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Not only does she own Hyde Park’s newest women’s fashion boutique but her jewelry designs are now available at major retailers such as Anthropologie and NastyGal. Click for all the couture details.

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Atelier Adorn USA is a boutique in Hyde Park Square owned by Arlene Aranzamendez.

For Arlene Aranzamendez, fashion isn’t just about clothes and accessories. For her, fashion is a passion.

Aranzamendez is the founder and owner of Atelier, a boutique located in Hyde Park Square, that offers jewelry, clothing, accessories, fragrances and gifts. Aranzamendez originally opened her boutique in Madeira in 2014, and recently relocated to Hyde Park Square above Tanya’s Image and Wellness Salon.

Aranzamendez says she’s known for carrying statement jewelry. For example, some of the most popular items at Atelier are from the LUXE GEODES COLLECTION, which includes several geodes, crystal and pearl combinations.

What makes Aranzamendez’s boutique successful, she says, is that she considers the right fit and lifestyle of each customer. She gets to know her clients – whether they want to make a statement, try something new or just want to find something gorgeous and comfy to run around in while doing errands – and takes pride in being knowledgeable with the fit of the products she sells.

“It allows me to give them not only the right style, but also provide the right fit according to their body,” she explains. “It has to look flattering to their body yet comfortable for them to sit, and it ultimately feel right for them. It’s about finding something that feels right when you wear it.”

But what also makes her successful as a boutique owner is that she’s also a fashion designer. Aranzamendez has been designing jewelry for more than a decade, but now formally designs as the brand name “Konstantin.”

“I am proud to always stay ahead of the trends,” Aranzamendez says. “Most recently, I’ve been transitioning from our 2015 Konstantin Tabu Collection to the new 2016 Konstantin Gemma Flux Collection and Konstantin Axiom Collection.”

Arlene Aranzamendez, Owner of Atelier Adorn USA.
Arlene Aranzamendez, Owner of Atelier Adorn USA.

The pieces, which are PETA-friendly, animal prints, colorful artistic pieces, pieces with a man-made and earth-sourced materials, have landed Aranzamendez partnerships with retailers including Anthropologie and NastyGal.

When she’s designing pieces for her collections and choosing items to bring in to her boutique, Aranzamendez says she selects pieces that she knows will make customers feel good and beautiful. “I’ve spent years working as an entrepreneur in various service-based industries, so my favorite aspect (beside the fashion, of course) is the customer service and creating brand identities,” she explains. “I enjoy getting to know my customers and their unique needs and to enhance their personality, almost like creating their own brand.”

Aranzamendez says she especially enjoys preparing customers for special occasions. “I’ve style Atelier shoppers for black-tie fundraisers, CSO/Opera events and art openings,” she says. She most recently styled someone for the Cincinnati Film Commissions’ Carol preview screening at The Esquire Theater. There’s also a possibility that she will style a customer for the SAG Awards in Los Angeles.

Putting her years of industry experience and know-how to work, Aranzamendez helps mentor and inspire other up-and-coming designers. “It’s great to show them that we can succeed in a smaller market like Cincinnati, and that you don’t have to be working in New York or LA to connect with fashion and appreciate the amazing work of designers from around the world,” she says, adding that she’s motivated by the opportunity to help Cincinnati retain fashion designers and entrepreneurs.

Aranzamendez says that in 2016 she would like to focus on wholesale and further developing her Konstantin line. “Styling and designing are two of my favorite aspects of this business, so I intend to really prioritize that in the upcoming year,” she adds.

Atelier Adorn USA is open by appointment only on Monday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Find more information on Atelier by visiting their website or following along on Facebook and Instagram. Aranzamendez says you can stop in to the second floor location on Erie Avenue or email info@adornusa.com to schedule an appointment during store hours.

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We chat with the owner of Curate Boutique about her recent transition from a brick-and-mortar store to a redesigned retail site and her exciting new lifestyle blog, Radiant Rogue.

Courtney PeGan, owner of Curate Boutique
Courtney PeGan, owner of Curate Boutique, which recently transitioned from a brick-and-mortar store to an online-only retail site with lifestyle blog

The retail world is changing. No one knows that better than Courtney PeGan, who chased a dream – inspired by her late father – and opened Curate Boutique, a Hyde Park-based women’s clothing and accessories shop in 2013.

“Growing up, my dad had his own business for 40 years, so that was normalcy for me,” says PeGan. “I grew up working with the family and I saw how fulfilling owning your own business can be. It was always my end goal that I wanted to do my own thing.”

Over the course of her first two years in business, PeGan hosted events in her store, donating a portion of sales and 100 percent of raffles to her father’s foundation. In May 2014, she was able to award her first four-year scholarship to a local senior hoping to attend school. “It was so exciting to see all of the hard work pay off and to be able to positively impact someone’s life,” she says.

But along with the successes, there were also struggles. Primary of which, PeGan says, was the adaptation needed to accommodate changing retail behaviors that were making a dramatic shift toward digital. “I am an entrepreneur with a headstrong belief that there is nothing I can’t do myself – but this typically gets me in trouble when it is time to move heavy furniture,” PeGan laughs.

Turns out, she did need to move heavy furniture, because she made the decision to close the storefront in June 2015 and focus solely on the boutique’s digital efforts.

“Being my own boss and owning Curate Boutique was my dream. When I opened the doors to Curate in early 2013, my entire life changed. I loved working for myself. Even when I worked more hours per day and week than ever before, I felt energized and excited. It was easy to pour my whole life into it because I loved it, and I believed in myself and my tenacity. Unfortunately, wanting something and working hard doesn’t always yield business results that can pay the bills.”

After a two-month hiatus to redesign the website and logo, PeGan recently launched her new online-only boutique. She says the new Curate Boutique website makes it more user friendly, and more interactive with customers. In addition to Curate’s new e-commerce site, PeGan also relaunched her blog, now titled “Radiant Rogue,” to inspire her customers and reach them on a more personal level as she did in her store. “I loved connecting with shoppers in store,” she says, “and I wanted to preserve that personal connection in a digital way. I see Radiant Rogue as an opportunity to share my journey both personally and professionally.”

PeGan says she wants her journey of inspiration, risk-taking, adaptation and perseverance to inspire others. “I hope my story strikes a chord with some and inspires them to keep fighting for their dreams,” she says.

With the new streamlined business concept, PeGan says that lends itself perfectly to the new “Capsule Wardrobe Project” concept she’s excited to launch in the near future. According to PeGan, the Capsule Wardrobe Project is loosely defined as a seasonal wardrobe limited to 36-50 pieces of mostly high quality wardrobe essentials plus a few seasonally trendy pieces that mix and match easily. “The idea is that limiting the number of options in your closet doesn’t have to limit your personal style at all,” she explains.

To learn more, visit www.curateboutique.com. Use the code CHICFALL20 to save 20% on all new fall arrivals this week (expires Sept. 19).

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A Hyde Park-based business specializing in activewear and sneakers shares details with us about their new OTR location set to open next month.

Corporate’s Hyde Park store, located at 2643 Erie Ave. Photo by: Ben "Hatchmo" Iker
Corporate’s Hyde Park store, located at 2643 Erie Ave. Photo by: Ben “Hatchmo” Iker

Matt Tomamichael believes he did everything wrong when he began his entrepreneurial journey as the owner of shoe and athletic wear store, Corporate in Hyde Park. “If there was an example of everything not to do with a business, I was that example,” Tomamichael laughs, “but I was just so determined, I made it work.”

Today, Corporate is an athletic wear and shoe store, carrying mainly men’s merchandise but also a select offering of women’s athletic wear and shoes. Serving as the local sneakerhead’s paradise, you can find high performance and rare athletic shoes such as the Adidas Tubular 93’s or the Converse Suede 70’s High Top QS Edition

Corporate’s selection of apparel is also a collection of hand-selected rare finds, with brands including Publish Brand (from California) and Tackma (founded in Ohio and based in New York).

Tomamichael launched Corporate in 2008 with its original location in Springdale. In 2011, he relocated the store to its current Hyde Park location. Even though Tomamichael says he did everything wrong when launching his business, he learned and adapted quickly to turn it into a successful operation. So much so, he’s preparing to open his second store on Vine St. this October.

The idea for the second store began when Josh Heuser, owner of AGAR – an OTR-based event planning company – and Tomamichael’s close friend, suggested that Tomamichael look into an OTR location due to dramatically increasing foot traffic and its niche of fashion forward shoppers. Shortly after the suggestion, Tomamichael was coincidentally approached by 3CDC with the opportunity to open up a space on Vine, and the rest is history. “The moral of the story,” Tomamichael says, “is when it’s right you’ll know it’s right.”

Tomamichael says he envisions the Vine St. Corporate store to be a graduating extension of the Hyde Park store, as it will feature more brands, an extensive selection of shoes and apparel, and “only featuring the best of the best merchandise,” Tomamichael says. “The downtown location will have the clothing niche.”

AGAR and Corporate are teaming up to produce several events later this year once the new location opens. To get updates on progress and event invites, follow Corporate’s website, Facebook and Instagram.

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Cincinnati's newest boutique is moving from Madeira -- expanding into a larger space on Hyde Park Square -- just in time to celebrate its first year of business.

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Necklace by Ken Samudio, paired with black Konstantin dress (click to enlarge)

It’s been a heck of a year for Arlene Aranzamendez. Just since 2014, she opened a brick-and-mortar boutique, expanded her design business with internationally-known retailers, and is now re-locating the boutique from Madeira into a larger space on Hyde Park Square.

Although, Aranzamendez is no stranger to the fashion and design world. She began her career in 1995, working with Insignia Design Associates for five years and then worked for international design agency, LPK. In 2004, she started her business Aranzamendez Design, which specializes helping small businesses launch their brand.

In 2013, Aranzamendez launched a ADORN USA, a product line featuring high-end jewelry and bags, as well as handcrafted pieces from Aranzamendez’s personal line called “Konstantin” and a select group of designers. Then, in 2014, Atelier boutique was born.

“It was launched via our parent company ADORN USA. ADORN USA sells solely jewelry and handbags online; that being said, we didn’t want to confuse our customers by calling it ADORN USA,” explains Aranzamendez. “Atelier is technically Atelier by ADORN USA and carries much more, including clothing and hostess gifts.”

While she is continuing to do digital work part-time, she can add ‘jewelry and handbag designer’ to her repertoire. “It’s been such an exciting adventure for me to move from full-time marketing agency, website and digital entrepreneurial work to now focusing on building this new and different kind of business,” she explains, adding that she sees Atelier continuing to expand both online and in brick and mortar stores in select regions throughout the country in the next 5-10 years.

What makes Atelier different than other boutiques in Greater Cincinnati? “Atelier is about making a statement,” Aranzamendez says, explaining that she believes accessories should be treated as the “star” of the show. “The boutique is called Atelier, named after an old French term for a workshop or studio, especially of an artist, artisan or designer. It specializes in unique handmade jewelry and accessories such as handbags, clothing and gifts such as Vosges Haut Chocolat, Tokyo Milk and elizabethW.”

Another distinguishing factor from other boutiques in the area is that the clothing she curates for the shop is specifically selected to complement the jewelry line. “The jewelry is created to be more than just an accessory – each piece is designed to be a statement piece,” Aranzamendez says. “I’m also very selective about the materials we use; some pieces in the Konstantin line feature hardware in resin, while others feature eco-raw materials like beads and twine. I love the artisanal quality and I’m passionate about making each a true statement piece.”

Aranzamendez’s eye for style and unique designs are catching the attention of international retailers. In fact, Anthropologie, an international retailer of curated clothing, accessories, gifts and home décor with 185 stores throughout the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, currently offers custom pieces by Aranzamendez (online at Anthropologie.com). Additionally, The Autry National Center Museum, a renowned museum dedicated to the American West (located in Los Angeles) also carries the Konstantin line. Most recently, Aranzamendez and her team are in the process of establishing the line for retail distribution online at NastyGal.com. “We want to continue to see a growing online presence in the near future,”Aranzamendez explains.

Atelier By Adorn USA is located at 2716 Erie Avenue, on the 2nd Floor next to Tanya’s Salon. To learn more, visit Atelier’s website and follow along on Facebook!

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A local boutique is hosting its third-annual event that promises to be the “perfect fit” for both you and your mom. Read on for all the details.

New Vision Lingerie in Lake Placid, NY. photo by Nancie Battaglia

This Mother’s Day, give a gift that keeps on giving: looking and feeling great.

That’s the idea behind the upcoming “Mother’s Day Fit Event” at Knickers of Hyde Park on Hyde Park Square. The third-annual event includes refreshments, bra fittings, a 20% discount, and a fresh flower for each mother who attends.

“The inspiration really came from women stopping into our store for fittings and then saying they’d love to bring their Mom for a fitting,” says Jenny Schneider, Knickers of Hyde Park Founder and President. “So, we thought what a better time to treat Mom to a bra fitting, than Mother’s Day.”

According to Schneider, 85% of women are wearing the wrong bra size, while the correct bra size can slim your figure and reduce back pain, among other benefits. “I think it’s great to get a fitting every year just to check and make sure your bras are fitting their best, providing great support and comfort,” she adds. “We all change throughout our lives; especially during pregnancy and after. Going through the pre- and post-menopause years also takes its toll on us.”

Schneider says event bra fittings are on a first-come first-serve basis. “So contact us and schedule a fitting appointment for you and mom if you’d like to reserve a specific time,” Schneider says. “Or, if women have been unable to come on the event day, then they have come another day and brought their Mom, Grandma, Sister, Aunt or even best friend.”

Knickers of Hyde Park is located at 2726 Erie Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208. To learn more, click here, email knickersofhydepark@fuse.net, or call 513-533-9592.

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