About 14 years ago, I got the idea that I wanted to start getting together with some of my closest friends over a weekend. But not just your regular girlfriend’s get-together, I wanted to make my friends feel special and empower them. It was at that moment that I knew God had given me a special assignment and I called it ‘Girl’s Gathering’. I would book a nice hotel suite, compose a theme, plan a menu, and create fabulous gift bags for each one of my guests.
One of the things that made my retreats so special was that I kept the setting intimate, with only inviting 10-15 women. I would finance the weekend myself because I would just want the ladies to come and enjoy themselves. The amazing breakthroughs, smiles, and conversations that would happen at these retreats were nothing short of incredible.
God told me, “Just plan it.”
Fast Forward, I took a break of hosting because I was living in Europe at the time, but God reminded me and told me that I needed to start back hosting my women’s retreat. In the midst of this, I was getting ready to launch my own eyewear line, Dinjii Eyewear and didn’t have the money to fund a weekend like that. God told me, “Just plan it”! And I did!
“I was able to plan a retreat like this with seven ladies for under $400 per person.”
Girl’s Gathering was a 4 day/3 night retreat in a million dollar beachfront home on Galveston Island. I had activities, games, welcome gift boxes and all of the food and drinks (alcoholic, that is) that any girl would want. The home was stocked with everything that we needed (linens, towels, cookware, grill, etc). All we had to do was show up with our food! I was able to plan a retreat like this with seven ladies for under $400 per person.
The days began with a southern style breakfast cooked by myself & the ladies as we dined on the patio facing the beach with 360-degree views that were absolutely breathtaking. Each guest also had an opportunity to relax, watch TV, sit on the beach or just bond with one another during this retreat. We had a private walkway straight from the house to the beach that we could access at any time of day or night. Dinner was engaging with topics that centered around our theme for this year, ‘R.I.L.’ (Real) Talk, which stood for:
R – Resuscitating your dreams
I- Igniting your creativity
L- Living in your focus
My goal was to plan a retreat that really allowed the ladies to dig deep and find that ‘fun girl’ inside again and learn how to slow down and live life with great expectations. So many times we don’t exercise our faith to live fully abundant lives because we are afraid and have already talked ourselves out of our blessing. Well, one of the talks that I gave to the ladies was to ‘live fearlessly’ and don’t be afraid to ask! My mom would always say, “Shaundra, people can only tell you yes or no, and the answer is already no if you don’t ask.”
I think I may be on to my next business venture! I have traveled and lived all over the world and truly enjoy planning EXPERIENCES, not trips! I’m not sure what to call myself yet, Destination Event Consultant, Travel Planner, Retreat Planner- hmmm….I’ll figure it out. Through posting some of my pictures on social media, I have gotten an influx of inquiries for future trips that I am planning which lets me know that I may be onto something and I’m not gonna let it pass me by.
I can’t wait to plan next year’s Girl’s Gathering Retreat and see where we end up….until then! If you are interested in being a part of one of my upcoming retreats or adventurous trips, email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you would like me to plan a women’s retreat for you and your friends or social group, I do offer travel planning services.
Remember these three things:
- Have Fun (Don’t be too serious).
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
- Know that you deserve the best.
More picture moments from the Retreat