“Sometimes the women have to take over. – Thomas Shelby, Peaky Blinders

How many of you have, at some point in your life, been asked about your age? And how many of you have had the cliched reaction of “I’ll never tell.” Last question … How many of you have wanted to pull a Clark Gable and say, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!” We rightfully denounce racism, sexism, and issues with sexual preference. It’s about time Ageism too, is “Gone With the Wind!”

When the Forever Fierce Revolution was born to celebrate and empower women at Midlife and Beyond, we were shocked at the number of companies that cheered us on and asked how they could be a part of our movement. The very first was Chico’s! When they launched their latest #HowBoldAreYou campaign, we knew we had struck a chord as Bold is Fierce and Fierce is Bold! We asked, “How can we help?” They responded, “Give us a video in our tees with Real Women, Real Ages, and Real Attitude!” We responded, “Bring it.”

An incredible scene of women exercising their power in the Netflix series Peaky Blinders became the inspiration for “Chicy Blinders” with women from our amazing group! Please support our message by viewing, sharing on your timeline, and tagging friends that would love to be part of this! Our goal is 1 million views! We can only do this with your views and shares!

Real Women, Real Ages, Real Attitude!

The global premiere of “Chicy Blinders is here!”

With a simple click of the SHARE button, you can join us in changing the world!

Tag your Ageless friends who embody “Age is Just a Number!” to help us in our mission to reach 1 Million Views!

The cast features Real Women, Members from our Forever Fierce Revolution Community, from 50 to 70, our latest collaboration with Chico’s unites our messages to show you that “Age is Just a Number” and “We’re Not Older, We’re Bolder!”


Posted by Catherinegraceo on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The essence of Chico’s latest spring campaign is perfectly aligned with the mission of The Forever Fierce Revolution: “We’re Not Older, We’re Bolder” and “Age is Just a Number!” Our global community has exploded to nearly 6k women, based on diversity, inclusion and empowering women at Midlife and Beyond. To the women of Forever Fierce, “Midlife isn’t an Age. It’s an Experience!” The inspiration and vision behind the “Chicy Blinders” collaboration is to blow the doors off what you perceive women at Midlife and Beyond to be. Featuring REAL WOMEN, REAL AGES, REAL ATTITUDE, the cast includes Forever Fierce Members from 50 to 70, boldly displaying their ages in a fierce and refreshing way.

Sandra Smith, Janet Gunn, Carol Parker Walsh, Jodie Filogomo, Erik Reedy, Julie Bee, Tricia Cusden, Catherine Grace O’Connell

Here’s the backstory:

On Forever Fierce Day, February 19th, we had a team of volunteers working around the clock on social media to welcome hundreds of new members into the Forever Fierce Community from all over the world! That same day, our team received word that Forever Fierce Media’s pitch to Chico’s for a video collaboration had been accepted. That’s the good news! The challenging news? We have 10 days to cast, style, location scout, hire and contract talent, finalize concept …and all the moving parts that go into producing a high-level production. The Fierce part? Given an almost impossible challenge…you simply say YES!

Now, picture this. Cast members fly in from Colorado, Washington and as far away as the U.K.! It’s 6 am on Saturday morning, and you have only 3 hours to complete this part of the shoot. The usually sunny LA skies unleash torrential downpours and the forecast is for 80 percent chance of rain all day! Cast members are meeting in an alleyway in DTLA (Downtown LA) and let’s just say it’s not the typical glitzy Hollywood backdrop! The idea is to have the scene a bit “gritty” and trust me, an alley in DTLA does the trick. Now, back to that rain. Women are getting dropped off in Ubers without shelter. A block from the shoot…you know that feeling, “I’ve been hit by a truck!” Well, yours truly, one of the Producers and cast members was hit by a semi! So we chased the hit and run truck down and got the license plate! When it comes to being Fierce, the show must go on and it did!

Leading up to the shoot, I had been dealing with weeks of sleepless nights. Part menopause and part life challenges as an entrepreneur and the leader of a global movement, I was beyond grateful to a company I reached out to on Instagram, Saranghae Korean Skin Care, as my 56-year-old skin was definitely in need of moisture and care for that Fierce glow for the camera. A video production and an HD lens is far less forgiving than an image that’s easily edited. Let’s just say that the Saranghae line became my best friend and I practically slathered myself in the products. I spent the week before the shoot with the Essence Sheet Mask glued to my face as there’s nothing like it for restoring moisture and radiance. For my complete review and story about these amazing products, read my Saranghae Means “I Love You! post. Back to that shoot…

The moment the rain stopped, our Fierce and Fearless Director, Ilyssa Goodman, gathered the troops in the alleyway and we began filming. Ilyssa, a well known Hollywood Director and Producer, a Co-Host of The Forever Fierce Talk Show and a woman over 50, generously volunteered her gifts and time to our mission. Witnessing Ilyssa’s talent and direction was an incredible experience. Best known for producing the popular Cinderella Stories, Ilyssa is a force. Given only 10 days to arrange the entire production meant that Ilyssa would be meeting the cast members for the first time without a single rehearsal! Now, that’s the true meaning of Fierce.

To bring Ilyssa’s vision to life, we were fortunate to have Jonathan Mariande as The Director of Photography. Jonathan has a wealth of experience in Hollywood working on many feature films. He’s a triple threat as he’s also a Producer and writes his own screenplays. In fact, he has a feature film of his own in the works that he has written, produced, and directed! His energy and enthusiasm was pure delight as clearly, working with a team of rookies and real women from 50 to 70, this was a whole new world. His talents shine through in the final production and we can’t wait to partner with him on future collaborations.

Another piece of good fortune was having our Forever Fierce Creative Director join the production team as Associate Producer. Julie Bee, a 25-year veteran working on major Hollywood productions donated her time and talents to the cause. She’s known as “Little Miss Sunshine” and her gift lies in anticipating the needs of the cast and production team before they have any idea what they actually need. Somehow, like magic, Julie seems to “mind read” and whatever it is that’s needed, seems to show up in an instant … especially donuts! The entire cast felt pampered and Julie’s delightful energy is contagious.

The team at GlamSquad was ready and waiting to add a little glow or a bit more crimson to those lips to help us shine on set. They were absolutely lovely, putting up with the inclement weather, and helping the cast members to look their best. Jodie Filogomo and Carol Parker Walsh were given the full treatment prior to the shoot with in-home services. I cannot overstate how awesome their services are! I am nearly inept when it comes to makeup and hair, and GlamSquad is my go-to. It’s so simple to make an appointment and answer the door to a beauty squad that gets right to work and does an amazing job. Use this link for $25 off your first appointment: Click here for your appointment!

A lot of things lined up in a pretty miraculous say to make this entire production happen in a 10 day period. The team at Threadsley went to work in an instant to create the custom “Fierce is the New Black…Age is Just a Number” tees and shipped them overnight just in the nick of time. Cast members like Jodie Filogomo, our Fierce Director of Operations hopped on a plane from Denver with less than 24 hours in LA! Carol Parker Walsh did the same with a trip from Washington State. It was a Forever Fierce Slumber Party at chez yours truly, and that only adds to the Fierce experience. Grab your own tee here! Get your Fierce on!

Our Fierce Associate Producer, Julie Bee, is also a passionate photog and, in between pampering the cast and fulfilling our every need, she was catching the BTS moments on camera. The friendships and bonding definitely came through the lens and the entire cast became one big love fest. It was onto the next part of the shoot as Carol, Jodie, Ilyssa, and Jonathan headed down to the South Bay to finish the shoot in my home. Finishing up about 8 that night, it was a full day and a fierce one.

A special shoutout to the Seratones! If you grooved to the music of this video, make sure you check out and download all of their original music. You will love the vibe!

A big thanks to Chico’s for uniting our messages. Full Disclosure: Forever Fierce Media intentionally chose to pay talent and costs and utilize 100 percent of the remaining budget toward marketing our joint message. Be Bold, Be Fierce … or go home! After all, tomorrow is another day!

To our cast members who are truly one in a million. Thank you for your FIERCE dedication. You embody the essence of Chico’s message: “We’re Not Older, We’re Bolder” and the mission of Forever Fierce, “Age is Just a Number!”

Chicy Blinder’s Credits:

Directed by: Ilyssa Goodman

Director of Photography: Jonathan Mariande

Produced by: Mike Castagna

Chicy Blinders:
Tricia Cusden
Jodi Filogomo
Janet Gunn
Catherine Grace O’Connell
Sandra Smith
Carol Parker Walsh

Fierce Women: Melanie Maroon

Hot Guy: Erik Reedy

Music: Seratones
Associate Producer: Julie Liams
Wardrobe: Chico’s
Fierce Tees: Threadsly
Hair & Makeup: Glamsquad
Production Assistant: Matt Castagna




Well told, but you left out the part where the editing comes in, in the wee hours of night, in a darkened room, making decisions, quiet and alone. Only the best ingredients will make the prize winning recipe. Your choices made it work, no matter how hard you shake, cream always rises to the top.


Isn’t that the truth, sister. I had no idea how complex the editing process was as I was intimately involved this time. It was literally enlightening!

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