Attendees from the 2021 Girlfriendism Retreat on St. Croix. By VIVID CLARITY PHOTOGRAPHY.
Girlfriendism, a brand that was inspired by the women of St. Croix and created for women all over the world is hosting its second annual Girlfriendism Retreat in Athens and Santorini, Greece with 31 women from the U.S. Virgin Islands during the National Girlfriend Day Weekend in August, a release issued Monday has made known.
Inspired by the women of My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Croix — a locally owned boutique in downtown Christiansted that celebrated its ten-year anniversary alongside its first annual retreat celebration in 2021 — the Girlfriendism brand provides services for women in varying industries including fashion, fitness, business, wellness, travel, and philanthropy, according to the release.
After a successful inaugural three-day retreat in 2021, the organization will be hosting its second annual retreat with an intergenerational group of 31 women (ages 22 to 76) with diverse backgrounds in business (from retail to training and healthcare to fitness) from the U.S. Virgin Islands (traveling from St. Croix, St. Thomas, Florida, and South Carolina) who will embark on what has been deemed a women’s empowerment journey.
"The first annual Girlfriendism Retreat was a celebration that held space for women in business and leadership to experience meaningful connections amidst a socially isolating pandemic," stated Khnuma Simmonds, founder and visionary of Girlfriendism. "One year later, it feels surreal to lead 31 women from the U.S. Virgin Islands to our first international location of Greece! I have always envisioned a global movement that would spotlight the women entrepreneurs and culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and with the trust that these women, who I call girlfriends, have bestowed upon me and my amazing team, we are no longer dreaming about this vision — we are living it!"
Ms. Simmonds added, "My prayer is that women, particularly women of color locally and internationally who have been entrusted with a purpose and vision for entrepreneurship, will embrace their calling, trust their intuition, and have faith in their ability to impact the world with their audacity to think, speak and be their authentic selves," she said.
"What started as a 600 sq. ft. brick and mortar boutique for me to work, is now a global movement for women globally to experience — thanks to the women of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and beyond who believe in a collective vision of empowerment. To the audacious women who came before us, who continue to support us and will come after us, we are forever grateful for the opportunity to build a legacy for our community and women all over the world!" Ms. Simmonds further stated.
The Girlfriendism Retreat is an annual event that is hosted in honor of National Girlfriend's Day on August 1st with alternating locations between the U.S. Virgin Islands and a global destination, the release stated. To initiate this eight-day experience, the Girlfriendism Business team is hosting a welcome reception and cultural exchange with ambassadors from the Greece Embassy and the African Women of Greece Organization. This event, which is partly sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority and The XauSky Group LLC along with donations from Designs by Regal, will include a cultural exchange as well as the development of a U.S. Virgin Islands/Greece Women of Color business directory.