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On taking that first step.

Start where you are.

Creativity is one of our birthrights as humans. This may surprise some of you. I have heard many folks with limiting beliefs who declare, “I am not a creative person.” I can relate because I am in recovery from that exact limiting belief! Let me help you figure this out quicker than I did. You are a creator by the sheer nature of being. You create every day – often without even knowing. Your mind creates thoughts. Your thoughts create choices. Your choices cause your body to create action. Your action creates ripples that impact the world – even the tiniest of actions are a cause that will affect an outcome. Maybe you have yet to be taught to consciously harness this power into something; or maybe you were taught to create and then life got in the way, so your creativity was silenced as a means of survival. You are not alone. Just because your creativity is dormant does not mean it never existed. It is still with you. I promise. 

After starting my Wellison Enterprises Enneagram and Quantum Energy coaching business, I sat with this one specific creative idea for a long time. Finally, one day, I headed to my mudroom, where I had noticed earlier there was good lighting. I curated a decent zoom and live background on the wall behind my laundry counter with some pictures and things, set my light ring and phone stand on top of my washing machine across my background, found a barstool, and got started. I created an Instagram Live series interviewing moms about their journeys with the Enneagram. I had no idea how it would do, but I had to do it. As a mom, I knew the importance of being seen and heard – especially during these pandemic times. In my business and life, I am passionate about spreading the word about the importance of the Enneagram – and having a holistic understanding of each type. I married these two things and created a series of interviews with 24 amazing women, called The Enneagram Mom Interviews.

Photo taken in the mudroom, July 2020, by Tasha Pinelo Photography

I did not attach myself to the outcome – just the process and experience. Since the final episode in December, the series has received over 5000 views. Throughout the journey, hilariously, I tried my best to keep the shelf of cleaning product above me out of the image. It was comical, but I made space in that tiny room, for myself and 24 other women. It brings tears to my eyes to think that this space impacted over 5000 people who watched these women talk about their amazing and precious lives in the context of their Enneagram types. 

From this creative inception, everything in my business began to fluidly expand. I met people who want me to grow and succeed, who have connected me to clients, or shared their platforms. It helped me feel empowered to claim more space in my home for an actual office, and I generated enough income through new clients and opportunities, to rent monthly co-work space at Impact Cowork in Newport, to have affordable access to conference rooms and a recording studio where I filmed my first e-course. It inspired my second and current series, the Enneagram Entrepreneur Interviews – same idea, except with female entrepreneurs. Now both series are also housed on YouTube and will soon be made into a podcast. So much is happening now, and so many have felt the love I wished to spread with my creative idea. Continuously, every single day I wake up and start where I am. And every single day, I am so much further than where I started – even on the slower days of rest. 

I heard an interesting opinion on a podcast the other day: that it is selfish to hold onto your gifts and keep them from the world. “How dare you do that?” they said. It was a bit righteous for my taste because I hesitate to assume any power over tying someone’s narrative to the judgmental word “selfish.” I will say this though: it will always be a huge loss to the world to live this life with our beautiful gifts and never release them for the sake of living in our true authentic spirit. Your spirit is here for a reason. It assumed your earthly body with the sole (and soul) purpose of experiencing life. All of life –the good, the hard, the tangible – whole-heartedly with eyes wide open. We do not experience life sleepwalking. We do not experience life with limiting beliefs. 

I wrote this piece because I know someone out there needs to read this. They need this final push. I see you. I am you – I am you 6 months or a year from now after you take the first step. Please let this be your sign. You need only one thing to start where you are: the desire to create what is yours – right now.

What one thing can you do to today to take a step toward your creative dream? Remember: the magic is in the process, not in the outcome. Let the outcome unfold and it will do so beyond your wildest dreams. Embrace all of it. Start where you are.

Whitney Ellison is a thought leader and coach of the Enneagram and Quantum Energy. Learn more about her by visiting her website, wellisonenterprises.com and following her @wellisonenterprises on Instagram where you can find all of her Enneagram series interviews and other comings and goings.

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If it takes great courage to follow your dreams, how do you characterize someone who beats death, chases their dreams and wins multiple Emmy Awards, all before the age of 30? Perhaps we ask Alanna Martella, Traffic Anchor at WLWT.

A lot of times, society tells us that our goals are “too lofty,” are “pipe dreams” or that we’ll “never make it” — and in turn, that message can discourage us from pushing forth and working to make our dreams happen. Not for Alanna. “When it comes to my career journey, I am most proud of having the courage to pursue my dreams and visions. To be able to say I’ve been able to tack off those career visions I’ve had since a little girl (and even those that I continue to tack off now with my “big girl dreams”) is extremely humbling and satisfying” said Martella when asked about achieving at such a relatively young age.

On the surface, Alanna’s life could appear to be a simple and easy, however, her life has truly been a rollercoaster of highs, lows, peaks and valleys. As mentioned in a previous feature in Cincy Chic, Alanna experienced death. This past year has been one full of continued health challenges, forcing her to be admitted several times to the hospital during the pandemic for issues directly related to her intestinal illness.

How has she managed to thrive amidst the chaos? By taking mindfulness and snack breaks with healthy nibbles like Crunchmaster Crackers and Think! Bars. “Meditation has been an absolute game-changer for me” said Martella. “Yes, physical health is important for wellness (and I think that’s what might pop into most people’s head when they think of wellness), but if you don’t have your mental state in check, that will spiral out to your overall well-being on all levels.”  

Due to Alanna’s health challenges she has been open about her decision to do In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and freeze her eggs. “My health history has caused my egg supply to diminish significantly, and though right now it’s still up in the air if having kids is a part of my life path, ‘down the road’ will likely be too late.”  You can learn more about Alanna’s decision to IVF on May 4th as a panelist at “The Motherhood Journey” event, presented by The Christ Hospital. 

In part 2 of Alanna’s story we’ll discuss her commitment to inspiring others through telling stories of hope and resilience through keynote speaking and her new podcast!.  

Learn more about Alanna Martella visit alannamartella.com.

Bag spill content, left to right: Think! Bar, Crunchmaster Crackers (Kroger), Orbit Bubblemint Sugar Free Chewing Gum, ZO Skin Health, Burts Bees Vanilla Bean, MEAS Active, Christian Dior Refillable Lipstick, Bath & Body Works Stress Release Lotion, Crest Toothpaste and Oral-B Dental Floss.

“A Leadership Style” is a column authored by WISe Wellness Guild founder Stevi Gable Carr and powered by Crunchmaster Crackers aimed at celebrating female leaders who have advanced in their careers because they have integrated work and life through whole-self wellness.  

Glossary of terms: 

Womxn: noun, plural wom·xn [wim-in] /ˈwɪm ɪn/. a woman (used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women)

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Read about an upcoming event to help you nail down your money personality.

Have you ever thought about why, where and how you spend your money?

SheMoolah believes that by understanding and joining forces with your money archetype, or money personality, you will introduce new riches and lead a more fulfilling life. 

Are you a Maverick, an Alchemist, a Romantic or one of the other 8 money personalities?  How averse are you to risk? How do you feel about giving money to the less fortunate versus investing for future growth?  In order to better manage your money you must first recognize your positive and negative money patterns, find clarity and create a plan to proceed forward.   

“When you understand how money impacts your decision and relationships, you can understand how to make better conscious choices for the future” said Dawn Parks, co-founder of SheMoolah.  “If we can fall in love with our personality, we can identify how we are helping or hurting our ability to achieve life and financial goals.”

Liz Kitchell, co-founder of SheMoolah added “Once we recognize our money personalities, we can have more effective, transparent discussions with ourselves, team members, planners and significant others.”

Take a sneek peek of SheMoolah’s Money Personality event by joining their event on April 14th at 11:30am ET on Zoom. SheMoolah will walk through how each personality type deals specifically with budgeting, money details, accumulation, spending and investing for the future.  

RSVP HERE for free due to the generosity of Paycor.

Learn more about SheMoolah’s classes, offerings and expertise at shemoolah.com.

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    Click here to read about an all-in-one design studio, Airbnb, music recording studio, and so much more.

     
    The 1890 Bricky House serves as a home, Airbnb, creative studio, music recording studio, and community space. Photo: Robbie Barnett
    When Mandy Lehman was looking for a house, she knew she wanted something that was big enough to house the community she’s created while remaining in a creative, down-to-earth neighborhood. 
     
    She got all of that and more when she found a Victorian home she calls The 1890 Bricky House. 
     
    “The 1890 Bricky House is our house and studio,” explains Lehman. “I run Manman Studios out of it, which includes interior design, graphic design, photography, and a music studio. We also rent it out for events and photoshoots and have an Airbnb space in it that we rent out for overnights.”
     
    When Lehman found the house and announced she’d be remodeling it, she said a lot of people told her she was crazy.
     
    “It was pretty dilapidated to be honest,” she says. “Early on, we named it The 1890 ‘Bricky’ House. Bricky Vicki, for short, because the word ‘bricky’ was slang for ‘fearless’ in the Victorian era, when this house was built, and we felt like that’s what we were doing by taking on this big of a renovation. We had to go into it with on fear and embrace the process.”
    The 1890 Bricky House can be rented out for photoshoots and events. It also offers Airbnb stays. Photo: Laura Cianciolo
     
    Much of the inspiration for the home’s renovation came from places that Lehman enjoys spending time in, like restaurants, bars, and creative spaces. 
     
    “We thought ‘why do we all go outside of our homes to hang out in cool places? Why don’t we make our own houses feel that inspiring to be in?,'” she says. “So that’s what we did! Not that we never like to go out anywhere, but it has made our house the place our friends and us like hanging out in the most, which is really fun!”
     
    Lehman, who lives in the home alongside her husband Aaron, says that people have shown interest in renting The 1890 Bricky House for events, photoshoots, and overnights, so they decided to give it a try. “It’s been a fun way to have community with others and meet new people, and I’m always changing the decor around so I think that makes it fun for our guests,” she adds.
     
    The house serves a plethora of purposes, including the home base for Manman Studios, her husband’s music studio Dark Sun Recording. “This house is a culmination of both of our tastes, which is what makes it home for us,” says Lehman. “It’s a constant work in progress and it’ll probably never be finished, as any old house homeowner will tell you.”
     
    Anywhere in the house can be rented out, even the master bedroom and ensuite, for events or photoshoots. “A quarter of the house can be rented out for overnights/Airbnb stays as the apartment has its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room,” says Lehman. “You can also rent out Dark Sun Recording’s music studios for rehearsals or recording.”
     
    Lehman says that what makes The 1890 Bricky House unique is that it offers so much.
     
    “It’s layered, artistic, eclectic and ever-changing,” she says. “It encompasses so many local and independent artists and craftsmen in one space. Everywhere you turn and every corner, even little tiny spaces you may not immediately notice have been paid attention to and thought out. It has a warm, welcoming vibe and we try to accommodate our guests however we can, whether that means moving furniture around to better suit their needs, connecting them to decorators or event planners or if that means giving them space to themselves, we love getting to share something we’ve worked so hard on to create and seeing others enjoy it too makes us feel it was all worth it!”
     
    With a new season upon us, Lehman says that for 2021 they are planning to add a large indoor/outdoor space with glass garage doors to open up to the backyard. They’re also hoping to finish the front and back landscaping, which includes a tiled patio and plenty of greenery.
     
    The 1890 Bricky House is located at 330 6th Avenue in Dayton, Kentucky. You can learn more about The 1890 Bricky House on Instagram. To get pricing information, visit the home’s website.

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    You don't want to miss this breathtaking estate in this week's Listing of the Week!

    This home is a regal landmark estate situated on a 1.5 acre parcel on Garden Place. This home boasts spacious rooms and artisan craftsmanship. The Grand Centre Hall opens to a spacious, yet comfortable living, dining, and great Rooms. The owners have completely renovated the entire estate, reflecting the Artisan Craftsmanship of the re-invention of 5 Garden Place. This 6 bedroom, 5.5 bathroom home is listed at $2.175 million.

    This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

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    Read on to learn about a program that wants to share what bees offer in the community.

    Photo: DanielPrudek / iStock / Getty Images Plus

    There is a program that wants to support the bee ecosystem. Cincinnati Art Museum’s Bee Program is a “partnership with the Queen City Pollinator Project that places two beehives on the museum grounds that support the ecosystem and the community,” Jill Dunne, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Cincinnati Art Museum, says. “The hives will sit amidst a pollinator garden, a foot off the ground in a mulch bed near the Longsworth Administrative Wing on the west side of the building.”

    The idea for the program came from a passion for the community. “The museum has been focusing on the wellness of the community over the last several years,” she says. “The program supports the ecosystem which supports community wellness.” Bees are so important for the ecosystem around them. “Globally there are more honeybees than other types of bee and polluting insects, so it is the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees,” Dunne says. 

    The people involved with the project are: Cincinnati Art Museum’s Green Team, the Women’s Committee of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Queen City Pollinator Project. “QCPP helps support declining and threatened pollinator population in urban neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati by providing beehives and beekeeping support to sustain a healthy bee community,” she says. These organizations have helped to fund the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Bee Program, which takes about $2500 per year to keep the program running. To help with funding, they also will be having an Adopt-A-Bee event. This will be happening from May 3-31, 2021 and people will be able to choose to provide a $5 or $10 donation. “Each donation provides an opportunity to name one of the 60,000 bees who will reside in the museum’s two hives. They will be able to do so online at: https://www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/bees,” Dunne says.

    Why is this so important for the community? “Pollinators are a vital part of a balanced ecosystem and without them we would not survive. Nearly all pollinators are suffering from declining populations and we need to take immediate action to protect and support them,” she says. Dunne’s vision for the bee program is for the public to see the bees in a positive light. “Since bees can fly around three miles for food, we hope that people see the “friendly” bees around downtown Cincinnati, in Walnut Hills and Mount Adams and remember the museum and the positive impact that bees can make,” she says. In mid-April, depending on the weather, the bees and the hives will be installed. “QCPP will put in the physical hives and relocate swarms of bees into the hives,” she says. 

    If you want to keep up with what’s going on with the Cincinnati art Museum Bee Program, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their website.

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    Learn about a local UC student who has turned her love of reading into a creative side business.

    Just Bookish Creations was started by University of Cincinnati student Rachel Mowry.

    University of Cincinnati student Rachel Mowry combined her creative side with her love for reading to create a unique business called Just Bookish Creations. 

    With classes moving to an online format, it provided the perfect opportunity to start a side business, says Mowry.” 

    Just Bookish Creations is a small business that creates handmade folded book art, customized just how you like!

    I can create any name or date to make a one of a kind design.”  

    Just Bookish Creations is a very unique talent that not many people know how to pursue. “You would be truly getting a unique, one of a kind item at my shop.”

    The companies presence is completely online, and she accepts orders through her Instagram or Facebook page. 

    Mowry is very excited for the future and her new products that are coming soon. 

    I hope to launch my book earrings soon, these will also be completely customizable and more affordable then my folded books, says Mowery.” 

    To follow along follow their Facebook, Facebook shop or Instagram

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    Read about a mother-daughter team creating a unique variety of paper products.

    Cincy Chic: What is Rock Paper Store?
    Molly Grosse, founder and artist at Rock Paper Store: Rock Paper Store is an online store where we sell our very unique artist paper. Rock Paper is a brand of paper with qualities both similar and different than fiber/pulp-based papers. Rock Paper gives the artist/crafter an opportunity to create in alternative ways because of its proprietary binder which gives it waterproof properties, durability and the ability to stretch. These properties make it perfect for many uses.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
    Grosse: The inspiration behind Rock Paper is that I saw a unique material that offers a new and exciting product to artists and crafters all over the world.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
    Grosse: Rock Paper Store was co-founded by Mary Lehrter and myself, a mother/daughter team. Mary is the inventor and I am the artist.  

    Cincy Chic: What products do you currently offer? 
    Grosse: Currently we offer packs of Rock Paper ranging from 6×6 inches-12×12 inches in our very unique color choices.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Rock Paper Store unique? 
    Grosse: Many things but mainly our colored papers. Even though we are not the only rock/stone/mineral based paper company on the market we have yet to find another company who creates the unique color choices we offer. Plus, Rock Paper is unique because it’s waterproof, archival, insect resistant, and is made with an eco-friendly production process.  

    Cincy Chic: When did you launch Rock Paper store?
    Grosse: We officially launched July 29, 2018

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for 2021?
    Grosse: We are currently working on adding new product ideas and more color choices to our inventory.  

    Cincy Chic: How can readers shop? 
    Grosse: While our headquarters are located in Cincinnati, we make Rock Paper available globally with our online store. www.rockpaper.store

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
    Grosse: Our website is www.rockpaper.store and we’re on Facebook and Instagram.

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    Reading to spice up your routine as we start a new season? Click here to read more from our life coach on how you can find a new niche in your daily routine.

    Last week we celebrated the beginning of spring and the equinox when the daylight and nighttime are both twelve hours. Time for spring cleaning, planting, and watching the plant begin to bud and green. Ahh the magic of spring.   

    Now I am not a guru when it comes to our moon cycles, but over the years I have come to appreciate the cycle of the moon and how it can have a positive effect when you practice some rituals that allow you to align and receive the magic of the full and new moons.

    Three easy things I recommend you consider trying is:

    Journal what you do not want to tolerate or experience currently in your life.  As you write, add all the emotions, and be committed to letting them go.  Then take the paper outside with a bit or sage or tobacco and light it on fire. As it burns repeat “I now release you to be recycled over time and space. I am open to receive more. And so, it is”. 

    Now this does not mean tomorrow you will see evidence of all that you release being gone, however, if you look for the evidence, over time you will begin to see where you no longer are experiencing the things you let go of. And, if you do, then repeat it again next month.

    Ignite the magic of what you do want. This can be a fun time to give your vision board an uplift with new images, or even adding more. You are the creator of your reality so add all that you desire. And remember to feel all your senses when you look at those images knowing you are an abundant receiver, and the cosmic kitchen is conspiring on you behave to create your new reality. 

    Other ways to align with the Universe is to mix up a cleaning solution adding a bit of a lemon scented essential oil to the water and use to wipe down items all the rooms offering a cleanse to those items you touch. 

    Burn some incense, palo santo or sage to purify the air. Now it may not smell like it is purifying but it will give you a since of peace. This is also known as smudging. 

    So, as you continue to find ways to live a better life, consider adding in a new niche to your routine. I have been doing this work for over five years and it just keeps getting better.

    Happy Spring!

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      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.

      OBC’s Innovative Designs offers spirit wear and home decor items.

      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.”

      Although the website is currently under construction, Curtis says that she does still sell limited items on Etsy

      Curtis will be at the upcoming Vintage Market Days Cincinnati/Dayton event April 16-18, as well as other local Cincinnati events this year. You can find photos of her work on Facebook and Instagram.

       

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