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Columbia Tusculum

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    Is your New Year’s resolution to learn a new hobby or try something new? Read on to learn about a new Columbia-Tusculum business offering candle making, classes and unique gift items that’ll light your flame.

    Manitou Candle Co. sells hand-poured candles and candle-making classes at its Columbia-Tusculum location.

    Nestled in Cincinnati’s historic Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood, Manitou Candle Co. aims to offer its customers a creative, customized, hand-poured candle making experience.

    “We make classic candles with a contemporary perspective – combining incredible scents and a mid-century space into something much more than a 70-hour burn,” explains Manitou’s Gabriella Heekin.

    She says it’s also about thriving on the community and the Manitou’s commitment to being a place where people can come together to create, be inspired, and gather around the flame.

    Manitou Candle Co. brings the feel of northern Michigan to Cincinnati.

    Kate Fey, who founded Manitou Candle Co. and grew up in Cincinnati, was inspired to start her business by the place where she spent her summers growing up: Northern Michigan.

    With a dream to connect the two places she loved the most, Fey was inspired to bring the north and south Manitou islands in Leelanau County, Michigan, and its crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, bonfires, and sunset boat rides, to Cincinnati.

    While candles are a common find in homes, stores, restaurants, and businesses, candles from Manitou are different. “Each candle is thoughtfully hand-poured, with scents ranging from whiskey to watermelon,” says Heekin. “But what makes us truly unique is our candle-making classes where people can unplug from everyday life and foster original interaction through inspiration and creativity.”

    Manitou Candle Co. officially opened its doors to the public on Dec. 20, and is located in what was once the first bank in the East End District of Columbia-Tusculum. “It still has the original vault, hardwood floors, and tin ceilings,” she says. “We think our space is pretty neat.”

    There are 100 different scents to choose from when selected a hand-poured candle from Manitou Candle Co. “We also offer our favorite candles from around the world, in addition to local jewelry, ties, and home goods,” says Heekin. “It’s the perfect place to pick up a gift for a friend or yourself.”

    House-made candles at Manitou range from $8 for a 3-ounce tin to $25 for an 11-ounce glass candle. Heekin says there is a list of upcoming events on the website as well as the option to book a candle-making class with friends.

    Manitou Candle Co. is also looking to partner with other local businesses to sell their candles in-store and to develop co-branding relationships.

    To learn more about Manitou Candle Co., visit You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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    Read about the local mom who opened a children’s gifts and decor business, inspired by her son’s creativity and imagination.

    Little E Trends sells homemade children's gifts and decor.
    Little E Trends sells homemade children’s gifts and decor.

    Cincy Chic: Tell us more about Little E Trends!
    Emily Knueven, Owner and Designer at Little E Trends: Little E Trends is children’s gifts and decor. It’s all about turning your little one’s room into their Happy Place.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind the business?
    Knueven: The “E” behind Little E Trends is named after my 3-year-old son, Evan. He is the biggest personality – full of life, always laughing, joking around, tons of energy, and always creating something with his big imagination.

    The inspiration for Little E Trends first started for when I created a play table for him to use his creative energy on. After that some decor pieces for his room to match his big personality. It inspired me to create an Etsy shop with similar decor pieces that I created for Evan. To this day he inspires me with new ideas when designing, and now he is my biggest motivation.

    Emily Knuven, Owner of Little E Trends.
    Emily Knuven, Owner of Little E Trends.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind Little E Trends?
    Knueven: I am the creator, owner, and designer of Little E Trends. The craftsman behind it is my father – Tom Knueven. I design something and think of an idea and he creates it. We’re a father-daughter team.

    Cincy Chic: When did you launch Little E Trends?
    Knueven: Little E Trends was launched in August 2014 with our Etsy shop. It has grown so much more than when we were just selling on Etsy. We’ve launched our own website, sell on Amazon and Etsy, and in-stores.

    Cincy Chic: What types of items do you sell through Little E Trends?
    Knueven: We sell children’s gifts and decor, wall decor, pillows, growth chart rulers, and baby gifts.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers find your storefront?
    Knueven: Our brand new location for our brick and mortar store is located in Columbia Tusculum at 4015 Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati.

    Evan, Knuven's son and inspiration for Little E Trends.
    Evan, Knuven’s son and inspiration for Little E Trends.

    Cincy Chic: What about price points for the items in your store?
    Knueven: Everything in our shop ranges from $15 to $125.

    Cincy Chic: What makes Little E Trends unique?
    Knueven: Everything in our store is handcrafted and handmade. Each piece is one-of-a-kind from the shop for that reason.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Little E Trends?
    Knueven: Yes! We are opening up our storefront on July 22 and throwing a grand opening party and open house from 6-9 p.m. on that day to celebrate! We will also be expanding in offering more children’s gifts and decor in-shop when it opens up. We’re planning on multiple events a month in the storefront. I have a big vision for Little E Trends and I’m excited in taking this next step in making it happen!

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more or purchase items?
    Knueven: Visit or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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    A local venue -- complete with theater, Irish pub, tea room, gardens and more -- is quickly becoming the place to go for fun. Click to find out why!

    Maureen Kennedy, Co-founder of the Irish Heritage Center in Cincinnati's Columbia Tusculum neighborhood.
    Maureen Kennedy, Co-founder of the Irish Heritage Center in Cincinnati’s Columbia Tusculum neighborhood.

    For five years, the Irish Heritage Center — a local non-profit 501(c)3 community arts and heritage center — has been bringing Irish culture to the Queen City. The center is located in the heart of the Columbia Tusculum Entertainment District and is comprised of a theater, museum, exhibit hall, Irish pub, tea room, music room, art room, children’s room, memorial garden, costume closet, prop and set room, library, reading room and conference room — all to be used by the community (and there’s plenty of free parking!).

    “All the arts treasures, history, artifacts, books, furniture and improved decor – and there is so much, you really will be amazed – has been donated and/or created by friends of the center who support its purpose and programs,” says Maureen A. Kennedy, who co-founded the Irish Heritage Center with Kent Covey.

    Kennedy and Covey are Irish Americans and wanted to bring an Irish Center to Cincinnati. “Cincinnati residents have longed for a center to honor all things Irish for decades, and finally this Decade of Dreams came true in just five years,” explains Kennedy. “It is remarkable what has been accomplished. The Center and all who have created it have even been commended by the President of Ireland.”

    In the coming weeks, Cincinnati will host the 22nd Annual Acting Irish International Theatre Festival for the first time ever. The festival features full-length plays written by Irish authors or that are set in Ireland. Kennedy says the plays are performed by select theatre groups from across the U.S. and Canada and are held at the Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati at 3905 Eastern Avenue.

    There will be a total of seven performances, including five evening and two matinee shows. The schedule includes:
    -The Cavalcaders by Billy Roche: May 19 at 7:30 p.m.
    -The Field by John B. Keane: May 20 at 7:30 p.m.
    -The Maiden Aunt by Jimmy Keary: May 21 at 7:30 p.m.
    -The New Electric Ballroom: May 22 at 2:00 p.m.
    -Sea Marks by Gardner McKay: May 22 at 8:00 p.m.
    -The Chastitute by John B. Keane: May 23 at 2:00 p.m.
    -Moment by Deirdre Kinihan: May 23 at 8:00 p.m.

    “Cincinnati’s own theatre group, The Irish American Theater Company of Cincinnati, will perform The Cavalcaders,” says Kennedy. “The group receive the distinction for Best New Show at the 2014 Acting Irish International Theatre Festival.

    According to Kennedy, each performance at the festival is judged by an Irish theatre professional. Following the end of the event, awards are given for excellence in directing, acting and production. The audience also has the opportunity to stay in the theater after each performance and listen to the critique. This year’s adjudicator will be George C. Heslin, an actor and the Artistic Director and Founder of the Origin Theatre Company of New York City.

    Kennedy adds that tickets are available for the event. Discounts are available for multiple shows and large groups. You can learn more or purchase tickets by visiting or calling 513-533-0100.

    Following the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival will be complimentary Music & Song Nights in the Irish Pub and the Bloomsday Celebration featuring staged readings of the play Ulysses for Beginners by the award-winning Irish American Theater Company. There are also ongoing genealogy sessions with the Genealogy Detective (a former FBI agent) as well as Irish Tea Times and the popular band We Banjo 3, who will be visiting the center from Ireland. Details for this can be found on the Irish Heritage Center’s website

    There are several great benefits when it comes to being a member of the Irish Heritage Center. “The Irish Heritage Center provides many perks to its members, and not just in the form of a great community that is making a difference and creating many firsts for our city,” says Kennedy. “Members also receive discounts to concerts and shows, private holiday parties and picnics, genealogy guidance, a memorial wall, library usage, and as an added bonus, many new friendships.”

    The Irish Heritage Center is open to everyone – even those who aren’t Irish. The center also has affordable rentals available in the historic former McKinley School building. Space in the building is available for classes, shows, weddings, life celebrations, showers, parties and meetings.

    The building is still undergoing development and is currently being renovated room by room to give the Arts and Heritage Community Center more uses. “The next goal is to create a kitchen facility on the premises, and to place an elevator for the use of senior members,” says Kennedy. “The center is always looking for volunteers in many areas, from using a broom to plastering a wall to helping in the office and coordinating special events.”

    To learn more about the Irish Heritage Center, click here. You can also call the center at 513-533-0100 or like the center on Facebook.

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    Learn about one man’s journey from engineering with the Air Force to opening his own art gallery with followers in Cincinnati and around the world.

    Nicholas Yust, owner of Yust | Gallery, at work on one of his metal art pieces.

    Nicholas Yust is the man behind Yust | Gallery. Yust enrolled at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) where he studied Fine Art and Art History with an interest in abstract art, oil pastels and interior architecture.

    However, as he continued through school, he found that his interests were shifting toward math and science. That’s when he decided to change his focus to engineering where he eventually became a researcher for superconductivity applications for directed high-energy weapons systems while working an internship for the United States Air Force at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

    Yust held the gallery’s grand opening on March 28. When asked his inspiration behind opening is own gallery, he says that it’s Cincinnati’s traditional and transitional style of architecture and design. “The Yust | Gallery was designed and built to bring a new vision of contemporary fine art to our city,” he explains. “My background in art and engineering along with my unique imagination has created a new perspective for abstract art.”

    Yust | Gallery is a fine metal art business that also includes a design and fabrication studio as well as photography packaging. Attached to the studio is a fine metal art gallery featuring Yust’s work. Inside the gallery, guests will find contemporary fine wall art, wall sculpture and freestanding sculptures.


    Yust expanded his facility in 2010 to a building with more than 3,500 square feet of modern industrial work space. “To accentuate my ultra modern artwork style I designed the new building with contemporary minimalistic architecture,” he says.

    Yust’s work has been shown at fine art and craft shows across the country and even recently debuted in Europe, where he has an extensive following. He adds that he’s even been asked to create large scale corporate artwork and sculptures for several Fortune 500 companies as well as for television and movie sets for NBC, SYFY, A&E, FYI and ABC. He adds that the gallery will be hosting quarterly art shows with specific contemporary and mid-century modern themes. Then, in 2016, he will be opening a satellite gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Yust Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The gallery is located at 3602 Eastern Avenue in Cincinnati’s Columbia Tusculum neighborhood. For more information, email or visit the gallery’s website.