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Urban Campfire: An Interview With Melody Biringer

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One of the upcoming events where I'm speaking is in Seattle next month. I'm so looking forward to Urban Campfire, not just because it's in an airplane hangar, but because we get to roast marshmallows and sit around campfires with small groups of other women! Fun! The idea is so creative that I wanted to interview CRAVE founder and the Urban Campfire brainchild, Melody Biringer, about women and connections.

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Melody, you have a long history of being passionate about women's friendships, and your latest brainchild is proof of that! Urban Campfire is such a novel idea... tell us what it is!

Melody: Urban Campfire is an all day event intended to engage women in authentic conversations about business, relationships and life. We encourage them to ditch their heels and don theirs sneakers as Urban Campfire prepares to engage them in a high-octane, unique, and meaningful experience. This isn't a conference, it's a fire. We plan on igniting the spark that has flickered within you. We promise to delight and inspire with a star-studded line-up of TED Talk style speakers and a veritable who's-who in Seattle and beyond attendee list.

You have an awesome line-up of speakers including Danielle LaPorte, the catalyst for our desires and vision, Jen Louden, the self-care queen, and Sue Bryce, a woman we all hope will one day be our photographer for a session! But what I love, even more, than the inspirational line-up is your idea of women coming together in small groups, around campfires to share their own stories. What do you hope is felt by the women who are sitting around these campfires sharing themselves with other women?

Melody: There is something about the conversations we have around a campfire... we are more vulnerable and open to sharing. I want everyone to experience this kind of authentic openness through Urban Campfire. By sharing stories and making meaningful connections, I hope women are able to rekindle their flame! This isn't the type of conference where you sit back and half listen while multi-tasking. It's the kind of event where your critical thinking skills are engaged and your heart is opened.

You are undoubtedly a connector of women. What is a driving memory for you that propels you to bring women together for connecting?

Melody: I didn't seek out girlfriends til after I turned 30 (what is up with that?). When I finally saw the light that I needed the connection of women for all kinds of things, magic seemed to happen. My favorite pastime is going on walks or hosting dinner parties with like-minded women; telling and listening to each others stories throughout the entire spectrum of life. Especially walking, there is something about the heart pumping while telling stories that helps you get more authentic and juicy.

The other thing I love about this one-day rendezvous you have planned is your interest in women of all ages connecting. Tell me about two of your friends-- one who is older and one who is younger-- and what you enjoy about those women.

Melody: I have a friend who is 25 that sometimes I forget how young she really is. She is in start-up mode with her business and I LOVE to talk business. It is so refreshing to listen to her stories, her fears, and her excitement about life. I learn so much from her and she makes me feel like I have a lot to offer her too, so the feeling is mutual. My older-than-me-friend just gets everything, we can talk for hours about nothing and yet if feels so satisfying. We never have an agenda or feel like we need to solve anything. It just feels good to be doing nothing together.

And because of your vast experience in women's networks, I'd be curious to get your take on what you see happening with women's relationships today. What is one thing that discourages you and one thing that encourages you that you are hearing, seeing, and experiencing?

Melody: I find it discouraging when women view each other as competitors and not collaborators. I wish we could we have a more collective feeling of togetherness. I think that is changing with time and it encourages me that more collaborations are happening.

And last, in keeping with your theme that you're giving all 10 speakers that day, of which I'm honored to be one, "If you had ten minutes to tell the world what you've learned, what you know to be true... what would that be?" what would be the message of your talk?

Melody: I would talk about knowing yourself and to try not to be in too many downward spirals throughout life. I would much rather be on an upward spiral because magic happens when you are positive and just try to make things happen. It is about the forward movement that makes me happy and when I am stuck I go into down mode. Remembering when I am down to pick back up and do something, put yourself out there, again, is the joy of life. The outcome is not as important as the game you get to play while trying to get there. Plus it is way more fun to hang with like-minded friends along the way that can cheer you on as you also are their biggest cheerleaders. And don't forget to take time out to make a s'more every once in a while and remember what your marshmallow really is. #whatsyourmarshmallow

Melody -- I just want to applaud you for your vision. I think it's beautiful! And I want to make sure everyone has all the info so they can decide to join us. This is a great excuse to fly to Seattle to visit a friend and attend this unique event. :)

What: Urban Campfire
When: Tuesday August 13 2013. 1pm to 9pm
Where: Hangar 30 in Warren G. Magnuson Park, Seattle WA
Highlights: Fireside chats, food trucks, dance party, s'mores.
Cost: One ticket = $95 / Two or more tickets = $75 each
Website: http://thecravecompany.com/urbancampfire/

Hope to see you there!!! Come introduce yourself to me so we can be sure to meet! And to make sure you hear about upcoming women's events, trips, and all things female-friendship, subscribe to my blog. xoxo