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Icons of Cincinnati – Entrepreneurs Thriving in the Buckeye State

Icons of Cincinnati – Entrepreneurs Thriving in the Buckeye State

Published 07-22-22

Submitted by GoDaddy

Originally published on GoDaddy Newsroom

By Stacey Hartman

Cincinnati is a city as diverse as its many nicknames: Athens of the West, Paris of America, Cincy, The Queen City or The Nati. And within that diversity, entrepreneurs are building their flourishing businesses.

In our latest season of Icons, we’re showcasing entrepreneurs from Cincinnati, hosted by Cincy local Anna Mae Groves. Anna Mae is a beauty expert who founded the lifestyle website

Photo: Anna Mae Groves,

Join us as we meet Anna Mae and introduce other thriving entrepreneurs in our latest installment of Icons.

Sweets and Meats

Photo: Kristen Bailey and Anton Gaffney, Sweets and Meats

Sweets and Meats is a story about community and passion. Anton Gaffney and Kristen Bailey had corporate jobs and were unfulfilled. After five years, the duo quit and took their passion for hosting cookouts into a full-time business.

Anton and Kristen credit their community and friends with their success, as their business sales grew 26% during the pandemic. And despite the uncertainty for businesses during the pandemic, they continued to advocate for their employees and customers, giving $2500 to each employee at the onset of the pandemic. They’ve fought hard for their passion, and it has paid off.

Empire Beauty Bar

Photo: Rebecca Gibson, Empire Beauty Bar

Rebecca Gibson started her business two years ago at the pandemic’s beginning. She had been working as a nurse for 20 years with a side hustle of braiding hair.  But when the salon she was working at told her they were closing, her husband found an available location that was within her price range. And so, Rebecca went into business for herself with Empire Beauty Bar.

Over the years, Rebecca has mentored 89 women to become entrepreneurs themselves. She credits her 20 years in health care and being empathetic and nurturing to her success with her business, customers, employees and mentees. Says Rebecca, “there is no ceiling to my potential.”


Photo: Lasha “Blu” Cauthen, InoarG

Lasha “Blu” Cauthen started taking yoga for herself and stress relief. She had friends who wanted to learn yoga, so Blu would take her friends and family to classes. However, it was immediately apparent that they were the only Black people in the class. Blu worked to earn her yoga certification and, fresh out of training, she knew she had to open her own space, InoarG Yoga Studio, where everyone felt welcome.

Join us as we meet these entrepreneurs — and more — in our Icons of Cincinnati.

If you’re interested in watching our previous season of Icons, you can watch that here.

Learn more about GoDaddy here


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GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit

About GoDaddy for Good

GoDaddy focuses on making opportunity more inclusive for all in the communities where we work, live and play across the globe. We rally behind inclusive entrepreneurship and other critical local needs that empower people to succeed through philanthropic and in-kind donations, volunteerism, strategic partnerships and advocacy.

Empower by GoDaddy 

Empower by GoDaddy is GoDaddy's global community and philanthropic program equipping entrepreneurs in underserved communities with training, tools and peer networks to accelerate their journeys. GoDaddy rallies behind entrepreneurs in underserved communities by building their confidence and skills to strengthen their small business’ digital presence.  Entrepreneurs engage in customized learning experiences, work 1-1 with GoDaddy volunteer coaches and local mentors, and gain access to wrap-around services, in-kind products and networks boosting their small businesses success.

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