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Chamber event celebrates women in business

Local NewsChamber event celebrates women in business

The Brantford-Brant Chamber of Commerce is celebrating women in business at the 16th annual Wine, Women and Shopping event at the Best Western on Wednesday, November 23. 

Leslie Barker, events coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce, said that the sold-out event is all about women supporting women. 

“This event has been very successful over the past 16 years,” she said. “It is really all about coming together to support and promote women entrepreneurs in our community, with a casual night of dining, entertainment and connection.” 

Not only are tickets sold-out for the event, Barker said that vendor spots also filled quickly, primarily with woman-owned businesses.

“We have 25 vendors this year, with an amazing, unique and diverse variety of goods and services,” she said. “Most are Chamber members, but we did also open it up to non-members this year. We have 200 guests coming, so we’ll be packed in there but it’s going to be like the old days, and that’s unbelievable.”

This year’s vendors offer a number of different items including clothing, health and fitness, handmade goods, jewelry, and more. 

In addition to shopping and networking, guests will also be treated to entertainment with featured speaker Julie Cole. 

“Julie is an amazing business woman,” Barker said. “I saw her speak at another event in Burlington and I got it in my head that I would love to have her come and speak. I didn’t think that she would come, but I reached out and she graciously accepted.”

Cole is a recovered lawyer, Mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She is an award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author, and sought-after speaker and emcee. 

“Her message is extremely meaningful, and she’s also hilarious. This is not a workshop or a seminar, that’s not the vibe of this event. It’s all about motivating and uplifting, and sharing a message of empowerment for women in our business community.”

After a challenging few years for businesses, Barker said that this event is a way to give attendees a chance to reconnect and enjoy a night of food, entertainment and laughter. 

“The Chamber hosts a number of events throughout the year and women are included and invited always, but this event is one that really highlights them,” Barker said. “Many of these women are moms, with other careers, that put their heads together to take their brilliant ideas and turn them into successful businesses. This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of, not only our sponsors, but also our loyal members surrounding that room.”

Barker said that the Chamber hopes to use the momentum of the event to revamp their Women in Business program for 2023. 

“We used to do a workshop or seminar every month but with COVID, that program faded,” she said. “We are looking for a strong network of ladies to develop a committee to move forward into 2023, to give it a fresh new title that is more about empowering women.”

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