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It’s an online shop with vintage roots and a bohemian vibe. Plus, the owner is based right here in Cincinnati. Click for all the fashionable details.

 

Maker & Sage sells vintage and bohemian clothing and home decor.

Maker & Sage is a bohemian shop with vintage roots. Owner of Maker & Sage, Stephanie Ress says the core of her business is vintage clothing and home décor, inspired and intrigued by a bohemian life style.

While it’s mainly a one-woman-shop, she does get by with a little help from her friends. “When I sell at local markets like, The OFF Market and City Flea, my wonderful boyfriend, Zach Madden, helps with the heavy lifting and he is a fantastic sales man! He’s been my partner in the success of the shop,” she says. “We hit up the flea markets on the weekends and he loves to go treasure hunting with me. He’s also fantastic at finding some of our best and weirdest t-shirts. Anything with a wolf or a band shirt, he’s behind it.”

Ress says one of her best friends inspired the idea to start the business. “Maker & Sage came from the idea of building this brand with my best friend Meagan Martin. She is an amazing artist and a muse of mine. She started her company, Meagan Martin Maker, and sells her own designed ceramics. We met in art school, at DAAP, and instantly became best friends,” Ress explains, adding that she always dreamed about having our own studio someday. “We always called it, M&S Studios. We planned to build the brand together but unfortunately she and her fiancé moved to South Carolina so she hasn’t been able to be apart of the shop like we planned. But I still feel like she is a part of my shop and that’s why I decided to keep her a part of the name.”

That’s why she called the business Maker & Sage, M for Meagan and S for Stephanie. Plus, Ress says, she likes the meaning behind each word. The maker’s craftsmanship of vintage pieces, and sage meaning, having, showing, or indicating profound wisdom. “The pieces I collect inspire the fashion trends of today,” she says. “I love following trends in fashion and home decor, but they are always inspired by the original trends from 20+ years ago.”

Ress was able to go her own way and build this brand based on what she loves: thrift store shopping and trash picking. “It’s so much fun to me! It’s a thrill to jump into a mess and come out finding gold. When City Flea started I went to every market, and I always shopped from the vintage vendors. They always have the best finds, but I am DIY kind of girl, I like to figure things out and create my own. My shop is a creative outlet for me that gets me away from my computer,” she says. “As a graphic designer by day, I live behind a computer screen, I love being a designer, but I felt I needed something else that was all mine. No one can request edits or tell me I am doing it wrong. Its my shop and I can let my creativity run free with it.”

That creativity lets Ress continue to be inspired by fashion and home decor trends. She finds those trends walking around Cincinnati and going to concerts, bars, etc. just to people watch; it lets her see what people are wearing and play fashion police in a sense. She’s noticed a few things along the way.

“The 90s fashion is in, I’ve been rocking my own cut up denim shorts made out of 90s Lee or Levi mom jeans for 5 or more years now. And only in the past year have I seen large retailers sell 90s inspired high waist jeans/shorts,” Ress explains. “I like to find out what trends are going on and get on them before they are big.”

To learn more, shop online, and follow along, check them out on Instagram and Etsy.

 

 

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Read on to learn about the inspiration behind a local artist’s handmade wigs, and see why you’ll wig out to own one of her creations.

Wearable Wonders
Stacey Vest is the owner of Sweet Hayseed’s Wearable Wonders and designs custom wigs for customers.

CAPTIONS for photos 2 & 3: Photos with Ashley Marie Bowman by Jeff Kobberdahl

Local wig designer draws on inspiration from all over the city to create custom wigs for many different people. Stacey Vest, owner and designer behind Sweet Hayseed’s Wearable Wonders, believes that wigs should be thought of as art.

“My thoughts are any type of headdress or wig adds another dimension to an ensemble,” Vest says. “My tag is “art for your head.” which can be taken in a literal sense as wearing art on your head or, in my opinion, anything you see, hear, taste, smell or think can be art, so the head is a sacred place and should be adorned.”

While wig making may seem unconventional for some, wig designing came second nature to Vest. “At a very early age I’ve had a passion for fashion, an itch for kitsch. I believe coloring my hair with Kool-Aid and chalk as a young child set the tone and direction for wig making.”

Photo:
Photo with Ashley Marie Bowman by Jeff Kobberdahl

For Vest, wig making is her creative outlet to inspire others and fuel her creative passions. The one-of-a-kind handmade wigs offer a unique take on accessorizing. From luxe braids to colors all over the rainbow, Vest creates her one-of-a-kind wigs with artisan quality, and a flair for the extravagant.

“The fun in wearing and making wigs is that I’ve found besides doorways and low ceilings,” Vest says, “there’s really no limitations.”

Wigs might not seem customary for the average person to wear for a night on the town, but her custom creations can be used to liven things up or create a statement. With endless color choices, styling options and special attachments, wigs can be customized to fit a person’s personality or even a different persona.

For some, wigs hold a more special meaning than just adding a bit of flair. Typical for those suffering from illnesses that cause hair loss, or going through treatments can cause self-esteem issues in the lives of many.

Wigs can bring back some confidence in the lives of many. “I made a custom wig for a child with leukemia,” Vest says. “Her mother purchased it for a photo shoot during chemotherapy. I would love to be involved in such organizations as Susan Koman or breast cancer awareness. How great would it be to attend a pink wig hair ball to raise awareness?”

Photo with Ashley Marie Bowman by Jeff Kobberdahl
Photo with Ashley Marie Bowman by Jeff Kobberdahl

Fighting cancer with sass and a custom wig can add joy in the hearts of those who need it the most. Adding a smile on customer’s faces is what Vest enjoys most. “It’s such a huge compliment when clients respect my work,” Vest says, “and I am their official ‘go to’ wig maker.”

Vest hosts and also collaborates with local artists for parades, fashion shows and also local events. Her custom wigs have been featured in the Cincinnati Pride Parade, the Northside Fourth of July parade, and the Chicken Lays an Egg fashion show.

This summer, Vest is teaching a summer workshop at the Taft Museum of Art. Aside from attending local events and fashion shows, she sells her designs on Etsy at sweethayseed.com to offer high quality wigs to people all over the nation.

For more information or to purchase a custom wig creation from Vest, visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/sweethayseed. Or you can follow Sweet Hayseed’s Wearable Wonders on Facebook to keep up with the on-goings of the shop, and see all of her creations.

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This Cincinnati based-soapologist aims to nourish your skin naturally. Learn more about her soap and skincare line that’s getting national attention!

Swan Maiden Soap
Swan Maiden Soap is crafted with vitamin-rich oils and are made from sustainable ingredients.

Amanda Nielsen, soapologist and founder of Swan Maiden Soap, fueled by “hours of DIY shows” decided she was going to put her academic background in chemistry to use and make simple, handmade oatmeal soaps for Christmas gifts. That was 2009, fast forward to 2016 and Swan Maiden Soap won City Beat’s BEST OF for independent beauty line.

It’s not hard to understand why. Nielsen delivers skincare items and soaps that are crafted with vitamin-rich oils like olive, coconut, grape-seed, avocado and shea butter. All products are free of animal fats are made of sustainable ingredients, like organic no-spray herbs, grains, honey and beeswax.

“I like the creativity involved with playing with new essential oils and natural colorants. I like the science behind it and the quest to make things better by experimenting or tweaking ingredients, processes or tools. And I also like the challenge of dealing with natural ingredients that can be a bit fickle,” Nielsen says.

Swan Maiden’s ingredients are mostly locally sourced“I think where we differ – where we fill a gap – is sourcing locally, making a majority of our products vegan (vegan salves aren’t all that easy to come by), and appealing to everyone,” Nielsen says.

Swan Maiden Soap highly values their local roots but the company has also caught the attention of national retailers such a Remke, Whole Foods, and Fresh Thyme Market. “It might seem weird for our all natural soaps to be in a grocery store that carries all the “big” names in soap, but I’ll gladly take the Pepsi challenge with commercial products. We’ve converted a lot of folks who stood by their Dove but now use our Patchouli soap or swore by their Lava but now use our Mechanic’s bar,” Nielsen says.

According to Nielsen, Swan Maiden’s entire line of soaps and skincare are popular because of the quality but it’s also the finger Nielsen has on the pulse of her customers wants and needs, constantly refining her process and offerings based on conversations with customers. With that in mind, Nielsen does have a few suggestions for those new to Swan Maiden’s line.

Looking for a natural alternative this summer to insect repellant? <b><a>Jitterbug Insect Deterrent <b><a>https://www.etsy.com/listing/184428618/jitterbug-all-natural-insect-deterrent?ref=shop_home_active_2 100% natural blend of plant essences that deters pests and conditions skin. “I formulated it to deter a wide spectrum of insects and also to feel and smell good.” Nielsen says. It’s available in an 8oz bottle for $10 and 2oz for $6. “It’s been to every continent except Antarctica and I get to hear rave reviews from many world travelers and adventurers.”

Lemongrass Kitchen Soap Nielsen describes as a “harder soap formula, made with lemongrass oil and coffee grounds, that’ll help rid hands of onion and garlic smells after food prep” A store buyer once told me she enjoyed using it on her cutting boards as well! 6oz runs around $6.

While Nielsen is always continuing to perfect the product line she is also working with local retailers to expand her offerings to more locations.

Readers can enjoy shopping online on Etsy or at local retailers.

To see Swan Maiden’s Double Cedar Soap mid pour or the locally sourced spice bush berries used for the custom bourbon Cocoa-Spice Soap visit their Twitter. To find out more about special events and offerings follow Swan Maiden Soap on Facebook and stop by their website.

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A bearded entrepreneur recently launched his own line of handcrafted beard oil (it’s great for our legs too, ladies!) Learn more about him and why his products make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift!

P. Bunyan Beard Oil

Cincy Chic: What is P. Bunyan Beard Oil?
Adam Minard, Founder of P. Bunyan Beard Oil: P. Bunyan Beard Oil is a beard oil that contains just four ingredients or less of 100% oils.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind your beard oil business?
Minard: I’ve had a beard for almost 15 years now and a little over a year ago I decided to take care of properly, since it’s the only hair left on my head. After seeing how expensive beard oils can get while shopping online, and not knowing if I’d like the scent, I decided to buy the necessary products to make my own. After the concoction was created, and being a graphic designer, I couldn’t let the 1 oz. bottle sit in my medicine cabinet nude, so I created a label and wrapped it for fun. Once my wife (my biggest fan) saw it, she took a picture of it – and you’ll never believe it but that picture then got posted to Facebook. As you can imagine shortly after, a handful of responses followed wanting to know where you buy it. You’ve heard the phrase, “it literally happened overnight.” Well, it happened to me and I’m thrilled I can help those men out there who are enjoying it everyday like I am.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
Minard: I’m a one-man band. It’s created, handcrafted, designed, packaged and shipped from my man cave in Finneytown.

Cincy Chic: What types of items do you carry in the P. Bunyan line?
Minard: Currently there are four scents: Nog Cabin, Smells Just Pine, Ginger Baker and Message In A Bottle – which is the Valentine’s Day seasonal that smells like those candy hearts.

020816SPOTLIGHT2
The Message in a Bottle beard oil from P. Bunyan Beard Oil smells like candy hearts.

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for your product?
Minard: 1 oz. bottles are $20 and .5 oz. bottles are $10. The half ounce bottles are great for those who want to try it out without fully committing to it or hurting their receipt-filled wallets.

Cincy Chic: What makes P. Bunyan Beard Oil a good Valentine’s Day gift?
Minard: Message In A Bottle smells just like those candy hearts you crush like M&Ms during the month of February. It’s a great addition to that special occasion and it pairs well with Mr. Marvin Gaye spinning on the turntable.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for the business?
Minard: I have a beard brush in the works as well as a beard balm, which is used to shape your beard for those who like to let ‘em grow.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about P. Bunyan Beard Oil?
Minard: You can buy P. Bunyan Beard Oil on Etsy and learn more by following me on Instagram and Facebook.

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We chat with the free spirited creative mind behind One Dame’s Frames to learn how she brings her unique, embellished and custom projects to life.

090715SPOTLIGHTCincy Chic: What is One Dame’s Frames?
Betty Hancock, Owner of One Dame’s Frames: One Dame’s Frames is my brainchild. It is an avenue for providing framed and embellished, one-of-a-kind, unique and custom prints for sale.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind your business?
Hancock: The inspiration behind One Dame’s Frames actually came about many years ago. Since childhood, I have always been interested in crafts and art projects. Whether it be Play-Doh, paint by number, loop potholders, basic embroidery, ceramics and so on. Fast forward many years, now grown up, I always dreamed of owning my own business and being my own boss so I could do my own thing. I’m quite a free spirit and you can’t cage a wild bird forever. To have the chance to have a craft business, small as it may be for now, is more than I could have ever imagined. In this few short months, it has become a dream come true!

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind One Dame’s Frames?
Hancock: I’m the One Dame behind the frames. All of the work is done by me in my basement. Taking pictures, cropping, preparing for the website and posting is handled by my sidekick and technology guru Sarah Dashley, “the shop manager.”

090715SPOTLIGHT2Cincy Chic: When did you launch the business?
Hancock: One Dame’s Frames officially launched on Etsy in April 2015; however it has been in the making for the last three years.

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for your items?
Hancock: There is a wide range of prices for the framed prints, anywhere from $5 to $75 for some large framed sets. Also, for people in the Cincinnati area, we do provide free pickup or delivery to save on the shipping charges. We just ask that you contact us before placing the order so we can remove the shipping from the item.

Cincy Chic: What do you enjoy most about running One Dame’s Frames?
Hancock: The best part of running One Dame’s Frames is being able to do what I love, crafting. Being able to create and produce fun and inspirational pieces from home has allowed me to remain accessible to my elderly parents who now live with me. Another plus about starting this company is it has allowed me to spend quality time with my good friend Sarah. My mother loves the entertainment that comes from Sarah and I “working.”

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for your business?
Hancock: We are constantly trying new things. We have a few shows and vendor events coming up this fall to be able to showcase and sell prints in person. As for the prints themselves we are working on a couple new lines of styles—always keeping it fresh.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
Hancock: To learn more about One Dame’s Frames and to see the products, you can visit us on Facebook. We’re also on Etsy and you can find us on our website at www.onedamesframes.com.

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See how a a local stay-at-home-mom started a business designing and making glamorous headbands for little girls.

Stay-at-home-mom started a business designing and making glamorous headbands for little girls.
Stay-at-home-mom Korinne Morrison started a business designing and making glamorous headbands for little girls.

How did a stay-at-home mommy from Cincinnati turn her free time into a profit? She did it with Glam Bands, a kid-friendly, chic and stylish accessory company that was established right here in Cincinnati.

Glam Bands started out as a personal hobby for life-long Cincinnatian, Korinne Morrison. “Glam Bands allowed me to be creative and work from home while being a Stay-At-Home-Mommy,” she explains. “I’ve always had an interest in fashion and accessories but noticed that accessories for babies and little girls was so boring!”

The same bows and headbands were everywhere, and I wanted to create something eye-catching, creative, and fashion forward,” says Morrison when talking about her inspiration behind the business.

Glam Bands hair accessories are made using vibrant colored fabric, intricate jewels and fun textures that are great for your little girls, and sometimes great for mommy too!

“Originally, Glam Bands started as a children’s line but smoothly transitioned into an adult line when I saw interest from clients for creating custom designs for proms and weddings—including garters! It only made sense to offer Glam Bands to both!”

That’s why these bohemian-inspired head bands look great on not just kids but adults too.

Morrison used her ambition, coupled with her experience with Fashion Merchandising and Product Development from University of Cincinnati’s DAAP Program, to give fashionable moms what they want with hair accessories. Glam Bands launched in November 2014 when Morrison attended her first craft show benefitting “Go Encourage” at the National Underground Freedom Center in Downtown Cincinnati. The response was so great, it was then she decided to turn this hobby into a small business.

If you’re thinking of starting your own small business, Morrison says word of mouth is the best source of advertisement. That is how she has managed to grow her clientele and expand her customer base, along with social media outlets like Facebook.

These are not just your average head bands, Morrison says. They are custom made to every client with your choice of color scheme, flowers, beading, lace or satin and everything else in between.

Keep an eye out on Glam Bands as she will be expanding her business even more as she plans to open her own Etsy shop and each out to more local small businesses and boutiques. She’s already started selling her product in boutiques including Ash & Eish in Batavia and Junior Cuts Salon inside Recreations Outlet in Milford.

To learn more about Glam Bands, visit them on Facebook.

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A stay-at-home mom took her passion for designing children’s clothes and made it a reality. Read on to learn more about the local lady behind the “Ruffles N Buttons.”

Ruffles N Buttons is run by Krystine Turner, a stay-at-home mom who designs and makes infant gowns.
Ruffles N Buttons is run by Krystine Turner, a stay-at-home mom who designs and makes infant gowns.

Cincy Chic: What is Ruffles N Buttons?
Krystine Turner, Owner of Ruffles N Buttons: Ruffles N Buttons is a home-based boutique run by me, a stay-at-home mom with a mind and heart for design and creativity.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind your boutique?
Turner: I started making infant gowns a little over a year ago when I was just about due with baby No. 4. I loved that my baby could be comfy and stylish at the same time, how I could be creative and how it brought out the designer in me. I started getting asked if they could be ordered and it has just snowballed like crazy from there.

Cincy Chic: When did you launch Ruffles N Buttons?
Turner: I realized I’d found a niche and made it “Etsy official” and got a logo and such in April 2014.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
Turner: I’m the only one at this point. I am also a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of four, so if Ruffles N Buttons keeps expanding as it has this far, I’ll soon have to look into adding on helpers.

Cincy Chic: What types of infant clothing do you sell?
Turner: I make infant gowns of all styles for baby boys and girls. Name gowns, dedication gowns, cutesy gowns, fancy gowns. My gowns are used a lot for baby shower gifts, going home outfits for new babies, outfits for fancy occasions and pretty much any time you want your baby to be comfy and dressed to the “T” at the same time.

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for the gowns?
Turner: My normal gowns range from $30 to $45 while dedication gowns range between $60 and $95.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Ruffles N Buttons?
Turner: I always have new designs and ideas rolling around in my mind and try to get them out and available to order as fast as possible in between fulfilling orders.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more or order a gown for a little one?
Turner: I have an Etsy shop and I’m on Facebook and Instagram. I am most active on Instagram with behind the scenes posts and giveaways along with normal business postings.

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    From Project Runway to playdates, see how one local fashion designer was inspired by her newborn to design a new baby clothing and accessories line. Keep reading for all the stylish details.

    Althea Harper and her daughter Lilias, who was her inspiration for a new clothing ling, Lilias & Love.
    Althea Harper and her daughter Lilias, who was her inspiration for a new clothing ling, Lilias & Love.

    Children are a source of love and inspiration for many, including fashion designer Althea Harper. “My daughter, Lilias, is my main source of inspiration,” she explains. “I’ve always enjoyed working with and creating unique prints, and when I began to buy items for my daughter, I felt like I couldn’t quite find what I really wanted, so I set out to make it.”

    She’s no stranger to fashion design, either. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program and being the runner up on Project Runway Season 6, she launched her own fashion line, Althea Harper.

    10646935_294893207387471_3667319493399946110_nAfter her daughter Lilias was born, she realized an issue that many women face – especially mothers of girls. It’s tough to find something that isn’t glittery, pink and covered in bows. It’s even more difficult to find something that’s unique, Harper says, that every other newborn or toddler on the block isn’t already wearing.

    That’s why Harper, a native of Dayton, founded Lilias & Love, a boutique baby-wear line that features leggings, headbands and hats in cute and edgy knits, applique and screen print t-shirts in addition to custom fur vests and dresses.

    All of the items in Harper’s line, which just launched after Thanksgiving 2014, are handmade in Dayton.560184_312215325655259_1079212101461008513_n

    Harper is already expanding her newest clothing line. She says they just introduced a few new prints in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Customers can also expect to see a handful of new prints with each season. “As the weather warms up, we’ll be attending more craft fairs and creating some unique warm-weather custom-order items,” Harper adds.

    All items in Harper’s Lilias & Love line can be purchased on Etsy by clicking here. “Customers can request custom orders through Etsy as well,” adds Harper.

    She says that you can find sneak peeks and adorable pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and, soon, at www.liliasandlove.com.

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