Posts in Features
‘Regular, ordinary, everyday people’: Mary Aguilera of the Poor People’s Campaign

We met with Mary Aguilera at one of the places where she feels most at home: North Avondale Montessori School, where she works with children ages 3 to 6. From the moment you meet Mary, you notice peaceful energy about her; under that exterior, there is a deep-running commitment to social justice that meshes perfectly with her work in education.

A few years ago, Mary joined the organization Repairers of the Breach, a group headed by Rev. William Barber. The organization argues that the moral issues of today are how our society treats the poor, women, L.G.B.T.Q folks, children, workers, immigrants, communities of color, and the sick. Mary’s journey with the associated Poor People’s Campaign has brought more than political involvement to her life, and it was a joy to learn more about her work, building grassroots movements, and making leadership your own. 

Read More
Chinmayee Nagaraj: Genetics, Music, and ‘Why Not?’

Chinmayee Nagaraj is learning as she goes. She traveled across India performing as a vocalist, unsure if it would lead anywhere. She studied genetics in college, not knowing if it was a realistic career. But she knows herself. 

When she speaks, she is deliberate with her words and distinct in her meaning. And her courage has paid off. She now works as a genetics counselor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, testing different medical conditions and interacting with patients. When she’s not in the lab, she still trains as a musician, and she spreads her love for music as a teacher for young pupils. Formed by music, science, and the strength of family, Chinmayee’s perspective is one of radical bravery – to willingly throw yourself into the unknown, because, well, how else will you learn?

Read More
Learning to Swim: Renee Seward on Design, Literacy, and More

We met Renee Seward on campus at the University of Cincinnati – her alma mater – in the DAAP building, where she teaches, creates, and collaborates to impact the community. Her See Word Design business makes digital tools to help people achieve reading literacy. She identifies with, serves, and encourages people who are struggling to learn something new, and is always striving to challenge what is possible today.

Read More
Jamie Jones: Laundry Love Cincinnati

Laundry is a sensory pleasure for me: the smell of detergent and dryer sheets, the warmth of clothes fresh from the dryer, the satisfaction of a stack of clean clothes ready to be worn again. I know that not everyone feels this way, nor that everyone has the privilege of easy access to laundry facilities, but still, I was delighted to sit in a laundromat for this conversation with Jamie Jones, a nursing student who started a neighborhood nonprofit focused on laundry. We met at City Limits Laundry in Walnut Hills to learn more about Laundry Love Cincinnati.

Read More
Shannon Anderson-Hammond: You Are Not Alone

We met Shannon Anderson-Hammond at Starbucks in Hyde Park – one of her favorite places in the world. For Shannon, coffee is life. With her early wake-up time, intense daily workouts, exceptional work ethic, and passion for creating communities for women on and off social media, it’s no wonder that she needs a little pick-me-up throughout the day. 

She’s been through her fair share of hard times, from battles with depression to surviving abusive relationships. She’s an open book who loves sharing her journey with the world to help others. She prizes transparency, encouraging everyone to speak their truth and know that no matter what we’re going through, we’re not alone. In the spirit of that message, she established YANA (You Are Not Alone), an online community where women can connect, share stories, and support one another without judgment. 

Read More
This is Entrepreneurship: Sew Valley’s Rosie Kovacs

The name “Rosie” just insists on optimism, and Rosie Kovacs was aptly named, for sure. She embodies entrepreneurial determination and a pure force of will to create opportunities and get things done. The C.E.O. of Sew Valley co-founded the nonprofit company in 2017, alongside C.O.O. Shailah Maynard, with the goal of bringing resources to apparel designers and entrepreneurs. The journey, of course, was anything but predictable. She shared with us the ups and downs of stepping away from her and life partner, Hayes’, venture, Brush Factory; the good, the bad, and the ugly that is the fashion industry; and more.

Read More
This Is Entrepreneurship: Postwell’s Jess Kerr

Some entrepreneurs have everything planned out, and when the time comes, they’re ready. As we sit in a tiny Oakley duplex surrounded by stacks of pads, perineal sprays, sitz, and more, Jess Kerr tells us she was not one of those entrepreneurs.

The postwell journey started with a moment of frustration on behalf of a friend struggling through postpartum recovery. What came next can only be explained through the perfect storm of a viral internet story, a stack of plain white boxes, and a woman determined to solve a problem.

Read More
This Is Entrepreneurship: Cloverleaf’s Kirsten Moorefield

Kirsten Moorefield never intended to start a tech company. Yet here she is, the co-founder and C.O.O. of Cloverleaf, an H.R. tech platform that allows individuals and employees to be their best selves both at work and at home. She sat down with us at Rhinegeist Brewery – back where it all began in 2015 – to chat about her journey as a tech entrepreneur; the many, many challenges along the way; finding her support network; and what it means to be a female leader in this space.

Read More
This Is Entrepreneurship: Originalitees’ Khisha Asubuhi

My favorite people are those who tell it like it is, and Khisha Asubuhi is no exception. At 5’11’’, she’s fierce inside and out, but she’s as real as it gets, and you find yourself instantly at home chatting with her. We sat down with the owner of Originalitees just a few weeks after the company celebrated 10 years in business to chat about Khisha’s journey of entrepreneurship, dreams for the future, and being more than “just a T-shirt shop.”

Read More
This is Entrepreneurship: Catherine Manabat and Julia Petiprin of Homemaker’s Bar

Neon lights. Bright stripes. Smashed fine china. Every detail of Homemaker’s Bar draws you in and tells a story. We sat down with co-owners Catherine Manabat and Julia Petiprin approximately one month after the bar’s opening to chat about what it’s like to be a woman in the hospitality industry, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, and how two L.A. ladies ended up falling in love with Cincinnati.

Read More
Good (Man)ners: Dani Isaacsohn on Cohear, Everyday Experts, and Changing the Norm

Like many who grew up in Cincinnati, Dani Isaacsohn left the city as a young adult. He attended Yale and Georgetown University, moved to D.C., and worked on both the Obama and Clinton campaigns. With a budding career in politics and law, Dani found his way back to his familial roots in Cincinnati. Inspired by his work on the campaign trail, he started CoHear, an organization focused on connecting everyday experts with local decision-makers. Together, they work to create innovative solutions to local issues that will positively impact all community members.

Read More
Cole Imperi: Death, Dying, and Doing It Better

Cole Imperi is also a varied tapestry: She writes and hosts podcasts and runs two small businesses; she’s a teacher; and she’s trained in both yoga and typeface design. She is, first and foremost, a thanatologist – a person who studies death and dying. Her passions come together and coalesce in her work here in the Cincinnati area, through her work at the Lloyd Library and Museum as a research fellow, and more. At the vineyards, Cole and I talked about life, death, grieving, and growing.

Read More
Tanya Leach: ‘Do the things you don’t think you can do.’

Walking into the pottery studio where Tanya Leach often seeks refuge, turning lumps of clay into works of art, was like stepping into an alternate reality. The studio, a historic home in the heart of Covington, is filled with painted tiles and stacked shelves of tools, mixing bowls, and artwork, all covered in the fingerprints of a tight-knit community of women. Tanya, accompanied by her sister Tiffany and studio owner Jane, describes the environment as a place where women can show up and express their support and creativity freely with each other – all over good beer and even better conversation.

Read More
Good (Man)ners: Rodney Christian on Finding Your Gift and Giving It Back

Rodney Christian grew up in East Westwood – to be frank, one of Cincinnati’s most struggling communities. Even as a kid, he was a leader, but he didn’t know it. One day a friend shined a light on Rodney’s gift of community and relationship building. He encouraged Rodney to help him open a basketball gym so the kids in their community had a safe place to spend their time. Today, Rodney manages a recreation center at Third Presbyterian Church in the heart of East Westwood. It’s open seven days a week, and there’s always an open door for the kids who need it.

Read More
Tamara Harkavy: ArtWorks' 'Accidental Director'

“Do you see this? It says, ‘Breathe.’ That’s my mantra.” 

Tamara Harkavy leaned in to show me her gold necklace. Though I see her almost every day in my role as ArtWorks’ executive assistant and office manager, I’d never noticed it. The message is fitting. Nearly 24 years ago, Harkavy founded ArtWorks, the nonprofit responsible for over 12,000 projects that have turned the greater Cincinnati area into an art gallery. Not to mention the businesses which have become staples to our city who went through business development training through ArtWorks, like Brown Bear Bakery, Handzy, and S.R.O. Prints. She’s also a star player on the creative team organizing BLINK. It’s a hefty load.

Read More
Susan Casey-Leininger on Village Life and the Meaning of Global Citizenship

Susan Casey-Leininger has done it all – from working with Americorps to fundraising for the African Leaders Malaria Alliance to living and working in East Africa. Today, as the executive director of Village Life, Susan personifies the word “adventurous.” As shown in her work, Susan is passionate about cultural immersion and the benefits – as a community, society, and world – of learning about each others’ differences. Her various travels and work experiences have given her a unique and valuable perspective on fostering change both inside and outside of Cincinnati. 

Read More
From Runway Projects to ‘Project Runway’: A Conversation with Tessa Clark

For those of us born with a fascination with fashion, the shirts on our backs are about more than function. What we choose to wear can be a source of confidence, a way to tell someone passing by a little bit about who we are – even what we stand for. And on a rainy summer evening, I scurried down Vine Street with my deteriorating cat-ear umbrella to meet Cincinnati’s rising style icon and nationally recognized designer, Tessa Clark. 

Read More
Good (Man)ners: Kick Lee on Ending the Starving Artist

Writing for Women of Cincy has given me the opportunity to meet and share stories with influencers and change-makers throughout Cincinnati. I usually walk away from my interviews feeling inspired, but Kick Lee is quite possibly the coolest person I never knew I needed to meet. He’s created a career and a lifestyle based around helping others achieve their dreams. As the founder of the Cincinnati Music Accelerator, he’s helping local musicians realize their worth as artists and discover how to take control of their own careers.

Read More
Putting Empathy to Work: A Letter from the CEO

Women of Cincy began on a whim on January 20, 2017, to document stories from the Cincinnati Women’s March. Five 20-somethings pulled together a few cameras, recorders, and an Instagram account the morning of the march. We had no idea what we were creating, or just how far it would take us.

This summer, we’re taking a moment to look back at that day and celebrate how far we’ve come, and then to share our vision for this movement going forward.

Read More