Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
“We believe that life has just begun. It is a time of reinvention and a launching pad for starting anew! We hope to be role models for women of all ages.” – Cathy Williamson
February 19th marked the launch of the first annual Fierce 50 Campaign bringing together over 50 female bloggers over the age of 50 in a celebration of midlife on the 50th day of the year! Sally sells seashells …!!! I’m honored to introduce you to my fellow Fashion Blogger and partner in crime in organizing this campaign. I am blessed now to call her my friend: meet Cathy Williamson @themiddlepageblog on IG and creator of The Middle Page Blog. Cathy is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, inside and out. It’s hard to believe her age given her naturally youthful glow not to mention her personality which is the definition of moxie (“shut your piehole!”). She’s a true Southern Belle with her sweet drawl and a vibe that’s a combination of sunshine and sass. What’s even more inspirational about this beauty is that she is a Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor, having gone through a double mastectomy and radiation not long ago. As a survivor of one of the most deadly forms of breast cancer, I would have to say that Cathy is also quite a Badass in her own right!
Cathy flew out to LA to put our heads together to begin the process of planning the campaign. We were joined by the lovely Shauna Robertson of @chicover50 and creator of ChicOver50. Deborah Boland, of @fabulousafter40 and Fabulous After 40 creator was intending to join us but a wicked case of bronchitis kept her sidelined in Toronto. Meeting my fellow bloggers outside of the virtual world we live in is always a highlight for me. There’s a mix of excited and nervous emotion when you meet for the first time. I pulled up in front of the Virgin Airlines terminal and spotted that vibrant red mane a mile away. Cath waved with her gorgeous grin, hopped in the Jeep, and we were off, much like Thelma and Louise.
I reached out to Cathy when I first began this journey as a Fashion Blogger in the fall of 2015. I was naturally drawn to her beauty yet it was her sparkly personality that captivated me. We began personally connecting and making plans to get together. Back in December, I was in my yoga class when I had an idea come through to bring together 50 bloggers over 50 on the 50th day of the year. I raced home picked up the phone excitedly and called Cath to pitch the idea. Her response was just what I was hoping for and a couple of weeks later, she was on solid ground in LA and we had bonded in no time flat. There’s something special about bringing women together to celebrate one another, with an added dimension of having experienced the last half century together. Coming into midlife is an interesting experience and not at all what we expected. As Cath, Shauna, and I spent several days together, the midlife we are experiencing is not what it was like when our parents and grandparents were growing up. We see midlife as a powerful launching pad for the Second Act in life. It’s a time of coming into oneself and not caring what others think about you. And, it’s a time of connection and collaboration. It’s letting go of the “nonsense” that seemed important at the time. It’s a time of embracing purpose, creativity, joy and connection to one another.
Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect to launch the campaign on the heels of the women’s march which has reignited our passion and determination. The old paradigm of looking out for ourselves, competition and catfighting is over. Together, we are intending to usher in a new paradigm; one of kindness, compassion, empathy and fostering deep connection. At this stage in our lives, we are truly just beginning the journey from a new space. As Marianne Williamson shares in her powerful book, “A Return to Love,” it’s not our darkness that scares us, but rather our light. Midlife is almost like a Life reboot allowing one permission to finally be able to love themselves unconditionally. It’s a time to begin shining our light and letting go of our false beliefs and perceptions, particularly about ourselves.
Back to our weekend together, Shauna traveled in from Utah on one of the most blustery days of the year. With her flight delayed by snowstorms, Cath and I headed to downtown Manhattan Beach to grab a leisurely lunch and walk around while waiting for Shauna’s arrival. Once she landed, I headed to her hotel to have her join us. I have to admit, both Shauna and Cath make quite a first impression. Shauna is a little spitfire with skin that practically glows in the dark. Like Cath, she’s absolutely stunning and quite a lot of fun. Petite, perfectly fit and with the most adorable sense of style, Shauna springs to life much like on her Instagram gallery. It didn’t take long for the three of us to begin acting like old friends. I couldn’t wait to take them on a tour of the South Bay, beginning with the magical Palos Verdes Peninsula. Decked out in red inspired by Valentine’s Day, we headed over to The Wayfarer’s Chapel and began shooting. It wasn’t long before my deadly cackle woke up the priest who practically threw us out! Quite honestly, that happens a lot! We quickly defused the situation and kept shooting but couldn’t help but chuckle as we love to break the rules.
Next, it was on to the lovely beach at the Terrenea Resort down the road. Terrenea has a well deserved reputation and it’s a must see destination on any tour of the South Bay. It’s truly one of the most beautiful beaches in the area and we were lucky that the weather Gods were smiling down on us that day! Decked out in green to represent this year’s Pantone Color. Green is refreshing and revitalizing and representative of new beginnings. It is a life affirming color inspired by vitality and personal passions. I selected a jumpsuit by an iconic designer I deeply admire, Diane Von Furstenberg. Cath is wearing…while Shauna selected a…It brought to mind my college sorority days, as we bonded like young school girls and couldn’t help but bust out laughing at ourselves. We brought along the darling Brielle @thegildedbellini and author of The Gilded Bellini to shine a bit more light and keep us in check. It was a beautiful day and when the light began to fade, it was time to grab a relaxing bite at Baleen’s Lounge adjacent to the Portofino Hotel where Shauna was staying. A candlelight dinner, a roaring fireplace and live music was the perfect way to cap off our day together. Here’s to the launch of The Fierce 50 Campaign! We cannot wait to see where this is headed. Stay tuned Beauties!
And, thank you to our fabulous sponsors for aligning with us and supporting our mission to celebrate women at midlife. We want to thank Madison Reed, HSI Professional, Onzie, Awe-Inspired for believing in us and partnering in our first annual Fierce 50 Campaign. And thank you to the amazing Hannah Storm for joining us and sharing your journey in my interview on Thrive Global. Hannah, we applaud you and the incredible work you have done lighting a path for women to succeed in so many creative endeavors after the magical 50!