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Want great looks for less? Check out this local consignment sale that’ll help you score high-quality clothing, toys, home goods and more for a fraction of retail.

The Changing Hands Sale is held twice a year to raise funds for Madeira Elementary School.
The Changing Hands Sale is held twice a year to raise funds for Madeira Elementary School.

Inspired by the desire to raise money for Madeira Elementary School, one group of parents knew just what to do – host a consignment sale.

The MES Changing Hands Sale is Cincinnati’s premier consignment sale. Not only does it raise money for the elementary school, but it also offers a great sale to the community.

Founded by parents Gina Graham, Brandi Warner, Tammi Chalfie, and Anne Dunn, the MES Changing Hands Sale is catered to sell items for children between the ages of newborn up to 12 years old.

“We sells gently used, high-quality clothing, toys, home goods, maternity items, books, movies, furniture, and more,” says MES Changing Hands Sale Committee member Megan Feichtner.

Since being launched by the four original parents who wanted to start a profitable fundraiser for Madeira Elementary School, the sale has since been passed on to a larger committee of 10 parents.

Through the sale, Feichtner says that the committee hopes to bring quality items as fair prices to customers while raising money for the children’s school for years to come.

With two sales a year, in the fall and spring, the items found at the sale are seasonal. “We allow consignors to sell clothes, shoes, sports equipment, furniture, toys, books, maternity items, holiday decorations, strollers, high chairs, baby toys, outerwear and more,” explains Feichtner.

Feichtner says that each season brings something new from consignors. “You can see examples of sale items as the sale gets closer by liking the Changing Hands Sale on Facebook,” she adds. “We often show pictures of items coming up for sale each season.”

If you’re interested in helping to raise money for the school, Feichtner says that you can participate as either a buyer or seller. You can register on the website to consign items in the sale. If you want to shop, check out the sale on September 17 at 9:00 a.m. “If you want to shop the pre-sale at 8:00 a.m. the day of the sale, you can get two passes by consigning items or get 1 pre-sale pass by signing up to help at the sale as a volunteer.

To learn more about the MES Changing Hands Sale, visit

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Learn about the power couple behind one Madeira-based nail and aesthetics salon that strives to do things a little differently.

Diana Nguyen and Ken Lai, Owners of Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa.

Diana Nguyen and Ken Lai, owners of Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa, are living the American Dream. They’ve grown from working part-time in the nail industry, struggling to make ends meet and completing their education to owning an award winning business.

According to Danielle Swopes, Front Desk Manager, the Madeira-based Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa stands out from the competition by “offering superior services with a strong focus on cleanliness and value for our clients, as well as fostering relationships. We recognize most of the faces that pass through our door, remember stories and details about families and life events. We don’t rush through our clients- we take the time to do not just a good job, but a great job!”

This focus appears to be paying off. Since their opening in 2008 Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa has won six awards from City Beat, and 2016 marks the third year in a row that they’ve won the coveted title of “Best Manicure and Pedicure.” In addition. They’ve also landed a spot as one of the top three Nail Salons in Cincinnati.

Choose from a variety of nail services and nail polish brands at Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa.

“Our clients are the inspiration for what we do,” Swopes says. “Providing superior quality and value and treating clients like friends and family.”

Part of Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa’s customer-centric positioning is choice. Swopes says clients have about 600 different colors from which to choose. They offer Essie and OPI’s full line of polish. Gel polish choices include Jessica, Gelish, and OPI.

As for trends, Swopes says this season it’s all about light pink and white. Classy, simple, and lightweight. A new and popular take on this classic look is a subtle ombre effect called the “Baby Boomer” of “French Fade.” Ombre has been trending in acrylics as well, technicians blend colored powders in the overlay to achieve this look.

As most of us know spring and summer are officially nail season! In order to accommodate clients Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa’s new location is three times as large as their previous building and they’ve also added several new highly trained nail technicians. They’ll move mountains to accommodate each client but Swopes suggests booking ahead especially for weekend appointments.

In addition to full service nail treatments Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa offers eyebrow microblading, facial and body waxing as well as lash extensions. Coming soon, they’ll be offering facials and massage treatments as well.

In order to accommodate their rapidly expanding business, Swopes says Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa recently relocated to a larger space in Madeira, located at 7835 Camargo Road. Learn more by visiting their website or like their Facebook page to get the skinny on upcoming events and specials.

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    This women’s fashion boutique in Madeira just got a facelift. We chat with the owner about lessons learned in the shop’s first six years, what’s new and improved with the remodel, and what’s on her haute couture horizon.

    Monkee's of Madeira recently underwent a facelift to give the store a bright new look!
    Monkee’s of Madeira recently underwent a facelift to give the store a bright new look!

    Want high-end fashion brands without taking the trip to New York, Los Angeles, or even Milan? That’s what Monkee’s of Madeira, aims to offer: a boutique tucked away in the heart of Madeira with the finest lines in clothing, shoes, and accessories.

    “At Monkee’s, you’ll experience boutique shopping as it’s meant to be – fun and personal!” says owner Liz Ziegler. “Our associates all have an incredible eye for style and are dedicated to delivering world-class customer service.”

    Liz Ziegler, Owner of Monkee's of Madeira.
    Liz Ziegler, Owner of Monkee’s of Madeira.

    Ziegler wanted to enhance the experience customers have at her boutique, so she closed the store for a week at the end of February 2016 for remodeling. During this time, they brought in new paint, lighting, furniture, and brands.

    Why the change? Ziegler decided that it was time to give the store a refresh since its opening in 2010. “We also wanted a chance to re-open to any customers who hadn’t stopped in since 2010 because our product and atmosphere have changed so much since then,” she says.

    In a store that’s not only affordable but also carries brands you won’t find anywhere else, Ziegler felt that brightening up the store and refreshing the furniture would be just the thing Monkee’s needed to showcase the store’s product, as well as the upbeat, friendly vibe they want to reflect.

    When Ziegler says they’re carrying new brands at Monkee’s, she says these include Tori Richard, Escapada, and the Akola Project necklaces.

    If you want to check out the refreshed look of Monkee’s as well as the new brands they’re carrying, Ziegler says there will be plenty of opportunities to do just that this summer.

    Customers at the grand re-opening of Monkee's of Madeira this spring.
    Customers at the grand re-opening of Monkee’s of Madeira this spring.

    “On June 9, we will be part of the Madeira Chamber of Commerce and Cincinnati Magazine’s Girls Night out in Madeira,” says Ziegler. There, you’ll be able to enjoy special offers as well as cocktails and desserts from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Monkee’s is also hosting its huge end-of-season sale that starts on July 1. “It’s something you don’t want to miss,” Ziegler adds.

    If you want a more personal shopping experience at Monkee’s, you can check out their private parties. Ziegler says that during private events, customers enjoy light appetizers, desserts, wine and champagne for 20-30 guests. “All shoppers during the event receive 20% off their purchases and enjoy a fun, relaxed atmosphere to shop and mingle in,” she adds.

    In addition to these private events, Ziegler says that Monkee’s loves hosting charitable organizations and will donate 20% of proceeds during the event or meeting to the charity.

    When asked what makes these charity events so special, Ziegler says that it’s about giving back. “We enjoy giving back to the community and the people that support us by shopping local, small boutiques,” she explains. “Donating private parties to auctions and hosting charitable organizations in the store are just a few ways in which we can give back to Cincinnati while having a really good time!”

    Monkee’s of Madeira is open Mondays from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Ziegler just recently returned from market where they purchased their Fall products, and she says she’s excited about all their fab finds.

    Monkee’s of Madeira is located at 6928 Miami Avenue in Cincinnati. You can learn more at or by calling 513-271-0038. You can also follow along on social media: “like” them on Facebook and Instagram.

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    We chat with the owner of a local dog behavior and training company to learn more about the unique ways he can help your four-legged friend become a well-mannered dog.

    Paws Look and Listen is an animal behavioral

    Cincy Chic: What is Paws Look and Listen?
    Nick Hof, Owner and Trainer of Paws Looks and Listen: Paws Look Listen is a dog behavior and training company in Cincinnati. We primarily work with clients in their homes, specializing in behavioral issues and dog & baby preparation. We also offer group classes every week for puppies and dogs.

    Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the business?
    Hof: I’m the owner and trainer of Paws Look Listen. I hold the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed and I graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Behavior and Training. I’m also a licensed presenter for the Family Paws program. I’ve has been working with dogs for more than a decade and am owned by three Saint Bernards and a mixed breed dog.

    Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
    Hof: Paws Look Listen was born from a need that we saw to help owners and their dogs. We often saw owners frustrated with their dogs behaviors and without the knowledge to know where to turn. Although we have extensive knowledge and experience working with a variety of dogs and their people, we don’t believe that we are the perfect match for every owner or problematic behavior. If we can’t help you, we can guarantee that we’ll be able to point you in the direction of the person who can.

    Cincy Chic: What types of classes do you offer?
    Hof: The majority of the work that we do is in-home training and our most popular program is Day Training. We come by several days a week and train your dog for you at your home and then show you how to replicate our results through simple training exercises. We also happily train owners alongside their dogs. Paws Look Listen also offers two group classes that meet on Saturday mornings. Our Surviving Puppyhood class is great for new puppy owners and Mind Your Manners is just the ticket for older dogs in need of some manners.

    Cincy Chic: When did you launch Paws Look and Listen?
    Hof: Paws Look Listen was launched in October 2010 and we will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary next month.

    Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for different types of training?
    Hof: The cost for both of our group classes is currently $160 for a full six-week course. The cost for in-home training can vary dramatically based on our clients’ needs but we always begin with an initial consultation. This is a 90-minute session the cost for which is $160.

    Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon for Paws Look and Listen?
    Hof: We are very excited to be launching a e-newsletter that should be sent out beginning next month. Your readers can send us an email at to be added to our mailing list. We are also going to be rolling out some new classes in the coming months featuring more challenging and realistic training classes which will include field trips throughout the Cincinnati area.

    Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more?
    Hof: For the most up-to-date information, we encourage readers to visit our website at, where they can read more about each program that we offer. We also post many tips, fun articles and adorable photos of our clients on our Facebook page, so be sure to check it out.

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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.

    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 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 “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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    Many brides are digging out mom’s old wedding dress to make it their own. Learn about a local expert who specializes in bridal alterations - from adding a simple “something blue” to re-fashioning mom’s dress just for you.

    A re-fashioned dress from Alterations by Toni

    Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue… for some local brides, their wedding dress helps them check off all of the above.

    A re-fashioned dress from Alterations by Toni

    Alterations by Toni, located in downtown Madeira, is a large shop with 12 experienced seamstresses on staff, each with their own area of expertise and more than 40 years of combined experience. They offer personalized fittings and boast the ability to tailor any garment.

    One of the biggest trends this wedding season is re-fashioning. “Brides want a little bit of their mother/grandmother/aunt’s dresses to be a part of their wedding gown, or a total remake of the gown,” says Toni Friebele, owner of Alterations by Toni. “The first goal is to make a vintage gown fit, either by adding panels or a corset back. Then comes the removal of dated sleeves and collars, re-design of the neckline or a transformation to strapless.”

    Friebele says it’s exciting – for her and the bride – to give new life to an old dress with sentimental value. “Clients can choose to add lace trims, beading, or extra/less fullness to bring the style up to date,” says Friebele. “Very often, we take the gown apart and just use the fabric to create the bride’s vision – something totally different. Some of our more cute and flirty looks have been lace crop tops with shorts and a high-low overskirt, or a short and fun party dress for the reception.”

    A “something blue” monogram from Alterations by Toni

    Alterations by Toni also offers a full line of bridal services in addition to alterations: veils, handmade garters, monogrammed robes and hankies, Spanx, ring bearer pillows, gifts for bridesmaids/groomsmen, storage until the wedding day and preservation of gown after the wedding.

    “In addition to expected bridal gifts, we have a full line of trendy bridal party gifts, all ready to be personalized with a monogram,” says Friebele. “Plus, jewelry and cosmetic bags, clutches and crossbody bags, beach and tote bags, as well as tablet sleeves and waterproof bikini bags.”

    Monograms are another huge trend, Friebele says. “We can monogram just about anything of yours, or we have items in-stock you can monogram too, such as bath wraps, robes, cosmetic cases, jewelry cases, totes galore, tea towels, wine bags, dinner napkins, coasters, baby onesies, bibs, bloomers, and receiving blankets,” Friebele adds. “We have more than 50 monogram styles in every color imaginable, so you can customize it just the way you want it.”

    Monogrammed robes from Alterations by Toni

    What truly sets the Alterations by Toni apart, according to Friebele, is their ability to complete a super fast turnaround for last minute emergencies. “This is especially important for bridal gowns that come in beyond expected timeframes from the bridal shop,” says Friebele. “Or we can do last-minute tweaks to make it fit just perfectly.”

    With the number of brides increasing by 28 percent a year, Friebele is ultimately looking to expand their space and add staff. “In an effort to continue striving for excellence, we really aim to hear the word ‘perfect’ from each and every bride,” says Friebele. “I want to be able to provide perfectly tailored garments at an affordable cost.”

    To learn more, visit or “like” them on Facebook.