The 2023 GirlfriendismTM Retreat in St. Thomas:To Celebrate V.I. Legends with Christa’s Art Gallery – Connects Women Entrepreneurs & Supports Empowerment for Survivors!

The Girlfriendism TM Retreat team in collaboration with My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Thomas (MGCSTT), Strategic HRM, Turnbull Coaching and Consulting, Callwood Hospitality and Leisure, Yaadie in St. Croix, the Department of Tourism and Christa’s Art Gallery is pleased to share that they will embark on a collective journey to host the third annual retreat in St. Thomas this weekend!

The retreat weekend will kick-off with two open events: ‘V.I. Legends and V.I. Greats’ Portrait Series and 2023 Girlfriendism TM VIP Reception co-hosted by artist and MGCSTT premium designer, Christa Molloy, in recognition of the U.S.V.I. 175th Emancipation Commemoration on Friday, July 28th, 2023; and the ‘Girls Gone Global Social and Fashion Show’ on Sunday, July 30th, 2023 featuring local and international designers including Mariposah Ankh Artistry and Finchy Designs of St. Thomas as well as Renasi of South Africa and Afrocentric Elle of Ghana!Girlfriendism TM International is a brand that provides services for women in varying industries including fashion, fitness, business, wellness, travel, and philanthropy.

In anticipation of National Girlfriend Day observed on August 1st every year, the Girlfriendism team continues their retreat journey after hosting two successful annual events on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in 2021 and in Athens/Santorini, Greece in 2022. According to Girlfriendism TM International, Founder and Visionary – Dr. Khnuma Simmonds:

The 2023 retreat in particular is special for many reasons. For starters, our sister company, My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Thomas opened less than one year ago in Havensight Mall and while we are excited to open doors to our second location, we never lose sight of our primary vision – empowering women! As such, the retreat offers a unique opportunity for us to engage with women entrepreneurs in St. Thomas beyond the transactional space and forms meaningful connections as girlfriends.

Secondly, this retreat is occurring simultaneously with the175th Emancipation Celebration of the Virgin Islands of the United States which has encouraged great reflection on not only what emancipation means but how emancipation is embodied and demonstrated on a daily basis. Entrepreneurship is one avenue to emancipation for individuals, families and communities and Girlfriendism TM is a movement that represents a path to liberation through its business mission and its community activism through H.O.P.E. – the philanthropic branch of Girlfriendism TM that helps ordinary people everyday to be extraordinary through the arts and creative expression!

Last but not least, the Girlfriendism TM brand recognizes the growing need for wellness-centered, healing-informed experiences globally – especially for predominantly Black communities like the V.I. Thus, Girlfriendism TM and this year’s retreat IS a revolutionary movement of self-love and love for community – so what better way to celebrate than launching a weekend of empowerment with our girlfriends during the V.I. Legends art exhibit in St. Thomas?!’. 

According to a recent article by Business Wire, the lack of culturally appropriate self-care tools for Black women is ‘impacting their physical, mental and emotional health’ (Business Wire, 2023). Another by Well and Good (2022) affirms that ‘For Black women past, present, and future—self care is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s a longstanding act of political resistance and an inextricable part of our collective history.’ Considering the research coupled with participant feedback from prior retreats, this  year’s sessions are entitled ‘Wellness, Well-Being & Wealth’, ‘Rejuvenating Relationships & Revenue’ and ‘Awakening the Divine Feminine Energy’ followed by the ‘Girls Gone Global Social & Fashion Show’. It will feature a diverse menu of local and national speakers who support women’s wellness including Jet’aime Cheree of Saje Sanctuary and Jevanna Augustine of Savant Consulting and Brand Management. National speakers including Dr. Lauren Collins of Lauren Collins Wellness in D.C. are attending as collaborators of Girlfriendism H.O.P.E. – a project of the St. Croix Foundation whose ‘Emancipation through Empowerment, Entrepreneurship & Embodiment’ survivor-led project is made possible by a grant award funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services (OFVPS) that administers the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) and the American Rescue Plan (ARP), allowing Ujima Inc. and Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault to increase program access to services and address the intersection of COVID-19 and domestic violence and sexual assault affecting the Black community. According to Dr. Collins who will present during the ‘Awakening the Divine Femine Energy’ session of the Girlfriendism Retreat, ‘The PT Wellness Project’s mission is to provide culturally relevant and specific healing services via licensed physical therapy services, inclusive of assessments, treatments and education, and other relevant traditional and complementary healing approaches, to Black Survivors across the diaspora of domestic and partner violence and sexual assault, from a primary to tertiary degree.’ Thanks to partners like Dr. Collins and SCESA as well as sponsors of the retreat whose contributions are donated in part to H.O.P.E., Black survivors are integrated as both attendees and presenters of this year’s retreat!

To RSVP for the V.I. Legends Art Exhibit and 2023 GirlfriendismTM Retreat VIP Reception at My Girlfriend’s Closet St.Thomas, please email . For more information on the ‘Girls Gone Global Social & Fashion Show’, the annual GirlfriendismTM Retreat and/or Girlfriendism services, please visit or contact the G-Family at For more information on the work H.O.P.E. Incorporated, please visit

About The Girlfriendism TM Retreat
: The Girlfriendism TM 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 districts and a global destination. This year’s experience was made possible by the following locally owned, Black-owned, women-owned businesses from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida and New York: Strategic HRM, Turnbull Coaching and Consulting, Callwood Hospitality and Leisure, Yaadie in St. Croix, Christa’s Art Gallery, The XauSky Group LLC, My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Croix & St. Thomas and Girlfriendism International LLC.  Sponsorship was also provided by the U.S.V.I. Department of Tourism.

For more information on the annual GirlfriendismTM Retreat and/or Girlfriendism services, please visit or contact the G-Family at For more information on the work H.O.P.E. Incorporated, please visit

Photo By: Girlfriendism Staff Featuring: Girlfriendism Retreat attendees in Madras, African Women of Greece Members in Traditional African Wear & U.S. Embassy Athens Representatives w/Historic Acropolis in Background from the 2022 Retreat in Greece.

About GirlfriendismTM International & My Girlfriend’s Closet Virgin Islands: 

My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Thomas is a locally owned, Black-owned, woman-owned and veteran-owned art, fashion and wellness boutique providing empowerment services for women and featuring original pieces by local designers including Mariposah Ankh Artistry and Christa’s Art Gallery. Their mission is to feature culturally inspired designs by and for women in the Virgin Islands and around the world. Its umbrella brand – GirlfriendismTM – is an internationally trademarked movement creating experiences for women in diverse industries including fashion, fitness, wellness business, travel and philanthropy through My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Croix, My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Thomas, SoKh Caribbean Dance Fitness, The XauSky Group LLC, The Girlfriendism Retreat, Girlfriendism Travel and H.O.P.E. Incorporated.

To learn more, please email them at, visit their site at and follow their social media pages and handles: Facebook and Instagram: @mgcstx, @mgcstt @mgcvi #Girlfriendism.

About the GirlfriendismTM Founder – Dr. Khnuma Simmonds:

Dr. Khnuma is the mother of two princes, Taino & Khnum, Founder of GirlfriendismTM International, owner of My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Croix, co-owner of My Girlfriend’s Closet St. Thomas and Executive Director of H.O.P.E. Incorporated! She is a full time entrepreneur who holds a B.A. in Communications and Dance from Hofstra University, an M.A. in Education Guidance & Counseling from the University of the Virgin Islands – St. Croix Campus and is recently a best selling author of the anthology, ‘Passion & Purpose: 21 Women to Watch in the U.S. Virgin Islands’ and featured entrepreneur of the EmpowHER Magazine. She loves to dance, travel, read, spend time with family, reflect and interrupt the status quo!

To learn more about her work, please visit

Jakia Cheatham - Myles

CEO/Founder of Pretty Women Hustle Magazine

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