Parlour Salon


Potent natural products and floral-inspired pretties

1. Lip and cheek illuminator, $30, Fine-One-One, Benefit cosmetics, available at Sephora, Kenwood Towne Center, 7875 Montgomery Road, Kenwood. 2. Soap, $6 each, all-natural and locally made, Orange Fuzz3. Parfum d’ Extase eau de parfum, $85, the first perfume by Marchesa, available at Sephora, Kenwood Towne Center, 7875 Montgomery Road, Kenwood. 4. Eyeshadow, $8, all-natural and hand-mixed, Blink Makeup Studio, Northside International Airport, 4029 Hamilton Ave., Northside, blinkmakeupstudio@gmail.com. 5. Un Jardin En Mediterranée eau de toilette, $90-$125, Hermes, available at Sephora, Kenwood Towne Center, 7875 Montgomery Road, Kenwood. 6. Alchemic shampoo and conditioner in silver, $25 and $28, sustainable and natural, Davines, available at Parlour salon, 2600 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills. 7. Sandalwood-vanilla bath soap and body lotion, $10 each, all-natural and hand-mixed, Blink Makeup Studio, Northside International Airport, 4029 Hamilton Ave., Northside, blinkmakeupstudio@gmail.com. 8. Nail polish, $13.50 each, eco-friendly, Priti NYC, available at Alba Organic Beauty Studios, 2882 Wasson Road, Hyde Park. 9. Violets & Rainwater demi-absolute, $35-$140, hand-blended artisan essence, Soivohle by Liz Zorn, Studio Z, 1105 Central Ave., Studio 116, Middletown.

Female-owned businesses revitalize the East Walnut Hills shopping district.

Something interesting is happening in East Walnut Hills. And it’s not just that this once-rundown neighborhood — often forgotten when discussing ‘hood “hipness” in favor of communities such as OTR, Hyde Park or Northside — is experiencing its own urban revival. It’s that the growing business district of Woodburn Avenue is almost entirely powered by women.

Women have been ruling the East Walnut Hills business scene for years with their salons, art galleries, boutiques, fitness studios and more. And since last fall alone, at least five new female-owned Woodburn storefronts have opened, with more in the offing.

“I believe in energies,” says Annie Bolling, who opened the PAC Gallery on Woodburn in 2009 and yoga/Pilates studio, Clear, next door in 2011. “When I would drive down Woodburn, I felt like this place was on the verge. The potential was there. I could see the storefronts filled and people walking up and down the street.”

Officially incorporated in 1866, East Walnut Hills became a destination neighborhood post-Civil War for wealthy urbanites who had easier uptown access thanks to newly built streetcar lines. However, as with many urban neighborhoods in the late 20th century, decay and crime slowly crept in as the suburbs boomed and longtime small businesses closed up shop. These days, however, a combination of factors — including the recession — has inspired creative, entrepreneurial Cincinnati women to step up to the plate and make this charming, historic neighborhood their own.

For example, Bolling opened PAC to address her desire to bring contemporary art to the Cincy masses; Clear followed as an extension of her side job doing private fitness training. Catherine Meguire wanted to feel more connected to her half-French side while living stateside, so in 2011 she opened Le Bon Vivant, a local source for all things French. An opportunity created by the closing of MoCa cafe opened the door for Sandy Vierling to debut Cafe DeSales in early 2012. High online sales traffic from Cincinnati to North Carolina clothing boutique Oomph inspired Arien Agurs to launch a second location here. And finding a modern space that could combine the practicality of a salon with the aesthetics of a creative space attracted Parlour owner Jessie Hoffman to her Woodburn storefront.

East Walnut Hills’ mix of affordable rentals and stately old homes appeals to a diverse group of residents, from young singles and couples to seniors and everyone in between. As the younger generation continues to buck old trends — staying in the city instead of fleeing to the ‘burbs, and holding off on new home and car purchases — creating and maintaining opportunities for neighborhoods like East Walnut Hills to thrive becomes even more vital.

“I’m a city mouse,” Meguire says. “I love the idea of seeing these marvelous old neighborhoods being brought back to life.”

That life is most evident once every six weeks when Woodburn lights up on a Friday evening for the Walk on Woodburn. Organized and promoted by Manifest Gallery and Shawna Guip of Hi-Bred vintage, the walk combines art, food and shopping for a more laid-back alternative to downtown’s Final Friday scene.

“The collaborative mentality is in right now, and it has proven to be successful,” Bolling says. “We are including our community, not excluding them. There’s stuff for everybody here — high end and low end.”

Women own almost one third of U.S. small businesses, and most of those have 10 or fewer employees, according to research by American Express OPEN. With such a high concentration of these small businesses on Woodburn — and with many offering similar products, such as clothing, salon services or art -— you’d think things could get catty quickly. But the women of Woodburn easily defy that tired stereotype; rather than competing, the businesses complement each other, making the street a true shopping destination.

“I think women are survivors, and that sort of attitude lends well to starting your own business,” Bolling says. “We all understand that united we stand, divided we fall. When you put your sweat equity into it, there’s no room to butt heads. What’s good for one store is good for all the stores.”

“Women have courage,” Meguire adds. “We do what we feel we need to do.”

Women-owned Businesses in East Walnut Hills

Cafe DeSales 2835 Woodburn Ave.

Clear 2542 Woodburn Ave.

Hi-Bred 2548 Woodburn Ave.

Le Bon Vivant2801 Woodburn Ave.

One More Stitch1609 Madison Road

Oomph Boutique 2803 Woodburn Ave.

PAC Gallery2540 Woodburn Ave.

Palette Studios 2501 Woodburn Ave.

Parlour2600 Woodburn Ave.

Salon DeSales 2839 Woodburn Ave.

Sole Atelier 2544Woodburn Ave.

StrebelArt2723 Woodburn Ave.

Photos by Jesse Fox

Create temporary rainbow-colored highlights.

Hair chalking is an easy way to dress up your locks with bold and bright color accents! The chalking process can be done at home or at the salon, and creates matte texture and fanciful color without commitment. By applying color to your hair with soft artist pastels (purchased at any arts and crafts store), you can hop on the dreamy hair hue trend without the permanence and damage of bleach and dye. 

Celebrities from reality-star-turned-fashionista Lauren Conrad to comedienne grande dame Joan Rivers have been sporting bright pink strands, and Chanel’s Cruise 2013 campaign was laced with lilac, mint and strawberry bobs. And the good news if you look terrible with periwinkle highlights? No need to panic. Just wash your hair and you’ll be back to your pre-pastel self.


  • Flat iron or curling iron
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Wide-tooth comb 
  • Good quality soft pastel chalk (Do NOT use oil pastels)
  • Towel or robe to protect clothing 
  • Hairspray
  • Gloves, if you don’t want chalk on your fingers


  • Select a 1-inch strand of hair and spritz with water until slightly damp.
  • Twist strand slightly at the ends and rub hair with the pastel in small up-and-down strokes. If the color isn’t showing up, dampen hair again and repeat with a brighter color. Apply color to both sides of the hair strand. The better quality pastel you use, the brighter the pigment will be.
  • Comb through the colored strand with a wide-tooth comb and allow to air dry.
  • Go over the colored strand(s) with a hot iron to set color. Color will rub off on your hot iron, so use an old one or one you don’t care about coloring.
  • Continue steps 1-4 on different strands of hair until you have achieved the desired effect.
  • Finish your hair with a light hold hairspray to help prevent smudging. (Fun fact: Soft pastel artists also use hairspray as a fixative to protect their finished paintings.)


  • Chalking will work on all hair colors, but keep in mind the lighter your hair, the longer the color could possibly remain in your hair. 
  • Try using two colors on one strand. 
  • You can chalk one strand or many. Try chalking just the ends to create an ombre effect.
  • Do not chalk hair too often. Powder pigment can suck up a lot of the hair’s natural moisture. Follow each chalking with a deep conditioning treatment.
  • There is a possibility the chalk will rub off on your clothing, so keep that in mind when you’re getting dressed. If you’re worried, try an up-do, and avoid rain, sprinklers, etc.

Jessie’s Product Recommendations:

  • Any brand of good quality soft pastels 
  • Davines No.7 Crystal Fixative Hairspray 
  • Davines Solu Shampoo
  • Davines Nou Nou Pak Hair Mask

These fanciful hairpieces defy tradition.

Hats off to the latest trend in bridal wear: the fascinator. 

Ever since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Wedding (and actress Elizabeth Banks’ portrayal of Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games), fascinators have gained popularity with celebrities and commoners alike. These elaborately trimmed formal hairpieces, worn off to the side or front of the forehead, can be architectural and avant-garde in appearance when made of cast lace or giant dried flowers (creating a small, surreal forest on your head), or fun and fanciful when constructed with feathers and ribbon.  

With so many different styles of fascinators, everyone from guests to the bride herself can wear the look, playing on themes from vintage to bizarre. Fascinators are a great way for brides who don’t want a traditional veil to add a touch of elegance while still looking unique.  

With backgrounds in architecture and engineering, purveyors of wearable art, Catherine Richards and Anh Tran of Cincinnati-based Hark+Hark designs, create custom fascinators worthy of your big day.

“Fascinators can add extravagance to any special day and are the perfect punctuation mark to give your hair a designed look,” says Richards. “We think a fascinator hair piece has more style and structure versus a veil that tends to conceal ones features and identity. Fascinators do the opposite — working to accentuate your personality and reveal your beauty.” 

For custom designs, Richards and Tran recommend a consultation at least three months in advance with a fitting to make sure the fascinator works with your hair and dress.  

Find Hark+Hark fascinators at Parlour salon in East Walnut Hills, where owner and stylist Jessie Hoffman will create bridal hairstyles that work well with your fascinator and highlight your overall look. Because, according to Hoffman, another advantage of fascinators is that they can remain in your hair after the ceremony, unlike veils, which are usually removed for the reception. With fascinators, you can keep your bridal look all night long! 

How To Wear A Fascinator: 

  1. Have your hair styled (or style yourself) into an up-do or partial up-do. 
  2. Orient the fascinator in the direction that works best for the hair. Again, fascinators are most commonly worn to the front or side of the head. For inspiration, check out the front-of-the-head style Victoria Beckham wore to the Royal Wedding, or images of musician Rihanna as she frequently wears sculptural fascinators to events and in music videos. (If you’re weary of fascinators, avoid images of Lady Gaga donning them, especially the meat one.) 
  3. Secure the fascinator with the comb underneath or use bobby pins to hold it in place.

Photos by Susan Keller and Johanna Virta.