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Learn about a local business that began as two friends making therapeutic jewelry at home and blossomed into a successful storefront boutique where you can find all things fabulous, fun and affordable.

Monera Chic Boutique
Monera Chic Boutique is located in Fort Thomas and sells shoes, accessories, clothing, and home decor.

Monera Chic Boutique is nestled in a quaint corner storefront in Fort Thomas, KY. “When we opened the store in 2014, we were the first retail business in this complex,” said Tera Huddleston, co-owner of Monera Chic Boutique.

Initially, Huddleston was inspired to begin making jewelry by her friend and co-owner of Monera Chic Boutique, Monica Bruns-Howard, as a way to keep her mind off of the constant battle she was fighting against colon cancer. Together, they are the heart and soul of the store. There is no Monera without both Monica and Tera, a business that has been named by combining both of its founders’ names. When Huddleston and Bruns-Howard first began creating jewelry, they would host trunk shows from their homes or set up at craft shows to sell their products. Then, as returning clients and friends began to make requests and suggestions for specific items in addition to the jewelry being made, the ladies knew they needed to expand.

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The storefront is perfect for Girls Night Out.

Today, you can find something for everyone at their store. From shoes, accessories and clothing to home décor, Monera Chic Boutique offers quite the variety. “We no longer sell and create our own jewelry,” says Huddleston. “But we do still personally select everything in the store, we are the buyers, and you will always find one of us working in the store.” Since opening their business in 2014, they have doubled in size. Hosting fun events, such as themed “Girls Night Out” is one way Monera Chic Boutique has curated a loyal clientele. They offer wine, appetizers and entertainment while you shop and enjoy exclusive sales. “We do not run sales all year so this is a fun way to show our customers, whom are our friends, our appreciation,” says Huddleston.

Home decor items can also be found at Monera Chic Boutique.
Home decor items can also be found at Monera Chic Boutique.

That is one of the great things about Monera Chic Boutique, Huddleston says: you get personal treatment from their staff. In fact, she adds, returning customers are often greeted by name and shown fresh pieces that match their individual style. “When you know your clients as friends, you know who you are shopping for and the things they are going to love,” says Huddleston.

If you are a first time shopper, Huddleston says the staff at Monera Chic Boutique goes out of their way to make you feel welcome and genuinely wants to help you find something that is as unique as you are.

They also post a new look styled by pieces from the boutique almost daily on Facebook and Instagram so you always know what is new in the store. Prices range from $30-100. Another plus of Monera Chic Boutique? “We can both walk here from home,” Huddleston laughs. “It’s perfect for us!” As for the future, they have no plans of expanding. “Everything fell into place,” says Huddleston, “I feel like we are where we were supposed to be all along. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason.” And after two years, Huddleston says she still gets a sense of pride and excitement every time she unlocks the doors, turns on the lights, and opens for business.

Monera Chic Boutique is located at 654 Highland Ave, Unit 29 in Fort Thomas, KY 41075. To learn more, call them at (859) 441-0561 or “like” them on Facebook.

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Learn about a local accessory retailer with lots of looks for less and an upcoming holiday shopping event you won’t want to miss!

I told you last week about how I hosted a Virtual Party with Miss Em’s and now that all of my items have arrived, I’m soooo happy! Not only because I love all the pieces I bought (and it helped donate funds to my friend’s cause) but I also saved a TON off of the designer look-alikes.

I wanted to be prepared with an example of how much I was saving when my Miss Em’s package arrived, so the hubs wouldn’t give me a hard time and I was SHOCKED to see how much I actually was saving! Just to give you an idea of how affordable (yet on-trend) her items are,  below are seven side-by-side comparisons of my favorite pieces and then the designer pieces that look super similar but are MUCH more expensive. Hey, even the husband was impressed, so I know I did well! haha!

You can buy online, host a Virtual Party like I did, or shop in person this weekend at her Holiday Bazaar Nov. 5 & 6. Click here for more info!

1. Miss Em’s Cream Opal Earrings $10.99
Ross-Simons Opal Chandelier Earrings $595

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2. Miss Em’s Geometric Earrings $12.00
Lenox Geometric Dangle Earrings $334.95

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3. Miss Em’s Filigree Tassel Pendant Necklace & Earring Set $18.00
Ben-Amun Y Tassel Necklace $238

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4. Miss Em’s Earring/Necklace set from my virtual party $24
Oscar de la Renta Flower Necklace $690

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5.Miss Em’s Earring/Necklace set from my virtual party $24
Lord & Taylor Tri-Toned Pave Statement Necklace $176

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6. Miss Em’s Flower Bracelet $9.00
Chanel Vintage Caged Camellia cuff $1,885

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7. Miss Em’s scarf from my virtual party $24
Lord & Taylor Plaid Blanket Scarf $129

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Last night, I hosted a virtual party with Miss Em’s  and it was AWESOME! I decided to make it a fundraiser for my friend Lindsay who’s trying to generate enough funds to do IVF and start a family (Miss Em’s will donate 15% of your sales to a charity!). So, a ton of my friends and Lindsay’s friends joined in to shop for a cause! It was really fun AND easy! 🙂

In a few days, I’ll do a follow up blog with a video that I took last night, to show you how the party worked and also recap how much we raised for Lindsay! But seeing so many of my friends buy different items at the party last night, and knowing their personal style/how they would style them, inspired me to put together this post!

My friend Lindsay is very sporty… a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. My friend Candy is very classic and corporate… a suit or LBD everyday kind of gal. And then my friend Jessica is in between as a teacher… a business casual kind of gal. So I picked out five Miss Em’s pieces and styled them how each of my three friends would wear them to give you an idea of the versatility!

  1. The Gold Bar Cluster Necklace and Earring Set ($20) — I added the Natural Fabric & Leatherette Bracelet ($14) for the “teacher” look

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2. Neon Multi-Color Necklace & Earring Set ($20)

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3. Coral Seed Bead Necklace & Earring Set ($22) — I added the Natural Fabric & Leatherette Bracelet ($14) for the “teacher” look

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4. Long Matte Necklace & Earring Set ($18) — I added the “Be Brave” Cuff Bracelet ($13) to the “teacher” look

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5. Silver Flower Necklace & Earring Set ($22)

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Check out MissEms.com to see these and LOTS more “look for less” pieces. Click here to contact them to set up a virtual party to earn credits to shop on her site for free (or give 15% of your sales to a charity like I did). Or, if you prefer to shop in person, Miss Em’s is having a Holiday Bazaar event Nov. 5-6 at the Anderson Senior Center.

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Read about the only boutique in the Tri-State that sells baby items and wedding accessories!

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Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Diamonds & Dimples Chic Boutique!
Denise Kersting, Owner of Diamonds & Dimples Chic Boutique: Diamonds & Dimples Chic Boutique is a unique shop on historic Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Kentucky. We specialize in wedding and baby items as well as home decor and unique Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky-made gifts.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind your business?
Kersting: Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, with a background in fashion merchandising, I have always dreamed of opening a fashion boutique. In September 2014, I was blessed with the birth of my first granddaughter, Kyleigh, who inspired me to leave the corporate business world and make this dream a reality. Starting as an idea to sell baby and bridal shower gifts, Diamonds & dimples was born and has evolved into what it is today.

Baby items sold at Diamonds & Dimples Chic Boutique in Bellevue, Kentucky.
Baby items sold at Diamonds & Dimples Chic Boutique in Bellevue, Kentucky.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Diamonds & Dimples?
Kersting: I am the sole owner of Diamonds & Dimples with help from my husband, children, and other family and friends along the way. I am a lifelong resident of the Northern Kentucky area, graduating from Xavier University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and spending 20+ years in the sales and merchandising industry. I married my husband of 36 years in 1984, we have raised 3 children together and now have 1 granddaughter.

Cincy Chic: When did you launch Diamonds & Dimples?
Kersting: Diamonds & Dimples Chic Boutique opened on October 27, 2015.

Cincy Chic: What types of items do you sell in store?
Kersting: We specialize in baby and wedding items, as well as home decor and gifts. Baby items include clothing with brands such as Mud Pie, BeeMine Sunshine, Tiny Treasures, and others with sizes 0-24 months. We also sell blankets, toys, bows and headbands, books, plush items, bibs, teething rings, and other accessories. Wedding items include flower girl baskets, ring bearer pillows, unity candles, Mr. & Mrs. forks and flutes, garters, and other accessories. Home decor items in-store include picture frames, candles, beer soap, personalized plaques, and other items.

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Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for items in your store?
Kersting: I believe in keeping all my prices reasonable – almost all items in the store are priced between $5 and $50 with the majority of items falling in the $10-$20 range.

Cincy Chic: What makes Diamonds & Dimples unique?
Kersting: Diamonds & Dimples is the only boutique in Bellevue and surrounding areas dedicated to selling baby and wedding items. Reasonable prices for high quality and one-of-a-kind items is also a unique quality of Diamonds & Dimples. We also support many local companies by carrying their products in store such as: State Threads, Cincinnati Beer Soap, Eida Candle, Twigs, Adoreabows, and other local consignors who create personalized pieces for Diamonds & Dimples customers.

Cincy Chic: Where is your store located?
Kersting: You can find us at 402 Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your business?
Kersting: We are very excited to be launching our website and online storefront and hope to have this completed by the end of June. As the wedding season approaches, Diamonds & Dimples will also be ramping up wedding accessory offers for local brides looking to make their special day unique!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Kersting: For now you can find all information on our Facebook page. Keep an eye out for the website www.diamondsanddimples.com and online store coming soon!

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Oh la la! Learn about a local boutique stocked with fashion accessories direct from Paris!

C'est Chic Paris
C’est Chic Paris

Cincy Chic: What is C’est Chic Paris?
Jane Okada, Founder of C’est Chic Paris: C’est Chic Paris is a boutique that sells women’s handbags, luggage, and other accessories – all from Paris. We also offer customers the opportunity to become a retailer, selling the items we have in our inventory.

C'est Chic Paris sells handbags and accessories direct from Paris.
C’est Chic Paris sells handbags and accessories direct from Paris.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Okada: I am always looking for new and exciting trends in fashion accessories in Paris and therein lies the inspiration for C’est Chic Paris.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it and when did you open C’est Chic Paris?
Okada: I am the sole owner and I launched the business in 2006/2007 when I rented a wall at, what used to be called The Red Door. I brought in the David Jones brand of handbags from Paris, which quickly became quite popular, along with scarves. In 2008, my husband and I began doing wholesale with our products and attended markets in Chicago and Atlanta. In 2013, I decided to concentrate on the retail aspect of my business and am always looking for the perfect location for a possible retail store, but in the meantime you can find me at various trade shows like The Hart Productions Holiday Market, The Cincinnati Home and Garden Show, Lawrenceburg Holiday Show, and CINsational Shopping Show.

Cincy Chic: What types of accessories do you carry?
Okada: The accessory lines I carry are women’s handbags, scarves, unique pieces of jewelry, etc – all from Paris.

Another David Jones handbag you can find at C'est Chic Paris.
Another David Jones handbag you can find at C’est Chic Paris.

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for your items?
Okada: My price points are between $2 and $250. I’ve recently brought back the popular Paris brand of leather handbags known as “FredericT.”

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Okada: You can find me on my website and Facebook, which I am continually trying to improve. Or you can email me or call me anytime at jane@cestchicparis.com and 513-254-7785.

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A UC graduate recently opened up a “Bazaar Concept Shop in OTR.” Read on to learn more about it.

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Continuum Boutique sells apparel, accessories and hand-crafted home decor items.

When walking in the doors of Continuum Boutique in OTR, you’ll be greeted with flowy fabrics, simplistic accessories and hand-crafted home décor hanging from the walls as natural light pours in the store-front windows and the faint aroma of naturally scented candles fills the air.

According to owner Ericka Leighton-Spradlin, Continuum is not just a boutique or a retail store, it is a “eclectic bazaar art and concept shop” that sells art, jewelry, fashion and accessories from independent artists and designers. Leighton-Spradlin says she carefully chooses a wide array and assortment of merchandise that speaks to the bohemian, creative mind by reaching out to independent artists and designers from across the country herself.

“I like to support artists and designers out in the world making something unique– I strive to support creativity,” Leighton-Spradlin explains. “This is what I enjoy being able to share with the customer, introducing them to a product with a person and/or story behind it. To me, it makes the whole shopping experience more personal, and that’s extremely important to me.”

Leighton-Spradlin says she’s very selective when merchandising for her store. “I like to choose my merchandise with my customer’s personal shopping experiences in mind. I want them to have something that is unique, timeless and artistic,” she adds.

According to Leighton-Spradlin, fashion should be an extension of who you are as an individual. That’s why it is so important to her to sell brands and pieces that you can’t just find elsewhere.

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“I want my customers to know that I take pride in the Continuum brand, giving them something special, with choosing apparel that uses ethically sourced materials and jewelry that was hand crafted by the actual designer,” she says. “My goal is to stay away from mass produced merchandise, as apparel from independent designers can embody more uniqueness and have the upmost quality.”

While shopping around the store, you will find several rare brands. For example, she says, the line Osei Duro. This line is based in L.A. and their textiles are dyed and produced in Ghana. All of their fabrics are hand dyed and woven in both large and small scale quantities utilizing Ghana’s traditional textile techniques that are sustainably produced while emphasizing the culture of Africa.

Continuum also carries jewelry by designer Sophie Monet, a jewelry architect that makes all jewelry by hand. She uses recycled material from the scraps of wood from her father’s artistry to create the jewelry and is based out of Venice Beach, California. According to Leighton-Spradlin, this jewelry line takes a modern approach on accessory trends using exotic wood and producing it here in the U.S. using sustainable materials whenever possible.

“I love being a woman. I embrace my womanhood and I want to express that freedom and liberation with the world throughout my store,” Leighton-Spradlin says, referring to some unique items she sells, like a planter the shape of women’s bare torso and a rug with the design of a woman’s breasts.

Leighton-Spradlin considers her concept shop as selling more than just clothes, but wearable art. It has been a goal of hers to contribute to Cincinnati’s growing city giving an emphasis on art as she is an art student herself graduating from UC’s DAAP Fine Arts Program in 2013.

When picking a space for her store, which was her biggest challenge prior to opening, she had her heart set on wanting to be located in OTR on Vine St. “This area of Cincinnati is flourishing right now with young entrepreneurs,” she says. “With starting your own business, there will be many challenges, but they are nothing you can’t get through.”

While the store is still young, just opening two months ago, Leighton-Spradlin has big plans to grow her store even more since she just hired her first sales associate employee earlier this month.

Future plans include bringing in new merchandise for the fall and soon offering ceramic classes taught by Leighton-Spradlin herself. To learn more about Continuum, visit their Tumblr page or like them on Facebook.

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A local lady is outfitting big dreams of creating fashions for little ones, and it all began just three years ago in her mom’s basement. Keep reading for all the fashionable details.

Mary Helen Clothing is a newly launched clothing line launched by a DAAP graduate that offers clothes for little girls and accessories for women.
Mary Helen Clothing is a newly launched clothing line by a DAAP graduate, offering clothes for little girls and accessories for women.

Age eight and on can be a challenging time for self-confidence issues and negative influences on young girls. At Mary Helen Clothing, they want girls to know how beautiful they truly are and be able to express themselves through the clothes they wear.

“My dream has always been to create clothing for little girls that make them feel beautiful,” says Helen. “Mary Helen Clothing does just that. It brings out a child’s spirit through bright colors, unique prints and details that make everyone smile.”

Growing up, Helen was inspired by making things and playing dress up. “I loved designing anything and everything I could get my little hands on,” says Helen. “I had an imagination that was unmatchable. From age eight, I knew I was going to create something amazing and I was going to do it for girls like me.”

Helen had just graduated from DAAP in fashion design when she knew that she wanted to start her own line.

“My line is all about motivation and self-esteem in young girls,” says Helen. “I went from sewing all of the garments myself to now having everything produced locally in Cincinnati and selling to over 85 boutiques around the U.S.”

Today, Mary Helen Clothing is the perfect outlet for girls with an imagination, who love to dress up and love to have fun. “I want young girls to know how beautiful they truly are, and be able to express themselves through the clothes they wear,” says Helen. “Always remember, no one can tell you your story – you have to write it yourself.”

The storefront for Mary Helen Clothing.
The storefront for Mary Helen Clothing.

By feeling beautiful in what they wear and being encouraged to express themselves, Helen believes that girls will learn how to move forward in life with their heads held high and have a great collection of bright clothing to pass onto their little sisters.

Mary Helen Clothing offers girls clothing for ages 2T-12 as well as accessories for women and baby. Their new store opened April 23 at 1981 Madison Road in Cincinnati. “We are a little over a week into being here,” says Helen. “I LOVE Cincinnati!”

Helen is currently in the process of expanding their Fashion/Sewing Summer Camp program to other cities. “It is a fun week of fashion, design, trend and learning to be a designer and designing your own garment,” Helen exclaims. “We start with seven year olds and go up from there. With having the new store, we are also excited about offering Fashion/Sewing Birthday Parties – which we are really excited about!”

When looking to the future, Helen hopes to build a foundation for girls to grow upon. “I feel that Mary Helen Clothing will lead girls into a life of high self-worth and beauty through fun-loving, age appropriate clothing that makes them feel beautiful, confident and proud,” says Helen.

To learn more about Mary Helen Clothing, visit their website maryhelenclothing.com, give her a call at 513-802-5020, or email maryhelenclothing@gmail.com.

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