Embrace Paris: The Reason

In three days Embrace Paris will be in full swing. Ten women will be celebrating the power of positivity while indulging in the lap of luxury, ensconced in hotel heaven with the champagne flowing at Hôtel Le Meurice, our home for three glorious days and nights.


Why? Well… this is how it all began.

My weekend at a retreat last summer restored my faith in women. Literally. When I had arrived, my opinion on women was jaded. It seemed as though I'd heard and seen it all. I was quite content in my secluded little world with my family and a handful of friends. I didn't need to participate in a retreat and meet eight other women, I thought. But my friend Lynne was hosting and she twisted my arm—not so literally—so off I went. 

The women I met were professional, confident and strong, yet genuine and sweet. It was probably the instant, and obvious, mutual respect that struck me the most. After only a few hours I sat back and thought, "Who are these people?"

That weekend my inspiration was at an all-time high and throughout the event I experienced a positive energy that I hadn't felt in years. And to much of my surprise, it was coming from other women.

During the event I started to envision a similar group in Paris. My thinking process was: nice people deserve nice things. 

My website has given me the opportunity to establish wonderful relationships with some of the most spectacular hotels in Paris. I thought: why not gather in one of these fabulous establishments? 

Carina Okula, who is my dear friend and resides in Paris, became the obvious choice for a co-host. Together we created Embrace Paris: Empower * Brainstorm * Collaborate * Engage. We needed a theme, so we chose a common interest—the ever changing and crazy world of social media.

We took our concept to Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Their reaction was unbelievable. Our meeting was so energetic I swear firecrackers were popping off right there in the middle of La Galerie. They were on board straightaway. I was beyond thrilled and couldn't even articulate to my husband what transpired due to my emotional excitement. He had to wait until that evening. 

Carina and I still cannot believe it is actually happening. There has, however, been one change; the Hôtel Plaza Athénée remains under renovations so the event has been moved to Le Meurice. 


It is positive women inspiring others that made this event happen.

After the retreat last summer I received a group email from fellow attendee Ann Garvin. In her email she singled each one of us out with a little paragraph of compliments and a description of what we now meant to her. My paragraph left me in tears.  

And, in spite of the fact that every single moment of my friend Lynne Knowlton's life is clouded with cancer—her beautiful husband Michael has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma—Lynne is my go-to girl when I'm in a dark place. She's my strength when I need a lift. How is that fair? Her support is worth the world to me, yet every day she endures this heavy reality. Where does she find her courage? Every person should have just an ounce of it.

Lisa Ferguson is a powerful mentor. She is my mentor. She makes you feel like you are the only one in the room. She listens to every word you say. She motivates and pumps you up with her eyes wide open and lit up like the sparkling Eiffel. She really is like no other.

It is women like this that inspired me and Carina to create "Embrace." I will always be grateful to Lynne and her summer retreat.

We would love for you to watch the excitement unfold by following #EmbraceParis on all the social media platforms.

Watch the power of positivity at work. It will no doubt pump you up and inspire you to apply for Embrace Part Deux!



I love hearing from my readers! If you have any comments or questions, please do not hesitate to write - info@mybeautifulparis.com. 

Image credits: 

All photographs of Hôtel Le Meurice by Joanne Tsakos