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See how a passion for fashion ignited in the eighth grade inspired this local woman to launch her own jewelry line.

FINOLA Zaira Necklace

From sorting beads and supplies to teaching classes and designing jewelry for displays, Veronica Bucher has always been hooked on accessories. Now, she spends her time doing what she loves: creating her own jewelry line, FINOLA.

“It is the most satisfying feeling- being motivated and having a real impact on the success of something. Every minute that I put into this business, it puts back into me,” says Bucher.

Because she creates all of her pieces by hand, Bucher is not limited to using inexpensive materials or only designing things that can be mass produced. “When I buy jewelry from small businesses or individual artists, I always feel good about the fact that they aren’t mass producing and skimping on quality. Handmade items have so much meaning to me, they’re intimate and special,” says Bucher.

When she travels, Bucher always tries to purchase a piece that was handmade by a local artisan. She loves how it captures the experience of her trip and brings back memories when it is worn. She feels inspired when thinking about other people connecting with FINOLA designs in this way as well.

FINOLA Isabella Earrings

All of the jewelry Bucher creates are pieces that she would enjoy wearing herself. She finds inspiration in taking the time to make every piece high quality and unique. “It’s me, and if I’m putting my energy into something, I want it to count!” she says.

Bucher uses 14 karat gold-filled wire which is hypoallergenic and extremely gentle on almost any skin type. It’s more expensive than gold plated materials, but less expensive than real gold, which helps keep the prices reasonable without sacrificing quality. You can feel secure knowing jewelry that uses 14 karat gold-filled wire won’t fade or tarnish, and with the right care, will last a lifetime, Bucher says.

Lapis Lazuli and tassels are two of the trends Bucher predicts are going to be huge this spring. She has a thing for tassels because of their femininity and quirkiness, and also for their ability to turn any outfit into a bold statement. She creates each tassel by hand using silk embroidery thread, a tedious and time consuming process that adds to the excellence and craftsmanship of her work.

This spring, Bucher will debut her new line of Wedding Jewelry. She is experienced working with brides and their bridal parties, and finds it especially rewarding knowing she is making the jewelry someone is going to wear as they begin a new chapter in life! The pieces will be adorned with antique and Swarovski pearls, and vintage crystals that compliment all sort of wedding styles. She hopes to launch the new site in a few weeks!

In the meantime, you can purchase her pieces on and find her booth at City Flea. Follow FINOLA on Instagram and Facebook.

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Attention art lovers and fashionistas! A new contemporary art jewelry gallery just opened its doors. Keep reading for all the designer details!

Ombre Gallery offers vibrant pieces of contemporary jewelry.

The first thing you notice when walking into Ombré Gallery is the vibrant pieces decorating the otherwise white interior. Jenna Shaifer, owner and curator, recently opened Ombré Gallery to expand Cincinnati’s contemporary art jewelry experience.

After working in the fashion industry for over 12 years for designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, and Talbots, Shaifer focused her love of design on contemporary art jewelry. She moved from NYC to DC after being accepted into the Smithsonian/Corcoran College of Art + Design’s program for a Master’s in the History of the Decorative Arts. While in school, Shaifer also held a graduate internship position with the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Her internship offered her the opportunity to work with the Curatorial Department where she helped bring in the traveling exhibition, “Ornament As Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry From The Helen Williams Drutt Collection.” Shaifer credits this experience as the first time she became aware of contemporary art jewelry in theory and practice. “I met artists, collectors, and educators from around the world. And it was love at first sight!” says Shaifer. This is also when she began working at Jewelers’werk, one of a handful of contemporary art jewelry galleries in the United States.

Jewelry by Luana Coonen created using real butterfly wings and gold leaf

Even before relocating to Cincinnati, Shaifer knew this city had a strong sense of art history. “I see gorgeous murals on buildings by Artworks, and Oakley has the amazing Brazee Street glass blowing studios. This city was just waiting to be adorned. I noticed that there wasn’t a gallery dedicated to contemporary art jewelry in the area. So, the timing was right to open a space,” Shaifer says.

“What is wonderful about studio jewelry in a gallery setting as opposed to jewelry placed in a museum, is that you can not only look at it, but touch it and try it on and feel the weight of the piece. As much as I love contemporary painting or glass sculptures, I can’t wear them,” says Shaifer. She sees Ombré Gallery serving as a place for people to be able to learn about the jewelry and the artists who make the work.

To Shaifer, the pulse of art is living and breathing. She says, “You can feel it when you find an artist who is passionate about their work. I also attend exhibitions and shows happening across the country and around the world. My job as a gallerist is to show the depth and breadth of what is going on in the Contemporary art jewelry world.”

Currently, the gallery is showing over 28 artists, but new artists will be added every week, doubling the number of artists in the gallery by this time next year. Starting this March, Ombré Gallery will begin featured exhibitions.

The first exhibition is called “Jewelry Edition” which is a group show featuring seven artists including Laura Wood, Kat Cole, Erin Gardner, Anna Johnson, Lindsay Locatelli, Barbara Minor, Bryan Parnham, and Georgina Trevino. The gallery will continue to have exhibitions throughout the year while also hosting artist talks and lectures.

Additionally, themed kids craft events for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day will be held for the whole family to enjoy. Ombré is also available to be reserved for private events. Ombré Gallery is located on 4011 Allston Street in Oakley.

For more information on upcoming events or featured artists, go to their Facebook page or follow Ombré Gallery on Instagram.

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    A local designer is taking her 15 years of handmade jewelry experience to the next level by adding other handcrafted goods and an airstream to launch a new lifestyle brand with the help of her husband, sister, and in-laws. Keep reading for more about this entrepreneurial spirit and her new business that will inspire you to explore new places - in your wardrobe and life.

    The Letter G Design sells handcrafted jewelry created by owner Leah Durig.
    The Letter G Design sells handcrafted jewelry created by owner Leah Durig.

    For Leah Durig, design has always been instinctual. “It’s simply something that I have always done and felt born to do,” she says.

    Also a big part of her is the entrepreneurial spirit. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, she felt that it was only natural for her to combine her passion for design and merge it with the desire to own her own business.

    Bringing together design and entrepreneurship is what helped her to launch The Letter G Design, an artist-run company that specializes in original personal accessories.

    Leah Durig and her family.
    Leah Durig and her family.

    Not only is Durig the founder of the company, but she also serves as the head designer, maker, buyer, salesperson, and whatever role a project may require. However, Durig says that her husband Mikey Griffen by her side to help with the graphic design for the company as well as the construction of displays.

    “I have an amazingly skilled team that assists with the casting of my sterling and bronze pieces, and my sister, Lauren Durig Roos, assists with event sales,” says During.

    She also credits her in-laws with their help as she runs her business. “They are superhero grandparents that help with our two kiddos whenever running our businesses gets hectic,” she says.

    It’s because of the family participating that Durig says she considers The Letter G Design to be a family-run company.

    The Letter G Design also has a mobile shop.
    The Letter G Design also has a mobile shop.

    The history of The Letter G Design technically dates back to 2002, but as Durig explains, she started selling her work way before then. “In high school, Mikey and I would sell my wares out of our backpacks to the other students,” she recalls. “Haha! It sure beat getting an after-school job at the mall!”

    Shopping with The Letter G Design means that you’re going to get pieces that are not only original, but are timeless rather than on trend. “Having no formal training in jewelry fabrication has really allowed that to come through easily, I think,” says Durig. “I want my pieces to become the ones your grandchildren find in your jewelry box and love.”

    Most of the pieces Durig sells are made by her. “The sterling and bronze pieces we cast using the lost wax casting method and I have some help in the production of those, but all of the finishing is done by me,” she adds.

    All of the items available from The Letter G Design are handmade and one-of-a-kind or short-run pieces.

    Handcrafted jewelry made by Durig.
    Handcrafted jewelry made by Durig.

    Durig says that the thing she values the most about running The Letter G Design is the gratification she gets from running her own business. “Specifically as a designer, it’s very personal to put your work and ideas out there, basically to be judged, so when your business is successful, it’s very validating and flattering to know that people enjoy what you do.”

    Durig says that her favorite part of The Letter G Design is the thrill of bringing a new idea to life, although she does also enjoy working in her mobile shop and getting to know her customers.

    The future of The Letter G Design is looking as bright as the past, perhaps even brighter. Durig says that earlier this year, she and her husband renovated a 1957 Airstream that they transformed into her mobile shop. They decided to name him Herm the Airstream.

    Herm the Airstream, The Letter G Design's mobile shop.
    Herm the Airstream, The Letter G Design’s mobile shop.

    “We’ve been experimenting with him and are continuing to work on him throughout the year,” she says. “And next year you’ll be seeing him pop up more and more all over the region.”

    Durig says you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram for updates, show schedules, giveaways, and to see what she’s up to. You can also subscribe to her website for first dibs on new designs and access to special sales.

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    Learn about a local accessory retailer with lots of looks for less and an upcoming holiday shopping event you won’t want to miss!

    I told you last week about how I hosted a Virtual Party with Miss Em’s and now that all of my items have arrived, I’m soooo happy! Not only because I love all the pieces I bought (and it helped donate funds to my friend’s cause) but I also saved a TON off of the designer look-alikes.

    I wanted to be prepared with an example of how much I was saving when my Miss Em’s package arrived, so the hubs wouldn’t give me a hard time and I was SHOCKED to see how much I actually was saving! Just to give you an idea of how affordable (yet on-trend) her items are,  below are seven side-by-side comparisons of my favorite pieces and then the designer pieces that look super similar but are MUCH more expensive. Hey, even the husband was impressed, so I know I did well! haha!

    You can buy online, host a Virtual Party like I did, or shop in person this weekend at her Holiday Bazaar Nov. 5 & 6. Click here for more info!

    1. Miss Em’s Cream Opal Earrings $10.99
    Ross-Simons Opal Chandelier Earrings $595


    2. Miss Em’s Geometric Earrings $12.00
    Lenox Geometric Dangle Earrings $334.95


    3. Miss Em’s Filigree Tassel Pendant Necklace & Earring Set $18.00
    Ben-Amun Y Tassel Necklace $238


    4. Miss Em’s Earring/Necklace set from my virtual party $24
    Oscar de la Renta Flower Necklace $690


    5.Miss Em’s Earring/Necklace set from my virtual party $24
    Lord & Taylor Tri-Toned Pave Statement Necklace $176


    6. Miss Em’s Flower Bracelet $9.00
    Chanel Vintage Caged Camellia cuff $1,885


    7. Miss Em’s scarf from my virtual party $24
    Lord & Taylor Plaid Blanket Scarf $129


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    Last night, I hosted a virtual party with Miss Em’s  and it was AWESOME! I decided to make it a fundraiser for my friend Lindsay who’s trying to generate enough funds to do IVF and start a family (Miss Em’s will donate 15% of your sales to a charity!). So, a ton of my friends and Lindsay’s friends joined in to shop for a cause! It was really fun AND easy! 🙂

    In a few days, I’ll do a follow up blog with a video that I took last night, to show you how the party worked and also recap how much we raised for Lindsay! But seeing so many of my friends buy different items at the party last night, and knowing their personal style/how they would style them, inspired me to put together this post!

    My friend Lindsay is very sporty… a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. My friend Candy is very classic and corporate… a suit or LBD everyday kind of gal. And then my friend Jessica is in between as a teacher… a business casual kind of gal. So I picked out five Miss Em’s pieces and styled them how each of my three friends would wear them to give you an idea of the versatility!

    1. The Gold Bar Cluster Necklace and Earring Set ($20) — I added the Natural Fabric & Leatherette Bracelet ($14) for the “teacher” look


    2. Neon Multi-Color Necklace & Earring Set ($20)


    3. Coral Seed Bead Necklace & Earring Set ($22) — I added the Natural Fabric & Leatherette Bracelet ($14) for the “teacher” look


    4. Long Matte Necklace & Earring Set ($18) — I added the “Be Brave” Cuff Bracelet ($13) to the “teacher” look


    5. Silver Flower Necklace & Earring Set ($22)


    Check out to see these and LOTS more “look for less” pieces. Click here to contact them to set up a virtual party to earn credits to shop on her site for free (or give 15% of your sales to a charity like I did). Or, if you prefer to shop in person, Miss Em’s is having a Holiday Bazaar event Nov. 5-6 at the Anderson Senior Center.

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      This weekend marks one of Cincinnati’s biggest events, bringing together artists from across the nation. Cincy Chic gets an exclusive sneak peek into this year’s Summerfair show and its brand new Brunch in the Gardens event Saturday morning, all to benefit the nonprofit organization’s award, scholarship and exhibition programs for local artists.

      At this year's Summerfair event, Cincy Chic is teaming up with the nonprofit organization to bring you Brunch in the Gardens.
      Jayne Utter (left), Manager Director of Summerfair Cincinnati, says there will be more than 300 artists participating in Summerfair this year

      This year marks the 48th year of Summerfair Cincinnati, the region’s largest art fair. Summerfair 2015 will take place May 29 through May 31 at historic Coney Island, and it benefits Summerfair’s year-round programs that provide award, scholarship and exhibit opportunities to a variety of emerging (high school and college), individual (working professional) artists and local/regional small and mid-sized arts organizations.

      Jayne Utter, Manager Director of Summerfair Cincinnati, says there will be more than 300 artists in 12 categories participating in this year’s event, which ranks in the top 25 nationally each year among art fairs.

      “Judged art categories for Summerfair include photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, wood, metal, sculpture, glass, ceramics, fiber, leather, jewelry and 2D/3D mixed media,” Utter explains.

      Regional performers will put on musical, dance and theater products, gourmet arts with foods of all sorts as well as a youth arts area, Youth Art Rocks, for the kids will be at Summerfair in addition to the hundreds of artists who will be attending.

      More than 20,000 people attend Summerfair each year. Hours for Summerfair are from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

      The lineup for this year’s Summerfair includes a variety of music acts that will take place on Summerfair stages as well as at different spots on the ground.

      Glenn Parks will play the banjo in the West Gate area on Friday while Todd Hepburn will be on the melodica at the East Gate. Utter says that entertainment on May 30 will be featured at Moonlight Gardens. Anaya Belly Dancers will perform at 2 p.m., Cincinnati Sound Chorus at 3 p.m., Celtic Rhythm Dancers USA at 4 p.m. and Queen City Cloggers at 5 p.m.

      At the Gazebo stage on Saturday will be Kelsey Mira at 1:30 p.m., Don Steins and Jeanette Stelter at 2:30 p.m., Ricky Nye at 3:30 p.m., Erin and Sherry McCamley at 4:30 p.m., Ben Levin at 5:30 p.m. and Pam Ross and Jack Doll at 6:30 p.m.

      Jeff Henry, April Aloiso and George Simon, John Walsh, Katja and Brian and G. Burton will all perform on the Acoustic Stage on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and ending at 5 p.m.

      Can’t Stop Cloggers will start on the Youth Arts Stage at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday followed by balloon artist Pam Ryan at 12:30 p.m., Cincinnati Suzuki School Violins at 1:30 p.m., Cincinnati Highland Dancers at 2:30 p.m. and The Studio for Dance at 3:30 p.m.

      Saturday’s lineup also features strolling musicians including Sadei and Raiford in the West Gate area and Bob Poe in the East Gate area.

      East Side Encore, Hills of Kentucky Cloggers, Clermont Festival Chorale and Belly Dancing by Habeeba will perform in Moonlight Gardens on Sunday beginning at 12 p.m.

      Kaitlyn Peace, Brenda Folz Duo, Elizabeth Windau and Vigor will perform on the Gazebo Stage on Sunday while Ben Alexander, Lisak and Rowe, Bob Cushing and runaway Sidecar will be on the Acoustic Stage.

      Cedar’s Face Art and Balloons, Balloon Twister, Cincinnati Suzuki School Cellos, Acting Up and North College Hill Double Dutch Rope Twisters will take the Youth Arts stage on Sunday.

      John Keene will be strolling the West Gate area on Sunday while violinist Karen Addie makes her way through the East Gate entrance.

      New this year, Summerfair is teaming up with Cincy Chic to present “Brunch in the Gardens.” It will take place May 30 at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Moonlight Gardens. Advance tickets for Brunch in the Garden at $20 and are available at Tickets will be $25 at the door.

      Utter says this inaugural event is a fundraiser where guests will enjoy complimentary brunch bites, coffee from Coffee Emporium, swag bags, a photo booth and a fashion show featuring creations by Summerfair artists. Mimosa and bloody mary bars will also be available. Purchasing tickets for Brunch in the Gardens also includes admission to Summerfair.

      Proceeds from Brunch in the Gardens benefit Summerfair Cincinnati’s award, scholarship and exhibition programs for local artists and arts organizations.

      Summerfair is traditionally held the weekend after Memorial Day, and tickets are $10 (cash) and kids aged 12 and under are admitted to the event for free. The cost to enter Summerfair includes parking and advance tickets can be purchased online at You can also learn more by visiting the Summerfair website.

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      Learn about the locally-based line of jewelry featuring pieces that are heirloom quality wardrobe staples, made from materials with healing properties.

      Jimi Merk, owner and designer of Jimi Designs the Shine Your Light line


      You’re a multi-tasker. Your jewelry should be, too.

      That’s why Jimi Merk, owner and designer of Jimi Designs, began designing his Shine Your Light line at the young age of 23 as the only line of high-fashion jewelry used as a tool for healing. “I had been having visions and dreams about specific shapes that I would draw and doodle for over two years,” says Merk. “After being blessed by a shaman, I suddenly understood what the shapes were.”

      021615FASHION4These “shapes” that Merk was seeing were later discovered to be the language of creation, which would become more clear as information came to him over time in the form of ancient writings and scriptures.

      “I was open to following and trusting my guidance to create tools for healing and helping us to remember the language of creation,” says Merk. “I was guided to create tools for natural healing by carving these sacred forms in meditation, casting them in high-frequency healing metal and setting them with the most used healing stones of the world – and so the Shine Your Light jewelry line was born.”

      021615FASHION3The line itself has grown exponentially since its humble beginnings. What started as a couple of pendant designs has evolved into 46 pieces – ranging from rings, pendants and earrings. “No other line of holistic jewelry in the world is as nice in integrity and functionality as Shine Your Light,” says Merk, adding that they are the only line of healing jewelry to be completely in the USA that has a lifetime guarantee.

      “I now create many different healing forms that have been used for body, mind and spiritual healing as well as different healing stones from around the world,” says Merk. “I used to sell a few pieces a year and now we’re producing a few hundred a year. I expect that as we become more conscious and grow more in our truth that people will be guided more and more to these timeless pieces.”

      021615FASHION2Shine Your Light jewelry consists mostly of powerful high-frequency healing pendants that can be used for healing directly or as pendulums to help you see where energy blockages are. “We carry many pieces of healing jewelry that involve sacred geometry hand-carved in meditation and top quality stones,” says Merk. “The rings that we sell are also powerful healing tools that harness Fibonnaci proportions, sacred geometry and healing stones that have been used in cultures all around the world.”

      Merk’s personal goal to accomplish with the Shine Your Light line is to help people heal through physical, emotional and spiritual issues as well as to help people find their true core being. “One of the reasons I was guided to create this line is to help people remember what we come from and how fortunate we are to exist,” he says.

      Merk says it’s rewarding work because of the positive feedback he receives from clients. “The line is helping people every day and that is more than I could have hoped for,” says Merk. “I hope to see more people finding their truth with the help of this amazing, multidimensional jewelry and to expand more internationally. We are currently pushing the line through international wholesale marketing catalogs and promoting it to stores as well as wellness centers.”

      To learn more about Shine Your Light Wellness jewelry or natural healing, contact Merk at For jewelry design, natural healing, lifestyle development, intuitive readings and hypnosis, visit their home office at 127 West 9th St. in Cincinnati or This line of jewelry is also sold at the 5th Street gallery at the corner of 5th and Race Streets downtown.

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      Spend a romantic day with the one you love creating memories you will wear for a lifetime – all with the help of Gem Steady’s DIY wedding band workshops.

      Gem Steady is owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Robert and Brittany Stadmiller
      Gem Steady is owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Robert and Brittany Stadmiller


      If there’s one thing that Gem Steady knows, it’s how to create one of a kind, custom jewelry and experiences. From engagement and wedding rings to bold statement necklaces – if you can dream it, they can bring it to life.

      Gem Steady is owned and operated by husband and wife duo, Robert and Brittany Stadmiller. The concept first developed in 2012 when Robert came into Brittany’s life. Brittany had just begun playing with the idea of designing jewelry when Robert went out a bought a torch, an ounce of silver, and made his very first ring, which would later serve as Brittany’s wedding band a month and a half later.

      Together, Brittany hand selects all of the gemstones for their unique beauty and attributes, while Robert builds settings for them. “Neither Robert nor I have had any formal training in the art of jewelry making,” says Brittany, “but we haven’t let that slow us down.”

      Gem Steady designs
      Gem Steady designs

      Every piece of jewelry is handmade in their studio, which is now based in Cincinnati. “All of our gemstones are handpicked from trusted sources for their unique traits, sparkle and beauty,” says Brittany. “We melt, recycle, and form our own precious metals, bend them into rings, and sand our little fingers to the bone. Think of every piece as a tiny sculpture.”

      In the short time since embarking on their “jewel journey,” the pair has managed to spread the Gem Steady vibes worldwide. According to Brittany, their jewelry is now in demand all over the United States, Hong Kong, France, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and various places in between.

      Gem Steady will be expanding their endeavors as they launch their DIY wedding band workshops starting on Feb. 21. “This is a super romantic thing to do with your partner,” says Brittany. “A see a lot of people just go to a store or even come see me three days before their wedding looking to buy a ring, which I think is a very impersonal process.”

      Brittany says their DIY wedding band workshop is unique because participants make memories while creating their completely-custom piece of jewelry. “It puts a story behind the ring and allows couples to design every detail of what it will look like,” Brittany continues. “This is something you’re going to wear for the rest of your life – so we want to give you the opportunity to create wedding bands that are everything you represent.”

      The inspiration behind the concept lies in Brittany’s dedication to providing couples with a memorable day that they won’t forget. “I want to give couples a day that they can think about for the rest of their life – and rings that they want to look at every day,” she says.

      Pricing for a pair of rings starts at $900 plus the cost of materials. “We work with sterling silver, 14k+ gold, platinum, diamonds, precious, and semi-precious gemstones,” says Brittany. “We start off with our base price, but if you want something really detailed, the prices will vary accordingly.”

      What truly sets Gem Steady apart from other jewelers? Brittany says it’s the entire experience, as she makes it her mission to talk with her clients and meet with them one-on-one so she can create something unique to their personality and needs.

      “At Gem Steady, we aim to provide an excellent client experience from start to finish,” says Brittany. “Whether you’re in the market for something detailed and elaborate, or simple and sleek; we can assist in making your dream a reality.”

      Looking to the future, Brittany is determined to spread the word about Gem Steady. “I really want to have a bigger following behind Gem Steady and for everyone to see our high-end luxury styles,” she adds.

      To learn more, visit, call (859) 609-1083, e-mail or follow them on Instagram.