Armed with Community. 

Just over a year ago, I was invited to an evening called Loaded Bow. I didn’t know what to expect; all that I was told was that it was an evening for women entrepreneurs, and that I should bring a fellow female entrepreneur along. I brought my dear friend Theodora Lamb and proceeded to have one of the most memorable nights of the year, ten of us sharing our ‘Stories of Love’ and connecting on what it means to be a female business owner. It was the first of many beautiful nights with this community.

Photo by Caroline Boquist
Photo by Caroline Boquist

That first evening, I walked into a beautiful, new world. This world has introduced me to some of my closest friends, including Gen and Zoe, the founders of Loaded Bow. They started this experiment four years ago, self admittedly as a way to make new, awesome friends in Vancouver’s entrepreneurial space. Gen runs Hume Atelier, a bespoke jewellery studio with her husband Kevin, and Zoe Pawlak is a painter and collaborator, creating beautiful works of art in many different forms.

So much loves goes into and comes out of this community, so it was without hesitation that I said yes to a four day Loaded Bow retreat in Palm Springs this past weekend. 25 women gathered at the Ace Hotel (yes, it felt like a movie set!) for what can only be described as a Meeting of the Hearts. The theme of the weekend was Story, and four of us were invited to craft workshops that inspire storytelling.


#1. Tell Me a Story. Lizzy Karp, of Raincity Chronicles, led us into the psyche of story listening, teaching us how we can craft questions that ignite curiosity. She reminded us that asking a question in a certain way can trigger memories and offer responses cloaked in emotion and intrigue.

#2. Archetype & Myth. I led the group through a personal Archetype experience, landing on an archetype that each person identifies with and a challenge getting in the way of fully becoming it. Then, I took everyone through the Hero’s Journey and we positioned ourselves in the circle, at one of the 12 stages of transformation. It was reassuring, to see so many others on the same journey.

#3. The C-Spot. Thara Viyali, Naturopath to many of us there, invited us into the story of stress. She asked us to consider our own relationship to stress and taught us about the effects of Cortisol and how we can find our own ‘C-spot’ by understanding how our body reacts to stress.

#4. Remembering the Future. Finally, Chloe Gow-Jarrett of Lululemon led us 20 years into the future where we connected with our future selves who then shared wisdom and insight based on ‘our’ life experiences.

Between all of that, we were privileged to have Lauren Roegele lead us in yoga and breathing exercises, harnessing the power of our individual story and collective experience throughout the weekend. It was nothing short of perfection the way that everyone wove into the tapestry curated by Gen and Zoe. I have never experienced the beauty of female friendship quite like this – it was a lightning bolt of love and a real, honest moment in time. It also didn’t hurt that we were in ultra hip land at the vibrant Ace Hotel where the party never stops despite the 108′ desert heat.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to this beautiful community who continues to nourish every part of my world.

Photo by Jessica Karalash, Kurate Style
Photo by Jessica Karalash,