“Diva Bliss” at Blissdom Canada ’12

If you were in Toronto, ON this past weekend, you may have noticed that the streets were a little busier than your average Toronto weekend (and no, we are not referring to the annual zombie walk!).

The group of individuals we are referring to is the creative, inspiring and talented women (and men) from across Canada who came to Toronto for Blissdom Canada ’12 – an annual Canadian social media conference for women.

Carinne, Francine, Sophie & Nancy

Diva International Inc. had the privilege of being both a sponsor and exhibitor at this year’s event. We talked to close to 500 women (and some men too) about The DivaCup, met a diversity of bloggers (from moms to teachers, to knitters, to cooks…the list is endless), and although each had a different story to tell, they all shared one common passion – writing.

For those that were not at Blissdom, we wanted to share some of our favorite moments, many of which were spurred from our discussion with bloggers, so that you too can be inspired and know what women are talking about within the Canadian “blogosphere”.

Annie & Francine

We had the opportunity to talk (and learn from) Annie Urban from PhD in Parenting who shared about her experience visiting Bangladesh with Save the Children and their project “MaMoni”, a project that provides health support to children and mothers. The team from momstown.ca came by our booth, and showed us the true meaning of Diva in our “Diva Bliss” photo booth! momstown.ca provides support to moms via parenting tips, encouraging words and lots of events to connect moms with kids 0 – 6!

One of the most insightful bloggers we met was Nadine Thornhill from adorkableundies.com who, as a sexual health educator, is opening up conversations about all those things we want to know, but may be too shy to ask about: sex. Our team also met Karen Snider from Red Cross Talks who was excited about the many benefits The DivaCup could provide for women working in the field and Sherrie Mae Guthrie from Good Karma Baby, who is not only a blogger, but also an educator, athlete, mom and creative female voice in Canada.

Sherrie also won our “Diva Bliss” gift basket worth over $300 including a Kobo Reader with a hot pink case (Diva Style) – Congrats!!!

Overall, the weekend’s microsessions, guest speaker series, meet and greets and parties were a great reminder to the Diva Team about how much women can accomplished when they join together in partnership and personal testimony.

The weekend was really about a group of women (and some men too!!) coming together to empower and encourage one another with innovative social media tools, ideas and interests.

Of course there were some true “Diva Bliss” moments at Blissdom Canada ’12: Road Rally Bliss, the Microsoft Welcome Party at The Courthouse, the Third Annual Costumes and Karaoke Party and Sunday Excursions (CN Tower EdgeWalk anyone?)!

And let’s not forget the many Diva Bliss”  moments captured on film at our Diva Bliss photo booth which gave conference attendees the opportunity to express their inner Diva through costume and words (of course)! Within minutes of setting up the photo booth, one thing we quickly learned, these Divas are not camera shy!

Here is just a glimpse of a few of our favorite “Diva Bliss” photo booth  moments:

A “Diva” weekend in NY!

I always get excited when I travel to trade shows and events with Diva International Inc. With every trip there is the opportunity to share The DivaCup with women of every age and lifestyle. When I first heard about the Run Like A Diva race series a few months ago, I knew Diva had to get involved. This race not only focuses on empowering women to be more active, it does so in true diva fashion! If anyone knows what it means to be a Diva it’s us!

As we drove up to the event hotel, feather boas, tiaras and pink flooded the streets around us. Staff members at the event hotel were dressed up, diva style, restaurants featured Diva menu items and around every block near the event site you could see trails of pink, glitter and… more feather boas!

I could not help but get excited: “What better way to start off a “Diva Weekend” than with pink ?”.

Francine and Team DivaCup at the H & B Boutique

The pre-race Health and Beauty Boutique started the weekend off. It was here that runners could register for the race, do some shopping and meet Team DivaCup. I must have talked to 1000 women from all over North America: New York, North Carolina, and even some fellow Canadians from Nova Scotia. Many of these women had never heard about The DivaCup and all were excited to learn that a reusable, super comfy, 12 hour leak-free period care product existed.

What I loved most about this event was how generations of women were running together. Groups of grandmothers, mothers and daughters visited the Diva booth; each sporting their own team outfits, each having a unique story to share.

Over the past 12 weeks we have been tracking the progress of Team DivaCup (a group of five ladies in the New York area) via our social media channels as they have trained for the Run Like A Diva 13.1-mile run.

Sunday was the big day, and Team DivaCup had a 5:00 am wake-up call to prep and make it to the starting line for 8:00 AM start. Team DivaCup, along with thousands of other women, were treated like divas throughout the race, with pink boas and tiaras waiting for them at mile 12 and they were presented with roses and a medal by handsome firemen at the finish line. Upon finishing the race, Team DivaCup celebrated their victory with a champagne toast, photos and a dance party in true diva style.

After 12 long weeks of training, we wanted to give Team DivaCup a big pat on the back and say congratulations! All five of these ladies had different levels of running experience and many of them had never run a half marathon before.

Here is a look at how race day went for the Team.

 

Team DivaCup from left to right: Leah, Megan, Lauren, Leesa and Alana.

Leah

Overcoming fear is an empowering milestone in life that motivates us to great achievement. Once we conquer a fear, that feeling of inevitability triggers the desire to tackle new barriers. It is a cycle that fires life. The idea of running a half marathon, let alone any distance over a few miles was always something that I’ve dreaded; I’ve never been a runner nor desired to be one. That mindset changed, however, when I was presented with the opportunity to join Team DivaCup. Throughout the 12 week training period I slowly started to view running in a different light: It was something that I could actually do, and I liked that! Each week, after my teammates and I added an additional mile to our runs and new songs to our playlists, I grew more confident that the daunting 13.1 number, looming in the near future, was an achievable goal. When I awoke on race day, I must say, I was terrified! Where did the past twelve weeks go? Did I train enough? Was I ready? All of these doubtful questions plaguing my mind immediately subsided the moment we arrived at Eisenhower Park and I was surrounded by thousands of women in pink, divas, just like me and my team, with the same goal. The feeling of unanimity was overpowering. Together, all of us divas crossed the finish line, surmounting our fears and obtaining our goals. I could not have accomplished this without Team DivaCup. Thank you, I cannot wait for the next challenge!

Megan

In the beginning of this year one of my New Year’s resolutions was to run a half marathon and now I can cross that off the list. I was inspired to run this race after watching my mom and two aunts run The More half marathon in Central Park last year. The feeling I got cheering for them was very moving and sparked my interest to train for a half marathon. After completing the race I have to say my favorite part was the last mile, not only because I was about to finish the 13.1 mile trek, but because of all the support that I felt from the people cheering on the sidelines. It was an incredible feeling to see how so many people would come out to cheer on a bunch of women who they didn’t even know. This race was a lot of fun and it would not have been the same without the women on Team Diva Cup!

Lauren

I never considered myself a runner. I have always been active with various sports and going to the gym, but running for miles on end was just not my thing. My first race was in June of this year when I ran a 10k, which is 6.3 miles, with my co-worker Leesa (also on Team DivaCup) who likes to run, and it wasn’t so bad! When I got the chance to run the Run Like A Diva half marathon I was nervous but I decided I was up to the challenge. I think for me one of the most exciting parts of training for this race was seeing my progress. I was running for longer periods of time and a faster mile, and most importantly I started to really enjoy it. When race day came, I was nervous even though I knew I had trained and put in the time and the miles. All those worries swept away once the race started. All of the women involved in the race were so supportive of each other and the crowd cheering us all on was really encouraging. After 13.1 miles, I crossed the finished line and made it to the other side – now I think I can officially say I AM a runner!

Leesa

The Run Like A Diva Half was my fourth half marathon; my second this year alone. But I haven’t always been an active person. In fact, as a kid, I avoided almost all physical activity! In 2009 I had just moved to a new town and was very overweight, so I was looking something I could do to get involved in my community, as well as to be healthier. That is when I signed up for my first half marathon, the Seattle Rock N Roll Half, which I walked most of—but I did it! Since then I’ve done half marathons in San Diego, Austin and now Long Island—and have gotten progressively faster by at least 20 minutes at each race, to the point where I actually ran (albeit slowly) the whole Diva Half!! I think what made me a little nervous about training and completing this race is that since last October I have run two 10k’s and a half marathon, so I was a bit worried about keeping up the momentum. But I’m happy to say I did it. It was a lot of fun being part of Team DivaCup and training with a team for the first time. We all really kept each other motivated to get out and get our training runs in, as well as share tips we have come across and playlists that would energize. Also, I can say from experience that The DivaCup is an essential race day tool, so I was happy to help spread the word to other female marathoners!

Alana

From the moment I said yes to running a half marathon (and my first marathon ever!), I was terrified of the unknown. I was fearful of getting hurt, finishing in over three hours or not being athletic enough to make it to the finish line, period. And once I began my training sessions with a measly 2 mile run along the Hudson River in Hoboken, NJ, I kept thinking “how am I ever going to do this?!”.

All those negative thoughts were finally put to rest on race day. By the end of the race, I felt empowered and capable of doing just about anything I set my mind to—that’s a true Diva for you! The energy surrounding race day was truly incredible. Although we had to be out of bed and out to the start line early, the excitement made it all worthwhile. Running down the track, we all encountered some really inspirational women, which is really what kept me going throughout the entire course. Each mile was exciting with new attractions and some really enthusiastic onlookers—I couldn’t help but cheer with them! But, nothing was better than hitting mile 12 and finally seeing my family cheering me on as I hit the finish line!

Now, I’m looking forward to training for a full marathon in the next few years. And, I owe it all to my fellow Divas and Diva International!