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Inspired by the architecture around them in OTR, a dynamic duo is setting out to bring a unique showroom experience to Cincinnati. Keep reading for all the designer details.

Design Lab in OTR features a showroom of local and international designers as well as local art from nearby galleries.
Design Lab in OTR features a showroom of local and international designers as well as local art from nearby galleries.

Barbara Neyer and Renan Menninger believe that design is key to a healthy, vibrant community. That’s why this dynamic duo launched Design Lab, a new furniture, lighting, and accessories showroom in Over-the-Rhine.

“Design is all around us – whether it’s the Italianate architecture in Over-the-Rhine, or the the thoughtfully-planned environment in and around Washington Park, design is central in how we all experience a city,” says Menninger.

Neyer and Menninger were inspired to launch Design Lab as they became more determined to create a design-driven environment that was rooted in hospitality, collaboration, and exploration.

“We also wanted to create a place where anyone can feel welcome to walk in and relax, have a drink, and experience the love we have for the objects that inspire us,” says Menninger.

Over at Design Lab, Neyer serves as the Owner as well as the Director of Contract/A&D Sales while Menninger is the Owner and Director of Design. Together, the two carefully curate beautiful collections of mindfully designed and crafted objects.

“Every piece has a rich and deep story, from the designers first conceptual sketches to the piece’s final inspection in the factory; no detail is left to chance,” says Neyer.

In addition to the showroom and retail shop, Design Lab also offers residential and commercial design services that incorporate original pieces from their partners including Moroso, Moooi, Bocci, Tom Dixon, Ligne Roset, and others.

The uniqueness in Design Lab lays within the furniture, accessories, and lighting lines they represent and offer to guests.

“On the surface, our showroom may appear to simply be a beautiful space filled with beautiful objects,” says Neyer. “In reality, however, the craft behind the business lies in relationships – with vendors, with guests, and with each other.”

Some of the brands found at Design Lab can be found on the international design scene and are very selective about whom they choose to work with. “They are also brands that respectively honor the craft of creating one-of-a-kind pieces that you won’t be able to find just anywhere,” Neyer adds.

Design Lab is also incorporating other local businesses’ into their own as a way to engage with the public in a variety of ways.

“Our showroom floor represents a true lifestyle environment as we hope to use our space for private events and social engagement as well,” says Neyer. “A goal of ours is to continue incorporating artists from local and international scenes to contribute to our space – making Design Lab a truly dynamic, spatial dialogue.”

The art collection at Design Lab currently holds pieces from local galleries including Miller Gallery and Carl Solway Gallery, and Neyer says they plan on showcasing artwork from new collaborations in the future.

Neyer says that you can expect to see the Design Lab website up very soon, where you’ll be able to find information on the lines they carry as well as some of the projects they’ve worked on in the past. “We welcome anyone to stop into our showroom Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can visit Design Lab at 1401 Elm Street in Cincinnati or call them at 513-620-7299.

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A Cincinnati-based creative and communications firm isn’t settling for standard services. See how they’re taking their business to the next level to do the same with yours.

Uncover creative
Uncover Creative, a full-service creative and communications firm, was founded by Tyler Hickey, Devin Shepherd and Vikas Sondhi.

Vikas Sondhi is the owner of Uncover Creative, a full-service creative and communications firm that offers design, print and promotional products and services to its clients.

“We offer a very close relationship with clients to help them produce attractive, successful and professional designed materials and branding,” explains Sondhi. “We also take it one step further and customize print and promotional product solutions that fit their needs.”

Sondhi and his team, Creative Director Devin Shepherd and Graphic Designer/Illustrator Tyler Hickey, made the decision to launch the business that would become Uncover Creative when they became frustrated with watching hard-working people and small businesses use unsuccessful designs to represent their brand or project.

“This frustration sparked the beginning of Uncover Creative,” says Sondhi. “Taking risks and creating a company that values the personal approach needed to produce remarkable design, print and quality promotional products, and it’s what we stand for.”

While Sondhi had the beginning roots of Uncover Creative in October 2012, he spent time to research the industry in order to find out what it really was that clients actually wanted.

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“We found that clients wanted a personal consultant that can help them with design, print and promotional products, rather than being able to just go online and order materials that they weren’t well informed about,” he says.

Sodhi says that what he enjoys the most about running Uncover Creative is the ability his team how to use their creativity to help people and provide them with quality custom products, rather than just generic option. “We gain success when their brand achieves it through our design and print services,” he adds.

The services offered by Uncover Creative include any type of design services, whether they be graphic, digital or web, as well as what Sondhi calls a smorgasbord of print services and nearly anything imaginable for promotional products. These promotional products include apparel, gadgets, marketing products and more.

As far as what’s on the horizon for Uncover Creative, Sondhi says they would like to implement a full-service promotional product website for resources, ordering, proofing and fulfillment in the near future, emphasizing that he doesn’t want it to become a web-to-print solution for clients. “We want to do the research and ‘leg work’ for them to ensure the right product and service,” he says.

Additionally, the team at Uncover Creative has also started to develop a subscription/package for clients so they can use the firm as their in-house design/print team without the overhead of team members. Sondhi says this will be rolled out publically in the next few months as well.

To learn more about Uncover Creative, visit their website at www.uncovercreative.com. You can also contact Sodhi and his team at contact@uncovercreative.com or by calling 513-813-4161. They’re also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where they feature products, jobs and other resources.

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011215FEATURE1Two local ladies turned their passion for vintage furnishings into a new business. From mid-century quirky and French Quarter color to farmhouse chic, see how their vintage event rentals and styling for weddings, parties, and events can set the scene for your celebration with a flair of vintage fashion.

The romance of vintage furniture wooed Amber Zaragoza and Emma Durham to start their own business – Queen City Vignette, or “Vignette” for short. For them, it’s about the details, lines, texture, imperfections and implied stories that come along with each piece.

How do the ladies behind Queen City Vignette create their own story? They rent out their vintage furnishings to clients so they can share the love for their pieces without 011215FEATURE2letting them go forever. In addition, Zaragoza says, they provide the vintage atmosphere and details that clients are looking for at well-under retail price.”Hunting for vintage furniture is like people watching: you get to create your own narrative,” says Zaragoza.

Queen City Vignette offers vintage furniture, furnishings, accessoriesand styling and craft services for weddings, photo shoots and other special events. “We work out of an industrial, natural-light studio, and our home is your home,” explains Zaragoza.011215FEATURE3

They know the struggle that comes along with searching for vintage furniture and the time spent searching through antique stores, auctions or Craigslist to find the perfect pieces. They also understand that at the conclusion of your event you may not need the furniture any longer, which leaves you searching for a new home for the items you’ve already spent so much time searching for in the first place.Their textural, industrial loft studio is also available for rent for video and photo shoots on a daily or hourly basis, in addition to all of the vintage props and furniture they own. “We pride ourselves on offering an easy, stress-free way to have pieces full of history and romance at a client’s video or photo shoot,” Zaragoza explains.011215FEATURE4

While the dynamic duo work out of their studio in Camp Washington, they say their pieces are available for events all over Southern Indiana, Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. “Our motto is ‘have vintage, will travel,'” laughs Zaragoza.”We take all of that hassle away,” says Zaragoza. “Do you want something specific for your event that we don’t offer yet? We’ll go hunting for it! We are in the process of building our inventory, so we are very receptive to special requests from our clients.”

The ladies of Queen City Vignette draw from their passion for furniture and décor, and also their formal training and artist backgrounds. Zaragoza says they like to arrange rooms like installation art and style tables like they’re still-life paintings.

011215FEATURE5In addition to their collaborative teamwork, Zaragoza and Durham are in love with what they do. Despite the splinters, smashed fingers, stubbed toes, surprise spiders and storage dust that accompanies the thrill of every find, they are always taken aback by the final beauty of a product. “The moment when a client says ‘Yes! That’s the one!'” Zaragoza says, “That gives us some of the best feelings in the world.””We work as a team, so we also bring diverse interest and taste to any project,” explains Zaragoza. “Emma has a naturally more feminine eye while my taste leans toward the crisp lines of Art Deco and Midcentury pieces. This brings a natural tension and balance to our approach, and that keeps things interesting.”

011215FEATURE6Zaragoza says the duo has the most fun on Instagram, but you can also check out their website and blog at www.queencityvignette.com to learn more about them or contact them to add a vi

ntage touch to your next event. Since launching in November 2014, Queen City Vignette has worked with photographers, videographers and stylists. They will be launching their wedding offerings this year, for which they have mix-and-match themed china settings for up to 200 people, cake stands, centerpiece options and a variety of colored glass vases available in the spring. “We’re ready to dive into the deep end of party décor,” she says.

You can also “like” them on Facebook and follow on Pinterest, or stop by the studio for an in-person visit.

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