If you have been alive on planet earth for awhile, you probably know or have heard of the book, Oh, The Places You'll Go. It's often gifted to graduates of high school, college, and preschool alike mostly due to the fact that we, as a culture and society, love to look to the future. We are obsessed with the blank slate before us and oh, the possibilities that are out there. You can BE whatever you want. You can DO whatever you want. You can chase ANY dream. We get all warm and fuzzy thinking about the endless possible outcomes for our lives, our children's lives etc.
But, I think, its even more important to look back at all of the places you've been. To stand back, taking a look at the bigger picture and connecting all of the dots of your life that have led you to where you are today. I'm going to give a bit of a BTS of my story and how I came to create GBE.
So, that's me, circa 2005. I had one dream. I wanted to become a singer/songwriter and country music's BIGGEST star. I started writing songs at 12, taught myself guitar freshman year of high school, I won a singing competition in my hometown between my junior and senior year of high school that prized me with studio time where I recorded a few songs of mine in a house studio. Super rough, super grainy, but alas, it was studio time and I thought it was the coolest. One thing led to another and that super basic demo got into the hands of the VP of A+R at SONY NASHVILLE, which led to a meeting, which led to me moving to Nashville, which led to getting a publishing and recording contract.
There I was sitting pretty in writing rooms, record label buildings, and recording studios with the best in Nashville, trying to create my first record. It was what I had always wanted and I was right there. I was playing at the Bluebird Cafe, opening songwriter's rounds for Grammy award winning songwriters. Even in doing ALL of that, you could feel the exclusivity. You had to be "IN" the circle to be in the circle. And it was just near impossible to break into it. To the music industry outsider, I was in, I had made it. To me, an "insider" I never fully felt included or like I was "in". I released my debut album in 2014 and soon after parted ways with my label.
After shifting gears and becoming a full time stay at home mom, I felt the need for a little something for myself. I have a teaching degree, but also wanted to stay at home with my kids. So, I started hand lettering in 2015 as a stress reliever and outlet. I had also heard of a little thing called Etsy, and decided to start selling my hand lettered pieces.
Over time, this evolved into a full blown business, Woodworks + Co. where I was creating hand lettered home goods and my husband was creating custom furniture. We did the markets, the Etsy shop, word of mouth, you name it. I was loving the marketing aspect of it, as I thrived on really thinking over how to market my music over the years. It was almost my favorite part of the whole thing. After a few years, Woodworks + Co. was having great success, but I still had felt I wasn't hitting the nail on the head with my purpose and mission. So, we closed up shop at its peak of business as it was the right move for our family AND for what I felt was ahead.
I began noticing that SO many moms and women in the Cincinnati area had started their own businesses for the same reasons I had. They needed something for themselves outside of "momming it" and/or working their normal 9-5. I thought, "THAT'S IT", we need to create a community where we can ALL encourage each other in life AND the pursuit of owning a business. A place with no exclusivity. Where it feels like family and no one is on the "outside".
Thus, GBE was born
I tell you (the very condensed version) my story to show that what you think "is it" is not always going to be what it is. I thought I was set in my music career, I had what I had always wanted, but there was a bigger plan for me. I REALLY struggled for a long time with letting go of what I thought was going to be for what was supposed to be. And, I know that this isn't just my story. It's so many of your stories as well.
Do I miss the music industry? Occasionally. Do I dwell on the fact that I'm not doing that anymore? Not really, it feels like a completely different life. Don’t get me wrong, music still has a huge part of my heart. But looking back on your past experiences and learning from them and applying what you learned is key to the next step in life. We are FOR SURE excited about the places we're going with GBE, but we're even more excited about how we've learned from our past experiences and how that creates a full circle moment. Those are the best.
If you are from the Cincinnati area, you know the Reading Bridal District. You know that's where you go to find your dress, the cake, etc. It's been a good 9 years since I really stepped foot into a Bridal Boutique to look at wedding gowns, and the things that shimmer and shine. But last month, the GBE team was able to get a behind the scenes look at White Wisteria Bridal Boutique!
The boutique is nicely situated on the corner of the Bridal District and as soon as you walk in you are overwhelmed (in the BEST way possible) with gorgeous gowns, sparkles, and a light and airy ambiance. With two floors and several rooms, there are so many options for the bride, mother of the bride, and bridal party, that you're sure to find something you love.
Our favorite parts were the crisp colors that made up the store! The dreamy blue walls definitely emitted classiness and sophistication, but also gave off a peace and calming feeling.... Which is definitely what brides needs when choosing a dress! We also loved how large the fitting area was! Plenty of space to walk (and maybe twirl) about.
We also got a chance to sit down and talk with Rene about White Wisteria and what it means to be a Girl Boss in the Bridal District!
Name: Rene Diederich
Go to coffee drink
Large coffee from Tres Belle with chocolate syrup
What does the term girl boss mean to you?
Doing everything you can and not letting anything stop you! And helping others get to where they need to go. CONFIDENCE!
What's your businesses name and how did you come up with it?
White Wisteria (type of flower that means good luck) Also the tree that her and her husband planted at the wedding.
Where do you go for inspiration and what motivates you?
Being in the store and brides that come in! Letting the brides drive the inspiration.
Who is your girl boss crush
Hanna Hartnell ( Bridal shop in Santa Monica, California)
Worst part of owning your business?
Not being able to do it all!!
Best part of owning your business?
Seeing so many people have the confidence and how they feel when they put on the dresses.
If you didn't own your business, what would you be doing?
Probably still working as a bridal assistant!
What do you love about being a girl boss in the Cincinnati area
Such an up and coming area! Also a great place to grow as a business owner!
What's your best advice for the next girl boss?
Just keep going, no matter what! You will have good days and bad days but KEEP GOING!
Last Friday, my alarm went off at 4:45am. Probably the earliest I've voluntarily gotten up since...well...I can't remember. But Emily Schanie, owner of Cavu Coffee wakes up at that time most if not all days to get her shop ready to open.
I've known about Cavu Coffee for awhile, as I used to play my music there on occasion circa 2011- 2014, but I had never met Emily. I reached out to her last summer to see if she would join forces with us, take a risk, and be a part of our first Girl Boss Events' Pop Up. And she didn't hesitate. She is a Girl Boss full of love, happiness, has such a giving heart, and is truly all about community over competition. And she is a BOSS.
Emily met me at the shop Friday morning at 5:30am and as she unlocked the door and welcomed me in, the smell of coffee flooded out of the shop (one of my favorite smells for sure, so no problem there). The shop is such a cute and well put together space. Crisp white walls, gray counters with pops of color due to the fresh flowers from Two Little Buds on every table. Being a lover of monochromatic things, her store is a dream. Perfectly laid out for small business meetings, coffee with your friend, or breakfast with your littles (sitting at the counter is always a big hit). As you can see, the menu is stocked with your standard coffee drinks as well as inventive and creative spins on coffee beverages. I think my favorite aspect of this is that they highlight a seasonal beverage menu that changes every few months. And most of my favorite drinks come from that menu. Don't get me started on their egg nog or cinnamon vanilla lattes. They also have plenty of snack + sweet treat options from Paleo Primal Sweets.
She went about her business getting the shop ready to open at 6am and I stood back and watched as to not to 'disturb' her process. There's much to do; from counting the drawers, refilling syrup containers, stocking the pastry bar, brewing the actual coffee, to being able to accommodate the early 5:54am customer that rolls through the drive thru.
I love the intricate details throughout the shop that make it feel "homey". There's a gallery wall with photos of all of the employees and baristas. The name of the business and meaning behind it is front and center (more on that later), there's even a little basket of toys for the littles that come with their parents. There's also a lot of nods to Emily and her husband's past in the airline industry, including the aircraft photos throughout the space, and suitcases that hold their syrups which they make in house, which is super cute if you ask me.
Name Emily Schanie
Go to coffee drink: black single origin
Business: Cavu Coffee
Meaning behind the name: Cavu is an aviation term that means “perfect day for flying” or “ideal flying conditions”. When we decided to start a coffee shop, my husband and I wanted to tie it to our experience in the airline industry since that’s how we met. My husband was a commercial pilot and I was a flight attendant.
What made you want to launch your current business? I lost my corporate job and I’d always wanted to open a coffee shop but had a non-compete with my previous job. So, once the place where I was working closed, I was able to start up my own.
Where do you go for inspiration and what motivates you? I usually go to Instagram and to markets to find fresh ingredients. It’s fun to always be creating something that’s different, but fresh and doesn’t have those things that are bad for you in the mix such as dyes, preservatives, and chemicals. We make all of our syrups in house and they all are made up of four ingredients or less.
Girl Boss Crush: Sara Blakely who started Spanx.
Worst part of owning your business: You never truly get a day off.
Best part of owning your business: Being your own boss.
If you didn't own your business, what would you be doing: I’d probably work for another Girl Boss.
What do you love about being a Girl Boss in the Cincinnati area: I’m not from Cincinnati originally so it allows me to connect with other likeminded women in this area and allows me to meet new people.
What's your best advice for the next Girl Boss: Do it! Know that it’s a lot of hard work, but totally worth it in the end.
When I faced a medical challenge before the age of 40, I realized my frenzy to be all things to all people was not the answer. My Sudden Cardiac Death experience forced me to stop and reevaluate this precious time on earth. Armed with a pacemaker defibrillator and a list of what to expect for my “new normal”, I began my recovery in fear and in awe. I’d been given a second chance.
Sister, I understand you are busy. I juggle my family responsibilities with my growing business switching from one role to the next. I wear so many hats I often forget which one is on my head! Where is the hat labeled ANNE? This is why we created SHINE.
It’s all about finding your lost sparkle and rediscovering the simple joys that will help you revive your SHINE!
Do you love color? Would you like to learn the secrets of great styling with clothing?
Would your life be different if you engaged with others’ through confidence? We thought so, too.
The SHINE Experience peels back the many layers of the lost you through discovering
color. clothing. confidence.
Whether you see me at a speaking engagement, a hands-on workshop, read my book, or go through The SHINE Experience online video course, know I see you. I am you. I’m just a girl trying to find my shine and be a light for my family and friends.
I just happen to know the life hacks with how to do it.
Our vision is to create a community of like-minded women who want to take back their joy of living through learning how to shine. We would love to have you join us!
Hi, we’re Anne and Libby Tabor a mother-in-law, daughter-in-law team that knows what it’s like to struggle with knowing what to wear and having body confidence. It seems like we are on again, off again in a quest to find the perfect diet, and as a result, we harbor clothing in sizes too small (because I just know one day I’ll get back down to that size), or clothing that I bought in an effort to lift my spirits (the deal was too good I couldn’t pass it up!), yet my closet showed no joy. No confidence, no true reflection of how I wanted to appear in the world.
I See Your True Colors
As a Personal Branding Coach and Lifestyle Expert, my gift is seeing the real you! I help you discover your personality, energy, and color palette to develop a style that is authentic to you. Through my two-hour closet consultation, I customize the clothing you already own into fresh new pairings! I wave my magic wand and Presto! You have a new combination you never knew existed. Having a Stylist in your corner can make all the difference in the world when it comes to feeling confident.
It Takes Courage to Shine
At Shine by Design, we want you just the way you are. You don’t need to lose weight, earn more money, or have full social calendar to justify breathing new life into your personal style. You deserve to look and feel confident and stylish every day.
We know life happens. Babies, injuries, divorces, marriages, careers—they all take a toll on our bodies. From the “skinny” clothes that sit in the corner of the closet as a reminder of our former bodies…to the shiny, youthful clothes that we keep just in case…to the all-black ensembles—our wardrobe says a lot about how we view ourselves.
We want you to live in color. To love your style. To live your authentic life. At Shine by Design, we want your wardrobe to reflect the amazing person that you are. We want you to wake up every day and know that no matter what you pull out of your closet, you’re going to leave your house looking and feeling great.
Interested in learning more about Shine By Design? Check out their social media pages and website!
GRACE: an act or instance of kindness.
Grace is one of those funny things you may expect from people, but forget about giving, especially to yourself. So, let's chat.
We've all been there. You've tried your best. You've given everything you have to your work, a project, an event, and yet, there's always someone there, standing in the shadows ready to tear it apart. Because....why? This is something I will never understand, personally, and one of the reasons I wanted to create GBE.
GBE was created to be a safe space where women entrepreneurs can come together to encourage and uplift one another in a non-competitive environment. And my main mantra for the group is that we LIVE by the idea of GIVING GRACE. Give grace to strangers, customers, and fellow Girl Bosses. So much so, that its included in our Pop Up Contracts. And let me tell you, this group of almost 100 women, do just that. And for that, I am forever grateful for this Girl Boss community!
We're all about being real over here at GBE. Now, let's get really real. As one of the people who run and plan these events, I've heard it all. We've had the pop ups ripped apart (yep, that was fun), we've had them praised as being the best event people have been a part of or attended. And I (very quickly) had to learn the hard way that I had to be able to care about the Girl Bosses who are a part of them , but to not over exert myself trying to please ALL because that just won't happen. In all reality, no matter what you do, there will always be someone that doesn't appreciate your efforts and to expect grace from everyone ALL of the time is probably not the smartest thing to do.
However, on the flip side, do WE offer grace to those around us? A lot of times we expect it but we don't give it. How often have you sat at the computer waiting for someone to respond to an email and gotten irritated that its been 48 hours with no reply? How many times have you not sold as much as you'd have liked to at a Pop Up and put the blame on the coordinators of the event? How many times have you not gotten into an event and talked trash? How many times has someone made plans and then cancelled and you are sitting there angry and irritated at that? There are so many scenarios...but I'll stop.
And how often do we give and show grace to ourselves? How often do we think its okay to take a week off, to be okay with the non-perfect Instagram feed, to just be? I don't think its very often. I think in general we don't do a good job of this, and then throw in trying to run a business and it gets even harder. You're trying to impress and to satisfy customers needs and a lot of times this can bring on the feeling of inadequacy of trying to do all and be all. Who REALLY cares if you Instagram feed is succinct and well put together? (I'm cringing because I care about it) Who cares if your blog post goes up a day late because you wanted to sleep an extra hour? Who cares if your email blast didn't go out on time because you spent the day with your kids instead? Give yourself some GRACE and know that you are enough! Your efforts are enough!
I think it's always very important to extend the example of grace to all those we come in contact with, especially ourselves. Because in all reality, we are all just trying our best. And I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
My name is Trishia Ralston, owner of T Ralston Photography and I value being able to highlight our family’s entrepreneur story with you. Being a business owner fueled family we are faced with rising everyday knowing that journeying the ebbs and flows matters to our thriving nature of our investments. We are altruistic, holistic thinkers and the places we invest are a purposed calling as we allow our businesses to spur on one another and highlight the stories they tell.
Working for a non-profit in Africa for years we learned deep measures about the importance of being a holistic thinker and knowing that if a part of life struggles to survive then all the rest of life will falter with it. Seeing a person with individual needs and a story to share with the world is a heartbeat of what we do. This experience led us back to Cincinnati where my husband, Brett is co- founder to Roots Staffing. The focus is job placement with the intention of support and changing the story for generations to come. We value the gift of equipping someone with the tools of readiness to provide for a family's needs.
My lens is two-fold as I focus on capturing life’s moments with my clients thru T Ralston Photography as well as journey with others thru health and wellness in order to live out their season with mental readiness and with health ability.
T Ralston Photography is a creative space where my sessions are personalized for a story to be shared. You may see me with families and couples celebrating life milestones/events, following a bride and groom thru the details of their day, highlighting entrepreneur passions and their businesses, in the first moments of births and newborns, newness of home adventures, or even gathered around end of life care telling a story of love and togetherness. It is a heart investment focus where the frame is your chapter highlighted for others to see with you for years to come.
Working as an entrepreneur can alter sleep, decrease energy, impact immune support and I was becoming bound by IBS and hypoglycemic struggles so focusing on gut health and inflammation so that I could function in my roles without health limitations became a place I wanted to be available for people as well. Celebrating victories of healing and health freedom has been vital for my husband and I in our business focuses because it keeps our bodies, minds & spirits working together to best give our talents and giftedness their ability to grow and to invest with sustained energy, sound rest, and clear focus. Plant based supplements give us a fuel to invest the journey of merging a holistic focus of our investments.
A word of encouragement:
️ Keep on being YOU, faithfully planting your purpose, in this often fast-paced, climb high success ladder of a world.
Do not conform to others view of success, but know your path and focus on the long haul, for there you will find a world of joy and accomplishment.
Thank you for taking the time to see a glimpse into our story and if any specifics spark your interest would love to share more with you.
To learn more about Trisha and her life as a Girl Boss visit these links:
Social Media: @t_ralston-photography
Being a Girl Boss can look like a lot of different things. It can look like a stay at home mom, it can look like a direct sales/MLM consultant, it can look like a straight outta college entrepreneur, or a middle aged empty nester trying to find her purpose again, a blogger, and so on. I've been a 'Girl Boss' since 2009 when I really started digging into my music career. I quickly found out that you had to really sell yourself, talk yourself up, make the rounds, put on a face, and truly believe you were the next best thing. I wasn't (still am not) good at ANY of that. I wasn't any good at the hustle. I wasn't good at playing the game. I guess I had what you called, a lot of 'heart'. I purposefully would NOT talk about myself in regards to music as to not draw attention to myself (and maybe that was my biggest flaw and at the same time my greatest gift). But I LOVED the music, the industry, the business. I lived and breathed music row like it was a part of me.
If you take any minute at all to scan social media, one of the most popular words you see being used in the Girl Boss world is 'hustle'. But does anyone ever stop and look up what that word actually means?
to crowd or push roughly, to convey forcibly, to sell or promote energetically and aggressively, to shove, to hurry, to hasten, energetic activity....
These are just a few of the definitions that are listed under the word 'hustle' in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Do any of these definitions give off a positive vibe?
I've never been a fan of this word. To me, it sounds "pushy", leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and comes across as disingenuous. Not to say that "energetic activity" isn't needed to run and propel your business especially when starting up, but in all reality, the rest of the definitions are not becoming. The idea of hustle stirs up chaos, and clutter, and all sorts of mind clouding activity.
Let's take at the word that is typically paired with hustle; heart.
the emotional or moral nature as distinguished from the intellectual nature: such as a generous disposition, courage or enthusiasm especially when maintained during a difficult situation, one's innermost character.
You aren't your hustle. You are your HEART. Your why, your how, YOU are enough. So, take that breather, don't push yourself too hard, give yourself grace. You are enough. No hustle needed.
The Pop Ups are amazing and fun, but our favorite part of GBE is the community that is being created with amazing Girl Bosses and the friendships that we see forming! Our monthly mixers are such a fun and relaxed time for us to get together, chat about life in general, and just be.
Our February mixer was at Cavu Coffee in West Chester where some of the members were able to come together casually and enjoy coffee, company and a Galentine's Photo Booth! Our favorite part was "speed dating" Girl Boss style where we got to know the members a little better than before!
We LOVE getting to know our Girl Bosses better each month! If you are interested in joining in on the fun, please send us a message or head over to our membership page for more information!
Photos: Emma McMahan Photography.
So, our sweet spot is creating and hosting events to bring our Girl Boss community together as well as showcasing their businesses to the consumers in the area. We've had two "generic" pop ups and are now embarking on our first themed pop up. We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting a one of a kind Bridal Pop Up event in the Cincinnati area!
And, I know what you may be thinking...why should I go? What makes GBE Bridal Pop Up different from the other dozens of Bridal shows in the area. Well, let me give a few reasons of how we are different and why should you come!
REASON #1: We pride ourselves on having intimate pop ups. Because: 1. Who wants to feel like cattle? and 2. we LOVE seeing the connection the community makes with THE BEST women owned businesses in the area. You actually have time to chat with the Girl Bosses who own the businesses represented as well as shop their goods right then and there, AND get ideas for your big day (or just life in general)!
REASON #2: Our pop ups tend to have the feel of a party or modern market, if you will, rather than a craft fair or expo. Our Bridal Pop Up will be no exception. We have SO many exciting things happening during the day that will make it worth your while to pop in, even if you are already married, proud and single, or actually a bride-to-be.
REASON #3: $10 gets you in the door, but that's not all it will get you.
REASON #4: It's going to be a good time. It just is. Trust us on this one.
In the coming weeks, we'll be blogging a bit more about the event and what you can expect, who you can see, meet, and chat with, and ALL THE THINGS that will be going on during the Pop Up!
So, when you hear the term "Girl Boss" what pops into your head? A "fempreneur" who gives ALL her energy to the hustle, never stops, comes across as perfect, has it all together, and thinks that girls are better than boys?
Well, you won't find that person here.
Hopefully, you've had a chance to read 'the story' about how and why Girl Boss Events was started. If not, head on back before you read any further! Here at GBE you'll find real, raw, non-perfect, encouraging, non judgmental, team players, who believe in self-care and refilling our own buckets while navigating the waters of entrepreneurism.
On my desk, there is a ceramic piece that reads, 'GIRL BOSS: vision to see obstacles as opportunities'.
And that's exactly what I think a Girl Boss is. Someone who can take an obstacle or situation in life, find the idea within that and turn that idea into an opportunity.
The Girl Boss life isn't easy, it isn't for all, but for those of us who have chosen to walk the road of starting up our own businesses, it truly is a wonderful thing to find a group of like-minded women who can cheer each other on without feeling like what they have to offer isn't good enough.
So here's to those living the Girl Boss life and struggling to find balance, hope, rest, peace, and a sense of humor when we feel like we should just give up.