One local woman is using her $100,000 Haile Fellowship grant from People’s Liberty to start Tether Cincinnati, a way to connect local image makers (photographers, wardrobe stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, models, creative directors and fashion designers) in the Cincinnati area.
Tether’s mission is to make it easier for local image makers to connect to each other, and to opportunities for work so they can thrive — and stay — in Cincinnati.
The idea ignited when fashion blogger and former Cincinnati Magazine stylist Tamia Stinson traveled to London. She did a co-op at a British magazine and was inspired by the international image maker directory book, Le Book.
“It was extremely valuable because that was how you found people to execute those types of jobs,” she says.
When she started working, Stinson received many requests from clients, especially from out of town, about the image making industry in Cincinnati.
“I was getting all these inquiries from people and they wanted to know who do I follow, who I get in touch with, what's the best resource for doing this or that,” says Stinson. “And I thought it would be really cool to have a one-stop shop for that information.”
Her passion for design mixed with the resources at People’s Liberty, which helped jumpstart her entrepreneurial career.
“I think it's important to be a part of that creative community and to make sure that I'm supporting people financially in much the same way that I'm trying to get people to do for this community,” Stinson says.
Since its launch in May, Tether has a growing community of about 91 members — and that's just online. Anyone can connect through the Tether Cincinnati website, the print sourcebook and through networking events.
“I think people really get a lot out of that face-to-face interaction, which is why we do events,” says Stinson. “Probably about once a month there's an opportunity for people to actually gather together.”
As much as face-to-face communication is important to her brand, social media is also a key ingredient. “This is a very visual community. So Instagram is where people would tend to hang out the most, but also Facebook and Twitter.”
Aside from social media and events, Stinson also helped organize a sourcebook — a combination fashion magazine and phonebook that features Cincinnati image makers. It will launch in December to agencies and brands nationwide. At the launch, Stinson is planning to "make the sourcebook come to life".
“The plan is to have guests walk in and get the experience of walking into a photoshoot; there will be some kind of interactive part on set to create some of the imagery for the book itself,” Stinson says.
Stinson has been working on this since the beginning of the summer and as of now, the date for the sourcebook launch is Dec. 13. The plan is to have the book come out annually.
The next Tether event is scheduled for Nov. 15 at Alias Imaging, where people from different communities will meet.
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