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    Need a little rest and relaxation but can’t quite find the time? We chat with the co-founder of a locally-based mini retreat experience that’s helping you to sit back and enjoy some much-needed self care.

     

    Meraki hosts monthly mini-retreats to help give women a dose of self-love.

    As women, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, making sure that the kids are cared for, everything at work has been handled, and ensuring that all the other tasks on a daily to-do list are completed. So every once in a while, it’s nice to relax, recharge, and reconnect, which is exactly what Meraki, a Cincinnati-based company, is focused on doing.

    “Meraki is the Greek verb that means to do something with soul, creativity, and love,” explains Co-Founder Katie Ryan. “Our events explore various themes and topics. We provide thought-provoking activities, simple but beautiful craft projects, and practical ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.”

    The team behind Meraki does this by hosting monthly mini-retreats as well as private parties for various groups and clubs, promoting the connection of women through support, encouragement, resources, and fun.

    Ryan founded Meraki with her two friends and co-workers, all of whom also happen to be moms and found that there wasn’t enough time in the day to do what they needed to do while also doing things that were both fun and healthy for them.

    “So many women struggle with finding time and resources to take care of their physical, emotional, and social needs,” says Ryan. “Meraki allows women to carve out a time and space to focus on the truly important things in life.”

    Ryan says that she, along with co-founded Allison Helsel and Kim Kurzhals, firmly believe that the way to impact women on a positive level is to bring more soul, creativity, and love into the lives of women.

    The three realized that all of their individual talents, when put together, were what would help Meraki to thrive and succeed. Heisel has been an art teacher for over 20 years and believes that all women can connect their own needs as well as their bigger life purpose by allowing themselves a space and time to create, so she combines this with her passion for art when it comes to helping the women who turn to Meraki.

    Kurzhals is an event planner and administrative assistant. She enjoys working with people who share her high energy and positive approach to life. She’s also the chef and baker of Meraki and it’s her tasty creations that remind the women at Meraki to stop and savor the moment. “Kim can make any space beautiful and loves creating an event for women where they feel relaxed and treated to something truly special,” says Ryan.

    Ryan says she’s a life coach, school counselor, author, and motivational speaker as well as a foster mother and adoption advocate. “I truly believe in the power of positivity and vision,” she says. “Through sharing my story, I believe that I can help people live their best life.”

    At each of the mini-retreats, guests will find there is a specific theme, including topics like “Finding Peace Among the Chaos,” “Gratitude,” “Vision,” and “Finding Your Purpose.”

    Ryan says that the first part of these events is a happy hour format, allowing guests to enjoy signature Meraki food and refreshments created by Kurzhals.

    “Women are welcomed and encouraged to bring their favorite beverage so they may enjoy a nice cocktail and relax,” says Ryan. “The event then shifts to a speech on the monthly theme along with meaningful and through provoking activities.”

    Ryan says that the environment is open and welcoming, with women who attend the events together as well as those who go on their own.

    Following the opening “happy hour” session, the group completes a craft project such as pallet signs, light boards, ornaments, and wreaths.

    After the craft, the Meraki team then teaches guests practical tips of relaxation and mindfulness so that they can practice Meraki as a principle in their lives moving forward, Ryan says.

    These events are unique in that they combine several different aspects of health and wellness into a single experience. “We believe in the power of women coming together to take time for themselves as well as support one another,” says Ryan. “We address important topics in the lives of women in a way that is fun and relaxing. There is nothing to sell or buy at a Meraki event. Our focus is to help you live your best life, there is no catch or hidden agenda. Meraki is an affordable resource to promote health and wellness in your life.”

    The next Meraki event will be held January 25 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Aston Woods Clubhouse in Cleves. “Our upcoming Vision event is going to allow women the opportunity to think about what they truly want in life,” says Ryan. “We will guide women through the process of evaluating their wants, needs, and goals for the upcoming year. We will then give women the resources they will need to support and grow that vision in the days to come.”

    The craft for this event is a pallet light board that is easy to make and something you’ll love hanging up in your home. There’s also a menu of appetizers and desserts.

    Ryan says that all are welcome to attend the event and can register by visiting www.meraki4us.com.

    Ryan says that there’s a lot on the horizon for Meraki in 2018, including private parties.

    “Women are booking us for so many different events from birthday parties to professional development, to Bible studies to groups of friends coming together to celebrate each other,” says Ryan. She says they’re also looking forward to expanding their events to other areas of the city.

    She says they’ll also be coming out with informational products that will help to promote the Meraki mission of living your best life.

    To learn more about Meraki, visit www.meraki4us.com. There you can take a deeper look at the Meraki experience and learn more about the team. There’s also a blog on the website where you can check out the various topics that are explored at Meraki events each month. You can also “like” Meraki on Facebook, follow along on Instagram, or contact the Meraki team directly at meraki4us@gmail.com.

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    A local makeup artist launched a subscription service that brings box of unique products you'll love to your door each month. Keep reading for all the details.

     

    Makeup artist Chenese Bean is launching her own subscription box of products from her Glam by Chenese Bean line.

    Chenese Bean wants her clients to feel glamorous, and to help them “go glam,” she created her own line of cosmetic lip products called Glam by Chenese Bean.

    “Glam is a cosmetics lip collection filled with various lip glosses, lipsticks, liquid lipsticks, and lines,” says Bean. “The motto behind the line is ‘Be You. Be Free. Be Glamorous.’”

    Bean says she was inspired to launch her cosmetics line after working with clients who were always looking to her to help them choose makeup.

    “And whenever it came down to lip application, I’d always get asked ‘what color is that?’”

    That “color” was typically a combination of 2-3 shades, so Bean thought it better to create her line rather than sending clients to the mall to purchase several different products.

    Now, along with her own product line, Bean is also launching the “Glam Box,” a monthly subscription box.

    “Each little black box will be presented as an elegant Christmas or birthday gift to yourself each month,” says Bean. “And it’s reusable, unlike other boxes, which helps our carbon footprint.”

    The box is $25.99 per month and is filled with 3-4 various full-size lip products from the current Glam by Chenese Bean collection in addition to a few other surprises as well, and will launch later in 2018.

    “We’re excited about making the world glamorous,” adds Bean. “A product card will be included with each box to give a description of the products as well as an ingredient card all wrapped up nice and cute.”

    Bean says the boxes are tailored to the wants and needs of each client, and are based off their results from taking a short profile quiz.

    To purchase products from Glam by Chenese Bean, visit www.chenesebean.com. Currently, Bean says her subscription box is in launch phase, but those interested in learning more about the box can click here to join the mailing list for additional information and for a product launch date!

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    Learn about a local lady who makes it her job to find your best career path and opportunities. Read on for all the details.

     

    Dana Glasgo, a local career coach

    Dana Glasgo is a Cincinnati-based career consultant on a mission to assist individual clients who are seeking a career change or are out of work and guide them to their next career move.

    With 20 years of consultant experience behind her, Glasgo decided to branch out and start her own business in 2006 based on the process she had developed as a Senior Career Consultant for Lee Hecht Harrison (a global career management services company).

    Glasgo assists professionals at all levels, from doctors, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, manual laborers, and everything in between, and also provides coaching services that are applicable to any career. Glasgo’s coaching service topics range from finding a marketing strategy to resume and cover letter preparation, as well as interviewing and negotiating skills.

    Recently, Glasgo has begun offering career counseling and assessments to high school students who are looking for more direction on what to do after graduation and college graduates who are unable to find that first job.

    The student career counseling process starts with two specialized assessments of personal interests and personality characteristics followed by a face-to-face meeting to explore different possibilities for future career paths.

    Glasgo’s passion for making a difference in people’s lives is what she says is her strongest motivation.

    “I enjoy equipping clients with skills on how to write strong marketing documents, interviewing (how to ask for the sale or job) and the importance of networking,” says Glasgo. “I get a thrill when a client finds what he/she wants to do.”

    For those looking to start their own new business, Glasgo offers a “quick and dirty” assessment and valuable resources to help take charge of your career.

    Glasgo tells those who want to make the jump to becoming an entrepreneur to not quit their day job (at first).

    “Get the business started and then see if it is sustainable,” says Glasgo. “Have a business plan, know when to stray from it and hire smart people.”

    For more info about the Cincinnati Career Coach, visit http://www.cincinnaticareercoach.com. Contact Glasgo at 513-260-0454 or cincinnaticareercoach@gmail.com.

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    With record low temperatures, a local lady launches her annual Clothes Drive across Cincinnati and needs more help than ever. Read on for more.

     

    Cincinnati’s brutally cold winter weather makes it tough just to walk out the door, let alone live in these conditions. That’s what inspired Liz Wu to launch the #Kindflash City-Wide Clothes Drive four years ago.

    According to Wu, the annual #Kindflash Citywide Clothes Drive demonstrates kindness and how people can get involved and make a difference. It’s a weekend long event and this year, from Jan. 19-21, where as many donors and volunteers as possible distribute warm clothing such as hats, gloves, scarves, and socks across the city.

    “I thought it would be the least I could do to gather a few friends and put out some warm clothing items,” Wu says. “I created a Facebook event and invited a dozen or so people to join in.”

    Quickly, Wu’s small gesture turned into something grand. In fact, in the first year, Wu says, there were 20 drop-off sites organized around the area, within 35 Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods.

    Each year, the #Kindflash Clothes Drive has grown and Wu is preparing to reach 60 neighborhoods, with 40 items each, totaling around 2,400 items distributed. Wu and her team are expecting at least 100 volunteers who will help throughout the weekend.

    “A big part of this project is in bringing visibility to the plight of vulnerable populations, especially during the winter,” Wu says. “Connecting the items with people who need them is an important part of the project, but raising awareness of these issues, and also demonstrating how simple it can be to take direct action (however small) is also our intention.”

    Wu says there are two ways to get involved in the #KindFlash Clothes Drive: volunteering your materials or with your time.

    For item donations, Wu says they’re looking for anything warm, and they’re accepting items until Jan. 18 at 5 p.m. For more information visit #Kindflash City-wide Clothes Drive on Facebook.

    If interested in donating your time, sign up as a volunteer to distribute the items. #Kindflash is looking for volunteers Jan 19-21 to help bag items and pass them out. If interested, click here.

     

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    See how a Cincinnati-based organization is helping local youth dramatically improve academics and social skills through movement and mindfulness.

     

    One local organization is on a mission to improve our next generation – inside and out – one movement at a time.

    “Mission 2 Move strives to improve academic performance and the social emotional behavior of children through movement and mindfulness. We improve the PE curriculum at schools by training teachers and health professionals,” says Sarah Habib, Founder of Mission 2 Move. “We work with local organizations to directly teach kids how to move and be mindful. We do this by running after-school programs and helping to train teachers to incorporate movement and mindfulness into the school day.”

    There are locations that run after-school programs at Cincinnati Public School elementary schools: Oyler, Robert’s Academy, Mount Airy, Mount Washington, Sayler Park, and the Academy of World Languages. They also help with the PE programs at Woodford Paideia and John P. Parker. “We have been in Cincinnati since May 2017, but started in San Francisco in 2016,” she says. The business has 10 health professionals that run after-school programs, as well as part-time employees that are in charge of marketing, communications and fundraising efforts.

    The inspiration behind starting Mission 2 Move started in San Francisco, California. “After coaching basketball for middle school girls in San Francisco, I noticed so many girls could not do simple exercises like running up and down the court because of weight or inactivity. When I saw them eating ice cream and skittles before practice, I knew something had to be done to improve their overall health, which will only help them perform better both on the court and off,” Habib says. “I designed and implemented a program into their school that fuses mindfulness and Z-Health, a brain-based physical education program. Last year, I decided to move home to Cincinnati and bring the program with me, all while helping to tackle the city’s growing crisis around childhood obesity. Here in Cincinnati, 1 in 3 under the age of 18 are obese, compared to the national average of 1 in 5.”

    Mission 2 Move offers a variety of Professional Development services to schools and teachers, as well as after-school programs. “No other non-profit in Cincinnati is focusing on academic performance, social/emotional behavior and childhood obesity through movement and mindfulness.” The organization defines success by showing children the joy and excitement of movement in their every day lives. “If we can inspire active lives, improve academic performance and help with emotional and social health in at least one student, that is success.”

    Habib’s favorite part of working for Mission 2 Move is sharing her love of fitness. “Sharing my love of fitness with kids who have never been exposed to it before, brings a real sense of accomplishment,” she says. “Fitness is the key to living a long and healthy life so the more kids we have moving, the better for their own lives and their future.”

    To keep up with what Mission 2 Move is doing, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and their website.

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    Read on for more about a new social sippery downtown with an always-changing menu that serves herb-infused plates, refreshing cocktails, and delectable snacks.

     

    Aster on Fourth is a new social sippery that features a unique menu of food and drinks.

    Located in the heart of Cincinnati’s Central Business District, Aster on Fourth is a Social Sippery that elevates the idea of a cocktail bar.

    According to General Manager Zach Shumate, Aster is a place for “friends and family to gather and enjoy drinks with as much character as the conversation.”

     

    Aster is owned by Sandra Gross and Dr. John Hutton, who have a team comprised of Executive Chef and Partner Frances Kroner, Executive Sous Chef Emma Cotter, General Manager Zachary Shumate, and Beverage Director Giacomo Ciminello.

    Shumate says Executive Chef Frances Kroner wanted to create a cocktail bar that was different, so the menu at Aster is just that – different.

    “Chef Kroner curated a variety of herbaceous infusions and adaptogens for Giacomo Ciminello to use for his list of cocktails that reflect the color and power of nature,” says Shumate. “The list includes options for both indulgence and health.”

    The menu is always changing, but Shumate says that guests can always find succinct menus of tapas style snacks and shareable dishes that go well with the bar’s drinks.

    Not only does an ever-changing menu help make Aster a unique stop in the Central Business District but the bar is in a building that is more than 100-years-old. As a result, the team designed the space to highlight as much of that history and character as possible. “We also designed a menu that might not make you feel so guilty in the morning,” he adds. “Our infusions involve many herbs with medicinal properties, and we try to limit our wine to natural and organic selections.”

     

    Shumate says that the bar is looking forward to expanding its food and beverage menu and also welcoming new neighbors!

    Aster on Fourth is located at 8 East 4th Street in Cincinnati. You can learn more about Aster on Fourth at https://www.asteronfourth.com/ or by following along on Facebook and Instagram.

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    A faith-based yoga studio in Mariemont is offering new classes and an upcoming couples retreat to help strengthen you - mind, body and spirit.

    Cincy Chic: What’s new at Worthy Yoga since we last chatted in June?
    Brenda Westfall, Owner of Worthy Yoga: We have added two new classes to the schedule for 2018. There may be more to come as we are growing. We added an All Levels Class on Mondays at 5:30 with Lauren Pax. Here’s a description of Lauren’s class: Join fellow Young Professionals in a special one-hour young adult yoga flow. Each Vinyasa Flow class will be approaching and ope for all yoga practitioners. Lauren invites students to email her with their practice intentions before the class to help create a purposeful, community-centric practice. Together, we will use the power of prayer and mindful movement to manifest blessings.


    We have also added a 9 am Thursday morning class with Amy Erickson called Balance + Restore. Here is a description of that offering: We live in a world that badgers us to work faster, be more efficient, try harder, and strive to win at all costs. I want Balance + Restore to be an oasis that offers opportunities to rectify the effects of stress on our lives – opportunities to be still, slow down, and wake up to the truth of the love and grace God has in abundance for us. Each class will include space for breathing in the goodness and grace of God and letting go of negative thoughts, listening to God speak through a passage of scripture, learning yoga postures that open our hearts to God’s transforming power, and resting in the reality of God’s love for us.

    Cincy Chic: Tell us more about your Half-Day Retreats!
    Westfall: These Half-Day Retreats have been very popular and fill up quite quickly. We are all on a journey of knowing more about who God is and knowing who we are. Retreats provide us with space to experience the integration of our heart, soul, mind, and spirit through yoga and, most recently, Expressive Arts. The Creator created us with an innate desire for expression. Our retreats each have a different theme/intention. We usually bring in special guests to share a multitude of modalities to deepen our understandings of who we are and why we are here.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything else new happening at Worthy Yoga?
    Westfall: God is constantly making things new and giving us ideas for building community, serving community, and going deeper as well as creating space to be still. We have a partner yoga workshop for couples coming up February 10 as well as a workshop for golfers later in March. We have book studies, girl’s nights out, and private yoga group events. We are planning a workshop for anxiety and headaches and planning on offering prenatal classes in the future.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about Worthy Yoga?
    Westfall: Readers can check out our website for classes and events at www.worthyyoga.com. We’re also on Instagram and Facebook.

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    Cold weather have you feeling blue? Our green guru offers four house plants that will improve boost your mood and your health.

    The winter doldrums are apt to creep in soon. The holiday decorations will be taken down, the last of the parties attended and the calendar reminds us that warmer days are still a bit down the road. Scientists tell us that plants are very effective in improving our mood. But when you think about it, it’s pretty obvious, yes? A walk in a park, down a quiet, tree-lined street or if you are lucky a path deep in the woods always always lifts our spirits.

    When you are stuck indoors, the common houseplant is there to save your mood. For one, they improve air quality- some are remarkable at removing toxins from the air and the rest just pump that oh so vital fresh oxygen back into the home. Simply being around growing green things can improve our mood. Should you enjoy cooking, there’s nothing better than fresh herbs in the dead of winter to bring your favorite dish to life.

    Don’t protest and tell me that you kill plants. We all don’t have green thumbs, but some plants simply don’t care about our garden prowess. I’m great gardener, but not the best caretaker of house plants. Here are some of the plants I have been growing with less than diligent attention:

    Snake Plant AKA Mother-in-Law’s tongue:  My husband has been tending to these for years and the biggest task involved is giving them larger pots over the years.

    Pothos: You see these in every restaurant, salon, doctor’s office and shop in town. Why? They ar that easy to grow! This one has been living on my dresser for years, under a lamp. I cut back the trailing vines to keep it lush and water it regularly.

    Umbrella Tree or Hawaiian Schefflera: My dad gave me this plant two years ago along with a bonsai tool kit. As you can see, I forgot to trim my plant. It is the happiest plant, ever. This will get quite large, so I’ll transplant to a new pot and then start trimming it back by removing new growth.

    Thanksgiving Cactus: I have had this plant for almost 10 years. It never fails to bloom, it is extremely forgiving and it’s tidy. Christmas and Easter cactus are very similar in appearance, but all seem to be a breeze to care for and easy to acquire.

    Here’s my advice, find a plant that catches your eye and go for it. You will never learn to garden, even houseplant gardening, if you don’t try.

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    Liam Neeson takes a familiar ticket to ride with latest action movie entry. See if it's a train wreck or on a fast track to box office success!

     

    “Hold on – this workout is phenomenal for your core!” Michael (Liam Neeson, in suit on right) tries to help a train conductor separate passenger cars in a scene from THE COMMUTER. Credit: Jay Maidment © 2018 Lionsgate Publicity. All rights reserved.


    WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
     


     



    KEY CAST MEMBERS: Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth McGovern, Andy Nyman, Sam Neill, Colin McFarlane, Shazad Latif and Ella-Rae Smith

     

    WRITER(S): Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (screenplay); Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell (book, The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made on which the film is based)

    DIRECTOR(S): Jaume Collett-Serra

     
    WEB SITE: https://www.thecommuter.movie/HERE’S THE STORY: Michael MacCauley (Liam Neeson) has had a very rough day at work. Sure, he did get to hang out with his old police partner Alex Murphy (Patrick Wilson) for a bit, but with the news he gave him, it wasn’t exactly a happy occasion. But at least it will all be over soon, for all he has to do is catch the train so he can get home.


    There’s just one problem – a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) has just given him a curious hypothetical question to ponder: Would he help find a person on the train named Pryn in exchange for $100,000. There’s just one other little problem if he does – that person is likely going to be in a lot of trouble. 


    Thus, once Michael realizes the question isn’t hypothetical and the mysterious woman has now threatened his family’s safety, is watching him at all times and already exited the train, he is left with no choice but to do what she says … Unless he can find a way out.

    WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Die-hard Liam Neeson or 80s/90s action movie fans; people who like whodunit movies 

    WHO WON’T (OR SHOULDN’T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? People who thought the messing with Liam Neeson’s family train (no pun intended) should have stopped with Taken 3

    SO IS IT GOOD, BAD OR JUST AWFUL? At this point in his career, you can watch about 30 seconds of a Liam Neeson trailer and nine times out of 10, you will come to the same conclusion: This is a Liam Neeson movie where Liam Neeson does Liam Neeson things – especially if someone has messed with his family. Don’t believe me? These guys immortalized Neeson before going they’re separate ways onto bigger and better things. 


    And there you have just about everything you need to know about The Commuter – for it is simply the latest entry into the world of movies that prove illustrate the mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” … Even if the formula may finally be at its breaking point as it the time may have come for Neeson to move on to something else. 


    Neither Neeson nor director Jaume Collet-Serra try to reinvent the cinematic wheel at any point in The Commuter; instead, they just try to hit the usual beats in a movie of its ilk as best they can without being too insulting to the audience to try to keep most of its plausibility somewhat plausible. Neeson does his best to make Michael a classic put-upon figure forced into an impossible, damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t-situation. He’s in disbelief at first, then desperate before launching into eventual “now you’ve done it – I’m not playing your games!” mode. (He even says the line in the film, for goodness sake).


    Essentially a paint-by-numbers action movie, The Commuter doesn’t make waves, it just rides along its familiar tracks for its in-and-out journey before arriving at a climax that is rather anti-climatic, all things considered. It’s not horrible by any means; it just is everything you’d expect it to be. It’s like riding a cinematic bike – even if there are times it feels like the training wheels need to come off. 


    It’s one thing for Liam Neeson’s action movies to be immortalized in a Key & Peele sketch; it’s another thing for his movies to almost feel like they have become a parody of their selves. Thus, while the ride isn’t quite bumpy, it’s not quite that smooth, either … That is, unless, you’ve become so accustomed to it all you care about is getting home at the end of the day.

    OVERALL RATING (OUT OF FOUR POSSIBLE BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

     

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      We chat with a local family who combined their love for travel, yummy treats, and helping others with their fun spirited attitude to open a groovy little sweet shop in Mariemont. Keep reading for all the delectable details.

       

      Groovy Gumball Candy Co. is a novelty candy boutique run by a local family.

      Want to feel like a kid in a candy shop again? Make that dream a reality (even if you’re just a kid at heart now) when you step inside Groovy Gumball Candy Co., a novelty boutique that takes guests on a trip down memory lane.

      This bulk bin and gourmet candy shop is located in the heart of Mariemont Village and is a family adventure that started during car talk between husband-and-wife team Bridgett and Dave Karlson after a lunch together.

      The couple wanted to create a happy place where people felt warmth and joy just from being in the store while enjoying quality candy products.

      “Many of my childhood memories of candy surround a loved one or a fond moment from my childhood,” says Bridgett  “I was a flight attendant for a major airline for many years and my travel abroad gave me a demanding palette for tasty and fine chocolates from all around the world.”

      Following their idea, and subsequent car discussion, the family put their ideas together to open their very own candy store.

      “My mind ran wild with ideas that I bounced off my four children and husband, those ideas led to a phone call, that phone call led to a business plan and that business plan led to Groovy Gumball becoming a brick and mortar reality,” says Bridgett.

      “We carry humorous and snarky gift items that make people laugh and help them lighten up a bit,” she says. “We specialize in imported candies and chocolates from Europe, hard to find items, and a unique Belgian Chocolate Fudge line that is typically found in European confection stores.”

      Bridgett says that much of what inspired her family to follow through with their idea of a candy store is that they knew local children and parents would love it, as they’re Mariemont residents themselves. They also loved the idea of providing freshness, flexibility, and the ability to make customized candy assortments.

      “I envisioned a whimsical store that felt like a tiny escape from the outside world that was full of sweets, confections, and funny items,” she adds.

      Bridgett and Dave Karlson, Owner of Groovy Gumball Candy Co.

      Bridgett says she can’t take all of the credit for the candy shop. She also got a lot of help and input from her husband and kids, saying that her husband’s biggest contribution has been the word “groovy.”

      “He loved it, insisted on it, and I’m glad I listened because it’s added a super fun edge to the store, especially as we grow into our novelty and import items that accessorize the store beyond candy,” she says. “We think everyone needs a little groovy and candy in their life.”

      Currently, the most popular candies at Groovy Gumball are the Belgian Chocolate Fudge, Trump Hair Gourmet Cotton Candy, Albanese Gummy Bear Cubs, Licorice Laces, Chocolate Covered Gummy Bears, and Dark Chocolate Gourmet Almonds.

      Bridgett says that at Groovy Gumball they also make a few candies of their own, including a Truffle & Rosemary Amish Popcorn. “We are currently working on branding our own deviation of the bourbon ball, which feels like a good fit being that I’m from Lexington and my husband and I are bourbon connoisseurs,” she adds.

      Plus, you can feel safe knowing that the items you find at Groovy Gumball are hand-selected, high-quality sweets. “We buy many candies from Sweden and Spain, which are countries that have amazing candy guidelines by using no high fructose corn syrup, Red #40 and Yellow #5,” she says. “We can’t think of any other place in Cincinnati where you can bring your significant other, parents, grandparents, kids, or good friends, take a trip down memory lane, and have an equally good time with each and every person. We do that here and we also would go as far to claim you’d be making a new memory with a visit!”

      Groovy Gumball also offers a toothbrush recycling program, which is unique in and of itself. Bridgett says that when she and her family decided they were going to open a candy shop, she knew that she didn’t want to just promote candy that could lead to dental decay.

      “So I came up with a plan,” she explains. “I reached out to some of the best and most popular dentists and orthodontists in town and created a program where I was able to give out toothbrushes provided by my “Dentists of the Month” and reward newcomers and birthday kids with a new toothbrush. There’s a tiny and little powerful moment when I hand a child a toothbrush and they realize they’re in a candy store and then you see that lightbulb moment go off. It’s awesome.”

      She says the toothbrush recycling program was just another idea that popped into her head as she was searching for a candy flavored toothpaste to sell in the shop. “I came across the shocking statistic that almost no one recycles their toothbrush and they sit in landfills,” says Bridgett. “We all know plastic can take over a million years to decompose. So with that information, we wanted to get it out there that folks can recycle their toothbrush that is 100 percent plastic. If folks throw their brush in our recycle bin, we provide a new toothbrush as well! It works.”

      Bridgett says that this spring, Groovy Gumball will launch a candy delivery box to college students that parents can regularly sign up for to be delivered in the mail. She says that she hopes to also start producing their own candy in the future as well.

      Groovy Gumball Candy Co. is located at The Shoppes at The Mariemont Strand behind Starbucks, next door to Rooted and across the street from Mariemont Elementary.

      To learn more about Groovy Gumball, visit www.groovygumball.com, “like” them on Facebook, or follow along on Instagram.

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