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Meet Dionne Edwards of Bossi Retreats

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dionne Edwards.

Hi Dionne, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a true ATLien! Born and raised on the southeast side of Atlanta. I have two of the most amazing parents, four older siblings and many extended church family members. Growing up in the church, servant leadership was all that I knew and the example that my father, Bishop Frankie Key, Sr. set for me. I was taught to always lead with compassion and empathy; to work hard for what I wanted in life and to never stop trusting the power that is within me to guide me throughout life’s journey. I grew up believing that nothing was impossible and I had a relentless drive to be “successful'” I didn’t accept no for an answer and I was committed to the journey no matter how long it would take.

Fortunately, that drive carried me through my college years at Clayton State University and allowed me to earn a Bachelor of Information Technology degree. While in college, I began working part-time as a customer service representative for a Commercial REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) that owned one of the top shopping malls in Atlanta. After a short time there, I was offered a full-time mall marketing position. This is where and when I discovered my love for real estate…and the rest is history. I quickly began to climb the ranks in the commercial real estate industry working for top Fortune 500 companies. I felt blessed to be able to do what I loved every day with some of the best people in the real estate industry. As my career continued to ascend, that ride to the top started to cost me a little time here… and a little sleep there… until a little became A-LOT! I was operating under the belief that putting everyone and everything before myself meant that I was being a self-less person; and that was a good thing, right? Wrong.

I often worked long hours in the office and frequently took my work home with me, commuting three plus hours a day to and from my downtown office. By this time, I had more than just me to consider. ‘I’ became ‘we’. I had (have) a loving, supportive husband (Ainsley), an amazing son, Amir (13) and a spunky daughter, Suri (6) but I was too tired to play with my kids when I came home; too tired to engage in any conversation that was longer than 15 minutes about their day. I was a shell of myself. Stressed most days and now dealing with anxiety, burn out and resentment. My time was no longer my own and I didn’t know how to reclaim it.

I was “successful” at least by society’s definition however; I didn’t feel successful. I was dealing with constant exhaustion, heart palpitations, hypertension and emotional stress. I was out here in these streets holding my self-proclaimed ‘self-less’ title and didn’t realize that being self-less was literally killing me. I would eventually learn to be self-true.

Fast forward to October 2020 in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic with “Rona” and all his cousins roaming around, my health was in more danger than I could ever imagine. I no longer had the ‘option’ to take care of myself because at the tender age of 39, I was diagnosed with hypertensive heart disease. I was devastated. I was now being ‘forced’ to take care of ME and that’s when my wellness journey began.

I was always the strong one, always the problem solver, the shoulder to lean on, the independent one, the consistent friend. I was struggling because I had created a version of myself that didn’t need anyone else. I was successful… right? Following my diagnosis, I made the decision to choose me and reclaim my health and I vowed to help empower other women to do the same.

S0, in June 2021, I launched BOSSI Retreats, a women’s wellness company that curates luxe self-care retreats for professional working ‘BOSS’ women. I help CEOs, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, moms, wives, sisters, and friends reconnect their mind, body and spirit to achieve ultimate health and wellness.

Opening up about my experience allowed me to discover other women that were experiencing the same anxiety, burnout and frustration that I had experienced. I wanted to empower these women to focus on their wellness so in October 2021, I hosted my first sold-out self-care retreat in beautiful Tulum, Mexico, and the wellness journey will continue in May 2022, in Scottsdale, Arizona, with more women taking their self-care journey to the next level.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Whenever you commit to something openly, there will always be things and people that will test your dedication and your commitment. Being a small business owner and new to entrepreneurship has its challenges. You are “all the things” and you wear all the hats… CEO, marketing manager, customer experience manager, event planner, social media content creator and PR specialist. It can be overwhelming at times.

Remembering to be kind to myself has been my saving grace. You don’t need to have all the answers. You don’t need to be a part of team “no sleep” to have a successful business. Even as business owners we must maintain healthy boundaries so that we can show up for our clients and customers as the best version of ourselves. It is also important not to seek outside validation. Believe in yourself and your vision. Keep going even when no one is clapping. Stay the course because God is faithful.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At BOSSI Retreats, we help women discover a self-care routine that fits their lifestyle by providing the tools needed to develop healthier habits that will improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We curate next-level luxe Wellness Retreats that allow women to experience different self-care modalities such as yoga, meditation, sound bathing, breathwork, healthy eating, fitness, adventure, travel, and relationship building. We are teaching women that you can’t wait until you reach your breaking point to take the necessary steps to maintain your health, peace, joy, happiness and your coins! It has been proven that we do good when we feel good. It is our responsibility to ensure that each day we are getting what we need to deal with the stress and challenges we face in our daily lives.

What sets us apart from others is that we have a sweet spot for helping professional working “BOSS” women. Women that have traded their wellness for success. Women that have been defined by their titles for far too long. Women that have had to fight for every promotion, every title that they wear whether it be CEO, corporate leader, manager, mompreneur, sister, daughter or friend. It’s time to add another title to the list and that’s “Well Rested Working Woman”.

When you attend a BOSSI Retreat, you will not be judged, you will be supported, you will be respected, you will be valued and treated like the Queen you are. I take pride in curating the most empowering, luxurious experiences filled with positive vibes, rich culture and guidance from top health and wellness curators. There is always an element of surprise and freedom to make your wellness journey your own with the support of our community.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is different for every person however, ultimately, finding peace and balance in all areas of your life – physical, mental, emotional, financial, social and spiritual. Success is being able to have time freedom to spend with your family and friends to make memories through conversation and new experiences.

Success is being able to have inner peace even when there is chaos all around you. Success is having a village that supports you in all areas of your life (whether that’s your pastor, friend, co-worker, family, colleague) – allow people to be there for you like you are there for them. When we put positive energy out in the world, it is like a boomerang…it comes back to us.

Success is going to a job doing what you love every day no matter the pay or title. For me, success is coming home to my loving, supportive husband and children every night and being able to inspire and empower others to be the best version of themselves.

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Image Credits:

Kendrick Little with Lighthouse Media

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