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Learn about a local lady who launched a full-service event planning business, who specializes in weddings and also corporate planning.

Maura Bassman, owner of Cincy Weddings by Maura

She remembers watching “Father of the Bride” like it was yesterday. It was the first time Maura Bassman saw an event planner in action, and she knew immediately that’s what she wanted to do for a living.

“I was so excited because it was the first time that I realized my love for weddings could actually be translated into a career,” she recalls. “From that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a wedding planner and I continued to keep my eye on the prize.”

Today, Bassman is the owner of Cincy Weddings by Maura, which launched in October 2014. While weddings are her main focus, she also enjoys social and corporate planning.

For brides, Bassman created a variety of easy-to-understand package options allowing couples to choose when they need planning advice – the beginning, the middle, the end, or everything in between. “The first step in the planning process is to meet with me to discuss your wedding vision, budget and other details relevant to your wedding,” she explains. “From there, I help you choose a package option that is perfect for you. Through vendor relationships and our planning expertise, I make sure you are making the best investments possible regarding your wedding day.”

A Cincinnati transplant, Bassman moved here from West Virginia in 2005 and studied Entrepreneurial studies at Xavier University. During college, she conducted her co-op at March of Dimes and helped with the planning of large fundraising events, where she was able to really get experience in the planning industry. Then, after she graduated from Xavier, she worked as an event coordinator for a restaurant as well as two large Cincinnati wedding venues.

Bassman says her favorite part of what she does is building relationships with couples and their families. “I find that by building those close relationships with my clients, I am able to provide couples with the wedding they’ve always envisions,” she says. “It’s so much fun being part of this process with them – I get to meet them when they are newly engaged and then see them become man and wife!”

To learn more, visit the Cincy Weddings by Maura website, visit her blog, or email

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There’s a new bootcamp in town, and it’s specifically designed for brides-to-be. Learn more about the 8- or 12-week program that can help you look and feel your best on the big day.


Need to get in shape for your wedding but not quite sure where to start? Blushing Brides Bootcamp by Queen City Kettlebell offers a comprehensive 8- or 12-week program designed just for you that will help you get healthy and toned just in time for the wedding bells to ring.

The bridal bootcamp program is comprised of high-intensity interval training, a nutrition plan built around whole foods and realistic goal-setting that will guarantee results and ensure you look your best for the big day.030915HEALTH2

The 8- or 12-week programs include goal-setting and planning sessions, orientation training sessions, three 1-hour high-intensity workouts per week, small group settings that foster personalized training, private sessions with a certified trainer and nutrition specialist, bi-weekly measurements, a variety of class times, phone and email support and a workout and photo journal to chart your progress.

Daniel Wittekind, owner of Queen City Kettlebell, says that the program is designed to help brides-in-the-making eliminate some of their health issues and concerns that are often pushed off to the side during wedding planning. “Instead of having the additional fitness component on the table and stressing over it, we take it off and leave all the decision making to our expert coaches,” he says.

Participants of the program will get an introductory kettlebell class to teach them basic kettlebell skills as well as the weekly workout sessions. There is no bouncing or jumping, strictly weight training, so you don’t have to be too coordinated to reap the benefits of this bootcamp or doing monotonous workouts on the treadmill, stair climber or elliptical.

Wittekind says that the cost of the program varies depending on your needs. “This isn’t a one size fits all program, and sometimes that means some participants can afford to attend more often than others,” he says. “However, that shouldn’t mean that anyone willing to work for their goals should be left out.”

The best part? Blushing Brides Bootcamp offers a money-back guarantee for brides – not that they anticipate falling short in helping anyone reach their goals. According to Blushing Brides Bootcamp, those who fail to achieve the goals agreed to during the initial consultation will receive a refund of 50 percent of the bride’s original cost as long as all other factors including class attendance, food journaling and dietary guidelines are followed.

In addition to their program for brides, Wittekind adds that they’re currently working on a program for postpartum mothers. Although the details are still being worked out and the initial beta group is still going through the program, he says that participants can expect the same level of professionalism you get with the Blushing Brides Bootcamp program.

Queen City Kettlebell is located at 2577 Duck Creek Road in Cincinnati. To learn more, visit, reach out to or call program organizer Ben Eisenmenger at 513-549-0552.

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See how a local lady turned her passion for makeup into a prettification business, powered by encouraging words from friends and family.

Lulo Makeup (Mandy Paige Photography)
Lulo Makeup (Mandy Paige Photography)

Encouraging words planted the seed and a passion watered it.

“I helped the bride, mother of the bride, and bridesmaids with their makeup that day. My friend’s mom said, ‘Hey you are pretty good at this, why are you not doing this for a living?’” Sally Scigliulo, owner and artist of Lulo Makeup recalls. “At that moment my mind shifted from makeup being a hobby to a career.”

That’s when Scigliulo began working on the business concept that is now Lulo Makeup. Founded in 2007 with the name “SAS Makeup,” Scigliulo started with doing freelance work for photographers and the occasional wedding.

After her children were born, Scigliulo wanted to focus more on her business. That’s when she rebranded from SAS to Lulo (a play on Scigliulo’s name pronounced Sha-Lou-Lo), launched a new Facebook page and began business relationships with industry professionals.

Lulo Makeup provides services for many different occasions including weddings and senior pictures in the Tristate area with the unique aspect of Scigliulo being a self-taught artist. She assisted with many different artists in Cincinnati as well as attending many workshops in Chicago to learn the tricks of the trade.

“I really learned the art and concepts of color and makeup techniques by reading books like Making Faces by Kevyn Aucoin and watching lots and lots of videos on YouTube,” Scigliulo says. “I love watching other artists and am so grateful they allowed me to learn from them.”

As for the future of Lulo makeup, Scigliulo’s goal is to create a makeup class or makeup program focusing on learning different looks and techniques. While many women ask Scigliulo about different products, they struggle with how to use them themselves. She’s hoping to start these lessons to help women with the overwhelming task of this.

Scigliulo also plans on focusing on the bridal portion of her business. “I love being involved with weddings and feel so honored and privileged that I am a part of such an important day in peoples’ lives,” she says.

To learn more, visit