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Take a Tour Through the Cincinnati Art Museum Fashion Archives / Image: Twin Spire Photography
Take a Tour Through the Cincinnati Art Museum Fashion Archives / Image: Twin Spire Photography
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Take a Tour Through the Cincinnati Art Museum Fashion Archives

In partnership with The BMW Store, where "Passion Loves Company," we asked readers to tell us about their passion projects. We're selecting one person a month to receive an exclusive experience to give their passion some company. Click here to nominate yourself or a friend.

This month, we selected Venetia Steele. This deserving local woman with a passion for fashion won a private tour of the fashion archives at the Cincinnati Art Museum with Cynthia Amnéus, Chief Curator and Curator of Fashion Arts and Textiles for the Cincinnati Art Museum, who has more than 20 years of experience in her field.

The two walked through the halls of the museum and then into the secured ground level. Amnéus flipped on the lights and a cavernous room illuminated. The parameter was lined with computer-controlled, accordion-style compartments that slid open with the touch of a few buttons. In the middle of the room was a large table with several items meticulously placed out for display.

With thousands of items in the archives, Amnéus prepared a few for Steele to view, like pair of Iris Van Herpen shoes with claw-like soles, a Gucci handbag, a Betsey Johnson dress, and a Versace dress. Then, Steele was given a white glove tour through hundreds of years of clothing, accessories, shoes, hats, and more through the museum’s sealed halls of well-preserved fashion archives.

Steele has hopes and dreams of launching her own clothing brand in the future. In fact, she was in the midst of developing and launching it just before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in 2020.

"I came up with my idea back in 2020, then the pandemic hit, and it's just been a struggle," she says. "Now I'm trying to get back on track with it because I know it's something I really want to do and I dream about my business flourishing all the time. I’m passionate about fashion, spirituality, self-care, and love, which is how I came up with my clothing brand and really epitomizes what I want to put out into the world."

Steele’s passion for spreading love throughout the world comes from her own experiences. The 35-year-old has two sons of her own, ages 1 and 6, and has custody of her two nieces, who she’s had since they were babies and are now ages 15 and 16. When she isn’t momming, Steele enjoys traveling, reading, writing poetry, spending time with nature, and taking in all the fashion, art, comedy, and music she can handle. “My love and passion for fashion started at a very young age,” she says. “I was always the girly girl in a dress with a purse and my lipgloss. They call me ‘Diva’ in my family.”

But with caring for so many other people in her life, she wasn’t feeling like much of a Diva any more. In 2019, she began a spiritual journey to begin filling her own cup again. “I got into meditation, yoga, and started unblocking my chakras and going to therapy, and really started loving myself more than ever and my creativity started pushing through even more,” she says. “When I combined that with my knack for words, I started writing down all the ideas that were coming to me.”

As she started to launch her brand, which she plans to call Glo Goddez, which is not only a brand name but also a statement. Steele says she plans to put saying on t-shirts, yoga mats, tapestries, and more. “It was like one I started working within, I started to Glo and Grow,” she says. “Once you align and trust divine timing, then you shine and become a Glo Goddez. Everything starts in your mind.”

While Steele continues to build her brand and look forward to the future as an entrepreneur, she reflects back on her experience at the Cincinnati Art Museum. “I can’t express how amazing I felt that day at the Art Museum,” she says. “I loved the whole selection she put together for me. The archives part of the Art Museum was the best part - I never even knew that part of the museum even existed. The Betsey Johnson dress she had on display was definitely one of my favorites.”

Steele says the visit served as a boost of confidence and source of inspiration for bringing Glo Goddez into the world to shine.

Want to be our next Passion Loves Company experience recipient? Click here.