Click here to read more about savoring some of life's biggest moments in a 1963 camper.
Click here to read more about savoring some of life's biggest moments in a 1963 camper.
A local mom decided to launch her own boutique, but it wasn't without the help of a few guardian angels. Click here to read more about the inspiring story behind it all.
Amanda Miller is all about happiness. Whether it’s creating happiness, sharing it with others, or being happy in her everyday life, happiness is the goal. And happiness is why she created Boutique Cala, a home decor and clothing store bringing happiness to its customers.
The idea behind Boutique Cala started back in December 2020, the week before Christmas, when she participated as a pop-up shop in what would become her current location.
“We signed our lease in February 2021 and began transitioning the shop into our permanent location,” she says. “We remained opened to shoppers while we remodeled the store ourselves during the downtime.”
When a customer walks through the door at Boutique Cala, Miller wants them to shop and smile.
The macrame sold in the store is handcrafted by Miller herself, who learned the art of the craft while she was a stay-at-hoe mom to her son with special needs.
“Three years ago, I started selling my art at local markets on the weekends,” she says. “My goal was to one day open a boutique in Over-the-Rhine, so when the opportunity arose in December 2020, I knew I had to take it on, despite the pandemic.”
That’s when she asked another mom and clothing vendor she’d met at Art on Vine, Aleasha, to partner with her on the business concept, leading to the launch of Boutique Cala.
When you shop Boutique Cala, you’ll find modern macrame decor and accessories such as plant hangers, light fixtures, wall hangings, handbags, and earrings. The women’s fashion line in the store includes Paige Denim and LAmade.
“We also carry a variety of Nordic-style home decor lines with items ranging from planters and vases to pillows and tabletop decor,” adds Miller.
Stay true to yourself and your style with this unique brand that allows you to appreciate and love exactly who you are.
Shopping for clothing to stay on-trend can get expensive. Trends come and go, but you don’t have to bust your budget to keep up with the times.
Saving your pocketbook from drying up is why Mackenzie See launched Niche, an online shop and a safe place to pick and choose what pieces of clothing fulfill your wardrobe dreams.
“We will do everything to provide you with the peace and comfort of picking from items that will make you feel the most beautiful in your own skin,” she says. “The dream is that each piece of clothing can be paired, and mix-and-matched with other pieces of clothing to start, build, or complete a look. Niche is here to help you build a wardrobe, not fill a closet.”
The inspiration behind Niche isn’t just about building an affordable wardrobe, but to also help you create a wardrobe that is timeless.
“The hope is that with Niche you can build a wardrobe you love and that will transcend time and not go out of style so fast,” she says.
See also wants to instill the idea that our trendy clothing isn’t what makes us who we are. “I know how hard our society pushes the idea that we are not enough as we are and I wanted to create a place that defied that and lets women know they can come as they are, however they feel most authentic, confidence, and comfortable. In fact, I implore them to and want them to feel as if they are perfect just the way they are and that Niche is here, I am here to support them.”
When you shop Niche you’ll find a variety of products including shirts, pants, dresses, and earrings. “The idea is that each and every item can be mix-and-matched and worn for years without the items going out of style,” she adds.
See says that what she thinks makes her business unique is the idea and intention behind it, along with the plans she has for the future.
“Niche isn’t just an online clothing store to me, it is so much more,” See explains. “It represents hope, the future, love, being yourself, acceptance and so much more. I could go on for days. This is probably my most favorite question ever because the story behind the name ‘Niche’ is based on the word ‘unique.’ I wanted it to be a short to-the-point memorable name that had meaning to me, and after days of researching and discussing ideas with my boyfriend, we landed on ‘Niche’ but pronounced like neé-sh. To represent Niche being unique from the ‘traditional’ clothing brand or store, and to encourage others to break away from the norm and be their selves unapologetically, to be you-Niche.”
See says that as a woman, she knows what it’s like to grow up in a harsh, judgmental world, and wants o create something that allows others to be themselves, like they are good enough to be exactly who they are.
The future looks bright for See and Niche, as she recently did a pop-up shop at Enlightenment Coffee in Walton, Kentucky. She hopes to participate in more pop-ups throughout the year as it becomes safe to do so.
“I also plan on working towards building a memorable, pleasant, raw experience when interacting with my brand,” she says. “I plan on prioritizing spreading love, authenticity, reassurance, and support through Niche’s channels, creating a safe space forepeople to come where they can feel accepted, supported, and safe.”
A local business accelerator supporting female entrepreneurs is celebrating a decade. Click here to read more about past program participants and what the future looks like for this organization.
Aviatra Accelerators wants to help female entrepreneurs surpass their goals of successfully owning their own business. And they’ve been doing that for 10 years now.
“We are a full-service resource center for female founders and women-owned businesses,” explains Aviatra Accelerators President and CEO Nancy Aichholz.
Aviatra Accelerators serves all women, in all industries, at any sage of the business cycle. “We have operations in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and Dayton and are looking to expand regionally,” she says. “We also provide digital curriculum for women outside of our current services areas.”
The ultimate goal with a female business owners works with Aviatra Accelerators is to empower female founders from idea to exit, and everything in between.
As the 10 year anniversary approaches, Aviatra Accelerators has now served more than 2,500 women since they were established as one of the first incubator/accelerator programs in the region.
“Our top women have broken the $1 billion mark in combined earned revenues over the 10 years,” says Aichholz. “We are so encouraged by the success of our female founders that we know we will be around for a very long time!”
Celebrations for the anniversary will include highlighting an “Aviatra of the Month” through podcasts, social media, newsletter articles, and more. Then, in September, they will host an Aviatra Expo, where the community can come and be introduced to the Aviatras’ businesses, followed by a cocktail and networking celebration on September 30.
One of the women who have joined along for the journey with Aviatra Accelerators is Shauntel Dobbins of Financially U.
“Financially U is a financial resource network providing credit building, budget and savings strategies, personal finance workshops, tax preparation, and notary public/signing agent in a nonjudgmental atmosphere,” explains Dobbins.
With a passion for helping individuals adopt a mindset and set of behaviors that lead to financial success, Dobbins offers these services to clients, minus the judgement.
“Financial decisions are not made in a vacuum,” she says. “We are products of our environment, cultures, and beliefs.”
The decision for Dobbins to get involved with Aviatra Accelerators was encouraged by a fellow entrepreneur who participated in the accelerator and enjoyed it. “She explained how it helped her business and encouraged me to attend Explore,” she says. And the rest is history.
The program, according to Dobbins, offers female entrepreneurs support, networking strategies, empowerment, and mentorship from a female perspective.
And the support and connections Dobbins has made along the way are what made Aviatra so special to her.
“I have enjoyed the ongoing support that Aviatra Alumni receive once the class has ended,” she says. “I have seen Aviatra Alumni come back and assist those participating in the program. Aviatra is the best!”
“We will be expanding our use of Aviatra365, our digital product for the rural entrepreneur, or them who has kids at home and can’t come to a cohort, or the corporate executive who travels and can’t commit to a weekly cohort class,” she says.
Ready to make a small shift to see big changes? Click here to read about an upcoming virtual mindset workshop!
Reset Co is preparing for its upcoming Reset Mindset Virtual Workshop called Small Shift for a Big Result. According to Reset Co Founder and CEO Kendra Ramirez, the event features 3 interactive Power Hour sessions targeted that those who want to make an impact for themselves and those around them.
The virtual sessions will be held on April 20, April 27, and May 4 from 11:30am-12:30pm.
“In this virtual workshop series, you will walk away with tools, insights, and a place to process and brainstorm with like-minded people that will result in you being able to take immediate action that is simple yet yields significant results,” she says.
Sponsored by US Bank, the event aims to help participants start their days feeling re-energized and help them achieve their goals by introducing more fun into their routines.
While the thought of a leadership workshop may feel intimidating to some, Ramirez says that this workshop is for leaders at every level.
“Join Dr. Rebecca Cardona, LaMarque Ward, Dr. Monique Johnson, Stephanie Polen, and myself virtually on April 20, April 27, and May 4,” says Ramirez. “This is a 3-part series with a mindset learning topic and breakout group discussions and live rapid-fire coaching.”
Sessions for the event include:
April 20: Small shift you can make in understanding how we are hard-wired in how we show up in the world. Dr. Rebecca will share brain science around our need to be a performer or producer. Is your to-do list longer than your arm? Is your calendar maxed out? She will help us bring awareness to why we do what we do. Then we will go into breakout rooms for discussion.
April 27: Small shift you can make in leading with heart in your work. LaMarque will share The Fish Philosophy which is 4 core practices for leaders: Choose Your Attitude, Make Their Day, Be There, and Play. Are you and or your team exhausted and struggling to come up with new ideas? We will share how to re-energize yourself and or your team. Then we will go into breakout rooms for discussion.
May 4: Small shift with your new BFFs. Bring your questions for the team. We have your back in a Rapid Fire Coaching session with Dr. Rebecca Cardona (Mindset and Life Coaching), Stephanie Polen (Team Dynamics Coaching), Dr. Monique Johnson (Career Coaching), and Kendra Ramirez (Mindset and Entrepreneur Coaching). We are cheering you on!
Featured speakers for the sessions are:
Dr. Rebecca Cardona
Dr. Rebecca is passionate about helping people give themselves a great life, professionally and personally. She brings over a decade of experience that specializes in high-achievers, overachievers, and perfectionists. She values that leadership is a walk of resiliency that starts with the individual. She is recognized as a leader dedicated to growth and change. Rebecca’s coaching philosophy is grounded in working with leaders to facilitate change that sustains the test of time. Her coaching interest lies in leaders obtaining positive results in both influence and impact. She uses education, assessments, and tools rooted in leadership theories, change theory, brain science, mindfulness, psychology, and life experience.
LaMarqué D. Ward Sr., M.Ed.
LaMarque is an internationally acclaimed educator, speaker, author, trainer, and coach. He utilizes a profound insight gained by years of struggle, gain, and achievement to engage each audience with an uncanny ability to reach collective common ground. He shares his life in the form of practical wisdom and has expertise in connecting with the needs of others and breaking down barriers that ordinarily hinder success. He is the founder of Dream Builders University and COO of Fish! Philosophy.
Dr. Monique Johnson, Ed.D., CMCS, NCC
Dr. Monique is an experienced versatile leader with over 20 years of experience in career development, diversity and inclusion, and leadership who has helped individuals and organizations open doors and break barriers. She is the Owner of Dr. MCJ Consulting, LLC, a business that provides individual and group coaching, large-scale presentations, speaking, training, and consulting services.
As a Certified Master of Career Services (CMCS), she is a committed practitioner who provides services tailored to her clients. She enjoys coaching at all levels from the undergraduate college student to the executive level professional who is looking to grow, transition, or pivot in their career. She is currently an Executive Coach for the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Women’s Excel (WE Lead) Leadership Program.
Stephanie is an energetic and authentic leader with more than 20 years of executive experience leading teams through massive business transformation while driving bottom line results. She is a visionary who is passionate about developing people to their fullest potential. With experience in roles ranging from Product Development and Human Resources to Marketing and Business Development. Stephanie brings her diverse experience and passion for team and individual development to drive change and motivate you for success.
Kendra is Founder and CEO of Reset Co and Kendra Ramirez Digital Agency. She is globally recognized on the homepage of LinkedIn.com, Women of Influence Honoree, John Barrett Entrepreneur Vision Award recipient, Cincy Chic Woman of the Year, AMA Marketing Legend, and a finalist for the Social Media Innovator of the Year. Since 2005, she has helped hundreds of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, leverage digital technologies. She has spent the last 15 years rebuilding herself after divorce, depression, and a failed business. She leads a life of joy and a successful digital agency. Her mission is to empower others.
Tickets for the event are limited and can be purchased here. You can join one session or all three for the same price. General admission for the event is $45 per person.
To learn more about Reset Co, visit https://thereset.co/.
Read about the Ohio-based platform that's sharing only the good and shining a bright light in a sometimes dark world.
Sometimes it feels like the world has no good left in it. From the never-ending bad news cycle to the obstacles that throw themselves in the way of our daily lives, good news feels like a thing of the past.
But Jamie Foltz is aiming to change our focus from the bad to the good with Do Gooder, a media and special event company focused entirely on the good happening in the world.
“We believe that there is still good in the world and it’s our mission to share it with anyone who will listen,” says Foltz. “We print a quarterly magazine that showcases positive stories of people, companies, and causes that are making our world better.”
More than just sharing stories, however, Do Gooder also positions itself online as a resource for anyone who is looking to find more good in the world. Additionally, Do Gooder hosts events that give people and companies and opportunity to get out and do good, too.
“From Kind Kamp™, a day camp for kids and teens to learn about being a good human, to Joy Ride, a nationwide tour to give companies that chance to help us spread joy through 50,000+ acts of kindness, we’re focused on good vibes only,” adds Foltz.
The inspiration for Do Gooder comes from Foltz’s own personal experiences in the real world. She worked as the manager of the development team for 12 years at the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House.
“Through volunteers, donors, and families that cared for each other, I got to see so much good,” she says. “But at the same time, I saw the world was getting more and more negative with each passing day. I knew that something needed to be done about it. And I knew that I could give people a place to stay connected to only the positive, only the good.”
Foltz is the one-woman show behind Do Gooder and says she’s self-declared positivity and adaptability as her superpowers.
“I firmly believe that one small, kind act will change the world,” she says. “That’s why I want to help anyone and everyone get out there to do good when they can. It doesn’t take a big check or a lengthy volunteer commitment to make change. It takes one person showing kindness to another. It takes people skipping the comments section when scrolling through social media. It takes understanding of each other’s unique experiences. It takes each person holding themself accountable for their mistakes, because we all make them, and not passing the blame to anyone within reach. And it takes us all recognizing that we’re far more alike than we are different.”
Do Gooder officially launched on February 1, 2019. The online platform went live in April 2019 when they shared their first story about a second-grader who was frustrated with his school’s playground so he created a cleanup club to make sure the space was usable for all students.
Other topics in the Do Gooder Digest are stories of good humans, good businesses, and good causes.
“In each issue, you’ll find Tear-and-Share Compliment Cards, a three-month Kindness Planner filled with ideas to go out and do good, The GOOD List, stories of those doing kind acts – big and small -, and images of all things good in our No Caption Needed section. And because we also believe that no one is perfect, our opinions section is titled (Pretty) GOOD Thoughts.”
Foltz says that she hopes people who read Do Gooder will find a bright spot in a seemingly dark world.
The topics covered in the Do Gooder Digest are unique in themselves.
“While there are many wonderful outlets for news and information, the only thing you’ll find in Do Gooder Digest is content to make you feel good about the world,” she says. “You’ll never read a story about tragedy or politics in our magazine. You won’t find instructions on how to lose weight or apply makeup. You’ll only find resources to inspire you to action, even if that action is simply to speak more kindly to yourself.”
Foltz also prides herself on the digital platform and audience Do Gooder has established. Since they aren’t focused on traffic or page activity, there isn’t an option to comment or like stories. They also do not use advertising plug-ins or affiliate marketers.
“If you read a story about a good company or a good product, it’s there because we believe in it, not because a company paid us to write about it,” adds Foltz. “We simply want to share the good and give everyone ideas and inspiration to do good too. Plain and simple.”
Foltz is looking forward to the future, especially after plans were postponed in 2020. She says they’re going to take their fresh start as host their inaugural Kind Kamp™, a day camp for kids and teens to learn about the Five Fundamentals to “Being a Giraffe” (Stand Tall, Wear Your Spots, Have A Big Heart, Treat Everyone Equally, Stick Your Neck Out For Others).
“We hope to give the younger generation a leadership opportunity that inspires them to do good too,” she says. “While we’re currently only scheduled for in-person Kamp in Columbus, we’re working on adding additional locations and even a less-costly virtual program. To learn more visit kindkamp.com.”
Additionally, Foltz and Do Gooder are launching their Kind Kulture™ program that gives organizations the opportunity to build a kinder culture in the workplace.
“It’s about making kindness a strength that everyone finds value in,” she says. “Because when we create kinder cultures, we create happier humans who just care more about their co-workers, their customers, their teams, and in turn their world.”
You can also share about the Do Gooders in your own neighborhood by visiting the website and clicking on Share a Story.
Click here to read about an all-in-one design studio, Airbnb, music recording studio, and so much more.
We've got spirit, yes we do! Click here to read more about a local designer offering unique spirit wear items and handcrafted home decor.
When it comes to fashion, we don’t want to be wearing the same thing as the person next to us. That desire for custom clothing isn’t unique to just one person, and Jennifer Curtis is here to help.
Curtis is the founder of OBC’s Innovative Designs, a small business that designs and makes custom clothing and home decor.
“I focus on providing soft and cozy items like clothing, pillows, and blankets with fun and unique designs,” she explains. “I also make handcrafted items from felt, wood, and yard that have a cozy home vibe.”
The inspiration for OBC’s Innovative Designs came about in 2011 when Curtis was struggling to find the styles of custom clothing she wanted. “I was coaching competition cheerleading and had specific ideas in mind for spirit wear,” she says. “Since I couldn’t find what I wanted, I decided to figure out how to make it myself.”
The Etsy shop launched in 2011, and Curtis signed up to sell her items at events and she started to sell locally to sports organizations. From there, the rest is history. By fall 2011 she was asked to make spirit wear for a gym in Texas and has been busy ever since.
Curtis is the one-woman show behind OBC’s Innovative Designs. “I work a lot of long hours and wear a lot of hats,” she says. “I am the creator, designer, maker, accountant, buyer, researching, and marketing person, etc.”
While Curtis is the one who runs the business, she says she enjoys the job and feels fortunate to be able to make things that others enjoy.
When you shop OBC’s Innovative Designs, you’ll find that there are original items for sports groups, small businesses, and events. “I can put the designs on shirts, pants, blankets, pillows, accessories and much more,” says Curtis.
Additionally, her home decor items are made from wood, felt, and yard, and she offers heirloom quality pieces that can take more than 10 hours to make.
While the concept of a spirit wear and home decor design business isn’t uncommon, OBC’s Innovative Designs are unique because they aren’t mass produced. “You will not see a hundred other people with the same shirt, blanket, or home decor item,” she adds. “Many of my hand crafted home decor items are one-of-a-kind, so you are truly getting something special. I personally like having things that are a bit different and unique, so I try to offer that to my customers.”
Curtis is looking forward to the start of a new decade with OBC’s Innovative Designs.
“Last year, I purchased a Glowforge 3D laser printer because I really wanted to create custom pieces from wood and leather,” she says. “I started out making ornaments last year and people seemed to really like those.”
So this year, she plans on giving some attention to create new items like leather-patched ball caps, tiered tray decor, and door signs. “I will be making these items for Vintage Market Days and other spring events,” she says. “I am also working with sublimation; I’m just starting this process, so I need to make sure I can offer the right quality before I offer to sell it.”
Ready to tackle your organization issues while adding a greener clean to the surfaces in your home? Click here to read about a local mom who wants to share her tips for keeping your home clean and safe from harmful chemicals.
Jill Koch has a knack for organization and cleaning, so it only made sense that she turned her passion for a cleaning, living, lifestyle brand into a homemaking space called Jill Comes Clean.
“It’s a place where busy women and most can get ideas for how to create a home they feel good in no matter the size,” says Koch. “I love sharing hacks that simplify life as well as organizing and cleaning tips so that you can easily keep your home tidy and functional. And there’s the clean living component where I teach you simple ways to reduce toxins in your home and products.”
The inspiration for Jill Comes Clean came about when Koch stopped working as a nurse to stay home with her son. She found herself in need of a creative outlet among mommy duties, so she started a blog.
“When I started thinking about what I was passionate about and would enjoy sharing I realized my love for not only keeping a clean and tidy home but also reducing the amount of chemicals in our day to day lives,” she explains. “I struggled with fertility issues trying to conceive our son and that got me researching why that could have been, given that no one else in my family struggled with it. The more I researched the more I found connections between many of the chemicals in our lives and infertility along with other health ailments.”
While she says that this wasn’t necessarily the cause of her struggles, it could have been a contributing factor. Because of that, she wanted to eliminate toxins and harmful chemicals when and where she could. Along the journey of eliminating these things, she found that she wanted to share this information with others.
“That idea around clean living combined with my love for keeping a clean and organized home, led to Jill Comes Clean,” she says.
Koch enjoys sharing tips, hacks, and motivation for cleaning, especially because she knows how buys life gets, even more so when you have kids.
“I know that if our homes are chaotic and messy, we feel that way internally too,” she says. “I want to share things I have discovered along the way that maybe save time so we aren’t cleaning non-stop on days off, or help you organize a space and keep it that way. Plus, I want people to see that you don’t always need harmful chemicals in products to have a clean home. These days there are so many healthier options out there and I like arming people with knowledge to help them buy better among the sea of options.”
Koch believes that what makes Jill Comes Clean unique is that she takes on cleaning and organizing for your home and offers a non-toxic spin to it all. “I am able to offer natural solutions to try first and most times they work just as well as store bought brands with harsh chemicals,” she says. “That’s not to say I’m perfect 100% of the time. My motto is to do what you can, where you can. We will never be perfect or eliminate every bad toxin in our life, but every safe swap you can make is one less in your life.”
Koch says that she’s currently in the process of exploring ways to expand Jill Comes Clean.
“I have a couple things in mind but am looking to launch an online course or two soon and maybe even offer consulting services some day for cleaning and organizing,” she says. “I’m excited to see where all it can go.”
A bridal gown store owner is bringing a new, more cost-effective way to wedding dress shop in the Reading Bridal District.
Everyone knows that a wedding can cost an exorbitant amount of money, but you can still celebrate this special day with friends and family without spending your life’s savings.
The Reading Bridal Outlet wants to help you make your wedding the best day of your life without breaking the bank.
“The Reading Bridal Outlet is a bridal boutique for the budget-conscious bride who is searching for a designer bridal gown at a great price,” explains owner Kelly Hill. “The gowns that are offered in the Reading Bridal Outlet are a combination of brand new, never-worn gowns from some of our favorite bridal designs and some gowns are samples from our two sister stores: Lace Bridal Couture and Love Curvy Bridal.”
The inspiration for The Reading Bridal Outlet came from the re-opening of stores following the COVID shutdown.
“We quickly knew that many brides were going to be moving their wedding dates, or keeping the existing wedding date, but were unable to shop for their wedding gown because of the shutdowns,” says Hill.
The Reading Bridal Outlet opened in September 2020 and has only experienced success since.
Gowns from the Reading Bridal Outlet are to be purchased off the rack, meaning that they go home with the bride that day. This allows brides to avoid special orders and for those who are shopping on limited time, and the average pride of the gowns ranges from $595 to $995.
“The bride can purchase her gown that day and take it straight to the seamstress for alterations before her big day,” adds Hill.
When it comes to shopping at The Reading Bridal Outlet, Hill encourages brides to make an appointment.
“This way, we can ensure that we have adequate space in our boutique to safely accommodate the bride and her bridal party,” says Hill. “We have four dressing rooms; however, we are implementing safety measures and only utilize two of the dressing rooms so there is enough room for the bridal parties to be safely socially distanced.”
Walk-ins are also accepted when space is available.
Hill says the Reading Bridal Outlet carries a large selection of brands including: Allure Bridals, Allure Romance, Madison James, Allure Couture, Pronovias, Mikaella Bridal, Paloma Blanca, Chic Nostalgia and some very high-end couture designers, such as Sareh Nouri, Anne Barge, Antonio Gual and Romono Keveza.
Hill is excited about all that The Reading Bridal Outlet has to offer, including the brand new, never-worn gowns that are straight from the designer at a fraction of retail prices.
“I have a great relationship with our designers and I am able to purchase gowns that have been recently discontinued and are still brand new at a great price,” she says. “This way, I can pass the savings onto our brides!”
Additionally, The Reading Bridal Outlet offers a personal, boutique experience. While the store is considered an outlet, the brides aren’t getting anything less than exceptional service.
“Brides have a personal bridal stylist helping her select the gowns and to help her in the dressing rooms to try them on,” says Hill. “We also offer styling services to accessorize the bride and help her complete her wedding look. The bride gets to take home all accessories as well as her gown, so she doesn’t have to wait on anything being special ordered.”
Hill says that there’s a lot happening for her stores in the Reading Bridal District this year. “My husband and I are scouting locations outside of Ohio to open a second Love Curvy Bridal,” she says. “We feel that our plus-size Curvy bride is not well-represented in the majority of bridal boutiques. We know that by offering an entire bridal store for our curvy bride, she will receive the same experience and the same, or better, selection of bridal gowns.”
Reading Bridal Outlet is located at 133 West Benson St. in Reading, Ohio, and is part of North America’s largest bridal district, The Reading Bridal District.