I feel this event deserves a series of posting as it was firstly incredible, and secondly, totally emotionally charged. There were so many amazing insights, moments and experiences shared that I will break this up into 3 different entries. I also want everyone reading this who attended to remember the things we heard and experience those feelings for as long as possible. So we will be sharing a dialogue with you over the coming weeks that encourages ourselves and you to continue owning our styles and to remember the ways in which we all connected to each other on that night. I look forward to any stories you also have to share and I hope that if there were specific insights and moments that you felt moved that you will let us know.

On Monday December 15th I had the great pleasure of attending Crave Vancouver’s Urban Campfire hosted by Melody Biringer at Performance works Granville Island Vancouver.BC. I had heard of the event at the Women in Biz Network’s October conference and knew that this would be another really great opportunity to connect to like-minded. The Women in Business network, I have found has always been a great way to introduce new people to my network, alongside this, there is a certain emotional bond that occurs at these events.

At both the conference and the Urban Campfire, I heard from and spoke to women that have struggled and overcome a great deal of things in their lives. Women that like me have changed career paths, re-invented themselves and grown emotionally and professionally by building their resilience and persevering through life struggles. What I always take away from these events and conferences is that I am not alone in this journey, what exists is a network of women that are looking to support, mentor, and promote each other –it is always moving. At the Urban Campfire, this is what some of those inspiring women had to say.


“Own your Style”

The theme of the event was based around the concept of “Owning your Style”, meaning that the experiences you’ve had or are currently going through, are all a part of who you’ve become, or will be. There was a mixture of women, all ages and backgrounds but the reoccurring theme was that we are all on a journey and with that comes bumps in the road. This event provides the opportunity to hear about other women’s struggles, how they overcame them and how ultimately it made them who they are, proudly “Owning their Style”. It also provides the opportunity for women to share, connect, to be vulnerable, and how that will allow you to truly grow in your business and as a person. So without further adieu, here are some of my favourite quotes and quips from the night.

@melaniebiringer intro speech

Melody Biringer : @melodybiringer

The event started with an introduction from Melody Biringer. Apt, outspoken, charismatic and always hilarious, she stated: “You all wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t had an emotional breakdown” She then went on to set the tone further by saying: “You all look really normal.. Your hair looks really good and you’ve got great shoes, then we peel of a layer and it all comes out”  (Little did I know how much of an emotional journey this was going to be). She finished with the statement that “We are all a work in progress”, which is of course the premise of these events, to realise and admit this so that we can all grow by sharing our experiences and the insights that have come from them.



@DondeenaB VP of innovation Weight Watchers NY 2

Dondeena Bradley: @DondeenaB

Following Melody’s intro,  Dondeena Bradley, VP of Innovation at Weight Watchers based in NY followed up with an introduction to guest speaker and Social Healthmaker, Shirley Weir, Shirely asked us to look at why Perimenopause is perceived so negatively and as a stigma. She talked about why we hide, and why it’s portrayed so negatively. She shared with us the darkest moments of her experience with it, why she felt isolated, how she felt she couldn`t talk or share with anybody the depression and sadness she felt throughout. Comically she illustrated symptoms by acting out an orgasm as a way to describe a hot flash, the audience reaction was initially of confusion and then of a collective laughter. Is this not a more comical way of illustrating a side effect of this time in our lives’? Why is it that menopause is portrayed as tragic? Why can’t it be light and comical? Why does mainstream media make it seem like this is a transition in life that means you are less than what you used to be?? Men’s advertisements for erectile dysfunction are never portrayed as tragic, but somehow, women are being made to feel as if we should hide or that we are less than what we once were. The point was that we should embrace this as a positive transition, part of our journey as women, this is not tragic, this is part of life, and the way its portrayed should reflect this as a transition not an end.


@treehousevision Theresa Tree Walsh

Theresa Walsh: @treehousevision

Following this Theresa Tree Walsh dance facilitator coach and leader talked us through the reality of living as a behavioral child. “She’s crazy but in a good way” gathered collective laughter from the room. Her mother coined her behaviour as a certain “creativity” she had that manifested into a lifestyle of partying, smoking and her becoming a source of peer pressure to others through her natural (and not quite understood yet) skills as a leader. “High school was great, well maybe for me, not for those around me”  She talked about dabbling in sex, drugs and rock and roll, basically anything she could find to help her escape the sadness she felt after the suicide of her father. This girl, “creative”, slightly wild and a born leader, did not always use her talents in a positive way. But it’s ok, as through these experiences she has become an incredibly vivacious and inspiring individual and is not afraid to talk about how she got there. She learned how to channel her “creativity” into an energy that captivates and inspires groups of women through acceptance and evolution.

Aptly she asked us to say to each other and to ourselves, you know what: “YOU CANT GET IT WRONG”.

And we’ll leave it here for the first entry, please watch on twitter as we will be sharing pictures and videos from the event, including the group dancing session! I hope you all watch and enjoy these and that it will reignite the positive things that we all took away from that event. I would also love it if we all continued to connect around this, so stay tuned for the following weeks for further stories and quotes from the women that inspire us to “Own our Style” and become the very best versions of ourselves that we can be.


Happy Holidays #WIBN and #Urbancampfire attendees and have a wonderful holiday season.