Reported By Women: May 18

This week’s Reported By Women brought us into the world of event planning, romance, and weddings as Women of Cincy traveled to Memorial Hall for the launch of Whitney Pelfrey’s new company, Iris & Honey. Iris & Honey is a wedding curator specializing in local romantic vignettes personalized for the most chill of Cincinnati couples.

Stories Behind the Booze: Queen City Radio

When we think neighborhood bar, we think friendly bartenders, comfy seating, and scrumptious libations. Queen City Radio checks all of those boxes, with the addition of retro charm, delicious grub, and a dedication to giving back. And did I mention the dog-friendly patios? What was once a gas station and garage has been renovated into a fun and lively hangout for Over-the-Rhine residents and visitors.

Raised By Women, Chapter 2: Patricia Patterson

The Patterson family is a tribe of women unlike any I’ve ever met. The bond between the six fierce sisters makes it clear to any outsider that to these women, family always has and always will come first. It’s a loud family full of big feelings, big opinions, and big love, and at the head of it all is Patricia Patterson, a matriarch in the truest sense of the word. I met Dr. Sandra Combs at Roebling Point Books & Coffee on a rainy Sunday, laughing at times, tearing up at others, as she talked about the mother that made her family what it is today.

Raised By Women, Chapter 1: Dr. Sandra Combs

I’m overjoyed to see Dr. Sandra Combs walk through the door of Roebling Point Books & Coffee on a rainy Sunday morning in February. I’m good friends with her whole vivacious family, and while she stands in line for a large coffee, we gush about her daughter Emily, who just found out she’ll be having a baby girl this June. We make our way to the comfy armchairs in the next room, and as she begins to tell me about her journey – sharing her gift as a speech pathologist, finding a home in Covington, and more – her bracelets jingle like a soundtrack to her words.

Mother’s Day: Celebrating with Empty Arms

Five years. That’s how long I’ve celebrated Mother’s Day with a baby-shaped hole in my heart. My arms have endured countless blood draws; my fingers have cramped from filling out piles of paperwork; and my hands have been thrown up in the air from complete exhaustion and anger more times than I am proud to admit. My arms are empty, and this year, I celebrate with a heart that aches deeply yet overflows with joy and hope.

From Mexico to Cincinnati: Angelica Perez

Angelica greets us with a smile and a toddler on her hip. The little boy, who I later find out is named David, keeps tapping her cheek as we climb up the stairs. I marvel at her ability to balance the active toddler and climb three flights of steps. Her journey to the U.S. began 16 years ago, and if one thing stands out among those 16 years, it’s the moments of family she’s experienced.

Rachel Hodesh: Stories on Life and Aging

Rachel began her career in geriatric care at Glen Manor Home for the Aged in Bond Hill. She has a master’s degree in health and human services and is a licensed nursing home administrator, but she will tell you that her best experience – where she learned the most about aging – was working in Israel and the Chicago Housing Authority. Today, Rachel works for Queen City Home Care as a geriatric care manager and marketing coordinator, crediting her long career to the many seniors who have touched her life over 25 years. She’s a huge piece of the stories of innumerable seniors throughout Cincinnati.

Scenes from the City: Emily Maxwell

When I say Emily is something else, I mean it. I decide this after she tells me she changed her middle name to Killer Whale in the second grade. Killer whale, Egyptologist, zoologist – these were the dream jobs of Emily Maxwell, and I think she is achieving them in her own way. Emily has been able to pursue a lot of her passions through writing and photographing for CityBeat, and now WCPO. She is a photojournalist and hiker by day, and I am convinced she is a killer whale by night.

Leslie Stevenson: Building a Council on Community

Leslie Stevenson made history last year when she became the first African American to run for City Council in Norwood. And in November, Norwood voters made history when they elected her, the first African American Council member in the city’s 129-year history.

Women of Cincy recently had a chance to talk with Stevenson about Norwood’s past and present, and how her work in the nonprofit sector led her to public service.

The Faith of Four UC Women

In the upstairs room of Rohs Cafe, I was joined by four women, students at the University of Cincinnati, who graciously volunteered to discuss their faith. That’s not an easy conversation in this day and age. But with Zara Ahmed, Jessica Friedman, Carrie Shephard, and Faryaal Zindani, it was a conversation that flowed with ease and understanding.

Kristin Shrimplin: Not All Heroes Wear Capes

On a gray, chilly, “spring” day we were afforded the chance to visit the Women Helping Women office and to speak with a bright light in our community, WHW’s president and CEO of Women Kristin Shrimplin. She’s a voice who speaks when others may not be able to do so for themselves. We learned about the mission of the agency and their Light Up the Night Superhero Soiree on April 26.