Creative City Episode #39 - Creative Director Joi Sears

Cincinnati born-and-raised Creative Director Joi Sears is a creative’s creative: she’s done everything from dance and spoken word to photography and theater, earning a BFA in Acting before shifting her focus to combining the arts and social change through entrepreneurship. We talk about her ethical fashion line Amsterdamage, her sustainable pop-up shop The Green Store, and why she was banned from Europe by the Dutch government(!).

We also discuss:

- Her goal of traveling 30 cities outside the US by her 30th birthday, including places in Brazil, Haiti, an Ghana before winding up in Amsterdam.

- The bold mouse and the poetry performance that changed the course of her life.

- Her top three tips for zero-waste newbies (hint: cut back on plastic, especially single-use plastic products like water bottles and straws).

- Why she wanted The Green Store to be more than a place to shop.

- What she discovered researching sustainability and shopping habits of millennials.

- Her dream of finding a permanent location for The Green Store and how it could be replicated and adapted to communities in cities around the world (attention funders and investors!).

Also mentioned:
Poem About My Rights by June Jordan

@4freepeople on Twitter & Instagram
@thegreenstorecincy on Instagram
@thestylesample on Twitter & Instagram
@tethercincy on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

Remember to sign up for the mailing list to keep up with Cincinnati’s amazing community of creatives.

Music by The Passion HiFi

Creative City Episode #38 - Evolution Fashion Studio's Tony Tiemeyer

Fashion connoisseur Tony Tiemeyer ( opened his first vintage clothing store in 1984, and soon after started carrying the work of then up-and-coming designers like Todd Oldham and Donna Karan. After running several successful designer shops and managing high-end retail, he decided to take on a new challenge: e-commerce. We talk about how he started Evolution Fashion Studio, why he likes to stay incognito, and how he wound up dressing Cookie Lyon in Dior.

We also discuss:

  • How the Positively 4th Street window exhibit in downtown Cincinnati came together
  • Why he chose to invest in starting a business when he wasn’t sure what to study in college
  • How befriending a young Zac Posen eventually led to carrying designers like McQueen, Givenchy, and Lanvin.
  • What his upcoming plans are for Evolution’s FirstDibs (spoiler: fun things at a lower price point!)
  • Why he’s tempted by the idea of a brick-and-mortar but focused on growing the e-commerce side of the business.

- @evolution1645 on Twitter and Instagram
Positively 4th Street window exhibit
thestylesample on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Creative City Episode #37 - Jewelry Designer Jill Goulait

Jill Goulait started making jewelry as a hobby after taking a simple soldering class, and what began as a diversion turned into a full-fledged occupation. The simple, minimalist designs that distinguish Circle Circle Jewelry ( are inspired by deconstructing shapes down to their most basic form. We discuss how and why she changed the name of her business, how she found the perfect Production Assistant, and why it’s important to learn from everything you try.

We also discuss:

  • Going through the vigorous First Batch ( accelerator program
  • Why etsy makes a great testing ground for everything from product design to marketing
  • What a difference straightforward descriptions, on-figure photos, and good customer service makes
  • How important it is to test, measure results, and stay nimble
  • Possible plans to make fine jewelry and create a bridal line

circlecirclejewelry on Instagram and Facebook 
Retailers MiCA 12/v, Morrison & Me, and 21C Cincinnati
Episode #27 - Fashion Designer Jenifer Sult
thestylesample on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Creative City Episode #36 - Music Producer Kick Lee

Kick Lee landed in music production by sheer accident, after studying graphic design and discovering he wasn’t made for the corporate world. He grew up listening to music and has since become a fan of a number of genres, from bluegrass and country to hip-hop and EDM. We talk about his process for creating tracks from scratch, how music licensing works, and why he decided to make music his career (spoiler: it was when he got a $10K check for one gig!).

We also discuss:

  • His experience at Full Sail University and why it was one of the best decisions he made.
  • Being a black man with diverse tastes and talents, and the content that inspires him
  • The difference between exclusive vs non-exclusive licensing, and royalty back-end payments
  • What agencies and large companies look for when sourcing music for campaigns
  • Plans for KL Studios, his new recording and production studio designed to empower communities through sound
  • His affinity for Batman (?!?!)

producerkicklee on Twitter and Instagram 
Elementz, Episode #25 
thestylesample on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Listen here or download on iTunesSoundCloud, and Stitcher. Please share, subscribe and rate on iTunes, and sign up for the mailing list to keep up with Cincinnati's amazing community of creatives.

Creative City Episode #35 - Preneur Manager Stephanie Bohanon

Stephanie Bohanon studied finance and commercial real estate before a store management position at Preneur crossed her path. The brainchild of Procter & Gamble, Preneur is a year long 3rd party popup shop created to share new Tide products with the market and showcase local businesses. We chat about working with independent businesses, what it means to be an experiential retailer, and how today’s ambitious youths make us want to play catch-up.

We also discuss:

- The benefits of trying new creative ideas to see what sticks
- How small makers benefit from working with large brands, and vice versa
- Upcoming themes like sports, independent fashion (yay!), and wellness
- Hosting a series of small events like speaker series, shopping events, and cocktail hours
- Partner brands like Arkadiance, Native Brand, Originalitees, Game Day Feels, and Loner


Preneur, 1333 Walnut St. at the corner of Walnut & Mercer
@PreneurCincy on Facebook and Instagram
MORTAR Pitch night podcast
thestylesample on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Creative City Episode #34 - Film Director Brandon Faris

Film Director Brandon Faris co-founded video production studio LEAPFrame in 2013, but his real first love is music. After studying sound production, he took on stints engineering music for commercials (he wrote a song a for Ford Truck ad!) and as a youth minister before learning to edit video by creating classic spots and mini-documentaries for Current TV. We talk about how he got his first videos on air, why he started his own podcast (Filmmakers Drinking Bourbon), and how he’s really a fashionista at heart.

We also discussed:

  • Why getting a job as a used car salesman literally made him cry
  • Realizing his sweet spot was between somewhere between editing in a dark room and new business development
  • Product-izing and packaging the video production process
  • How he always has multiple books in circulation (how?)
  • Why he converted to a 15-piece capsule wardrobe (again, how?)

@bfaris on Instagram
@brandonfaris onTwitter
thestylesample on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Listen here or download on iTunesSoundCloud, and Stitcher. Please share, subscribe and rate on iTunes and be sure to sign up for the mailing list to keep up with Cincinnati's amazing community of creatives.

Creative City Episode #33 - Handzy Shop + Studio

Friends Suzy and Brittney met in the first day of class during their 2nd year in college, and have been inseparable ever since. They started Handzy ( as a graphic design studio, creating branding for small businesses and stationery for craft fairs before embarking on a new venture: retail. We talk about working with other independent creators, how a more visually holistic approach to design has streamlined their process, and why Instagram Friends are (almost) as good as IRL ones.

We also discussed:

  • How having a shop started as an inside joke that quickly turned into a reality
  • The process of creating and curating their rad Instagram images
  • How wedding invitations are the bridge between client work and stationery design
  • Why networking is not nearly as effective (or fun!) as friend-making
  • How they approach blogging as a small business


Handzy Design Shop + Studio, 15 W Pike Street, Covington, KY
hellohandzy on Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook 
thestylesample on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Remember to sign up for the mailing list to keep up with Cincinnati’s amazing community of creatives.

Music by The Passion HiFi

Creative City Episode #32 - Designer Chris Glass

Designer Chris Glass ( intended to go to school to study film, but wound up in Visual Communication, transitioning from analog to computer-based work on the cusp of the digital revolution. We talk about how he progressed from creating CD-ROMS (remember those?) to designing the logo for the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, how taking daily photos turned into a motivator to lead an interesting life, and why the Beliebers came after him on Twitter.

We also discussed:

  • How being attracted to a “rock sensibility” led him to design everything from album covers to t-shirts
  • Finding the rhythm and the beauty of having mundane rest days
  • His Haile Foundation Fellowship focused on learning more about photography and celebrating the way it can bring people together
  • The importance of physically meeting in a space and exploring it together
  • Launching the new PhotoScouting Cincinnati book (available April 3rd!) and Pixels & Ink co-working space

@glass on Twitter
@thephotocorps on Instagram
thestylesample on
Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat

Be sure to subscribe to email updates to keep up with Cincinnati's amazing community of creatives! 

Music by The Passion HiFi