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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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. : )
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!
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
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 withThe 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!
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 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
It’s apparently only going on today and tomorrow at the following times:
Friday, October 1st 10-7
Saturday, October 2nd 10-4
My mom always loved estate sales. You can find such unique pieces with such amazing stories! She collects filigree jewelry, and would often find a lot of it at estate sales like this.
So, I thought I’d let you know about the sale. In the newsletter, it had a coupon, so I just did a screen grab of the coupon and put it in here. I assume you can use it too if you just print it off and bring it in! Happy shopping!
There will be two parts of the show… a high-end fashion show featuring ALK Fashion, and then a survivor fashion show featuring Serket Jewelry.
I’m super excited because Amy Kirchen, the designer for ALK is going to custom make a dress for me to wear at this event. I just got fitted for it on Monday!
I sent her a picture of this dress for inspiration. I sent her a few other fun necklines too. But I do want the dress pink because it’s a breast cancer fundraiser, and I want everyone to “think pink” for this event! I can’t wait to see the final product!
The photo to the right is a sneak peek of ALK’s new line that will be released with the Bras with Flair show. I couldn’t pull off this plunging neck line, but I know a lot of women who could! And look at that strong shoulder! Reminds me of an 80s power suit. This dress just has the perfect balance of sexy and strength.
Click here to see a photo I snapped of a few sketches Amy brought to our Bras with Flair fashion show meeting. As you can see, ALK’s new line will feature a lot of bold black pieces. I’m kind of excited that black is the “new black.” I love how glamorous, timeless and classy the color black is!
Can’t wait to see the rest of the line on Oct. 1! Click here to buy tickets to the show!
And remember, tomorrow is your last chance to nominate yourself if you’re a breast cancer survivor in need of some pampering! Cincy Chic and Locals on Living will be recognizing survivors at our Bras with Flair on the Square event, and will be giving a pamper/shopping package to one lucky survivor! But tomorrow is the deadline for submissions! I’ll keep you posted on the finalists and how you can vote!
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a girl named Fatima Spencer. She said she’s a senior at Xavier and loves reading the blog. She was inspired to write to me after reading this post I did on Tracey Vest, who is a local designer of accessories.
Fatima is a budding entrepreneur who has been dabbling in the accessories design world for the past 13 years. Yes, let’s do the math… she’s 20 years old now, so she’s been making and selling accessories since she was 7.
I asked her what inspired her to start designing at such a young age. You know, since I was probably playing with my imaginary friend, making mud pies, annoying my brother, or something else much less productive than starting my own fashion accessory business at that age.
She said she was part of a community beautification project, and that’s when she fell in love with nature. She started to wear flowers behind her ear, and eventually started making and selling silk flower hair accessories. Those designs evolved and she started to add some sparkle with Swarovski crystals.
Today, she is the owner and designer for “FlowersFromFatima” with an online Etsy ecommerce site, and is sold in two local boutiques. I asked her to come to the Cincy Chic office so I could check out her designs in person.
First off, let me just tell you how completely gorgeous this girl is. If her accessories don’t get her into Lucky Magazine soon, she’ll be in there as a model for sure. Equally as beautiful were her designs. You can tell she’s been at this for more than a decade.
Everything was very well-made, and in pretty little packages. You could buy one of these pieces and give them as gifts in her chic clear boxes with purple ribbon. She said she does a decent wedding business – a big demand for plum and gold colored items this year she said. And I see on her site, she also has items for little girls too.
Everything she creates has a flower/nature theme. And, now knowing her story, makes her designs even more special. Her prices range from $15 for two small clips to $35 for the bigger pieces, so they’re very affordable. I encourage you to check out the fabulous Fatima!
Today I was reminded of how much I love my job and the cool people I get to meet because of it. I met with a wonderful woman named Tracey Vest. She emailed me saying she made her own accessories and handbags, and wanted to be a vendor at some of our events.
When she first walked in, I noticed she was a bit shy and unassuming. A stark contrast to the loud, ostrich feather handbag billowing off her shoulder. I told her I loved her bag and she said it was one of her designs.
Hmm… ok, tell me more, I’m IMPRESSED…
She proceeds to pull a myriad of “look at me” items from her bag. A leather print fur clutch, flower headbands, and feather cuffs… I’m still shocked at all the loud pieces this quiet woman created.
I asked her where she got her inspiration and she said her grandmother had a passion for flashin’ her fashion. She apparently never left the home without her neck, ears and every limb and finger accessorized. She said her parents loved to go out on the town and she loved to watch them get glammed up. And today, she helps others glam up and grab attention with her eye catching, hand-made pieces.
Turns out, she’s been featured in Essence Magazine, Cincinnati Magazine and her items were recently in an episode of “Ugly Betty.” But she was so humble about it! If my designs were in a national TV show or magazine, I’d be shouting it from a rooftop. But no, not Tracey!
With things as unique as this, I asked her if I could try on a few to take pics for the blog. I couldn’t help but fall in love with two of her headbands, and she GAVE them to me because she knew I’d be a good advocate for her with all the running around I do. I couldn’t believe how generous she was. It completely made my day! So, today is kind of like Christmas in July in Amyland! YAY! Ho Ho Ho! Merrrrrry July 20 everyone!