The 'Ladies Who Lunch' event seemed risky - until I experienced it firsthand

Dec 19 2017, 8:27 pm

It seemed like something that could go very, very wrong: put a bunch of beautiful, career-driven and competitive women into a room, play something called “networking Bingo,” with the goal to have each lady leave with new business cards, a feeling of collectivity and accomplishment, all while eliminating any sense of inferiority or intimidation.Guess what? It actually worked. A matter of fact, on social media, many are calling it “the best one yet.”

So what is it, exactly?

Founder of the Ladies Who Lunch social, Maria Kritikos, has figured out a formula that generates positive results through inclusivity.

Ladies Who Lunch allows for a global network of women in business, philanthropy, fashion and media to flourish and feel comfortable in an encouraging environment that harbors a sense of collaboration instead of competition, all while casually sipping champagne before noon, and looking and feeling fabulous as mothers, wives, entrepreneurs, beginners, leaders and overall game changers and go-getters.

While enjoying pastries and coffee near the end of the event, one woman said, “I wish there was something like this when I had first started in the industry,” while another mentioned that “too often women feel threatened by the success of another instead of embracing it.”

I arrived early to a decorated room at the Arbutus Club, and was greeted by a woman in a large hat. That woman was Maria.

My first thought: I should have worn a hat.

Women began to file in and there was one thing I noticed right away, and I’ll get to that. From a birds eye view, what could have looked like the gathering of the Step-ford wives, was actually something more reflective of a grown-up girls club – with better clothes and a buffet.

What I found upon observation and eavesdropping, was that there was no hierarchy of occupations and no scale of importance by comparison, but instead a level-playing field with all the opportunity to leave the room at a better place than where one started just by being fearless, chatting and interacting.

Real Estate agents, accountants, salon owners, lash enthusiasts, beauty consultants, lifestyle coaches, members of the media, and entrepreneurs. All women with their claws retracted, ready to encourage, inspire, share their vision and keep it classy.

“Ladies, I encourage you to join this growing network of fun and friendly and not to mention go-getter-women who support eachother to live with courage and bravery.” – Wendy Dubois.

Speaker one: Founder of Ladies Who Lunch, Maria Kritikos on the Law of Attraction:


“For me the Law of Attraction is a way of life – I have used it to manifest everything that I have today (whether positive or negative!) Most importantly I take responsibility for my life and I want to teach other women to do the same,” says Maria Kritikos. “Don’t rely on anyone else for your happiness or for the fulfillment of the life that you desire – you yourself have the ability to do that & when you build a life of your own design an amazing thing will happen – no one will ever be able to take that away from you.”

Speaker Two: Jen Schaeffers – Founder of Networking in Van

Speaker Three: Joanna Kritikos – Founder of Inspiration Mecca

Speaker Four: Kristal Barrett-Stewart – Founder of Personality Plus Services and The Sparkle Project

Speaker Five: Ashley Laurie – Owner, Marketing Rockstar – L. Ashley Strategy Inc.

These are the three things I learned from my first experience at the Ladies Who Lunch social:

1. Being in the same room as so many women who are not afraid to dream, and dream big, is a great reminder of how important it is to believe in the power that you possess to do what you need and want to do with your life- the time is now and there is an incredible network of like-minded ladies who have your back as soon as they know your name!

2. After hearing the women speak there was one common tie that resonated with me: it’s important to give your desires attention. Each morning that you wake up, what are you working towards, what do you spend your time thinking about, and what are you doing to turn your dreams into reality? The Ladies Who Lunch luncheon was a great mental rewiring and afternoon of reflection to make sure that what I’m doing, I’m doing for the right reasons. Not money, not recognition, but because I believe I can use my gifts to help make the world a better place to some capacity and encourage the incredible women around me to do the same.

3. If you have goals in mind, use the next Ladies Who Lunch event as a checkpoint. Say to yourself: by next LWL I will have my revamped business cards ready to hand out, I will come with new ideas, a new business pitch, a new website to discuss, a renewed sense of passion and purpose to share with others. Use the event not as a way to measure yourself against others, but to measure the distance between who you are now, and who you want to be – by the next lunch I’m positive that gap will have shrunk and your self-esteem will have grown.


“The one clear message to women is to believe in themselves and to surround themselves with others that believe in them as well – the creation of this group was for that sole purpose to show women how truly powerful they are not only as individuals but collectively as a group as well,” says Kritikos. “I want women to know that anything is possible and that the only thing holding them back is themselves, their limiting beliefs and fear. If you are a passion-preneur living your life with purpose and on purpose then you’ll definitely want to be a part of one of the largest networks of women game changers making a difference!”

Ladies Who Lunch is a reminder that it’s not about stepping over one another, but going together in the direction of our dreams as fearless women. It’s about running headfirst into the future in beautiful heels, it’s about having a full bag in one arm, a kid in another and saying “is that all you’ve got?” It’s about doing good, being good and looking good. So cheers to dreaming with your eyes wide open, turning those ideas into reality, sending out positive vibes, and taking the women around you by their manicured hands and saying, let’s go get em’!

Maria: I am so excited to be offering my new course where women will be learning how to apply the techniques of the Law of Attraction to achieve whatever they dream possible – they will also receive a one year membership into the LWL community and a one-to-one consulting session with me.

See you at the next event!


 Join the Ladies Who Lunch network HERE

A huge thank you to the sponsors!

@insalonyaletown @zahradsayani @deniseelliottmakeup @lashlabvancity @mysticmasala @thevanitylab @theliplounge @iluckybabe

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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