Kitchie Ohh: There’s Always One

Portrait of glamour model Kitchie Ohh for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh: Photo: Victor Devilbliss, Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024

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There’s Always One

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I have worked damn hard to get where I am, professionally. Believe me when I say there is no one harder on me than me when it comes to judging the role I play, the work I produce, and its impact on the bigger picture. Despite what anyone says to the contrary about the quality of my work, I often focus on what went ‘wrong’ and kick myself for it.  There is always a level of self-doubt, the moments of confidently feeling I know exactly what I’m doing are amazing, but even when they arrive I tend to downplay the feeling. However, my current role – it’s been over a year, I should stop calling it “new”- is slowly changing this. I have a great boss. I have a great team. And most of my colleagues are amazing.

Most. But definitely not all. There’s always one. Everyone seems to know about them; their personality issues, their comments, lack of collaboration, expectation that their way is the right way, the ONLY way. And yet, no one does anything about it. Instead, there are miles of workarounds, modifications to processes that make them a tad more complicated but increasingly more likely to get past this person with their probably unnecessary, but historically asked for anyway, approval. It’s frustrating and creates problems where there should be none, and comes complete with thinly veiled insults hurled regularly. 

My first run in with this particular brick wall, occurred very early in my role with this organization. I was asked to create a communications strategy for the year. I presented it, complete with a content calendar, and a regular series of collaboration meetings to ensure my pant was aligned with, but did not compete with, anything other outreach across the company. I take this moment to point out that this task is not outside of my skill set. It actually is exactly what I have been doing for much of my career, very successfully. It is also very much on track for the focus of my university-issued academic degree.  So, there I found myself, in this known to be difficult person’s office at a table that was too small for our group of five- them, me, my boss, and two additional colleagues. When the plan was presented, all but this person were happy to have something in place to keep things on track and on brand. I felt extremely proud of what I had put together. And then it happened. This ONE person finally chimed in, asking who would be creating content, who would be responsible for that part, because there was money in the budget for them to add someone to their team to handle it as we had no one with that qualification on staff. I was shocked. I had just presented the plan, clearly stating that this was MY role, MY team would be leading the effort, with review and input from the people at this table. Before I could open my mouth, my boss calmly looked this person in the face and stated, “no additional staff is needed as this plan was created by the extremely qualified individual already on staff, and her team. She called this meeting and is sitting directly across from you.” To say that went over terribly is an understatement. Silence fell, the meeting ended, and by the time I walked back to my office, the remaining meetings in the series were declined by this person with no explanation and no offer to reschedule. It happened, the professional equivalent of packing up toys and going home because the kids weren’t playing by your rules.  I was a mixture of feeling angry and insulted, but also proud that I didn’t have to defend myself, my boss handled it – showing full support of me and my work.

As a result of this failed collaboration attempt, it was left to me to devise a new plan that involved this person without the need for meeting with them. A precedent had been set that their input and approval was required. If we attempted to proceed without it, a flag was raised at the last minute and we, literally, had to start over.  I tried. I was not having my work derailed ever again by one person’s ego. So, everything filtered through my boss, still does. An extended time frame was factored into the original plan I created that allows this person ample time to complete their portion of the project. Though they agreed to the revised plan, I can count on one hand the number of times they actually adhered to it since that day. It’s been a year of communications, sometimes several per week, gently, and then not-so-gently reminding this person to do what they agreed to do by specific deadlines. And a near year of my having to rework timelines when those specific deadlines come and go with no response. Peppered throughout this year were plenty of other insults and not so constructive criticism. 

I have a fairly thick skin and a wild stubborn streak when it comes to people like this. I will not react as everyone else up until this point has. I will not compromise my hard work and the good I know it will do, simply because it’s easier to just give up or give in to doing everything their way. As annoying as these exhibited behaviors are, I can deal with them while advocating for myself and the job I have been tasked with doing to get it done. However, this person also has the nasty habit of speaking down to people, in a way that can only be described as bullying because they only do it to people who take it, the ones who are visibly shaken after any conversation with this person. I have watched it happen, they are sought out to be used as a kind of punching bag. I refuse to stand for this behavior in or out of the workplace, and that goes double when it happens to people on my team. I keep a running documentation of incidents. I informed my entire team, not just those who report to me, that if this person reaches out for anything they are to be referred to me for assistance. Whatever they need falls under my role. Effective immediately. It was rough going for a while, but over time I learned and still am learning ways to navigate the mess that was made long before I signed on.

There has been progress, though. Some wins, some losses, definite compromise. Shockingly, on both sides! The only constant has been me, holding myself and this person accountable. If we have to work together, then we will do so in a way that isn’t entirely mine, or theirs, it’s ours;  a mutually agreed upon, respectful, path forward. As more people sign on and join in, we see more forward momentum. As we work together to prove that through true collaboration, we can accomplish so much more, the power this person has held for so long begins to wane. The control they slowly gained over people and projects that never should have involved them is being given back to those to whom it belonged. Of all the things I’m proud of since beginning this job, this is pretty high up on the list. And we still have a long way to go. 

If there’s always that one person who makes things hard for everyone else, shouldn’t there also be that one who steps up to them? I know which one I want to be, and the one I never will. 

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Portrait of glamour model Kitchie Ohh for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh: Photo: Victor Devilbliss, Copyright 2024

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Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once. To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, link here: https://tonyward.com/kitchie-ohh-rebuilding-my-self-esteem/

Tracey Olkus: The Latest Vixen

 

Text by Tracey Olkus, Copyright 2024

Photography and Set Design: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Styling and Creative Direction: KVaughn

Lighting Assistant: Anthony Colagreco

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THE LATEST VIXEN

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I have had the honor of working with Tony Ward only a few times over the last couple decades-most recently with Ellen Tiberino for The Vixen Series. So when Tony asked if I would be a part of this project, I thought he meant behind the scenes doing hair and makeup.  I was shocked when I realized that he wanted to photograph ME.  I’m never in front of the camera. I don’t even take selfies.
 
I love creating Vixens and encouraging Vixens,  but I had never thought of myself as a Vixen. I think of a Vixen as a woman who breaks from tradition, supersedes expectations and takes control of her destiny. She exudes confidence and sexuality.  She IS fire!  Well, part of that is definitely me.  I have been an entrepreneur most of my life. I have never had the patience to wait around for things to happen.  I have been told that I’m outspoken. And I only know how to do things in my own weird ways. I’m a sexual being through and through but I have never considered myself to be sexy.  When I told Tony this, he assured me that I was in good hands. And THAT I believed. I stepped out of my comfort zone and let him take the lead.  And it was a wild ride!
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Portrait of hair stylist Tracey Olkus wearing black sheer dress on night out in Paris
Tracey Olkus. The Vixens Series. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

For almost two decades, Tracey Olkus  has been transforming faces and elevating styles from her private studio in Philadelphia. Specializing in everything from everyday glam to commercial shoots to TV and film. 

 
Tracey’s artistic interests extend beyond the chair. With a passion for costuming, she crafts bespoke headdress designs available through commissioned works.  
 
As the curator of The Performance Salon, Tracey provides a platform for emerging and established artists to showcase their talents in an intimate setting. From musicians, to thespians, writers to chefs, The Performance Salon has become a hub for artistic expression with performances that leave audiences mesmerized.
 
But Tracey’s interests go beyond her professional pursuits . A dedicated patron of the arts and the finer things in life, she enjoys hosting extravagant dinner parties and whimsical camping trips…often simultaneously.
 
When it is time to escape, Tracey can be found exploring the world, talking to strangers, and collecting stories from every corner of the globe. And along the way, she is most happy to have has amassed an eclectic collection of friends that share her passion for the extraordinary.

Lileet_Miriam: The Latest Vixen

Tara Mordin the latest Vixen in a series by Tony Ward Studio copyright 2024
Tara Mordin. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by Lileet_Miriam, Copyright 2024

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Styling and Creative Direction by KVaughn 

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When I was contacted by Tony Ward Studio to partake in this project, “The Vixen Series,” I was genuinely honored, very excited, and quite honestly, humbled. I viewed this invitation to be in a league of its own – an elite circle of amazing women from all walks of life who were having their beauty, thoughts, strengths, and tribulations highlighted in a way that exuded power and commanded respect. As I began to ponder more on the concept of what it means to be deemed a “vixen,” I realized that the whole is greater than the sums of its parts. To be considered and included with these other “vixens,” meant that I brought something to the table that is equally powerful, enticing, and worthwhile that goes well beyond having a physical presence. 

Many of us have had moments in life where we are our toughest critics – questioning our worth, doubting our abilities, obsessing over how others perceive us. I think being considered a vixen allows one to fully embrace their true, authentic self and showcases how their individual uniqueness has its place in this vast world. We each have physical and interpersonal traits that make us different from the next. When we acknowledge and accept such attributes and celebrate what they truly offer, it opens a window of opportunity that is filled with confidence, empowerment, even pride. The more positivity and ownership of our value that we portray to others, the more impact and inspiration it tends to have. 

Over time, I feel that I have reached my own prime. I am unapologetically, me. I have grown a tremendous amount as a person, both inside and out. I have come to learn that my qualities do carry inherent value and that my input, time, energy, and overall presence, matter. Being a part of this series has reinforced that for me. It continuously sheds light that there truly is more to a person than what we first may see and that each of us should honor, praise, and recognize our own inner vixen, in all its amazing forms.   

Sightseeing in Paris at night beautiful woman wearing lingerie exposing her beautiful legs as she looks onto the Eiffel Tower.
Sightseeing. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

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To access additional photographs from The Vixen’s Series portfolio, click herehttps://tonyward.com/the-vixens-series/

Kitchie Ohh: After Month’s of Silence

fetish model Kitchie Ohh wearing a purple corset for a fantasy scene
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Bombshell Pinups, Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024

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After Month’s of Silence

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Once upon a time, two people were feeling very bold. The first, we’ll call X, responded to a stranger’s- we’ll call Y-  post on social media. Y replied, which was very out of character. They chatted and ultimately threw caution to the wind, arranging to meet in real life. And that was that. One date, if that’s even what it was, then it was done. Or was it? 

Years later, X contacted Y out of the blue. It was pleasant but stayed online. No hard feelings about the past, just genuine curiosity about the present and best wishes that all was good. Again, they faded back into their separate lives. 

More years passed, again, virtual paths collided. This time, they decided to meet once more, face to face. They enjoyed each other’s company, talked about all that had happened since the last time.  One meet up turned into a second before the universe tugged them apart once more; not violently, more a steady gentle pull that both felt happening but neither did anything to prevent. 

Time went by, as it always does. They stumbled into one another again. It was as if no time had passed. They spoke daily, they went out for dinner and drinks, stayed in for home cooked meals and movies, asked and answered deep questions by a bonfire. Surprisingly and uncharacteristically, Y allowed some vulnerability. It was difficult, Y stumbled over responses and apologized many times. But it was appreciated by M, who assured it was not something for which apology was necessary. Despite being terrified, not physically, but of the potential to be let down and have it all fade away once again, Y proceeded to put in effort to foster their connection. After a particularly interesting conversation, Y purchased a small gift, a book of poetry related to that conversation, and planned to present it to X at the next opportunity. That has yet to come.

After months of silence, a message:

X: It’s like we’ve been crossing paths for lifetimes. And I never mind it each time it happens 

Y: I just keep showing up like a bad penny. 

X: If you’re a bad penny what am I?! 

You keep turning up more shiny. 

Y: You then are the lucky- or unlucky-finder.

 Depends on how you look at it. Also I am no more shiny today than any day before. Sometimes the light just hits differently. 

X:You’re a strange and beautiful human, madam. Very beautiful. 

Y: well, thank you, kindly. Until our paths cross again….

The end? To be continued? Who knows? 

fetish model Kitchie Ohh wearing a purple corset for a fantasy scene
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Bombshell Pinups, Copyright 2024

Did you guess that I am Y?. I won’t reveal X’s identity. This isn’t really about them. It’s  about me me. The only thing I have control over in this entire universe; though even that seems questionable some days.

This entirely true story is a pattern. A known, recognizable, see it coming from a mile away occurrence. It’s happened before and likely will again. With X, with others, friends, more than friends, family. The relationship type doesn’t matter. I will learn nothing. 

Well, that’s an exaggeration. I will learn many things. But I won’t burn a bridge needlessly. 

Life is never a straight path, nor is it always a smooth one. Given those stretches where you get lost, hit a bump, or completely break down, sometimes the only thing we can do is concentrate on ourselves and getting through. In that process of self-preservation, people who were right by our side might pull away. That’s life. 

Unless someone has hurt me in some unforgivable way, I’m always happy to have our paths cross again. More often than not, there’s a lot of change to catch up on. Neither of us is exactly the same person, for as much as we may have known one another, there’s a mystery chunk of time to reconcile, and time can change people. 

Reconnections can be brief or maybe last a bit longer the second, third, hundredth,  time around. But if there’s one thing I learned traveling my own winding path, it’s that you can’t force anyone you encounter along the way to stay. Nor should you. 

This is not to say I discourage putting effort into relationships, I acknowledge that even the best ones take work. But personally, I take stock often of whether the work I’m putting in -to projects, people and relationships alike – is adding to my life. If not, I’ve become okay with letting it go, letting them go, with love and understanding, better for the having had the experience.

I look forward to all that lies ahead for me, the new and the familiar. What comes my way, stays or goes. People, places, adventures, the happiness and the heartbreak, all of it.  

Related note: 

I re-read the book I purchased for X and made a decision, it’s theirs. I’m just holding onto it until our paths cross again. And if they don’t, then I will think of them fondly as I flip through the pages. 

Additionally, I’m sharing this fairy tale photo set because as soon as the words “once upon a time” escaped from my brain, through the keyboard, to the screen, I have been singing “Once Upon a Dream” from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and, well, it had to be done. 

fetish model Kitchie Ohh wearing a purple corset for a fantasy scene
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Bombshell Pinups, Copyright 2024

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once. To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, link here: https://tonyward.com/kitchie-ohh-oh-its-nothing/

Kitchie Ohh: Oh, It’s Nothing!

Glamour portrait of the very sexy pinup model Kitchie OHH for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss. Copyright 2024

Text by Kitchie Ohh, Copyright 2024

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Oh, It’s Nothing!

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If you’ve read my earlier posts here, you know how close I am with my family. They are a large part of the person I am today. If you haven’t, well, that’s kind of an understatement but still true.

Recently, I was shocked to get the several days delayed news that my mother had fallen and severely injured herself. She required immediate surgery and would need to remain in the hospital. It was very little consolation that this injury occurred while she was doing what she and my father love- seeing the world from on board a cruise ship- or that said ship was docked in the gorgeous port of Maui, Hawaii at the time. She was, literally, on the other side of the world, and there was not a damn thing I could do to help. 

When we were finally able to speak, my parents told me of the excellent care at the hospital, the kindness delivered alongside the routine medical services. And, of course, they were thankful that the hospital was near beachfront and they had a gorgeous view. They could still see a bit of Hawaii, despite their situation. 

My siblings and I, unknown to either of our parents, sprang into action, assigning and volunteering for key tasks that would need to be completed before mom came home. She would be unable to climb stairs for 6 weeks, maybe longer. There was no way we could allow her to come home without a plan that was in equal parts for her recuperation and for our peace of mind. We would need to make the ground floor comfortable enough to be a makeshift bedroom for her, clear enough to safely accommodate a wheelchair or walker, private enough to allow for daily hygiene tasks if she couldn’t get to the bathroom.There was more we didn’t know about what she needed, than what we did.  Everything we could think to do, was done, having no idea when -or HOW- they would be getting home. We were as ready as we could be. 

Luckily, my niece was with them and made the necessary flight and hotel arrangements to get them all safely from there to here. Just shy of one week from the day we heard the news, we were planning for their arrival back to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating. A week of storms made travel more dangerous, not to mention added the never fun task of snow and ice removal to our to-do list. But that evening, the flight remained on time and we got mom and dad (niece and fiancée, too) home safely, to a clear driveway, and an organized house with only a few minor hiccups not even worth mentioning. 

As we settled them in and listened to all of the details between hugs and tears, the relief everyone felt was obvious. Home is a magical, comforting place. We pointed out all that was done in preparation and made sure nothing was missed, addressing if it was. Soon, all of us were yawning, it was definitely time to rest, but not before confirming the remainder of the plan. 

Reconvening the following morning, we shopped, chopped, cooked and meal prepped, cleaned and did laundry. We made it easy for dad to keep things going while he worried and fussed over mom. We also sat around and did what we do best. We ate, we talked and laughed, made wildly inappropriate jokes and brought back a sense of normalcy. 

Completely overwhelmed, mom repeatedly apologized, dad paced, and both thanked us profusely. As we finished up tasks, made sure every detail was handled, Dad beamed, telling us how proud he was at the way we pulled together; no arguing, no questions asked, just jumping into action when they were in need. 

My first thought was to say “oh, it’s nothing!” but recalled another instance of stepping in to handle a stressful situation for someone else and the response that remark got me.“Don’t ever say that. It may seem insignificant to you, but that small thing, that “nothing” meant so much more than words can express.” And so, standing in the kitchen, drying my hands after cleaning up the last of our mess, I hugged my dad, tightly, and told him, “that’s what we do, right? It’s what you and mom taught us, by showing us. If there’s something you can do to help, you do it. We love you.” 

Honestly, there really isn’t a better lesson I can think of that they taught me by setting this example. It’s not one that only applies in times of crisis or just to family either. An action, a compliment, getting someone their favorite snack just because, being a hug or shoulder to cry on, whatever it may be, however little effort it took, it means something. It could mean everything to that person in that moment. 

It’s the smallest things bring me the most joy, whether I’m providing or receiving them. Grand gestures make me uncomfortable. Words often go unsaid. But the ‘I saw this and thought of you,’ the ‘I did that thing you’ve been putting off so you don’t have to worry about it,’ the everyday mundane, small things, the going slightly out of your way, tolerating a mildly inconvenient moment for the benefit of someone else, unasked….THAT is love in the purest, kindest form. 

So, in this month of all things chocolate, roses, hearts and love, as people bend over backward for their Valentines for one day,  think smaller. It might mean more than you will ever know. 

Glamour portrait of the very sexy pinup model Kitchie OHH for Tony Ward Studio
Kitchie Ohh. Photo: Victor Devilbliss. Copyright 2024

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kitchie Ohh is a full-time professional fundraiser who has worked with a number of health and human services nonprofits in the Philadelphia area over the last 20 years. She found her passion for modeling after a pinup-style photoshoot in 2013. Since then, she has worked with many talented photographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists in a variety of styles. She has been featured in- and on the covers of – multiple print and digital publications. Over the years, she has branched out from pinup studio modeling to serve as a figure model for live sketching, walked a runway, and was part of two campaigns for Philadelphia designer K. Vaughn.

In addition to her philanthropy-focused career, she has volunteered with art, historical, and community organizations, and even the events team of a local brewery for a while, pre-pandemic.

You’re just as likely to find her whipping up something deliciously plant-based in her kitchen or knitting a sweater as you are to find her on a photography set. Her motto is “be both.” The model and the homemaker, sultry and sweet, serious and silly. All the things, all at once. To access additional articles by Kitchie Ohh, link here: https://tonyward.com/kitchie-ohh-thanks-i-feel-awful/