Update: This article has been updated to include comments from Lou Catelli.
The makers of the "Boys of Hampden" pinup calendar, which featured local male business owners posing nearly in the buff, are bringing the project back for a 2017 edition. But this time, the focus is strictly on the ladies.
The 2017 "Ladies of Hampden" calendar features 30 of Hampden's female business owners, each dressed up as a circus or sideshow character in the name of charity. It comes in two 12-month versions (one circus-themed, one sideshow).
Just like last year's edition, all proceeds from the calendars, priced at $20 each, will go to the Hampden Family Center, according to Nikki Verdecchia, the stylist for the project and one of its featured models.
"Our first goal was to help support the Hampden Family Center," said Verdecchia, 47, who worked with photographer Justin Tsucalas, 33, on both the women's and men's calendar. The men's calendar raised nearly $10,000 for the center, according to Hampden personality Lou Catelli (whose real name is Will Bauer), who came up with the idea for the calendar.
Verdecchia said they wanted to re-create the first calendar, but for women. This would mean changing up the theme and costumes to show a little less skin and a little more strength.
"We wanted to find a way to empower rather than objectify women and showcase the amazing talents and abilities these business owners in Hampden have," Verdecchia said.
"Each woman's [character] personifies the talents she uses everyday as she manages her small business."
Verdecchia, who owns hair salon NV Salon Collective, is featured as a knife thrower. Terrie Fleckenstein, owner of Fleckenstein Gallery, is a fortune teller. Shannon Reilly, owner of Charm City Skin, is the bearded lady. And Emily Sloman, owner of the Have Fun Be Lucky tattoo shop, is — fittingly — the tattooed lady.
The calendar signing Verdecchia and Tsucalas will talk about their experiences styling and shooting the calendar on Dec. 8 at Atomic Books, 3620 Falls Road in Hampden at 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8. Atomic Books. Some of the featured female business owners will be in attendance for autographs. event runs 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Free.