From Paris to Portland: Salons Get a Makeover

by Nancy Thompson • Member { View Profile }

Apparently, I’m a late bloomer.   The first 50 years were all about work, family and playing it safe.    At 55, I was overweight, out of shape and asking myself daily “What now?”   I didn’t have an answer then, but I felt so strongly that something exciting was out there for me if I was open and willing to let myself fly.   My own fitness seemed like a good place to start, so I got up off the couch and finally joined a gym.  Two years later, I surprised everyone (including myself!) by becoming certified as a personal trainer.  I wanted to inspire other 50+ women to embrace their own fitness and well-being.  It takes a while but, as we mature, we finally get it that the 50+ body has very different needs than one that’s 30.  It’s not just about wearing size 6 jeans but running with the grandkids or dancing on the beach at sunset with your guy.  It’s about bones and joints and lifting the groceries. 

I started with fitness but about a year later I had what I call my aha moment of brilliant insight and my life took a an amazing turn!  To truly flourish in the 2nd or 3rd half, women need more than just workouts and diets, we need fitness for body, mind and soul. 

At that moment, the concept of Flourish as a  lifestyle for mid-life women was born.  I envisioned a place to work out, connect with other women in community for learning, sharing, personal growth and inspiration.  We could strengthen our bodies and open our minds to new ideas and test these ideas in a relaxed and supportive environment.  Flourish could hold the space for women to do all of this and more.

With the mission of creating a community of women…connected, inspired and empowered, FlourishPDX was born in late 2007.  We currently offer salons, workshops and philanthropic events in unique settings.   We’ve covered topics from Laughter Yoga and the science of happiness and to growing your own medicinal herb garden.  One of our most popular events is our monthly Flourish Salons where we bring together interesting women and inspiring topics in a fun, unique and relaxed setting.  Yes, it’s a take on those fabulous salons of 1800’s Paris, but updated for today’s woman.  

I believe strongly in the power of connection.  We’re connecting and inspiring women online and in person.  The Flourish Flash, our monthly e-zine, is read by women worldwide and we’ve already had inquiries about taking the Flourish model to other cities.   Flourish provides just the right combination of social connection, inspiration and personal growth.  Women love it and I am having the time of my life.  Take a browse through our website at and watch for Flourish Spokane coming soon.

I plan to be inspiring women to be fit, fabulous and flourishing and having fun for many years to come.

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