Victoria’s Secrets: ‘I am woman, hear me roar’… on the Jersey shore!

Lois Christie, Lydia Safarti and I outside The Congress Hall in Cape May

It was a women’s weekend away at the tip of the Jersey shore in Cape May, a more than three-hour trip from Queens.

For the last hour of the trip, the slushy snow-filled roads were treacherous, but the trip was worth it because I made a great connection to a group of a dozen powerful women.

My friends Lydia Safarti who owns the prestigious global skincare company Repêchage and Lois Christie of the famous Christie & Co Salon – Spa in Bayside invited me on this getaway. Our destination, The Congress Hall, is in Cape May, the oldest seaside resort in America lovingly restored to its original glory.

Through a slushy snowstorm, we entered Cape May and were delighted to see the many pastel colored Victorian homes and shops stunningly restored. It lifted our spirits as we slowly made our way to the reception desk after having been met by their friendly doorman.

It felt good to walk into the warm Victorian lobby and meet in a private dining room with the other women where we would spend the weekend.

Our “hostess,” a financial analyst, had invited 10 other women from New Jersey who were attorneys, CEOs and CFOs of their respective companies.

After champagne toasts, we were off to the charming Virginia Hotel, housing the restaurant, The Ebbitt Room, where we enjoyed dinner together for two nights. The food served featured the freshest ingredients from the hotel’s 62-acre Beach Plum Farm a few miles away.

Although the food was memorable, the stars of the evenings were the women. We went around the table as each woman shared her life’s journey, often from humble beginnings to where each of them are today. The women spoke frankly and openly, sharing their challenges and victories.

What I loved about the weekend was the time to steal away from my business and spend time to focus on my business rather than in it!

We were there to build professional contacts and the group facilitator, author and lecturer Glenna Crooks, led us to an “ask” from each other. It was a direct way to get new connections that I appreciated.

The hostess offered to help me analyze my investments. Being so busy, it’s important to have someone I truly trust to watch my finances. We live in uncertain times, and I like to have an expert, professional money manager helping me.

All the women in business shared that their success is based on having smart, hard-working trustworthy people surrounding them. That’s my key to success, too — always having quality people surrounding me!

Helen Reddy’s song, “I Am Woman” — particularly the line, “I am strong I am invincible” — resonated with all the women. Personally, that mantra helped me to keep my balance when I got divorced, and several of the women appreciated my sharing that.  

Particularly, one of the women in the “Unlimited Horizon” group thanked me because she was going through a divorce, too, and another one was handling a child diagnosed as being in the autism spectrum, while still another woman in the group was deciding to overcome her fear and consider starting her own company.

It was wonderful to make meaningful connections and enjoy the beauty of historic, charming Victorian, Cape May.

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