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Amy Scalia, a Cincinnati native, is the editor in chief and publisher of Cincy Chic. Amy’s major life accomplishments include: being a 2010 “40 Under 40” recipient from the Cincinnati Business Courier, winning the “Best New Product/Service of the Year” Award from the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and a national Web-writing award from ASHPE in 2007, a national feature writing award from ASBPE in 2006 and running three Flying Pig Marathons.
Cincy Chic is the only online lifestyle publication for women in the Greater Cincinnati area. Each week, this dynamic e-zine publishes a feature story, columns, and five editorial departments in the following topics: health, beauty, fashion, social and career. Events include fashion shows, lunch ‘n’ learns and philanthropic fundraisers. Visit to learn more.
MO: What inspired you to launch Cincy Chic?
Amy: Being part of the demographic, I discovered a huge, untapped market in middle sized markets when it came to cosmopolitan women. A “Sex and the City” esque 20-50 something — with fashion to love, places to be, people to meet, and money to spend. We were all hungry for information but too busy to dig for it. I realized I could be the one to bring this information to this powerful, growing and decision making market. By featuring the local people, products, services and events they want to know about, in an easily accessible digital format, it was an immediate success. I believe it’s remained successful because there was a genuine need there. I zeroed in on that untapped potential and figured out how to make my readers happy while also making the business profitable in the process.
MO: How did you background and experience contribute to the development and success of the site?
Amy: My communications BA degree, with a focus in electronic journalism, from Miami University is what set me up for success. It taught me everything I needed to know for how to write, run a content management system and all the random little jobs (ie photography, videography and graphic design) that I can do myself and not freelance out. I did have several internships — one at a TV station and another managing the internal website for Cincinnati Bell — that also gave me job readiness skills for running my business today.
MO: How has Cincy Chic evolved since you launched in 2007?
Amy: Events have been the biggest evolution. Looking back at my original business plan, events were only to be 25% of our total revenue. And today they are 75% of our revenue and are the driving force of our new subscribers and our PR initiatives. I realized that doing events brings us into the “real space” so people can experience a personified version of what we are online. It also gives our readers an experience they can share with others – many of whom are new to Cincy Chic – which grows our reach. It also is the value proposition for why to be a subscriber. The past 3 events have been sell-out crowds, but our subscribers are always the first to learn about them. So that’s why people subscribe and stay on the list – so they are always the first to know and get in on our events!
MO: What are your favorite features of the site?
Amy: We have a “walk on site” where I come on and greet people to the site (cookies are set up to do this once a week). I tell people about that month’s event that’s coming up and when they click on the video goes to the event page I’m talking about. I’ve gotten great feedback from this because people never recognized me at events or around town until the Walk On. It gives the site personality and builds a virtual friendship, so they feel like they are making a friend and not just visiting a website.
MO: Why has it been so important to you, to give back by raising funds and awareness for local female-focused philanthropies?
Amy: I grew up with very meager means. My mom was a secretary, my dad was a teacher, and my first job was picking corn. We never had much to ever donate or give back. When I started the business, I realized that I could help local non profits by promoting their events and partnering to make them the recipient of our event proceeds. There are so many amazing non profits so I decided that I had to be selective with who we partner with to narrow it down. The qualifying factors are that they must benefit local women – that’s our readership, so I want to have it go directly back to helping them.
MO: Do you have any desire to expand into other cities?
Amy: Yes…soon…. To be continued…. :)
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