Category Archives: Local Designers

Black & White Exchange Opens in Sharonville

A new boutique just opened in Sharonville called the Black & White Exchange. The owner, Nidhi Bedi, is also the Director of Sales & Marketing at Elements Conference and Event Centre, which is located right next door.

They buy and sell wedding gowns, black dresses and accessories. Bedi says the concept started when previous brides and their moms asked her to start a business where wedding dresses could be bought and sold at an affordable price. Since Elements, a popular wedding venue, was right next door to a space where she could open this new boutique, she went for it!

Black and White Exchange will have wedding dresses ranging from $99-$499. However, Bedi doesn’t want to get “pigeon holed” as just a bridal gown shop, she wants to also focus on the cocktail dress and accessories portion of the business as well.

Bedi says she knows how hard it is to shop for the right dress and accessories and wants to give everyone a one-stop-shop.  To get started on her inventory, she purchased racks and shelves of LBDs, shoes and accessories from Bebe, a women’s apparel store in Kenwood Mall. But that was just in the begining to get her inventory started. Her future inventory – wedding dresses, high-end LBDs, and accessories – will be purchased from people bringing in their items to Black & White Exchange. A portion of all of her proceeds will go to a charity that she has been working on, which is launching later this month.

So ladies, start that Spring Cleaning early, dig in your closet for dresses you could part with, and stop on in to BWE to sell them… and buy some new things to replace them!

Bedi said she hopes to launch her own line of dresses and accessories by the end of the year. She also wants to work with local jewelry and dress designers to have some new items for purchase in the store if clients would like to purchase something new or custom. She’s currently looking for designers to partner with, so contact her if you know of any!

Phone number: (513) 264-0460
Address: 11974 Lebanon road, Sharonville, Ohio 45241

Also, they’re having a grand opening event on Jan. 26 starting at 6p.m. I’ll be going to check it out! Hope you will too!

Cincinnati Boutique Sale Dates Announced

Today I was on Fox19 (click here to watch the video segment) talking about looks for New Year’s Eve. I picked four outfits from Paris J Boutique for the segment. In the green room as we were getting ready, Teresa the owner of Paris J, mentioned that the date for the Cincinnati Boutique Sale had just been selected and announced. I tried to contain my excitement, but I think I let out a little squeal. : )

They usually keep this date a secret until the very last minute because they don’t want their clients to hold off on buying things to get them at a discount at the sale. But, the cat’s officially out of the bag, so mark your calendars…

New Local Handbag Designer: Brittney Kelley

Fashion and functionality don’t always go hand in hand. But, thanks to one local designer, they not only go hand in hand, they also go in your handbag.

Brittney Kelley, a Dayton native, just launched her new “Glam Collection” handbag line. Kelley says “trendy,” “chic,” “elegance” and “functionality” are the four pillars of her design strategy.

I haven’t seen one of these bags in person, but just from looking at them online, it appears they’re all made with patent leather, which is easy to wipe off if you’re prone to drops and spills. Some of the larger bags look big enough to fit a laptop, which would help you transition from work to play with a briefcase and handbag in one. Thus, the “functionality.”

In terms of styling, I love the studs and gold chains. My favorite is the “elegance” navy blue bag with gold studs and chain (pictured above in the top right). You can’t tell from the pic but it’s a deep navy blue color and the shape is really unique. Thus, the “fashion.”

I hope to see more from this budding new designer. Her freshman fashion line is impressive!

Here’s where you can find her bags locally:

The Mustard Seed Boutique
311 Ludlow Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220

4 U Fashion Boutique
16 E 12th St
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Trend Boutique
2946 Markbreit Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio 45209

LouLou’s Loves FENNOfashion

I don’t have any kids yet, so I consider Cincy Chic my baby right now. I gave birth to it four years ago on a couch in Philadelphia. Since then, I’ve been with it every step of the way, helping it learn to walk, make new friends and grow into a beautiful young publication.

Well, as a part of “making friends,” Cincy Chic and I have met an array of amazing local designers and some savvy boutique owners. Two of these people are Megan from FENNOfashion and Nancy from LouLou’s Boutique on Bridgetown Rd.

I just learned that Megan and Nancy connected at a recent Cincy Chic event and now LouLou’s is carrying FENNOfashion jewelry! It was a “proud mama” moment! It’s like my child introduced two people who are now dating! haha!

I’m really excited! I know this is a big step for Megan who has been primarily selling on her website and events. And it’s great for LouLou’s to be tapping into the local designer community who can introduce new shoppers to her store!

Custom Cards from Pink Purse Creative

For the past eight years, I’ve made my own Christmas cards. I love to do them, but unfortunately each year, I have less time to spend on them, and they are sent increasingly later. Last year, I think I just called them Happy New Year cards because I missed the post office’s pre-Christmas arrival deadline.

This year, things have been so hectic, it was looking like they might be Happy Martin Luther King Weekend cards. But then, my girlfriend LauraLee told me that she makes custom cards. She even hand-addresses them and sends for you! A-HA! I’ll trick everyone into thinking I had the time and organization to make handmade cards and send them on time! Brilliant!

LauraLee said she’s done a ton of custom orders for for families, organizations and businesses. I was so intrigued because I hadn’t even began thinking what I would be sending to my personal or professional lists, and Christmas is 17 days away! EEEK!!!!

So, here’s how the process works:

  • She has a consultation (phone or in person) to discuss ideas
  • She creates 3 options which the client chooses from
  • Off she goes!

She takes orders from 50 to 200 with a turn around between 3 days to 2 weeks depending on quantity and design. Cost is also dependent on how detailed the design is and ranges anywhere from $2.00 to $5.00 per card.

And like I said, she also signs the cards for the client, addresses the envelopes AND mails them! There is an additional charge for this service that starts at $0.50 to $2.00 per card… all dependent on whether it’s printed or hand-written.

LauraLee’s business name is Pink Purse Creative. When I told her that I’d be writing this blog, she said she wants to offer a 10% discount. So, if you want to use her, click here to email her, let her know you read this blog and she’ll give you the discount!

It’s getting pretty close to the holidays, so if you’re going to place your order, you should get it in asap. But if you’re more organized than me and have your holiday cards out the door already, she also does custom party invitations, birthdays, anniversaries, bar/bat mitvahs, etc. too!

Click on the play button below to check out a video of LauraLee and me chatting about some different tips, tricks and ideas for holiday cards.


Below are some examples of her cards! Aren’t they gorgeous!? The girl has some serious talent!

Pink Purse Creative - holiday card for local Pediatric business
Inside business holiday card
Pink Purse Creative - family holiday card

Pink Purse Creative - family holiday card

Brush Factory Fashion Show Dec. 9

This looks like a great event for a great cause.

It’ll be at Mainstay bar downtown. The clothing and accessories will be by the designers at the Brush Factory.

If you haven’t been to the Brush Factory, I encourage you to do so. You won’t find anything else like it in Cincinnati.

We’ve written about them several times in Cincy Chic. The best write ups can be found here and here.

They are not about glitz and glam at the Brush Factory. It has a very organic, urban feel. It’s almost like Amish meets hipster meets urbanite.

The hair and makeup will be done by Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa… which is where I just booked our staff spa party for the holidays! I’m soooo excited! Everyone on my staff will get $150 to spend and they’re all trying different things, so I’ll report back on what everything was like! EEE Can’t wait!

Oh, sorry, sidetracked by a spa day : ) … Ah, yes, Fashion Show, Dec. 9 and it benefits the Over the Rhine Kitchen. I’m looking forward to coming out and enjoying this fab event, and supporting the worthwhile cause!

Amy Kirchen 2011 Spring/Summer Sneak Peek!

I’m super honored. Amy Kirchen, founder and designer of ALK Fashion, shared some sketches with me before even her closest friends and family got to see her 2011 Spring/Summer collection!

It’s amazing to see how far Amy has come. About a year and a half ago, we met for coffee and she told me about a new fashion line she was going to launch soon. Today, she has several designs and collections under her belt, a new one on the way, and – get this – a retail space soon to open! Word on the street is that it’ll be in OTR, but that’s not confirmed yet.

Amy's brightly colored first collection featured at Red, Pink and Blue Fashion Show on June 25 (click to enlarge)
Amy's brightly colored first collection featured at Red, Pink and Blue Fashion Show on June 25 2010 (click to enlarge)

I’m really excited for her. And for this new collection! Amy’s first collection was filled with a bright color palette and creative hue pairings. Her next one went to the other extreme and featured mainly all-black dresses (and a few dark blue sequin pieces).

Her third collection, 2011 Spring/Summer, is ready-to-wear and much more casual with a nice blend of grays, prints and color. While I only got to see two looks in my sneak peek, I can tell so much from them. First of all, they aren’t dresses, which is what Amy exclusively designed in her previous collections. For this 2011 Spring/Summer collection, she designed three prints, introduced a denim line (skinny jean in four washes), and even has a few “beach” pieces.

An ALK LBD from her second collection, featured at the 2010 Bras with Flair on the Square
An ALK LBD from her second collection, featured at the 2010 Bras with Flair on the Square (Credit: Thomas E. Smith, The Enquirer)

At first I was a little bummed because I love wearing her pretty cocktail dresses and feeling like a princess in them. But I soon cheered up when I realized that, while I unfortunately don’t get to be a princess very often (sad face), I do wear some of the things Amy now designs – like denim – almost every day. It all makes sense now: Amy is bringing her experience with special occasion designs into the every day… so that every day can be a special occasion.

I say this because she is using silks, wools and other high-end materials to make her garments. But her prices are much lower than other high-end designers using the same materials. Amy said most of her garments in this new line will be under $100. I’m not exactly sure how she’s making a profit with those materials at those prices, but more power to her. She figured out how.

She’s hitting a huge niche here. It’s more expensive than The Limited, but not as expensive as Saks/Nordstrom. The fake-it-till-you-make-its, corporate ladder climbers, and the people with Cristal-taste-on-a-Korbel-budget. She’s allowing people to enjoy couture without the cost. Introducing them to fine garments and fabrics without breaking the bank. I think Amy Kirchen is becoming the gateway drug of fashion, my friends… please enjoy responsibly. : )

4 U Boutique/Serket Trunk Show Tonight

Just found out about this event and thought I’d share… you know, since I just predicted this boutique and designer are going to be household names for all local fashionistas in the near future! : ) I think I might stop by! I haven’t been in yet!

Serket Jewelry Boutique Trunk Show

Thursday November 18, 2010
from 5:30-8:30pm

@ 4U Urban Fashion Boutique
See the hottest new exclusive designs from local designer Lyn Bucalo of Serket Jewelry.

Light fare will be served.

12 Days of Seasonably Chic Showcase: Day 5

French Lavender Soap $6
French Lavender Soap $6

The countdown is on one hand now! We’re five days away from the Nov. 6 Seasonably Chic Showcase! Here’s a sneak peek of some of the vendors you’ll see there, and my favorite things they offer!

Miss Selby’s Soap
A couple months ago, a friend of mine and I tried to make lavender soap with lavender I grew in my garden. It was a major disaster, and I have a new-found respect now for this vendor who will be at the showcase: Miss Selby’s Soap. The creator, a local gal, Renee Selby makes soaps that use all natural ingredient and essential oils from the comfort of her own home and sells them from her online store. Some stand out scents are Fresh Lavender and Eucalyptus Lime. Or if you want your soap to reflect your holiday mood try the Natural Cinnamon or Christmas Cookie! Make sure you pick up a bar of Pet Shampoo for your furry friends!

The Longaberger Company with Kim Artmayer

Sort and store make-up basket from The Longaberger Company with Kim Artmayer

I remember when I learned how to weave baskets in elementary school. And as much as my mother, who kept many of my art projects, would argue – mine cannot compare with The Longaberger Company with Kim Artmayer. These baskets are a beautiful way to decorate your home or they would make a memorable gift for the holidays. They even have a holiday collection full of woven baskets that are inspired by the colder weather and holiday cheer! Be sure to look at their sort and store baskets that will inspire you to make your New Year’s Resolution of “getting more organized” a reality! But my favorite is the sort and store make-up basket.. I can already envision a perfect sport for it in my bathroom!

The Epicurean tie from Artfully Disheveled

Artfully Disheveled
For all of those men out there who need a little – or even a lot – of assistance in the style department, this men’s fashion line will be sure to help.
Artfully Disheveled is geared towards that man who wants to stand out… in a good way! They specialize in ties, bow ties and pocket squares that will be sure to transform your man’s outfit into something sexy and sophisticated without looking like he’s trying too hard! I met Chris Berre, one of the founders, recently for coffee and he showed me some of the items they’ll soon have online. The patterns are what stood out the most for me – like this silverware pattern – how unique is that? Artfully Disheveled is in the process of launching their online store, so stopping by this booth at Seasonably Chic Showcase is a must!

Corwyn tying my husband's tie before our wedding

Corwyn Apparel
We’ve written about Corwyn before in Cincy Chic. I even suited up all our groomsmen in his ties for our wedding. But if you haven’t heard about Corwyn yet, you certainly will know who he is after the showcase. He’s bringing some star power to the event! Kwame Jackson from NBC’s “Apprentice” will be at his booth decked out in the latest Corwyn Apparel fashions. And this isn’t the first time, Corwyn as rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous. These neckties have been seen on many red carpet events such as The Grammy’s, Golden Globes and The Academy Awards. Corwyn Apparel knows that image and attitude are the defining accessory. So if your man’s tie collection would use a face lift, than look for further!

The Seasonably Chic Showcase will be on November 6th at The Pheonix downtown from 10 am to 3 pm. This event brings 40 of the Tri-State’s best boutiques and vendors–for women, men, children, and pets–all under one roof for one day of spectacular shopping! The best thing about it? It’s free to get in! Just bring a canned good for the Freestore food bank! Click Here to RSVP!

PS thanks to my intern, Holly Hoover, for helping me put this blog together