most popular service, and where she recommends starting, is the Closet Edit/Cleanout.

          “I, along with the client, go through their entire closet, purge, create new outfits, and organize so that getting dressed is stress free,” she explains. “I give them a book of photos of each outfit we created from what they already owned – usually 15-20 outfits.”

          From there, she says, most clients add on Personal Shopping in order to fill in the blanks in their wardrobe. Once the 3-4 hour shopping trip is done, Parker will head back to the client’s home for a personalized fitting.

          Next, is Parker’s personal favorite service: the Special Event Styling. “Whether it’s a red carpet, class reunion, or charity gala, I love to help people get dressed to the nines,” she shares.

          In addition to these services, Paige Parker Styling also offers travel packing and styling for business or vacation, wedding styling, photo shoot styling, editorial styling, and much more.

          Parker says that she wants to help her clients build a wardrobe that showcases who they are and makes them feel put together – even through all that life throws at us.

          “I firmly believe that, even as busy mothers and/or working professionals, we can have a style unique to ourselves and a way to feel put together without having to try so hard,” she says. “Building a well-balanced, versatile wardrobe takes time and thought – and that’s where I come in.”

          She references Diane Von Furstenburg in saying “Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it,” she adds, “I don’t just give my clients style, I help them discover their style.”

          Although Paige Parker Styling currently only accepts clients in the Greater Cincinnati area, soon location will not be a problem.

          “In just a few short weeks you’ll be able to work with Paige Parker Styling no matter your location,” she says. “I’m set to launch the addition of ‘virtual styling’ in February.”

          Aside from her new service launching next month, Parker says that she’s also working on a few collaborations that you can keep an eye out for in the coming year.

          To learn more about Parker and Paige Parker Styling, visit https://www.paige-parker.com/. You can also “like” Paige Parker Styling on Facebook or follow along on Instagram.

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            Fatigue, weight gain, and hot flashes? Read on as we chat with a local expert on natural hormone replacement who just released an exciting new book!

             

            Weight gain, hot flashes, low libido, decreased energy, and skin that’s lost its sparkle are all associated with getting older. But one local expert says they don’t have to be.

            Dr. Magdalena Kerschner, a board certified anesthesiologist, interventional pain expert and the Owner of Montgomery-based Victory Wellness & Medspa, is now the author of “Get Your Mojo Back,” a book she released last week.

            “Get Your Mojo Back refers to getting your spunk, your joy de vivre, your zest of living back,” she explains. “As we get older our bodies and hormonal balance changes and we actually become hormone depleted, which often results in fatigue, weight gain, sleeplessness, sexlessness, and loss of enthusiasm and energy to do what we once enjoyed.”

            Kerschner says that her inspiration to write her book came from her patients and friends who are always asking her for information and stories on lost mojo.

            “I feel that through the written word I can deliver hope to many more people that there is a solution to our problems of advancing age and we can continue to thrive and live stimulating and productive lives well into advancing age,” says Kerschner.

            In the book, Kerschner gives readers the opportunity to identify with her own stories and the stories of other women who are middle-aged and their challenges to know that they’re not alone in their struggles.

            “Most importantly,” she says, “I want them to know that there is an effective solution to these problems that has worked for myself and many others.”

            The book provides basic, evidence-based information about bioidentical hormones and how they function in our body while also offering a list of the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy as well as the difference between natural and synthetic hormones.

            What separates Kerschner’s book from others written about hormones is that she herself has experienced the symptoms explained.

            “I am someone who experienced symptoms of middle-age such as loss of hormone balance and successfully treated those symptoms to enjoy my life to the fullest,” says Kerschner. “I am also a physician in clinical practice actively engaged in helping people be their best.”

            To purchase “Get Your Mojo Back,” click here. You can learn more about Kerschner, her book, and her practice at https://victorywellness.com/ or by calling 513-936-3065.

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              Rooted in empowering female entrepreneurs, a Columbus-based movement is spreading its roots to the Queen City. Read in for all the inner-diva-inspiring details.

              The Diva Movement strives to empower other female entrepreneurs and leaders.

              Behind every successful woman is a group of women who are cheering her on. In an effort to provide women with a supportive and inspiring community of fellow leaders and entrepreneurs, The Diva Movement was created.

              “The Diva Movement is a community of women leaders and entrepreneurs where we provide support, tools, and resources to help women grow as they are growing their business,” explains CEO and Founder Noni Banks. “We offer online personal and business development resources, networking, events, entrepreneur workshops, and opportunities for women to connect in our private Facebook group.”

              Banks says that she was inspired to launch The Diva Movement off a quote by W.E.B. Dubois: “There is no force more powerful than a woman determined to rise.”

              “I was at a place in my life where I was tired of waking up every day and not being fulfilled,” explains Banks. “I was going through a divorce and I realized that I consistently placed my hopes and dreams on the back burner, while I pushed and [helped] build someone else’s dream.”

              In an effort to help build the dreams of the women around her, Banks launched The Diva Movement, which in 2018 served more than 600 women at 13 Diva Movement events. The organization also trained 50 female entrepreneurs in the workshop series for small business owners, mentored 75 female entrepreneurs, reached 18,000 followers in 16 countries on social media, and served 63 girls in the leadership session.

              “What started as a book club with 15 people has now grown into an organization with more than 300 members,” adds Banks.

              Every week there are women who join The Diva Movement and are sharing their stories of how they’ve reached the same point in their lives that Banks did – they want to pursue their own dreams and build on their own passions.

              “They are tired of playing small, tired of their voices not being heard, tired of not having a seat at the table, and tired of not believing that their vision for their lives matters,” says Banks.

              The main mission behind The Diva Movement was to create an organization that understands the challenges of women who were running a business, raising a family, and working a full-time job.

              “I wanted to create a space where these women could thrive,” says Banks. “We designed the memberships, services, and events to support these women by helping them grow as they are growing their businesses.”

              Noni Banks, Founder of The Diva Movement

              There are three levels of membership available with The Diva Movement. Membership is available for individuals and entrepreneurs as well as small business group memberships for companies and organizations.

              Member highlights with The Diva Movement include:

              • Membership pricing to select events
              • Access to member only events
              • Share your expertise as a guest blogger
              • Business mentoring sessions
              • Special vendor advertising rates
              • Opportunity to promote products or services on Facebook group
              • Personal and entrepreneurial downloads and resources
              • Access to connect with a supportive online community of women in a private Facebook group
              • Diva deals and discounts

              According to Banks, the uniqueness behind The Diva Movement is its design to meet the needs of women who are working a full-time job and running a business.

              “Our networking events are known for creating a dynamic, inspirational, and fun atmosphere where women can connect in meaningful and authentic ways,” says Banks. “Guests connect with other like-minded women and learn from our featured speakers of women leaders and entrepreneurs while having fun.”

              To give women a glimpse into what The Diva Movement can do for them, the organization is hosting The 2019 Women’s Wealth and Wellness Expo on Saturday, January 26, at The Ohio Deaf Alumni Association Center in Westerville.

              “The Expo provides resources, education, and tools to help improve the financial health and overall wellness for women,” explains Banks. “The Expo is a community event that brings together hundreds of women for a day of education, inspiration and fun. Guests will enjoy fitness demos, financial professionals, business resources, and beauty and wellness experts.”

              The history of The Expo goes back to 2014 when Banks was coming out of her divorce. She found herself as the single mom of four boys and needed to rebuild herself – emotionally, physically, and financially.

              “I thought it would be great to host an event where women can be equipped with the education, strategies, and tools to rebuild their lives,” says Banks. “In my mind, I only expected maybe 50 women to be interested. Unbelievably, over 200 women attended, and the rest is history. We have hosted over 2,000 women and we are expecting a wonderful turnout this year.”

              Banks says that new chapters of The Diva Movement are opening in both Dayton and Cincinnati this year.

              “We are working with women in a handful of countries to collaborate on some Diva Movement workshops, initiatives, and events,” adds Banks.

              To learn more about The Diva Movement, visit www.thedivamovement.org. You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

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                ‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight. Read on as we chat with the owner of a West Side-based woman-owned fitness boutique who says customization is the secret to success when it comes to wellness programs. Read on for all the inspiring details.

                West Side Pilates and Fitness customizes each class to the individual needs of its clients.

                The New Year means lots of resolutions to get in shape, lose weight, and become a better you. To help you get on that path is West Side Pilates and Fitness, a fitness boutique that offers a variety of wellness programs ranging from group and private classic pilates reformer sessions to Ballet Barre, spinning classes, and more.

                “West Side Pilates and Fitness is an ongoing small community of support for the myriad of clients where strong bonds and connections have been formed while achieving and maintaining personal health and fitness goals in a more private, yet structured environment,” explains West Side Pilates and Fitness Owner Kimberly Eckstein.

                Eckstein says she was inspired to launch West Side Pilates and Fitness when she saw that there was a serious need for structured, uniquely personalized classes for anyone and everyone requiring a formal program that was not only effective but capable of meeting the needs of those with special health concerns.

                “West Side Pilates and Fitness is for anyone who has special concerns from plantar fasciitis to pre- and post-partum needs to hip replacement and supplemental training for the weekend warrior,” she says. “Pilates can address anatomical imbalances as well as weakness, atrophy, and even inflexibility to name a few. We specifically take note in helping clients meet their goals, while being disciplined as they continue healthy, happy lifestyles on their fitness journeys.”

                Eckstein is a certified personal trainer, spinning, pilates, and group exercise instructor and has an interest in addressing special populations and analyzing movement with correction. Her background goes back to when she was 10 years old teaching tumbling classes.

                “My vision behind West Side Pilates and Fitness was to offer small group and private sessions to the public with a focus on specific, goal-driven programming and to create a non-threatening, non-judgemental private zen wellness environment,” she says.

                Classes offered at West Side Pilates and Fitness include:

                • Pilates reformer
                • Pilates mat
                • Spinning
                • Resistance training
                • Personal and small group training
                • Barre
                • Jump board
                • Stretching and relaxation
                • Yoga-lates
                • Basic Nutrition
                • Pilates for golf

                West Side Pilates and Fitness also offers Pilates for Pink, a class that focuses on and addresses the needs of clients who are post breast cancer treatment.

                “Classes and sessions are adjusted to address and focus on the needs of each client individually, regardless of physical conditions and goals,” she adds.

                When clients attend West Side Pilates and Fitness, they’ll find that the studio focuses on the individual needs of the clients.

                “Programs are tailored to each client, including goal setting and any special considerations,” says Eckstein. “We continue to thrive on private to small group training, and clients benefit greatly from small ratio based training programs.”

                Additionally, West Side Pilates and Fitness is a woman-owned, local business that Eckstein says is often referred to as one of Cincinnati’s best kept secrets.

                Throughout the year, and in the future, West Side Pilates and Fitness will continue to grow and evolve in order to suit the needs of clients. “We often offer new programming while still continuing to deliver the tried and true basics,” says Eckstein. “Our goal this year is to expand, thus offering an even wider variety of programming and services, while maintaining our small, private boutique fitness appeal.

                To learn more about West Side Pilates & Fitness, visit https://westsidepilates.org, call them at 513-885-4911, or send an email to pilateswestside@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/WestSidePilatesFitness/>.

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                  Rooted in faith and a desire to make the world a little brighter, one local lady decided to take the leap into her own apparel business. Read on to hear more about the positivity she’s weaving into the community one trendy thread at a time. 

                  At a time when it seems like the world is becoming more negative by the day, Whitley wanted to take her faith and spread it – one T-shirt at a time – through her business Blessed Attire.

                  “Blessed Attire is a faith-based apparel and specialty items company featuring trendy men’s, women’s, and kid’s apparel as well as jewelry, signs, hats, and other items with more being added,” explains Whitley.

                  The goal of the items sold by Blessed Attire is to spread positive messages to those who buy and see them while also starting the conversation of faith.

                  “The world we live in is becoming more and more negative and chaotic as time passes,” says Whitley. “News stories, social media, etc. all report on the terrible things happening in our society but only rarely talk about the amazing things happening. This is where we come in. Blessed Attire is about spreading positive messages.”

                  Andrea Whitley is a lifelong Cincinnatian. She also has deep roots in her faith and what she believes in.

                  Whitley wants to change the narrative on seeing negative stories everywhere. “If we can start a conversation and change someone’s day then I am doing something right,” she says. “If someone buys a shirt that say ‘Be still know’ and it makes someone ask ‘what does that mean’ – just think of the impact.”

                  Blessed Attire is owned by Andrea Whitley, alongside her husband and daughter. Blessed Attire offers faith-based apparel, jewelry, and accessories.

                  Blessed Attire offers shirts and necklaces that say things like ‘just breathe’ and it helps someone breathe and calm a little – Whitley says that’s the kind of thing that keeps her going.

                  All of the designs offered from Blessed Attire – from “blessed” to “love” – means something. “You are blessed and loved,” says Whitley. “You are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ and if you ‘just breathe,’ you can handle anything.”

                  All in all, Whitley says that the inspiration behind Blessed Attire is to let others know they are blessed and loved while also spreading positivity and faith to help make a difference in the world.

                  When you shop Blessed Attire you will find men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.

                  “We offer everything from T-shirts and hoodies to boutique styles,” says Whitley. “We also offer a wide range of sizes including plus sizes and we do not up-charge for plus/curvy sizes.”

                  According to Whitley, some of the top selling pieces available from Blessed Attire include the hats and the women’s boutique styles. Because the store offers so many different items and designs, it can help customers to feel comfortable in what they select.

                  Blessed Attire tries to keep prices fair and affordable for every size wallet. Most of the apparel items range from $22 to $40, hats run from $20 to $22 depending on the style, and the jewelry averages around $20.

                  Aside from its passion for offering faith-based apparel, Blessed Attire also stands out in other ways.

                  “When Blessed Attire was first opened, one of the goals was to give back to the community,” says Whitley. “We do that through our Church Partner Program. It is a 5 percent giveback program for organizations and churches to assist with mission trips, education programs, and more.”

                  Additionally, the majority of items from Blessed Attire are original designs. Whitley says she creates a large majority of the designs and loves getting new ideas from customers. “I’m usually able to add a new design to the website within 48 hours,” she adds.

                  You’ll be seeing a lot more of Blessed Attire in 2019, and Whitley says she couldn’t be more excited.

                  You can find products for men, women, and children at Blessed Attire.

                  Come January, Blessed Attire will be moving to a larger space within the Monarch Market Shoppes to Inspire, allowing the store to add new items and expand its line.

                  Whitley will also be adding new athletic items in 2019 and plans on releasing new designs for all online apparel in February.

                  A new blog and marketing plans are also in the works as Blessed Attire aims to have its products in 8 retail stores in the coming year.

                  To learn more about Blessed Attire, visit www.blessedattire.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram, or check out the products in person at the Monarch Market Shoppes to Inspire inside the Dayton Mall.

                  To get in contact with Whitley, you can call her at 513-532-1494 or send her an email at awhitley@blessedattire.com.

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                    After two life tragedies, this local cancer survivor and widow just released a memoir about her lessons learned through the process. Keep reading for her moving story and how it can inspire your greatness.

                    Kimberly Johnson has endured the unthinkable. She battled and beat breast cancer only to suddenly and unexpectedly lose her husband Devan Johnson in a motorcycle accident two years later.

                    That 2016 loss inspired her to launch a memoir chronicling what it looks like to keep going after taking such a blow and how she has chosen to show up, taking readers through a range of emotions. That book, which was launched on October 4, 2016, is called “Walking Without My Cane.”

                    “Everyone has a cane,” she says. “My husband was my cane and now I am Walking Without My Cane.”

                    The story of Johnson, and her husband, dates back to 2004, when the duo established and launched Incredible Creations Beauty & Barber Salon.

                    “It was Cincinnati’s first black owned and operated husband-and-wife team business in Over-the-Rhine,” she explains. “I have since taken the role of salon owner to another level as a platform artist, educator, and mentor. Devan and I worked together each day as one. We were best friends and neither of us had any idea in regards to what we were about to face.”

                    Then, 2014 came along and Johnson fought and won her fight with breast cancer, with her husband by her side every step of the way. “He never left me to do it alone and I never thought that I would lose him so suddenly just 2 years later in September 2016.”

                    Now, just over 2 years after losing her husband, Johnson is still the owner of the barber shop in Over-the-Rhine, which she considers to be part of her husband’s legacy. She’s also become an author with “Walking Without My Cane” and a motivational speaker – sharing her story of triumph and strength – and life enrichment coach through her business Unleashing The Power of Greatness.

                    “I share, motivate, and inspire others to believe that a happy, fulfilling life is possible after facing heartache,” she says. “Life can, and will, go on and it will be amazing despite what the past looks like. I emphasize with my audiences that your past does not have to dictate your future. I strive to role model how to be authentic, walk in truth, live in the movement, and to just be.”

                    Kimberly Johnson lost her husband in 2016 in a motorcycle accident

                    Johnson’s offerings as a life enrichment coach are all about helping others to see beyond where they are and how they view where they are by changing the lens they’re looking through.

                    Johnson says that her belief in God is what motivates her to continue moving forward despite all that he’s thrown her way.

                    “My husband’s transition completely rocked my world and I would’ve never imagine this to be my life,” she says. “I was the one who went through all of the things that, according to ‘the world,’ would take you out. Yet, I am healed and my husband is no longer here in the world. My husband was a master of many thing sand riding his motorcycle was one, so again, for him to be gone pushes me to keep going. I understand that I have a created purpose and I have people waiting for me to show up, which motivates me. Because I realize that everything I have been through and everyone I have been assigned to is for others so they can walk in their purpose as well. So god, Devan, and my family motivates me to keep going because it’s so much bigger than me.”

                    Johnson is planning her next book for 2019, which she says will be called “Walking Unscripted.” this book helps to wrap up her first book, “Walking Without My Cane.”

                    Johnson also offers a podcast called “Unleashing The Power of Greatness” on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud. “Listeners can expect to hear very candid, authentic, intimate conversations,” she says. “Imagine having company over and the setting is wine, cheese, snacks, and good conversation about a plethora of things.

                    Additionally, Johnson will add speaking engagements and clients to a growing schedule of life enrichment coaching and starting a book tour.

                    Johnson says that she is offering 20% off to anyone who would like to book sessions with her who mentions Cincy Chic. Learn more about her, her business, and her book at www.kimberlynicolejohnson.com. You can also follow along on Instagram.

                     

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                      A local lady recently developed a retreat to bring conversation and companionship to female creative business owners. See how her inspiring idea can help you make 2019 your best year yet.

                      Amanda Donaho wanted to find a way that brought together female creative business owners. As a photographer and business owner herself, she’s been attending events and creative workshops for years. But these gatherings were always full of people sitting in boardrooms and taking notes. 

                      Illuminare Retreats are hosted in a private mansion just outside Louisville KY

                      “I found myself craving something more intimate,” she says. “About five years ago, I attended a retreat that was on a much smaller scale and that struck a chord with me. I know the power that comes from a group of women having conversations late into the night and sharing ideas over meals. I wanted to pull all of those pieces together in a way that would give creative business owners the opportunity to dig deep for a weekend, and create new friendships as well.”

                      That concept became Illuminare Retreat, an intimate, 3 day/2 night conversation with female creative business owners. Italian for “to light up,” Illuminare is designed to help attendees move past fears or mental roadblocks, and navigate to high places both personally and professionally. 

                      “The retreat focuses not just on strengthening each woman’s business, but her heart, too,” says Donaho. 

                      Amanda Donaho, Founder of Illuminare Retreat

                      Guests to the event are pampered with an in-house cook preparing meals while also being treated to massages and yoga instruction. “Women walk away inspired, hearts and bellies full, and with a house full of new friends,” adds Donaho.

                      Donaho recently hosted the first Illuminare Retreat that was completely sold out. “We sold out every spot rather quickly,” she says. 

                      Donaho says that because it was the first Illuminare Retreat, she wasn’t quite sure what to fully expect. 

                      “I knew that for it to go as I had hoped, the attendees would have to be willing to be vulnerable with each other and really open up about their own journey as a creative entrepreneur,” she says. “Thankfully, the group was incredible and the weekend was everything I had hoped for plus some. Some new (big!) dreams were laid out over that weekend, really beautiful friendships were made – there were lots of tears and laughs. It was pretty perfect.”

                      In addition to food and pampering, guests at Illuminare Retreat also receive swag bags and feel taken care of the entire weekend. 

                      The retreat features private in-house cook and pastry chef, Olivia Tew

                      “We will dive deep into conversations over a glass of wine about fears, goals, and mindsets,” says Donaho. “We’ll tackle topics that every small business owner faces, like social media and branding. We will hear from a financial advisor on how to be healthy financially, and learn how to take care of our bodies through a nutrition demo and yoga instruction. We really strive to cover the mind, body, and business.”

                      The goal of the Illuminare Retreat is to focus on intimacy and the whole person. 

                      “When we’re talking about creative business owners, we’re often discussing individuals who work alone frequently,” she explains. “It can be a lonely path to walk, and the beauty found in finding others to ‘get’ you is so important. Alsoo, as a creative entrepreneur retreat, we’re bringing together women from various industries who can give a different perspective, which is incredibly helpful – versus photographers just meeting other photographers, for instance. Doing all of that under one roof in an intimate setting really accelerates those friendships and the amount of personal growth. Finally, we use the line of ‘mind-body-business’ to explain our take on the importance of having a healthy mind and body – not just a functional business. All three working together will create the best, not just for you as a person, but for your brand.”

                      The next Illuminare Retreat will be held at the Retreat House in Louisville August 9-11, 2019.

                      To learn more about Illuminaire Retreat, visit www.illuminareretreat.com. There you can register for the next Retreat and take advantage of Early Bird pricing. You can also follow along on Instagram