We are so proud to introduce you to this year’s Influential Women of Cincinnati. These women are using their unique talents and abilities to make our region a better place. Whether it’s starting nonprofits, creating new communities, or feeding and caring for the less fortunate, these women are making a difference.
Q. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER JOURNEY?
A. I’m a Cincinnati-lifer. I grew up in Oakley. I went to college at Ohio University, but it was not for me. I wanted to work with my hands or make something, do something. I’m a doer by nature and didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything in college. I came home and did a million things and odd jobs, but then I was a receptionist at a local hair salon. It just clicked.
I started doing hair in a studio space when I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Two years later, we opened our first salon. I loved doing hair and the people I worked with, but I didn’t love the feel of a big salon. It felt impersonal. I wanted to go back to that feeling like you were walking into my house. So that’s what we did! We bought a house in Oakley and flipped it to be a salon. Now it feels like I’m just having people over to my house. That community feeling translates to a lot of what I’ve done in the past eight years.
Q. HOW DID SECOND CHANCE OUTFITTERS GET STARTED?
A. I had a basement full of boy stuff and when I found I was having a girl, I couldn’t figure out what to do with it. I decided to create my own resale sale to sell or pass on the quality items. I joined up with another local mama, Alicia, and it’s evolved into this awesome twice-a-year sale, but with a community behind it. When COVID hit, we were forced to abandon our live sale and go virtual. It was hard, but we knew we had to do it for the mental health of our mamas, and to keep the community aspect alive and thriving. We’ve developed and grown this beautiful behind-the-scenes private Facebook group for SCO that has become a living, breathing village and lifeline of sorts for so many. It’s something that I’m so proud of.
It’s just different raising a child now. For me, motherhood felt very isolating and lonely. I had to create my own village. Now there’s 150 mothers that just help each other out year-round. One of them had a newborn in the NICU, and it turned into people dropping off lunch and Door-Dashing food, and even people offering to help the family when they got home.
Q. HOW ARE YOU GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY?
A. Second Chance Outfitters has always donated to local organizations. We just had a winter coat drive. One of our local organizations was desperate for winter items, and we threw it together in three weeks. Everyone was all in! We used the salon as a home base and advertised on all the local mom pages. We got 150 coats and filled three Suburbans! It feels so great to be able to volunteer and give back to our community. It gives us purpose and meaning.
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE DREAMS AND PLANS TO MAKE CINCINNATI A BETTER PLACE?
A. We have so many great things in Cincinnati, like the parks and the arts. But I wish we could do more for kids who might be falling through the gaps. I want to help those kids that have disadvantages and connect these neighborhoods. Every kid deserves to have access to all the great things in our city.