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    Shop local one bite at a time for your Thanksgiving this year thanks to a long-standing tradition in Hyde Park known as the Harvest Celebration. See how you can support local farmers and artisans with this upcoming market.

    Times may be unprecedented, but the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market Harvest Celebration is continuing on with tradition, in the safest way. 

    Also known as Turkey Tuesday, the Harvest Celebration is a traditional farmers’ market but with a focus on the Thanksgiving weekend. 

    “Farmers and food artisans will curate their offerings to enable shoppers to have easy access to local food for their Thanksgiving table and holiday weekend,” says Hyde Park Farmers’ Market’s General Manager Liz Stites. “Buy with confidence from local farmers and food artisans knowing that Hyde Park Farmers’ Market vendors adhere to rigorous, regenerative, and humane farming practices and responsible production standards.”

    The story behind the Harvest Celebration, hosted by Hyde Park Farmers’ Market and endorsed by Green Umbrella, started when regional farmers delivered their freshly processed, pasture-raised turkeys on a Hyde Park neighborhood side street the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

    “That morning, turkeys were rounded up on the farm and driven to the processor,” says Stites. “By that evening those turkeys had been delivered to eager cooks and were ready to be the centerpiece of Thursday’s meal.”

    With the help of Hyde Park Farmers’ Market, the event now enables fresh turkeys plus many other regionally grown and produced meal ingredients to be delivered in a pop-up farmers’ market on Hyde Park Square. 

    However, Stites says that this year all turkeys will be frozen for the 2020 Harvest Celebration due to COVID-19.

    When you visit the Harvest Celebration, you’ll find that the event offers all that the regional food system has to share for the upcoming holiday including pre-ordered whole turkeys and other pastured meats; fresh, seasonal produce; food artisan delights; flowers, holiday arrangements, and holiday decor; and hostess gifts.

    This unique celebration is the only regional farmers’ market focused solely on Thanksgiving and the weekend to follow. “In the spirit of the holiday, the market is designed to enable Greater Cincinnati families to enjoy the bounty of our regional food system,” adds Stites.

    While many are looking forward to the idea of attending the Harvest Celebration, the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market is working to offer guests a safe shopping experience. “The market appreciates patrons’ ongoing support and cooperation during the COVID pandemic,” she says. “The market’s COVID protocols are based on requirements and best practices from local, state, and federal authorities. Proper placement of masks and social distancing is required at all times while at the market.”

    This year’s Harvest Celebration will take place on November 24 from 6:30-8:30pm on Hyde Park Square. New for this year’s event includes new vendor Pavel’s Garden.

    “Pavel’s Garden is a family-run market garden in Oldham County, Kentucky, that cultivates year-round utilizing sustainable growing methods to produce the healthiest food possible,” says Stites. 

    Additionally, the event is starting later this year in order to accommodate rush hour traffic. 

    To learn more about the Harvest Celebration, click here. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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      Looking for ways to support local businesses this holiday season? Check out this initiative that’s aimed at showcasing local businesses, artists, and restaurants.

      (Photo: Twin Spire Photography)

      The holidays are just around the corner and one local organization wants to help showcase local, Cincinnati-area based businesses for the occasion. 

      “FOUND is a city-wide holiday initiative designed to showcase all of the holiday programming created by our arts organizations, small businesses, and restaurants,” explains Andrew Salzbrun, Managing Partner at The AGAR Agency.

      The inspiration behind FOUND comes from the idea of rediscovering the urban core and the businesses, artists, and people that make it go round.

      “As we continue to dig out of COVID, it’s critical to support our small businesses during the holiday season by shopping local, dining out safely, and participating in all of the exciting things our city offers during the holidays,” he adds.  

      FOUND is a project with several people working behind the scenes. This joint initiative includes 3CDC, Downtown Cincinnati Inc., and The AGAR, and seeded by those at The Haile Foundation.

      When you visit foundcincinnati.com starting November 20, you’ll find the most complete, ad-free repository of holiday programming all in one place.

      “Readers will be able to see what’s going on that day and what supporting art activities are taking place downtown,” says Salzbrun. 

      Submitting content and events to Found is easy as Salzbrun says that retailers, producers, event planners, and arts organizations can submit their event, sale, show, and experience for free to be a part of the complete listings on November 20.

      Salzbrun says that what makes FOUND a unique concept is that it takes all of the hustle and bustle out of the holidays and makes it easy to rediscover Cincinnati this holiday season.

      In addition to the events and other ways to support local businesses this holiday season through FOUND, Salzbrun says they’ll also be launching a 40week long free scavenger hunt on November 30 at 9am. 

      “The Hunt For the Key to Losantiville will be a weekly challenge of clues and wayfinding with weekly cash prizes and one lucky winner receiving $2,000 cash and $2,000 to donate to a charity of their choice,” he says. 

      To learn more about FOUND, visit foundcincinnati.com.

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        In a world where celebrations are more important but complicated than ever, one local planner launched a business to offer easy ways to make a big deal out of the smallest milestones.

        If we’ve learned anything this year while trying to navigate a deadly pandemic, it’s that life can be short. We never know what the next day will bring, and that’s why Rachel Maley wants to encourage others to enjoy the journey and pause to celebrate life’s moments along the way.

        Rachel Maley, founder of Foster the Fun

        “I believe in celebrating those important milestones: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries – you name it and it can be celebrated,” she says.

        Maley has been in the fun-making business for years, and she’s learned that sometimes people just need an extra hand in making those celebrations and fun moments happen. 

        That’s why she created Foster the Fun.

        “Foster the Fun is both a resource to help you plan or prepare for your next celebration, or, for those of you that are just looking for someone to help you make those Pinterest dreams come true, I’m here for that, too,” she says. 

        The inspiration for such a party planning business came from Maley’s grandmother. “It’s a testament to my Grandma Judy,” she explains. “She always believed in putting every ounce of energy into our birthdays and holidays. She was known for having the most American Flags in her yard for the Fourth of July and packing so many beautifully wrapped presents under the Christmas Tree.”

        The name for the business, Foster, encourages extra homage to Maley’s grandmother as Foster is the family name. 

        In addition to paying tribute to her maiden name, Maley says that “Foster” also means to encourage or promote. “So here I am living and breathing her legacy, every day, and aiming to make it easy for you to celebrate too,” she says. 

        Rachel Maley, Founder of Foster the Fun

        When you turn to Foster the Fun for your celebration requests, Maley says that she can customize and adapt to any customer’s needs. “With a background in Early Childhood Education and a career in Corporate Communications, I have had a hand in kid parties, weddings, and corporate events,” she says. “I also have a background in Technology, making those virtual celebrations easier and meaningful.”

        As we head into the most celebrated time of the year, Foster the Fun is ready to roll out a plethora of options.

        She says that for the holidays you can expect to see an Elf on the Shelf Kit, a New Year’s Celebration Box, and so much more. 

        “I am also able to support you in curating a gift to the ones you love – just let me know your budget,” she says. 

        She can also offer Zoom support and the ability to customize the background set up so that it’s special for all those who join in. 

        Maley says that she’s most looking forward to getting her start with this venture. “I love when customers ask for help on their events because it may open a new opportunity for others,” she says. “I hope to help cater to all the future holidays and make it easy to celebrate the ones you love.”

        Maley adds that she’s also interested in partnering with local businesses to offer workshops, collaborations, and more. “I’m excited to see where this might go,” she says. 

        You can learn more about Foster the Fun at www.fosterthefun.co. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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          From the basement of her home to an internationally-known brand named after her, a local entrepreneur is changing the faux fur and bridal game. Her Covington showroom is changing now, too, to new demands, behaviors, and even some rockstars. Read on for all the details.

          The story of Donna Salyers, her faux fur and bridal stores goes back to when she first opened their doors in 2003 and 2005, respectively. 

          Donna Salyers


          “With the city teetering on bankruptcy, surrounding storefronts were either boarded up or dramatically under-utilized,” says Salyers. “Opening a ‘luxury bridal boutique’ was somewhere between idiocy and a leap of faith. But thanks to amazing local and regional support, Fabulous-Bridal developed a stellar reputation for beautiful gowns and outstanding customer service.” 


          Then, following up on her passion for ludicrous ideas, Salyers and her family decided to open Hotel Covington in 2016.


          “It was a great complement to The Madison Event Center, which my husband Jim opened in the early 90s under similar circumstances, and our son-in-law Guy van Rooyen persevered,” she says. 


          From there, the Salyers brand and their businesses were thriving and growing right alongside the Covington community by 2019. 


          Now, following years of growth among their brands, Cincinnati-based First Financial Bank tapped Salyers and her team to purchase their Fabulous-Bridal building.

          “With Fabulous-Furs a few blocks away on 11th Street, it made sense to combine two specialty luxury stores into one glorious space, and so the planning began,” she says. 


          There was a slight hiccup in the plans, however, when the manager from KISS called to schedule a shopping visit. The band was going to be delivered to the (now empty) showroom from Lunken. 


          Quickly the Showroom was re-merchandised and we anxiously awaited their arrival,” says Salyers. “KISS guitarist and songwriter Paul Stanley, wearing our Spotted Wolf jacket, led the group of nine! They shopped until nearly 4 pm, just hours before their evening concert. As they paid for their purchases, Paul turned and invited everyone to tonight’s performance, promising front row seats, parking next to their equipment trucks and backstage access.” 


          The team gave a final goodbye to their showroom before its remodel as they headed to Lexington for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

           

          KISS band members shopping at Fabulous-Furs before its showroom remodel

          Fast-forward to living in a global pandemic and Salyers’ newly remodeled showroom is located at 20 West Eleventh Street, showcasing sections from both Fabulous-Bridal and Fabulous Furs.


          Salyers is excited about the future of her Fabulous brands.
          “I began Fabulous-Furs three decades ago in the basement of our Cincinnati home with a single product: a faux fur coat sewing kit,” says Salyers. “Today, with customers in 46 countries, our products have evolved and are successfully sold in boutiques, hotels, and design stories throughout the United States and Canada.”


          High-end accounts with the Fabulous brands include Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. “We’re ShopHQ’s largest apparel brand and, in 2016, we added TVSN, Australia’s leading TV shopping network, where I continue to do seasonal appearances,” adds Salyers. 

           

          The newly remodeled showroom for both Fabulous-Furs and Fabulous-Bridal

          Fabulous has also been featured editorially in everything from O Magazine and UK Vogue to Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and the WSJ. Fabulous-Furs have appeared in hundreds of Broadway productions and TV shows including Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Frozen, Empire, Today Show, Miss USA/Universe, The View, CSI Las Vegas, Sopranos and Gossip Girl. 


          “With that said, every day brings an exciting, unexpected new client account or amazing customer,” says Salyers. “And with our humble beginnings, no one is more surprised, grateful and thrilled than me!”


          Are you newly engaged? Ready to buy a bridal gown? Fabulous Bridal is offering Cincy Chic followers an exclusive deal through the end of the year: Buy a wedding gown and get a free Donna Salyers Fabulous-Furs Throw. Click here to book your appointment.


          You can learn more about Fabulous-Furs here,
          and Fabulous Bridal here. You can also follow along on social media:

          Fabulous-Furs Facebook

          Fabulous-Furs Instagram

          Fabulous-Bridal Facebook

          Fabulous-Bridal Instagram

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            Need a change of scenery? For this week’s staycation issue, we explore two new downtown locations that blend the boutique hotel experience with all the comforts of home.

            In the time of COVID-19 and when travel outside the state isn’t what it was, The Guild wants to give you a home a short drive from home for your next staycation. 

            The Guild launched in March 2016 and opened its doors in Cincinnati in 2018. It offers travelers, and locals, the opportunity to stay in a space with distinctive design and extra space, like what you get in an Airbnb but the amenities of an upscale boutique hotel.

            According to Brian Carrico, CEO and Co-Founder of The Guild, the original location of this unique experience started in Austin, Texas.

            The inspiration behind the business, and its expansion into other cities, came from the founders’ own passion for traveling.

            “Chris Herndon, my co-founder, and I reflected back on our most memorable trips, and each of them combined the comforts of home with the thrill of discovering local gems,” says Carrico. “We wanted to provide that consistently delightful experience to every traveler.”

            The experience offered by The Guild is unlike other boutique hotel stays that can be found in the Queen City, he says. “While many other design-led apartment hotel brands have emerged in recent years, no company has our obsessive commitment to guest experience,” he adds. “While many of our competitors seek to leverage technology to reduce labor costs, we have taken a contrarian view.”

            According to Carrico, the guest service team at The Guild consists of the best and brightest in the industry, including alums of the world’s leading hotel brands like Rosewood and the Ritz-Carlton. “Our team has applied those elevated standards of service to a category that otherwise lacks the human touch,” he adds. 

            Today, The Guild can be found in Austin, Dallas, Miami, Nashville, and Cincinnati. 

            Those staying at The Guild can enjoy a safe experience and a customized stay, including special requests and groceries ahead of your arrival, as well as a contact-free check-in. 

            As far as The Guild’s Cincinnati locations, there are two different spots – The Current at The Banks and The Provident on Vine Street. 

            When bringing their brand to Cincinnati, Carrico and Herndon wanted to encourage visitors to explore the city, whether they’re local or from out of town. 

            “We would like travelers to enjoy their experience so much that it compels them to travel more frequently, which we believe will make the world more connected and empathetic,” says Carrico.

            Carrico and his team also understand that the idea of traveling may be uncomfortable to some. “While COVID-19 has been a challenging experience for urban hospitality brands like ours, we’ve been inspired by the team’s tenacity in the face of adversity,” he says. “We’ve doubled down on our commitment to guest service by keeping our guests safe and comfortable.”

            Carrico says that The Guild is looking to expand into new markets, including Denver, Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia. 

            To learn more about The Guild, visit https://theguild.co.

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              A local hair stylist turned blogger turned jewelry and fashion designer recently launched her own line. Read on to learn more about this dynamo and her flattering designs.

              Kandace Walters wears many hats — all with style. She co-owns a salon with her mother-in-law, is a blogger, a jewelry designer, wife, and mother.

              She’s taken her love of all things glamorous and her passion for fashion to create something that will help others feel just as fabulous as she does.

              “I recently teamed up with Robin James Jewelers and launched my own jewelry and fashion accessory line in March 2020 called Gingham and Glam,” she says. 

              “Gingham and Glam started because I wanted to take my passion for fashion and jewelry and curate a collection for my growing following on social media,” says Walters. “Fashion is my life and I naturally found myself working with local businesses to help promote their fabulous products. One business, in particular, Robin James Jewelers fell in love with my passion for fashion and partnered with me to bring my dream of having my own fashion line to fruition.”

              The Gingham and Glam line offers a variety of necklaces, earrings, rings, and even anklets, to help you amplify the glam in your wardrobe.

              Price points for items in the Gingham and Glam jewelry line range from $15 to $550. Some of the items can be customized, but many of the products found in the line are named and inspired by people in Walters’ life. 

              Walters, who considers herself an optimist, says that she’s positive about just about everything, and this jewelry line is something that makes her feel both positive and proud. 

              The line, which launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, is something that Walters says she can’t help but have a positive outlook on, even during trying times.

              “I’m a firm believer in having a positive outlook on life,” she says. “Life is a balance and I enjoy balancing this act called life. I’m just out here trying to spread kindness like glitter, one day at a time.”

              Since the launch of her jewelry line, Walters has taken another leap of faith and launched an apparel line through Robin James Jewelers. 

              The line, which launched this summer, includes tops, sweaters, dresses, and bottoms. Regular and plus sizes are available through the Gingham and Glam apparel line and prices range from $10.50 to $75.

              “Gingham and Glam apparel is here,” says Walters. “There are so many great options, from off the shoulder tops, bodysuit blouses, sleeveless turtlenecks, to high waisted pencil pants, with so much more to come.” 

              “I have something for everyone and every size,” she adds. “Passion is my fashion.” 

              To learn about Gingham and Glam, click here. You can also check out updates on Facebook and Instagram

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                HOMEARAMA is doing something different this year for its 57th annual show. Learn more about a brand new development in the heart of historic Cincinnati, and everything new to expect at this year‘s event.

                 
                The Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati is marking the 57th year of its HOMEARAMA show. 
                 
                This single-site new home showcase attracts thousands of Cincinnatians as they see newly built, fully decorated and landscaped homes in a variety of styles ranging in price from $800,000-$1 million. The event, which typically pulls locals out into the suburbs, is being held in the City of Cincinnati for the first time ever.
                The “Bella Vista” by Sterling Homes at HOMEARAMA 2020
                “Walworth Junction is an urban infill development containing 39 single family lots located in the City of Cincinnati’s Historic East End neighborhood,” says the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati’s Executive Director Dan Dressman. 
                 
                Walworth Junction was developed by East End Development, LLC and is located just north of the intersection of Riverside Drive and Delta Avenue, adjacent to The Precinct Restaurant.
                 
                “The site was formerly the Pennsylvania Rail Road’s Pendleton Yard and contained a Round House, a Turntable, and multiple other structures related to railroad operations,” says Dressman.
                 
                This newly established neighborhood in Cincinnati is a walkable community that offers sidewalks throughout, connecting it to the business districts of Columbia Tusculum and East End’s Riverside Drive.
                 
                “Riverside Drive connects directly to downtown Cincinnati and has dedicated lanes for bicycle enthusiasts,” says Dressman. “There is a public pedestrian tunnel at the eastern edge of the property, which provides connection from Walworth Avenue to Riverside Drive, directly across from the High Mark Bar, Emma’s Wine Bar, and just down the street from Eli’s Barbeque.” 
                 
                Inside the “Bella Vista” by Sterling Homes at HOMEARAMA 2020

                Homes at Walworth Junction are within the Cincinnati Public School District. Dressman says school options close by include St. Ursula Villa, The Summit Country Day School, and St. Ursula Academy. 

                 
                Aside from the ability to tour the homes in the development, HOMEARAMA also offers opportunities for professionals and aspiring professionals in the home and construction industry. 
                 
                This year, HOMEARAMA will offer a Careers in Construction event on two different dates: October 14 and 18. 
                 
                These free events are ideal for someone who’s interested in one of the fastest-growing industries in the region. 
                 
                “The Cincinnati region was ranked recently by the U.S. Census Bureau as one of the best- paying markets for construction careers,” says Dressman. “According to the agency, the region’s median adjusted salary in construction is $55,701, compared to $47,430 nationally.”
                 
                Inside the “Bella Vista” by Sterling Homes at HOMEARAMA 2020

                Dressman says the events include an overview of the most-sought positions, education requirements, and personal opportunities to meet potential employers. Complimentary registration can be made with Mel Meyer at mmeyer@cincybuilders.com

                 
                In addition, Cincy Chic and HOMEARAMA are teaming up to bring Blanca & Bling to the festivities. This event will be held October 15 from 5:30-8:30pm. 
                 
                Attendees will be able to sip, shop, and savor their way through the HOMEARAMA homes. They’ll enjoy sips from Streetside Brewery, light bites, and the chance to shop a variety of local businesses with pop-up shops. Plus, guests who wear a “Blanca & Bling” inspired outfit will be entered to win a staycation at Hotel Covington and custom jewelry designed by Paolo Jewelers — a package valued at $3,000! Tickets for Blanca & Bling can be purchased at www.cincy.live/events/blanca.
                 
                Here’s a calendar of events for the remainder of HOMEARAMA 2020:
                 
                October 12
                5:30pm: Puppies & Pints with Gamble N Fin & League for Animal Welfare
                 
                October 13
                9:00am: Reflections Jazz Duo
                 
                9:00am & 12:00pm: Realtor Day (Realtors Only)
                 
                4:00pm: Show Opens to Public
                 
                October 14
                1:00-3:00pm: Careers in Construction
                 
                3:00-5:00pm: OVDC Meeting
                 
                October 15
                5:00pm: Chapter 3 – Band 
                 
                5:30-8:30pm: Cincy Chic Blanca & Bling to Benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati
                 
                October 16
                12:00pm: 3 East Business Alliance Neighborhood Day
                 
                October 17
                12:00pm: Octoberfest
                 
                12:00pm: Beers, Brats & B105 Remote
                 
                4:00-7:00pm: Bourbon Road Band
                 
                October 18
                9:00-11:00am: Careers in Construction
                 
                12:00pm: City of Cincinnati Employees’ Day
                 
                12:00pm: City of Cincinnati Residents’ Day
                 
                October 21
                11:30am: HBA Lunch & Learn
                 
                4:00pm: Green Energy Ohio: Grow with GEO Day
                 
                October 22
                4:00pm: Give for Good Day
                 
                5:00-9:00pm: HBA Happy Hour
                 
                6:00pm: Acoustic Blue – Band
                 
                October 23
                6:00pm: Q102 Date Night with Tim & Toria
                 
                6:00-9:00pm: 3 Piece Revival
                 
                October 24
                12:00pm: Cincinnati Animal Care Day
                 
                4:30-7:30pm: The Brody Bunch
                 
                You can purchase tickets for HOMEARAMA 2020 at www.cincyhomearama.com. Discount tickets are available at area Kroger stores for $17 and a special two-day ticket will be available for $29 at the gate only. Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult.

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                  This local lifestyle blogger is sharing her struggles, story and style in a tiny (actually, not-so-tiny) corner of the internet. Read on to see how her family, and her blog, will soon expand in some very exciting ways.

                  The inspiration behind Shelbie Todd‘s blog, Ddotts, started as a secret outlet following her epilepsy diagnosis. 

                  “It was a wonderful form of therapy for me to just log on and write about my new life with epilepsy,” she says. “Once I shared it with friends and family, it was incredible to see how my story helped others in similar situations. Over time it slowly turned into what it is today.”

                  Today, it’s a popular Cincinnati-based blog with international reach, covering a variety of lifestyle topics. “Ddotts is my lifestyle blog where I share everything from motherhood, travel, fashion, favorite things, life in Cincy, recipes, inspiration, and so much more,” says Todd.

                  Todd is the one-woman show who founded Ddotts, but she talks about her family a lot and her husband even contributes to content you’ll find on the site. Her two littles, ages 9 and 7, enjoy helping out mom behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera. 

                  The fun shared on Ddotts covers a variety of topics, and just about everything that falls under the lifestyle umbrella. “I share what’s going on in my life in hopes of helping others along the way,” she adds. 

                  When it comes to running the blog, Todd says that there are so many things she loves about the entire process. She says she enjoys the freedom, the creativity, and working with brands and businesses she loves. 

                  “Most importantly, I love creating this digital scrapbook of our family for my children to look back on,” she says. “I hope to inspire my children to lean into a career that makes them happy and brings them joy over anything.” 

                  In the time since Todd launched Ddotts, she says that some of her most favorite posts have been the travel guides she’s written for readers and followers. 

                  “We have gone to some pretty amazing places here in Cincinnati and surrounding,” she says. “If it’s falling in love with our city all over again – or finding love somewhere new – it’s so amazing to share places we love with our followers and see them enjoy it as well.”

                  The uniqueness in Ddotts can be found in the way Todd showcases the highlights and lowlights about her life. “I show up just me – flaws and all,” she says. “I just want to be a source of inspiration for everyone to find joy in their daily lives by showing up exactly who we are – not a Pinterest perfect version – not rehearsed. Social media has a lot of effects on all of us – so much pressure. I want to be a light and feel like a friend or a big sister – someone you can easily reach out to for advice or information.” 

                  Todd will soon be able to showcase something new on the blog as she prepares to give birth to her third boy. “We are so excited to expand our family and meet this little light who has shined so bright for us during this wild year,” she says. “I am very excited for what the future holds for the Ddotts blog and our family.” 

                  To learn more about the blog, visit Ddotts.com. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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                    Obstacles, entrepreneurship, mom life, human. These elements of one local businesswoman and author inspired a movement to help you see beauty from the inside out. Read on to see how she’s sharing the stories that helped her get to where she is today.

                    Enjoli Gibbs, founder of Chic Life and “Triggered” author

                    Life isn’t always an easy ride. There are trials, tribulations, and plenty of obstacles that we must overcome along the way. 

                    To share the story of her life journey, Enjoli Gibbs of Chic Life wrote the book “Triggered.” 

                    “‘Triggered’ is a self-help diary,” she explains. “It shares vignettes of my life’s experiences, how I overcame them; and gives readers journal space to allow them to overcome along with her.”

                    Gibbs says she was inspired to write “Triggered” in part because she wanted to share pieces of herself as she also grows her brand as an entrepreneur. “I’m also hoping that my experiences will help someone else, too,” she says.

                    Life itself is what has led Gibbs on the journey to writing “Triggered.” 

                    “I experienced a few things in my single mom-young-clueless-adult life years,” says Gibbs. “I don’t believe God brought me through these experiences to be selfish with the info. The lessons I’ve learned along the way can help someone else who may find themselves in a position similar to what I went through.”

                    The journey of writing “Triggered” was a process Gibbs says she thoroughly enjoyed. She says her favorite part was naming the different phases of her life, including names such as “Bitter Betty” and “Worthless “Wendy.”

                    Gibbs says that when others read her book she hopes that they’ll take away at least a few nuggets of information and inspiration that will help them become the best versions of themselves. “The affirmations are and should be a part of how we speak to ourselves and others everyday,” she says.

                    And while “Triggered” was just a snippet of a few experiences that Gibbs has encountered throughout her life, she’s already in the process of writing another book. “I have a lot more to share with all of you,” she adds.

                    Currently, you can purchase her book on Amazon or on her website at www.getchiclife.com. “If you go to my website, you can purchase a special edition Triggered Affirmation Box,” she says. “It comes with a book, liquid lipstick color of your choice, and a compact mirror.” 

                    To learn more about Gibbs, Chic Life, and “Triggered,” visit www.getchiclife.com. You can also visit the Chic Life Facebook Page or the Enjoli Gibbs Facebook page. On Instagram, you can follow Chic Life or Joli Renee, or see videos from Gibbs on Chic Life TV.

                    You can also connect with Gibbs live with a free virtual webinar on Oct. 28 at 10am. “Attendees will learn practical steps for turning mental blocks into stepping stones and overcoming fear with courage that will empower dreams into reality,” she says. Learn more at www.cincy.live/events/triggered.

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                      A writer turned fur mom is sharing the heartfelt story of the pup she adopted — emotional baggage and all — with an important lesson about kindness and empathy. Keep reading for all the tail-wagging details.

                      Danise DeStasi

                      Danise DiStasi has been a professional writer and involved in leadership development and coaching for more than 20 years. However, that came to a head in 2013 when she adopted a dog named Louie. 

                      “I soon discovered that Louie brought a lot of emotional baggage to the relationship,” she explains. “He demonstrated behaviors that deeply concerned me, and I was not sure I wanted to keep him. I quickly realized Louie needed acceptance, consistency, discipline, and – above all – unconditional love. Louie was a struggle but I made the choice to keep him. I also had to intentionally choose to love him despite his baggage.”

                      It’s Louie who inspired her to launch Unleash Love, an organization whose mission is to eradicate bullying from the classroom to the board room. “We offer a compendium of material all based on our rescue pup, Louie,” she says. “All three books, Lead Like Louie, Love Like Louie, and Louie’s Little Legs, share the same messages.” 

                      Those messages are to be a loving person by being kind, patient, etc,; to not see others as objects; and to understand there’s always something unknown in other people’s lives.

                      Unleashing Love started when DiStasi started sharing with friends and clients the crazy stories about her dog. “They were not your typical dog stories, they were leadership lessons wrapped up in funny and heartwarming stories about the transformation of this little dog and his crazy owner,” she says. “That;s when I started blogging and eventually put the blogs into a leadership book, Lead Like Louie.”

                      From there, the story evolved into her writing a book for kids her granddaughter’s age and then another book for younger children. 

                      “Louie continues to provide material on a regular basis,” she adds. “He loves visiting schools and nursing homes and is a walking testimony of the transformative power of love.” 

                      Part of the message behind Unleashing Love is the mission to eradicate bullying. “We hope this book creates a-ha moments for children and the parents who read the book with them,” explained DiStasi. “In the grander scheme of things, if we could all take a moment and realize that everyone has some struggle going on before we jump to conclusions, we might make an impact in our world. Before judging anyone, be kind, don’t make assumptions, and take time to understand others. It is an age-old lesson but one that is desperately lost in the noise of our world today. Perhaps a lost rescue pup with little legs and behavior issues could change the world.”

                      DiStasi says that she and her granddaughter Evi are working on Love! Laugh! Lead? For High Schoolers. “The Louie Crew also has two more books in the works for the Louie’s Little Legs series of 12 books: The Magic of Patience and The Magic of Perseverance.

                      To learn more about Unleash Love, visit unleash-love.com. The hardback of Louie’s Little Legs is available there, as well as Love Like Louie and Lead Like Louie.

                      On Amazon, the paperback version of Louie’s Little Legs is available as well as Love Like Louie and Lead Like Louie.

                      You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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