DALLAS – A middle-aged, high-profile business woman seeking clarity as she navigates her complex lifestyle; a 22-year-old college student longing for mentoring as she completes the daunting journey into adulthood; a stay-at-home mom struggling to find the right note of emotional and spiritual support to provide her financially-strapped, working family of five.
These were just three of the more than 100 women who gathered in North Texas Sept. 16-17 to attend the second Treasure You™ Girlfriend’s Retreat. The event was held at the Westin Stonebriar Resort in Frisco, Texas, just north of Dallas.
Attendees were encouraged by an All-Star panel of speakers to, “be at peace no matter what, pursue your passion and set boundaries.” The retreat featured breakout sessions that ranged from a Donna Richardson Joyner workout, to an exclusive preview of the new Sarah Jessica Parker film "I Don't Know How She Does It," to a pajama party which challenged guests to “strip off their makeup and put it all out there.”
“There is something really special when you have a great weekend with other amazing women,” said Pat Smith, founder of Treasure You™, who conceived the organization as a vehicle to support, inspire and celebrate women in their journey to discover self-worth. “When you’re with friends you can really put your issues out there, and when you do, you usually find clarity and serenity. That’s what we wanted from the Treasure You™ Girlfriend’s Retreat. We wanted women, who didn’t know each other, to come together and share. It was a truly emotional experience – and one that I think could prove life-changing for many in attendance.”
Smith, the first African-American woman to win the Miss Virginia USA title and first runner-up of the 1994 Miss USA Pageant, lost her mother to breast cancer while preparing for the competition. That loss inspired her to begin mentoring women to achieve their dreams.
“Treasure You™ was born during a period when I felt as though I was drowning in the shadows and losing my passion for life,” said Smith, who also serves as President of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities. “I had an amazing experience, what I call a Treasure You™ Moment, with a former NFL player's wife. After that, I was led to create experiences like ours where women can come together in a safe environment to share and grow.”
Featured speakers at the Girlfriend’s Retreat included Hattie Hill, Melani Ismail, Cathy Moffitt, Donna Richardson Joyner, Dr. Candice Zwick, Dawn Mellon, Sheree Fletcher and Sandra Yancey. Guests were also treated to a special performance by Gospel recording artist Vicki Yohe.
The weekend also featured a Pat’s Treasure’s Beauty & Lifestyle Shopping Lounge experience made possible by smart, savvy women entrepreneurs including Chocolate Secrets & Wine Gardens, Glamour Rx, Stella & Dot, Crystals on Fire, POPLife Jewels by Jacque Martin, Envy Couture, His Glory Hand Knits, WhoopAsh, STATUS by Sarah Jones, Abi Ferrin Clothing, Facelogic, Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry, The Farhi Collection, BUTEYN Beauty, Bootglams, Closet Junkie Queen and Grand Spa. Each of these women owned businesses were hand selected to participate and showcase their products and services.
The Treasure You™ Girlfriend’s Retreat was sponsored by The Westin Stonebriar, vitaminwater®, Freed’s Furniture, Fatboy® USA and Tequila Herradura.
Smith said everyone involved was so thrilled with the success of this year’s Girlfriend’s Retreat that planning is already underway for retreat number three.
“We’ve begun the process,” she said. “We hope to be able to announce details soon. It’s going to just keep getting better and better!”