Creative Enterprise

2018 Finalists

Winner of the $15,000 Grand Prize
Founder Ron Gerdes
of Mortal Ski Company

Park Hills, Kentucky

Mortal Ski Company build skis by hand one at a time using time tested materials and skills.

Winner of the People’s Choice Award
Garrison Jennings of Russo’s Ravioli

Russo’s Ravioli is a family business driven by passion and family recipes to bring Cincinnati the finest raviolis, lasagnas and sauces.

Justina Block of
Osmia Bee Company

Osmia Bee Company works to raise awareness of the plight of native bees and provides tools, so people can hatch and raise their own.

Amber Zaragoza of
Queen City Vignette

Queen City Vignette provides a library of colorful furniture and textural rugs and decor for rent for your wedding, party or event.

Susannah Tisue of
SKT Ceramics

SKT Ceramics is a porcelain studio that creates durable tableware and gifts adorned with original illustrations by founder Susannah Tisue.

Laura Moeller of
Strange Stock Art Conservation

Strange Stock Art Conservation provides preservation services for the repair and restoration of works on paper and photographic materials.

Taren Kinebrew of
Sweet Petit Desserts

Sweet Petit Desserts offers a variety of bite size desserts from cupcakes to pies and teaches baking classes primarily to kids.

Richard Stewart of
The Madhouse Vinegar Company

The MadHouse Vinegar is committed to two things—creating world-class artisanal vinegar and making it using products that would have been poured down the drain, mainly from local breweries, cider houses, vineyards, and distilleries.

2017 Winners

Winner of the $15,000 Grand Prize
Founder Patrick Brown
of Ohio Valley Beard Supply

Cincinnati, OH
Ohio Valley Beard Supply creates and sells a wide variety of beard care products.

Winner of the $5,000 Audience Vote
Founder Connor Sambrookes
of Brookes & Hyde

Cincinnati, OH
Brookes & Hyde crafts leather goods by hand for life’s adventures.

2017 Finalists

Founder Christie Goodfellow

Cincinnati, OH
CGCERMAICS creates wheel-thrown pottery and handmade multiples such as bowls and plates that can be seen in multiple stores, restaurants, and states.

Founder Paul Miller
of Cirucs Mojo LLC

Ludlow, KY
Circus Mojo hosts a variety of artists and offers multiple programs, including Circus Wellness where performers travel to Children’s Hospitals to bring laughter and cheer to the patients.

Founder Brittney Braemer
of Handzy Shop + Studio

Covington, KY
Handzy Shop + Studio is a custom stationary and paper goods seller, producer, and design business

Founder Katie Trauth Taylor
of Untold Content, LLC


Cincinnati, OH
Untold Content, LLC is a writing consultancy that supports innovative organizations in sharing their insights and establishing their thought leadership through clear, thought-provoking content.

Founder Daniel Klemens
of Waterfields

Cincinnati, OH
Waterfields hires local residents to help cultivate microgreens and specialty produce for restaurants.


2016 Finalists

Winner of the $15,000 Grand Prize
Founder James Avant IV
of OCD Cakes

Cincinnati, OH
OCD Cakes exists to take a bite out of the stigma surrounding mental health through cake and offers an accessible and affordable introductory baking class experience, eliminating many fears associated with baking.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – James Avant IV

Winner of the $5,000 Audience Vote
Founder Scott Beseler
of The Lodge

Dayton, KY
The Lodge is an artist’s dream studio and a place where artists of all disciplines have the tools and resources to create, produce and live art.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Scott Beseler

Founder Jonathan Fox
of Fox Aprons

Cincinnati, OH
Fox Aprons make the best aprons in the world. As the only raw denim apron company,
they make profession, industry-tested work wear designed by chefs for all shapes and sizes.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Jonathan Fox

Founder Tempal Hitt
of Grace Green Beauty

West Chester, OH
Grace Green Beauty is a whole-being beauty and wellness line crafted with integrity and designed to feed your skin.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Tempal Hitt

Founder Jake Gerth
of Frameshop USA

Cincinnati, OH
Frameshop USA is a custom picture framing company who strives to be a style-setter in both retail and hospitality.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Jake Gerth

Founder Sara Swinehart
of SRO Prints


Cincinnati, OH
SRO Prints is a full service custom printing social enterprise that provides employment to at risk women and men including ex-offenders and individuals recovering from drug addiction and homelessness.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Sara Swinehart

Founder Thane Lorbach
of Thane Lorbach Custom Manufacturing

Cincinnati, OH
Thane Lorbach Furniture designs and creates custom furniture.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Thane Lorbach

Founder Khisha Asubuhi
of Originalitees

Cincinnati, Ohio
Originalitees is a locally owned and operated clothing line that specializes in state, city and neighborhood pride apparel.
Soapbox Cincinnati: Big Pitch Finalist – Khisha Asubuhi


 2015 Finalists


On August 27, 2015 at the Cincinnati Masonic Center, Big Pitch finalist Brush Factory was awarded a $15,000 grant by a panel of judges and the $5,000 Audience Choice Award.

“Rosie and I are thrilled and honored to have been part of Artworks Big Pitch and so grateful to have been chosen as winners of ArtWorks Big Pitch. We are especially grateful to everyone at ArtWorks who worked so hard on this program and our wonderful coach Bob Bonder, whose help and insights have meant so much. And three cheers to Mike Walters and US Bank for making this possible and for their enthusiastic encouragement for entrepreneurs.”

Co-founders Hayes Shanesy & Rosie Kovacs
of Brush Factory

Hayes Shanesy and Rosie Kovacs_Brush Factory

Cincinnati, OH
Brush Factory designs and fabricates custom contemporary furniture using regionally sourced hardwoods.
Brush Factory builds exciting future on a base of craftsmanship and tradition | Soapbox

Founder Rachel DesRochers
of Grateful Grahams

Covington, Kentucky
Grateful Grahams are handmade vegan graham treats that taste great and come with a big dose of gratitude!
Grateful Grahams founder displays gratitude along with desire to grow business | Soapbox

Founder Allison Hines
of Butcher Betties

Allison Hines_Butcher Betties

Florence, KY
Butcher Betties is a female, veteran owned butcher shop & gourmet food store specializing in local,  grass fed, natural, and organic meat.
Butcher Betties gets to the meat of why local startups need mentoring and funding | Soapbox

 Founder Richard Hunt
of Roebling Point Books & Coffee

Richard Hunt_Roebling Point Books and Coffee

Covington, KY
RoPoBoCo welcomes readers, neighbors, authors, advocacy groups, visitors and everyone thirsting for cool books, hot coffee and great people.
Roebling Point Books & Coffee in love with Covington, and vice versa | Soapbox


Founder James Marable
of Original Thought Required

James Marable_Original Thought Required

Cincinnati, OH
Original Thought Required is a cultural & fashion destination for Cincinnati. Focusing on limited edition apparel by independent designers.
Original Thought Required encourages young talent, creates community | Soapbox

Founder Jess Sheldon
of Cityscape Tiles

Jess Sheldon_Hazel Brown Photography

Cincinnati, OH
Cityscape Tiles, formerly Hazel Brown Photography, is a photography service business and product developer, wholesaler and retailer of functional fine art products.
Big Pitch finalist Jess Sheldon shows longtime love for OTR with Cityscape Tiles | Soapbox


Founder Jason Snell
of We Have Become Vikings

Jason Snell_We Have Become Vikings

Cincinnati, OH
WHBV is a group of rebels, rockers, thinkers and makers combining strategy and design to help tell stories through any means possible.
Snell’s Viking design work is at All Star Game, Lumenocity and everywhere in between | Soapbox

Founder Jenifer Sult
of Cut and Sewn

Jenifer Sult_Cut and Sewn

Cincinnati, Ohio
Cut and Sewn is a sample room that provides design, sewing, and patternmaking services for fashion and soft goods to design entrepreneurs.
Cut and Sewn founder/designer living her childhood dream | Soapbox

2014 Finalists

$15,000 business grant recipient

Chris Sutton

Noble Denim
Chris Sutton

Noble exists to create durable, classic items of clothing made in North America using methods that are sustainable and good for all involved.

Read Chris’s profile in Soapbox Cincinnati

Recipient of $5,000 business grant

Django Kroner Canopy

Canopy Crew
Django Kroner

The Canopy Crew is a custom tree house and professional tree care company.

Read Django’s profile in Soapbox Cincinnati

Recipient of $2,500 in professional services from Dinsmore and Shohl, Clark Schaefer Hackett and LPK

Matt Madison Madisono

 Madisono’s Gelato & Sorbetto

Matt Madison

Madisono’s Gelato & Sorbet produces small batch gelato in inspired flavors to the wholesale retail and restaurant markets in Cincinnati.

Read Matt’s profile in Soapbox Cincinnati

Winner of $1,000 in professional services from Dinsmore and Shohl, Clark Schaefer Hackett and LPK

Brian Stuparyk Steamwhistle

Steam Whistle Letterpress & Design

Brian Stuparyk

Steam Whistle is a letterpress print shop specializing in design & production, and local and national sales of unique retail and custom paper products.

Read Brian’s profile in Soapbox Cincinnati


Chocolats Latour
Owner: Shalini Latour

Chocolats Latour creates handmade confections with artistic designs and unique flavors using fair trade chocolate and local ingredients.

Read Shalini’s Soapbox Cincinnati profile

Golden Hour Moving Pictures Jacqueline
Golden Hour Moving Pictures

Owner: C. Jacqueline Wood

Golden Hour Moving Pictures is a small video production company dedicated to the art of the moving image.

Read Jacqueline’s Soapbox Cincinnati Profile

Heather Britt HBDC
HBDC: Heather Britt Dance Collective

Owner: Heather Britt

HBDC uses professional choreography, high energy DANCEFIX workout classes, and flash mobs to create community connections through dance.

Read Heather’s Soapbox Cincinnati profile

Modern MisfitModern Misfit Classic Genius
Owners: Cordario Collier, Jason Matheny

Misfit Genius, A lifestyle clothing brand that empowers thinkers, leaders and influencers to Embrace the Misfit, Become the Genius.

Read Monty and Jason’s Profile in Soapbox Cincinnati