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It is now known that Cincinnati is no longer the corporately ran, run down city that we all grew up with. We used to have to beg our parents to take us back-to-school shopping at Urban Outfitters in Clifton because they were afraid we’d be shot and we didn’t even test them when we passed a killer boutique on Vine Street. With the transformations of neighborhoods like OTR, Clifton and Northside, local businesses are flourishing all throughout the city, as are the dreamers. Young entrepreneurs are taking charge and knocking large corporations on their asses as they launch and thrive in their businesses throughout our community. With a range from restaurant owners to artists to retail shops, here are the most bad ass young entrepreneurs in the Queen City.

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Alejandro Ramirez and Dan Buckley

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Alejandro and Dan, the owners of Torn Light Records in Bellevue, Kentucky, are killin’ it on the music retail scene. With over 1,500 likes and all 5 star reviews on Facebook, Ramirez, Buckley and their team are slaying with a constantly fully stocked selection of the most insane vinyls, cassettes, c.d.’s, 45’s, books and art featuring local artists. An unreal friendly staff, an eye for mind blowing music and a work ethic unlike any other has landed these cute boys and Torn Light at the top of every local’s weekend shopping list. These boys won my heart over when they got a brand new Johnny Cash vinyl in and holla’d my way. True homies. Read more about how obsessed we are with the fliest boys in Bellevue here.

Annie Grossman

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Photo by @underground_assassin

Aside from being the babe we all wish we were, AG spends her days transforming individuals into her own masterpieces. A recent cosmetology school graduate, AG has already landed a killer gig at Copper as a full time stylist and is crankin’ out bombshell blondes like there’s no tomorrow. YAZ QUEEN! On top of being a bad ass stylist, she has also started tattooing at the legendary White Whale Tattoo a couple of days a week. Like, if I stand in the mirror and say her name three times can I be her or…? This HBIC has just created her empire and is already claiming Cincinnati as hers. Get it, girl!

Shay Bird Nartker and Katie Rose McCue

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Photo by Hannah King

Both independent photographers, Shay and Katie have combined forces as Bird and Rose Photography  to deliver such a unique and creative experience for all of their clients. Katie has an educational background at Ohio University for Photojournalism and at the University of Cincinnati to pursue her Masters in Art Education. Shay has focused his education at Southern State Community College and the Art Institute of Ohio. With unbelievable images, this is no doubt the best photography duo in Cincinnati.

Austin Dunbar 

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Rudy Harris Photography

Nestled in the heart of Madison Avenue in Covington, the tightest new clothing shop is not only taking over the game, but creating their own. Austin Dunbar has created an empire out of Northern Kentucky and is in no hurry to slow down. Durham Dept. mission is to provide durable clothing and goods for the everyday lifestyle of any and all. If yo’ boy ain’t wearin’ Durham, he’s gotsta go! P.S. a lot of goodies are 50% off right now.

Konrad Billetz

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Frameri CEO, Konrad Billetz, is changing the eye wear traditional model and stepping them into the 21st century. Frameri has formed their legacy on creating eye glass lenses that pop in and out of decorative frames to coordinate with your mood and outfit. Featured on Forbe’s 30-Under-30 List last year in 2015, Billetz is taking over the nation with his online shop and store front in OTR.

Devyn Buschard is a Cidergeist-loving, red-lipped writer at CityNova. She invests her time chasing the newest local cocktail menu and whippin’ up on her Cincinnati neighbors on the Nintendo 64 at Arcade Legacy.

A true Kentucky girl, you’ll most likely find her hiking through Southern Kentucky’s backwoods or jammin’ at an outdoor concert. If a genie granted her three wishes, she’d wish for wine, wine and more wine.

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