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Women’s Initiative of Northern Kentucky is launching its inaugural Women’s Summit with an upcoming event. Read on for all the details.

The Women's Initiative of Northern Kentucky
The Women’s Initiative of Northern Kentucky is launching a Women’s Summit on June 29.

After seven years of helping professional women, the Women’s Initiative of Northern Kentucky is launching its inaugural Women’s Summit. The Women’s Initiative already has successful mentoring events, peer-to-peer roundtables, educational sessions, networking events, and an annual breakfast every January, so, said chair Laura Kroeger, a regional conference “seemed like the logical next step for such a dynamic organization.”

The Women’s Summit is aimed at female business and volunteer leaders in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. The summit has something for women who are at all stages of their careers, whether they are seeking a change, planning their own business endeavor, or just want to improve themselves and their careers. Kroeger wants to make sure the Summit offers tips that all kinds of professional women can use.

“So often we get inspired at women’s conferences, but we don’t always leave armed with lots of practical information to implement right away,” she said. “We want to inspire and educate. For many women, I think the Regional Women’s Summit can be a substitution for professional development that they would ordinarily seek elsewhere.”

Kroeger first thought of the Summit 3 years ago and it has been her baby ever since. After hard work and years of monthly meetings, “our dedicated group of women on the planning committee have made sure this is going to be the perfect women’s conference, from a detailed vetting process for presenters to a national search for a speaker,” Kroeger said. She stressed the committee’s dedication to the Summit and said that even though planning it was time consuming, “it has been a lot of fun to plan something new from the ground up.”

The Summit’s theme is “It’s Time to Take the Lead,” inspired by a book by keynote speaker Betsy Myers, the first White House Director of Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. Myers has worked with female entrepreneurs at the Small Business Administration, lectured at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership, runs the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University, and regularly addresses Fortune 500 companies on developing female leadership. The breakout sessions revolve around Myers’ seven principles of leadership: authenticity, connection, respect, clarity, collaboration, learning, and courage.

Sessions based on Myers’ work cover such topics as Perfecting Your Personal Pitch; Confidence and Mastery: How to Maximize Your Own Leadership Development; The Balance of Self-Esteem, Assertiveness and Stress Management; and Developing the Courage to Conquer the Next Level. Another session, led by Dr. Adrianne Frech of the University of Akron, is called Enough With the Mommy Wars: New Findings on Women’s Workplace Participation, Family Formation, and Health.

The Summit will take place on Wednesday, June 29, at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center near the waterfront in Covington. Registration will begin at 7:30 in the morning, and the keynote session will take place at 8:45. The fee for the first day is $159, with the entire summit costing $179 and a 20% discount for companies registering five or more employees. The fee covers morning and lunch keynotes, four breakout sessions, a continental breakfast, lunch, and the Shore to Shore networking reception.

Learn more about the Women’s Initiative as well as the Summit by clicking here.

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Read on to learn how the newest addition to Cincinnati’s food scene works to empower and grow local entrepreneurs through cuisine.

Findlay Kitchen
The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen is a shared-use, licensed kitchen facility offering local food entrepreneurs the chance to rent one of the 10 kitchens fitted with commercial-grade equipment.

Many know Findlay Market as a staple of Cincinnati’s culture. The local landmark brings the community together through a shared interest in food and fun. A project 20 years in the making, The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen has the same idea in mind.

Director Marianne Hamilton explains. “Our mission is to build and enable a thriving community of food entrepreneurs, who in turn will be ripe to contribute local food innovation, representative of our dynamic and diverse neighborhoods, and equipped to start, sustain and grow profitable local businesses.”

The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen is a shared-use, licensed kitchen facility, offering local food entrepreneurs an opportunity to rent one of the 10 kitchens fitted with commercial-grade equipment and ample storage space.

Hamilton continues, “This means being able to use a 60 quart mixer and 16-rack ovens for increasing your production of baked goods…It means making your marinara sauce in 40 gallon batches using our tilting steam kettle so you can spend more time selling your product into local retailers. And it also means you can finally start taking those 200 person catering jobs because you’ll now have the proper equipment and storage space to be able to prep, cook, assemble and deliver your delicious food.”

The Findlay Kitchen is opening with 36 founding members. Hamilton says, “This is almost twice what we had planned, but there were just too many incredible stories, passionate ideas, and delicious foods.” There is also currently a sizable wait list, so potential members are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Not only does Findlay Kitchen offer kitchen supplies and space, but they are also committed to business and entrepreneurial education. Hamilton says, “We are partnering with outside organizations to provide business support services to our Members on topics ranging from marketing and branding to legal and accounting support.”

The organization is also passionate about leveling the entrepreneurial playing field. She continues, “Not unlike the core values of Findlay Market, Findlay Kitchen is a place that we envision will help spur a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are creating an intentional space that is welcoming to all and that seeks out a healthy, diverse mix of people, ethnicities, products and stories. We strive to create a positive social impact in our community through empowerment, partnership and outreach.”

To become a Member, one must submit an application through www.findlaykitchen.org. Hamilton explains, “One must be, or have aspirations of becoming, a food entrepreneur that is passionate about their concept and has a good understanding of the work involved in starting a food business.” From there, an interview is set up to review business plans, enjoy taste tests, and discuss what is needed to start or grow the business. Findlay Kitchen also helps with licensing and regulatory processes and assists with obtaining any additional certifications.

Although Findlay Kitchen’s main priority at this time is to get the ball rolling with their current members, they look forward to community events and partnerships in the upcoming months. Hamilton explains their partnership with ArtWorks and their CO.STARTERS business development program, saying, “We will be hosting the inaugural Kitchen Edition class that is open only to food entrepreneurs and will have a food-focused, 12-week curriculum.”

Looking forward to the summer, Findlay Kitchen will begin incorporating cooking classes and demonstrations, pop-up restaurants, and community and corporate events. They also currently offer Open House Tours every Tuesday at 10 am through April and May which are open to all.

The Charlotte & Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen is made possible by a host of generous community partners including The Marge and Charles J. Schott Foundation, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. / U.S. Bank Foundation, and The Allen Berliant and Jennier Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund.

For more information on Findlay Kitchen and their upcoming events, visit www.findlaykitchen.org. Findlay Kitchen is located in the historic Findlay Market District at 1719 Elm Street.

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    It’s not easy being a mom, but one local woman is lessening the load by launching Soul Work For Moms. It’s a place where moms let down their guard, share, and help each other navigate the bumpy realities of motherhood. Read on for all the details.

    Soul Work For Moms, launched by Michelle Duncan-Wilson, is a new community resource that lets mothers find
    Soul Work For Moms, launched by Michelle Duncan-Wilson, is a new community resource that lets mothers overcome the emotional difficulties of being a parent.

    Motherhood can introduce you to a lot of unexpected obstacles you never thought you’d face, but perhaps one of the biggest ones may be the emotional difficulties you run into along the way.

    To help you get over those bumps, Michelle Duncan-Wilson launched Soul Work For Moms, a new community and online resource for mothers who are looking to grow spiritually through motherhood.

    Duncan-Wilson was inspired to launch Soul Work For Moms through her own personal struggles in motherhood. “I became a mother 17 years ago, and after the birth of my second child 9 years later, I found myself wondering why I could find any emotional support resources besides therapy sessions and articles about postpartum depression,” she explains.

    At a time when she needed these support resources the only thing she was able to find online were blogs about how to organize your baby’s closet and recipes for gluten-free cookies, which isn’t what she was looking for.

    So, the Cincinnati native and now mother of three children decided to set off on her own and launch Soul Work For Moms, which officially launched on February 29 when the Soul Work For Moms Podcast went live.

    While it may seem like launching an online community and resource for mothers was the easiest conclusion, Duncan-Wilson says that the creation of this emotional support tool came after she talked with a girlfriend about her dreams of creating a workshop for moms. “I wanted to create something that would give mothers a chance to get together and talk about the realities of mothers, identify the parts they are struggling with and create a map of how to work through those struggles,” she says. “In the nicest way possible, my friend demanded that I create the workshop and even challenged me to email all the mothers that I knew to invite them to my home to participate.”

    Duncan-Wilson says it was just the thing she needed and the accountability that arose from knowing that 15 women would be at her house in 8 weeks to go through the material forced her to create what it was she’d been dreaming of.

    When it comes to soul work, Duncan-Wilson says that she wants to help others use the hardest parts of their life and use them as personalized tools for growth. “For example, if you look in the mirror every day and cringe, that is an opportunity for soul work,” she explains.

    “Our society tells us if we don’t like what we see in the mirror we need to work out more, eat less or book a consultation with the plastic surgeon,” says Duncan-Wilson. While she says she isn’t against any of those things, she sees it as an opportunity for more.

    Why do you cringe? What beliefs do you adhere to that make you think you are less than beautiful? Is it trying to be a reminder that you aren’t prioritizing time for self-care, like exercise and healthy food preparation? Or are you hearing words that were spoken to you in the past from people who were unkind or needing to grow themselves? Does it trigger a fear of abandonment or not being loved? These are all questions that Duncan-Wilson challenges mothers to ask themselves when they aren’t liking what they see in the mirror.

    Duncan-Wilson wants to help you heal these wounds of the past and help you grow into your potential so that you can live the life you were put here to live. “I call it ‘evolution through mothering,’’ she says.

    Duncan-Wilson hopes that Soul Work For Moms encourages and empowers mothers to see that the hard parts of mothers are happening for them, not to them. “If you make a conscious decision to grow personally and spiritually through these experiences, there is a whole other world available for you to access, one that you can’t experience by living in fear,” she says.

    On the Soul Work For Moms website, you’ll find a podcast, a blog and other gifts. Duncan-Wilson says that the podcast is a direct result of the workshop. “The mothers all reported having great experiences with the content, but the biggest surprise for me was the feedback that one of the most healing parts of the day was hearing the struggles and strengths of other moms,” she says. “I wanted to create an outlet for more of that; a way to connect with other mothers while you’re doing the laundry, driving to work or stuck on the couch with a napping baby on your chest.”

    The podcast is a combination of interviews with expert guests offering ways you can grow in mothers and interviews with mothers from all different backgrounds, sharing the ups and downs of their journeys in motherhood.

    Soul Work For Moms also features a blog, where there are announcements of live events, new podcast episodes and Duncan-Wilson occasionally sharing her own experiences of motherhood.

    Duncan-Wilson also wanted to give back to mothers in other ways, so she offers free gifts on the Soul Work For Moms website: Morning Meditation for Moms, her favorite quote and Soul Work Sheets.

    The morning meditation is a quick way to get grounded and start your day with intention. “Listen to this track in the morning to be reminded of the power and importance that you hold as a mother,” says Duncan-Wilson.

    Duncan-Wilson’s favorite quote, “You Cannot Disappoint Me,” is also on the site. “I have it hanging in my boys’ bedroom, and nothing reminds me more of what I want to convey to my children,” she says. You can download and print it out to hang in your home, or save to your phone as your wallpaper.

    Each week, Duncan-Wilson puts up Soul Work Sheets. You can download a free worksheet with journaling questions specific to that week’s podcast. “It’s a great way to take the information from the podcast and apply it specifically to your own life,” she says.

    Aside from being a source of support for other women, Duncan-Wilson says that through Sould Work For Moms she’s learned a lot about her own journey. “I would say the most impactful areas have been learning how to connect with my children from a place of unconditional love, learning how to handle intense feels when they arise, learning how to communication with my husband in a healthier way and learning that my self-worth is so much more than my job, my bank account or matching today’s standards of beauty,” she says. “The other thing I’ve learned through Soul Work For Moms is that as mothers, we all want the same thing: for our children to be healthy and happy, and to know that what we do makes a difference.”

    When it comes to the future, Duncan-Wilson says that there are currently a few workshops and retreats in the works, but no dates have been scheduled yet. However, those who want to be in the know of future events can join the mailing list at soulworkformoms.com or follow along on social media.

    Learn more about Soul Work For Moms at www.soulworkformoms.com. You can also follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The Soul Work For Moms Podcast can be found on iTunes and Stitcher (for Android). There’s also a place on the website that allows you to listen to the podcast.

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    Learn about a luxury fashion brand that’s helping local women feel empowered and stylish, through their clothes and business opportunities.

    W by Worth offers
    W by Worth aims to empower women through its private label direct clothing sales.

    W by Worth is empowering women to feel spirited, sexy and smart through its private label direct clothing sales.

    Sold only through stylists across the country, W by Worth was inspired by a passion for excellence, luxury and sophisticated style, according to W by Worth Director of Business Development Patty Browning. “W by Worth combines fashion-forward style with unique looks for every occasion,” she says. “There is always an eye-catching yet no-fuss solution to the ‘what do I wear’ dilemma.”

    What makes it unique is that W by Worth offers one-of-a-kind personal shopping experiences through its stylists. Each experience is held in a private, one-on-one atmosphere. “We carefully curate a wardrobe to fit your tastes, your figure and your lifestyle for effortlessly chic dressing,” she adds.

    Styling services from W by Worth give consumers a fun and highly personalized shopping experience. There’s wardrobe-building and event-specific dressing available, with stylists available who understand the fashion demands of your lifestyle and guide you to solutions that you’ll love. “It’s a unique, intimate approach to shopping that keeps women in the know looking effortlessly chic,” says Browning.

    If you’re interested in meeting with a Stylist, you can do it in person or online through a virtual shopping appointment. Browning adds that the more a Stylist gets to know you, the better she can tailor your wardrobe season after season.

    W by Worth also offers a Travel Trunk program, which allows you to host a private selling event with your friends and earn generous hostess rewards and benefits, according to Browning.

    Browning says the W by Worth collection starts at $78 and goes up up around $398 for specialty pieces, including leather.

    In addition to fashion, W by Worth believes in giving back. “We strive to improve the lives of all women through our philanthropic program, Every Woman Has Worth, which gives back to the causes closest to our Stylists’ and consumers’ hearts by donating clothing,” says Browning.

    In the five short years since its debut, W by Worth has quickly grown. Browning says that this year the company is hoping to increase the number of stylists by leaps and bounds with a great business opportunity. “W by Worth is an opportunity unlike any other – one that combines social skills with business skills, creativity with strategy,” according to the W by Worth site. “At W, you have flexibility, unlimited earning potential and the opportunity to work with amazing women, not to mention an incredibly stylish wardrobe. Regional support teams help you get up and running and ongoing training strengthens your business and fashion savvy alike.”

    Click here to learn more about Sarah Lauren Allen, Showroom Director at W by Worth, and her work as a Stylist for the company. “We’re looking for lots of fabulous women like Sarah to be stylists,” says Browning. “I encourage women to contact me if they have any questions or want to get additional information about the opportunity!”

    To learn more about W by Worth, visit www.wbyworth.com. You can also contact Browning directly via email or by calling 502-424-2528.

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    Learn more about this grocery delivery service that caters to your food shopping needs so you can spend more time doing what you love.

    032816HEALTH

    Brandy Goss, owner of Dashing Delivery, understands the struggle of busy people as they search for balance in an increasingly faced paced world with competing responsibilities. This struggle is exactly what lead her to open Dashing Delivery, a grocery delivery service that cuts out time-consuming grocery shopping. “I was trying to find ways to save time for myself and the many hats I wear,” Goss says.

    In 2014, Goss opened Dashing Delivery, with the goal to provide the most streamlined grocery shopping experience for Cincinnati residents.

    “Dashing Delivery is a one stop shop for grocery shopping we don’t fit into any one niche group. My service is no obligation. Customers do not have to create profiles, remember passwords or any of that junk. Just go to the website and start shopping,” Goss says.

    Dashing Delivery provides competitive pricing by sourcing from multiple vendors to find the best deals for its clients and these deals are advertised on their website. Clients can also request the store their groceries are bought from.

    “We provide such a wide variety of brands from generic to top shelf name brands,” Goss says. The on-call delivery fee is $5, with an order minimum of $25. “If you consider how much the average person spends on a trip to the grocery store, including using gas, a delivery service can actually save you money, especially because you are less likely to impulse buy,” Goss says.

    Dashing Delivery also provides special event catering and craft services with savory and sweet menus available upon special request.

    Eliminating impulse buying and cutting back on stress are the two biggest health benefits that Goss believes Dashing Delivery provides its clients. Yes, health benefits. Impulse buying is not only a financial strain, it is often the culprit behind unhealthy eating, Goss says. The stress of spending a few hours of your your time at a big box store or making multiple smaller trips a week with an overwhelming amount of product choices is a source of irritation for many. “I want my clients to have a life that isn’t based around running errands,” Goss says, “instead of being with [their] friends and family and enjoying this city.”

    Goss conveys that as more people have tried Dashing Delivery, word of mouth has spread about the convenience factor, especially with single and working parents. “I have several seniors who utilize the service but it has had the biggest impact on single dads and working professionals who have to find the balance of taking care of their home when they are literally never there,” Goss says. “They are always working or running around for their kids.”

    Getting started with Dashing Delivery is simple, Goss adds. Visit www.dashingdeliverycincy.com to start shopping. Clients can either select express one hour delivery or on call schedule delivery and check out using a secured payment system. Orders can also be emailed to orders@dashingdeliverycincy.com.

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    What are the secrets to looking and feeling your best? Read on as Kelly Heid of Makeup by Kelly has the answers.

    Makeup by Kelly
    Makeup by Kelly offers personalized makeup applications and a beauty blog.

    Lookin’ good and feelin’ better isnt’ just a saying for Kelly Heid of Makeup by Kelly, it’s her business mantra.

    Heid says she knows the variety of makeup products and advice is overwhelming, so she not only provides a beauty blog but also personalized makeup applications.

    Heid’s passion for beauty began when she was little, but she says working in a salon is what lit the fire. “Working in a salon and being in that creative atmosphere really sparked something inside me,” Heid says. Things really took off when she did her sister’s makeup (for her own wedding) and friends liked the look and began requesting Heid to do their makeup as well.

    At this time Heid’s beauty business is a one-woman show, although she is in the works of bringing an apprentice on to help with some of her larger projects.

    Kelly Heid, Founder of Makeup by Kelly
    Kelly Heid, Founder of Makeup by Kelly

    Currently, Heid is sharing her passion for beauty through public blog posts and personalized private bookings. She says Makeup by Kelly is already a pretty large project on its own, but she hopes to one day own a studio where she could offer classes and host makeup parties. “That is the dream, but for now I’m just doing what I love and feeling really grateful,” Heid says about opening her own studio.

    Getting the scoop on Heid’s most tried and true products proved a little difficult as she shares the universal struggle of choosing between the endless amount of options available. Though, when forced to pick Heid says. “I am a mascara junkie and my current obsession is with the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. The brush on that wand is amazing!” But, when looking for effortless and easy everyday picks Heid says that the necessities include a good BB cream, mascara and a cream blush that can be used for both lips and cheeks.

    These beauty picks also make it easier to achieve the “no makeup makeup look,” one of the hottest beauty trends right now. says Heid. Although, she warns it’s not always as easy to pull off as people assume. “It’s about flawless skin, a little contour and defined eyes. Lips with pressed in, barely-there color,” she advises. Additionally, to give your eyebrows a little love as Heid says, “a little shaping and creating some definition can go a long way.”

    For more information, visit http://www.makeupbykellyheid.com/.

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    One local wedding planner is using her creativity to make dream days come true, and also inspiring local professionals to get creative in their fields too.

    Founder of Rachel Lynn Studio
    Rachel Murphy, Founder of Rachel Lynn Studios

    When a love for helping others comes together with a flair for the creative, Rachel Murphy found her calling. “I love weddings because it combines everything I’m passionate about: helping others, creating an unforgettable experience, bringing people together, flowers, decorations, love, dancing…I could go on and on,” she laughs.

    Murphy went to school for art education, “but I pretty much knew before I graduated that I might not love being in the classroom,” she explains. “[However], I’ve always had the urge to teach and/or help others [while] fulfilling my creative, artsy side.”

    Wedding planning bloomed out of a gig as a floral designer. Murphy explains, “[We] were expecting our first child and I just wanted to do something fun that I had always had an interest in.” Her friends began requesting her floral expertise for their own special days, which gradually expanded to her now all-encompassing wedding planning services called Rachel Lynn Studios.

    Murphy was raised by entrepreneurs, she says, “I’ve never had a clear picture of what I wanted to be when I grew up,” she recalls. “I can say, whatever job I was doing, I would dream about putting on really incredible events.”

    Rachel Lynn Studios designs all aspects of the wedding planning process. They are based out of Cincinnati, but have also planned events in Dayton, Columbus and Northern Kentucky. “And if anyone wants to fly me somewhere tropical, I’ll happily plan an event there too,” she jokes.

    Murphy says her secret to success is getting to the root of what brides truly want out of their wedding, and their life. “I [always] ask, what are the images that seem to pop up over and over again,” she explains. “Those images tend to be the important stuff and give a good sense of what you want your wedding to feel like.”

    Regarding her philosophy on wedding planning, Murphy says, “I believe in shaking things up a bit. Find a few places you can break away from the mold, from how things are always done.” She adds, “Also, I believe in enjoying the whole planning process. There will be some tough decisions to be made, but at the end of the day, we’re literally celebrating love. What’s not fun about that?”

    Beyond being the engine of the planning process, Murphy enjoys bonding with brides over their special days. “I find a huge part of my job is just reassuring brides that it’s going to be okay, and to keep focused on the real reason for the wedding,” she says. “The dress, the flowers and the festivities are all just a bonus.”

    Murphy also expands her services outside of the wedding realm, including “trainings, dinners, golf outings, birthday parties, donor events, showers or just a good old-fashioned party. There aren’t enough of those these days.”

    This past year, Murphy partnered with her “business bestie” Sara Cormier of Cormier Creative to move into a studio space. The space, Creative Hook Up, hosts a variety of events to bring creative small businesses together. “We host chats over coffee for creatives, and we’re also offering different classes and workshops that we think small business owners would benefit from,” she says.

    To learn more about Rachel Lynn Studio, visit www.rachellynnstudio.com and follow along on Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the Creative Hook Up, visit www.thecreativehookup.com.

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    Learn about the recently launched LOOP networking events that offer monthly opportunities to learn new skills and get expert advice on trending topics.

    Michelle
    Michelle Vondrell, Founder of LOOP Networking

    Get in the loop about who and what’s in the loop. That’s the idea behind the new monthly LOOP networking events, which Michelle Vondrell recently launched to help Cincinnati professionals network with others representing businesses based in and around the Interstate 275 loop.

    The idea began with Vondrell’s conversation with her mentor and it’s turned an organized effort to help other local business owners and professionals get connected and be inspired. “We decided to take the things that have the biggest value and create it,” Vondrell says. “Speakers with trending topics and an open forum. We call it ‘Vistage’ light.”

    The LOOP events showcase a speaker that discusses a trending topic, and then continues on with open question time with the speaker. “It was designed originally for solo entrepreneurs like myself who have a lot on our plate to run, design, market and actually run the business,” Vondrell says. “We knew that there are many others like us in the city.”

    Vondrell wanted to combine all of the positive attributes she saw in networking events with the traits that add the most value for attendees. After a successful launch, Vondrell says, their events attract business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers and a variety of other professionals.

    “Everyone was able to leave with great notes, actions, plans, etc.,” Vondrell says. “The open question time is so valuable. People are able to ask real questions, and receive real answers.”

    The topics for the LOOP events are decided by Vondrell and Bambi Merz based on what they believe will offer the most value for local business people. “Bambi and myself are in the community and very connected,” Vondrell explains. “We ask a lot of questions, and of course running our own businesses certainly assists with the ideas.”

    The first LOOP event was facilitated by Rick Barron, who is an expert in SEO, and discussed why businesses might not rank first in Google for the most important keywords. The second LOOP event was facilitated by Kendra Ramirez, who works as a digital strategy, training, and consultant in the Cincinnati area. She gave advice on using Twitter for business to show how to use certain tools to increase engagement and productivity.

    The next event LOOP event takes place on April 11 at the UNO Pizzeria and Grill in West Chester, and Vondrell says, “Guests can expect to leave with real time answers for real questions happening every day in their business.”

    To learn more, visit LOOP Networking on Facebook.

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      In a world that’s often torn by its differences, one local lady is bringing Cincinnati together through a mixed media installation that shares stories of those who live in it, and why they love it. Learn more about the project and how you can get involved to share your story, too.

      1 Degree of Separation is a mixed media installation that's sharing the stories of Cincinnati residents and why they love the city.
      Kailah Ware, founder of 1 Degree of Separation

      Six degrees is all that separates us from everyone and everything by way of introduction, according to Frigyes Karinthy. That’s why a new mixed media installation was created, with a goal of bringing the city closer, as it introduces you to various Cincinnatians and why they love living here.

      1 Degree of Separation, a projected launched by Kailah Ware and sponsored by People’s Liberty, MidWest Grip and Lighting and Electric Art, uses community-sourced stories to ask and answer the question, “What do you love about Cincinnati?”

      “At the installation site, 1 Degree of Separation will use touch screen technology to activate films, photos and motion graphics that tell engaging stories of Cincinnati residents,” explains Ware. “While viewing a silhouette of Cincinnati’s skyline, viewers will be able to select and view the stories of their choosing, and at the end of the installation, viewers will have the opportunity to film themselves and share their own experiences with the city.”

      Ware was inspired to launch a project like 1 Degree while she was taking photos during the Washington Park free concert series. “I saw a man in a suit and a man who has possibly experienced homelessness sitting on the same bench enjoying the same concert,” she explains. “At that moment, I realized that these two individuals probably don’t have anything in common other than the fact they both live in Cincinnati and they were both enjoying the city.”

      Ware says she was moved to initiate the project because there plenty of things tearing communities apart right now, and she wanted to create something that counteracts that. “I made this project to bring people in Cincinnati together,” she adds.

      According to Ware, 1 Degree of Separation will travel to multiple locations throughout Cincinnati, placing the spotlight on diverse stories. “These community-sourced stories focus on people’s positive experiences in Cincinnati and foster a spirit of inclusivity that will make the city of Cincinnati a thought leader in the use of storytelling as a model for strengthening its communities.”

      With the help of People’s Liberty, MidWest Grip and Lighting and Electronic Art, Ware says that she aims to create community with her project and to help those in Greater Cincinnati feel more connected to each other through the mixed media installation. “I also want to show the cultural, economic and racial diversity of Cincinnati,” she says.

      Ware says that she wants to hear your stories, too. “1 Degree of Separation will be booking shoots until April 1,” she adds. If you or your business would like to be represented in the installation, send an email to 1degreesep@gmail.com.

      For more information on the project itself, visit www.1DegreeofSep.com. You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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      Learn about the Tri-State’s dynamic duo teaming up to offer you indispensable feedback and business advice on the questions you've always wanted to ask.

      Critique This! is a
      Critique This! allows you to pitch ideas to a panel of business owners for constructive criticism.

      Have you ever needed honest advice on a business idea or a pitch, but had no one to ask but family and friends? The upcoming “Critique This!” event offers you the ability to pitch your ideas to a panel of successful business owners for constructive criticism.

      Critique This! is a feedback-based event where local creatives, business owners, future entrepreneurs and anyone else with a business-like mind can share ideas and get honest feedback.

      “Usually, if you want honest feedback, you either have to get really creative about who and how you ask, or you have to pay for it,” Sara Cormier says. “We always strive to create valuable experiences for everyone who comes to one of our events, even if it’s just great networking. We like when people leave energized, connected and feeling as if coming to our events was time well-spent.”

      Local small business owners, Sara Cormier of Cormier Creative and Rachel Schwartzman Murphy of Rachel Lynn Studio, were looking for a way to get their businesses off the ground in their early stages. After linking up, they’ve found an authenticity, and sisterhood-type feel in the struggles and triumphs they mutually share.

      “When you’re running a small business, you don’t have the luxury of having a team of people surrounding you with constant feedback,” Cormier says. “We found ourselves turning to friends and family for advice and critiques and realized those that love us most may not be giving us the most constructive criticism. So, Critique This! came from our own need for real, honest, useable advice from outside perspectives.”

      Finding like-minded entrepreneurs early on was quintessential in the success of both Cormier and Schwartzman Murphy’s businesses. “We would meet up for coffee and start discussing plans, struggles, ideas. Coffee turned into long lunches, which eventually turned into leasing our first office space together,” Cormier says. “In the meantime we also figured other small business owners and creatives would benefit from similar camaraderie, so we started hosting events to network with others.”

      Cormier and Schwartzman Murphy’s most popular event is The Creative Buzz, which hosts coffee and conversation for creative small business owners in the area. “It’s definitely the hot ticket in town,” Cormier says. “We’ve been maxing out the RSVPs for the past several months with people on our waiting list.”

      Critique This! will be hosted on Thursday, March 31 from 7-9 p.m. at The Creative Hook Up on 4314 Montgomery Road Suite A in Cincinnati. For tickets and more information, click here.

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