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Chic Spotlight: Just for Chicks Gals Linda Averbeck and Aleshia Fessel PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Thursday, 11 February 2010 08:49

Chic Spotlight: Just for Chicks Founder and Organizer
Spending time with the girls can be more than just restaurants and bars. Learn how this local group offers a fun twist to the classic Girls' Night Out. 

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Cincy Chic: You work to make Just for Chicks (JFC) happen, but how did the group come about to begin with?

 

JFC Founder Linda Averbeck: I came up with the idea while chatting with my friend Karen Deime. A girls' night out is nothing unique, so we decided on a twist. Our friends had to commit to the date and time of the outing without knowing what it was. We wanted to get people to be open to trying new things and exploring our city. It also inspires the organizer to be creative with events. And it's the perfect opportunity to go to the event or cafe you "always mean to check out, but never get around to." We asked participants to volunteer to organize the event each month.

 

I sent the initial email to my friends, and they would invite their friends, and we just kept adding names to the list.

 

Some months I would get behind or get busy and even forget to organize one. Aleshia [Fessel] was always on top of it. If she hadn't received a JFC notice, she would ask me if anyone had volunteered to organize one, and if not, she would step up and do it. So I asked her to take over, since she was so good at it already!

 

0110Fence_INSTORY.gif JFC Coordinator Aleshia Fessel: Linda is such a big supporter of our city, and she has always been in tune with cool happenings about town. … What started as a couple people has turned into more than 50 young professional women. JFC is different from other "girls' night out" groups not only because of the surprise element, but also because of the focus on more enriching experiences than just meeting up at a bar. Sharing a fun cultural or educational experience with other like-minded women builds both character and lasting friendships.

 

Averbeck: Although, just meeting at a bar or having a movie night at home are acceptable JFC nights, too.

 

Cincy Chic: You do everything through e-mail, so how does it all work as far as making decisions, planning events and letting everyone know about it all?

 

Averbeck: Each month we send an e-mail to our group with the date, time and cost (if any). Then we send an e-mail with the outing info only to those women who RSVP'd they would attend. Again, we want our friends to be open to new things, whatever it may be, and not wait until the last minute, find out what it is, and then decide whether or not to join us.

 

Fessel: What's nice about the group is that it's simple for the members. … There's no commitment ever to attend a certain number of events.

 

I have about a year's worth of event ideas, but we also encourage members to plan an event if they have an idea. They e-mail me the idea, and I make sure it hasn't been done previously before sending out the e-mail to the group.

 

Cincy Chic: What type of events have you enjoyed in the past?

 

Averbeck: For the very first JFC we went to Second Sunday on Main. There have been wine tastings at various venues, Ballet and Beer, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Schenz Theatrical costume shop, an afternoon tea complete with vintage hats, laser U2 at Drake Planetarium, an Architreks walking tour of Mt. Adams, and a butterfly show at Krohn [Conservatory], just to name a few.

 

Fessel: One of the elements of JFC that I relish the most is highlighting lesser-known local events or places. During one event, we visited a local store that's been making candy since the early 1900s. Although we are not charity-driven, some of our events also have given us the opportunity to raise money for a good cause. One such event was Empty Bowls, a project benefiting children from low-income neighborhoods. Not only did we get to sample tasty soups from area chefs, but we each also took home a bowl created by a local artist.

 

Averbeck: Shoot, I must have missed the candy store visit! Can we do that one again?

 

Cincy Chic: This is for our Girlfriends issue, so why is a group that promotes female bonds, like JFC, so important in a woman's life?

 

Averbeck: Everyone is so busy, and we need to make time for our friends. We've all made new friends through these outings, too. I don't think we often have a group where everyone already knows everyone. And it's fun to explore the city.

 

Fessel: Too often we hear women say they "need to find a good man." I like to think that we are empowering women with our group, reminding women how much fun we can share with one another right outside our doors.

 

Cincy Chic: When you're not going out with your girlfriends, what do you like to do to let loose?

 

Averbeck: I volunteer with the Red Cross and Cincinnati Zoo, as well as working on human trafficking issues. For fun, I just like to go out on the town with my friends or relax at home with my cats and a good book.

 

Fessel: I love organizing fun events — from parties to a new dinner group similar to JFC that I've started — any opportunity to get friends together and meet new ones! I also love traveling, from finding a quaint brasserie in Belgium to a roadside barbeque stand in Georgia.

 

Averbeck: That's true. Aleshia and her husband are always throwing parties. And she started up a monthly restaurant group that we allow the boys to come to, too.

 

Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?

 

Averbeck: I grew up in Northern Kentucky, so I am a native. I love that the people here are so friendly and generous. I love that Cincinnati has so much to do and so much to offer and that it is all affordable and accessible. I know people used to complain a lot that there was nothing to do here, but if anyone says that now, they are really just clueless. I can't even keep up with all the fun stuff going on.

 

Fessel: I grew up in northeastern Ohio, but Cincinnati has been my home for more than 10 years. I'm always amazed when some people say there is nothing to do here, because I can't even find the time to explore all the great gems our city offers. What I love most is the pride entrepreneurs, musicians and other creative types have in Cincinnati and the measures they take to make the city better for everyone.

 

 

 

PHOTO CREDITS

Photo courtesy of Aleshia Fessel

 

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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