5-Day Retreat

header1A 21C Business-Unusual Retreat

for Women in Business

Where creativity, intention, desire and 21C business intersect.

DATES: August 21 – August 25, 2016

LOCATION: San Miguel de Allende in Col. Centro, Mexico

wynne pic


Give yourself five days and five nights to uncover your most creative self and return to your business (and digital world) with a clear brand vision –– one that will cut through all the clutter (and make your message sing like a mariachi!)

High in the mountain town of San Miguel de Allende in Central Mexico (UNESCO World Heritage site), housed in an enchanting 18th century villa, Casa Rosada, you’ll be able to unplug and get clear in a series of 21C Business-Unusual workshop sessions which include:

  • Creative strategist/international brander and founder of Zing Your Brand & Co. Mary van de Wiel leads the creative strategy, transformational branding sessions, discoveries and the re-telling of our stories.
  • An inspirational day in the Mexican campo for equine-guided experiential learning will be led by Kentucky trainer Marti McGinnis.  This is about making heart-felt connections with a 1,200 lb horse. (No riding involved.)
  • Renowned New York photographer Elizabeth Watt leads her insightful sessions on the The Art of Seeing –– exploring how to tune in instead of out. 
  • PS I am also going to run a session on creativity and desire where we’ll explore how to coax out our creativity. I’ll  share a little about my personal story re how BlackLineCrazy.com got started right here in San Miguel in 2012. Magical things happen in this mountain town.

All this will ignite your week’s creative work. PS. I’m including a few surprises along the way. (Hold your breath.)

A chance to re-imagine…

When’s the last time you had the time, space or energy to focus on re-imagining your business? This mountain town has its own pulse, and it will compel you to see things differently – possibly even jostle you out of your comfort zone. (And that’s a good thing!)  Through focused discussions and high-energy work with a group of supportive, like-minded peers, together we’ll slow down and connect with our most creative selves.  One of the most important things here?  You let yourself go with the process.


wynnie streest smaQ. 21C Business-Unusual?

You can not do business as usual. Not any more. In this New Digital Era, your best competitive advantage is being transparent and communicating that you are who you say you are.  Keeping your clients at arm’s length or keeping a low profile? No longer an option. 

Nothing cuts through the online clutter sharper than a message that reflects a clear intention and vision, one crafted by your most calm and creative mind.

So this is a chance to tear yourself away from the notifications and pings of a digitally overwhelming routine and give yourself the time to tap back in to your true brand-self. This is about mindfully reinventing your business, your brand and messaging so it’s more authentic and irresistible.  This is a time to recognize who you are — so others can. You’ll walk away with a renewed sense of your commercial magic. Because your clients will feel the difference…and that’s the moment they know they want to work with you or buy from you. Ka Ching!


 Q. Why San Miguel de Allende?

wynnie sma

A MAGICAL EXPERIENCE  San Miguel de Allende is a magical place. If you’re searching for why you do what you do or how to invite more creativity into your business, then this is your opportunity to make it happen –particularly in such an unusually rich, sensuous and cultural environment. You’ll walk away looking at your world through a different lens. I know I did. 

Known for its cobblestoned streets, baroque Spanish architecture, thriving arts scene and cultural festivals, the city’s historic center – the neo-Gothic church Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel which towers above the main plaza, El Jardín  – is just a block away from the hotel. Our meeting room (formerly the 18C library) is right in the Casa Rosada on the first floor.


Photo by Joy Wesson

ON A PERSONAL NOTE I’d been living in Brooklyn for 12 years when I first visited San Miguel in 2012. Always an incurable doodler, there was a moment, during that visit, when I picked up a brush and a can of black house paint for the first time. (I painted until I ran out of wall.) It feels a bit like serendipity that I’m here again, right now, running my consulting practice and developing blacklinecrazy.com.

What’s more, I’ve just spent the last two years working/lecturing in Sydney, painting in a studio for the first time and in August 2015, had my first exhibition! So yes, I take my workshops on the road (New York, Mexico City, LA, Sydney, Melbourne+). But there’s something about San Miguel. Magical things happen here.

Note: In 2013, the magazine Condé Nast Traveler, in its annual readers’ poll, named Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende as the top city of the world.

Photo (above) by Joy Wesson, San Miguel de Allende

Designed for women in business.

I designed this 21C Business-Unusual Retreat for women change makers, entrepreneurial business owners, visionary marketers and start up CEOs who are feeling frustrated and unclear about the messaging they’re putting out to their clients. We’ve all known that feeling, right? Well, here you can create the space to re-consider all that you’re doing –- and then, see your future. I don’t think there’s a better time or place.

casa rosadacasa rosad 3



NOTE: Google recently announced they’re only rewarding and ranking brands with irresistible stories to tell. It’s the key to winning hearts, inspiring minds and capturing the imagination of customers. (So how’s your business inspiring and winning hearts?!)

My life can be divided into two phases: before and after signing up at her NY Brand Lab. Van helped me gain clarity around my business and my brand that I hadn’t dreamed possible. –– MEGAN KENT CEO Megan Kent Branding Group / New York, NY


Q. After 5 days/5 nights, what will I walk away with?  


sma.wynnepicThis experience is not only going to transform your mindset, heart and soul, it’s going to boost your confidence so you can communicate that you are exactly who you say you are. Yes, we’ll dig deep, and you’ll walk away with a fresh, insightful set of strategies, tools and ideas. Take a look:

1) Meaning & Purpose Why do you do what you do? We’ll focus on bringing more meaning and purpose to everything you do — and your business. We’ll turn the lens inward on your intention, values, emotions, goals (dreams, hopes) so your messaging will resonate more with your clients.

2) Emotional Intelligence You’ll focus on raising the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) of your business. It takes a willingness to connect in a more transparent and authentic way – online and offline – and it creates more trust. (PS Your clients will be your fans forever.)

3) Creativity & Storytelling You’ll start to re-think your own messaging so it has exactly the right tone and voice. This is about bringing a new kind of energy to your story. (You’ll never keep your audience at arm’s length again.)4)

4) Brand Behavior  You’ll monitor the kind of messaging your brand is communicating 24/7 online and offline. FYI Your brand is sending out subliminal messages whether you know it or not. Being mindful is key.

5) Brand Influence & Reputation You’ll learn how to manage your reputation so you stand out, and show up like you mean it. We’ll look at neuroscience trends, what makes your client’s brain tick. (This is about real relationship building.)



marti for sma workshopvan and the horseSession: Equine-guided experiential learning with Marti McGinnis An inspirational half-day in the Mexican campo with Marti is going to be an eye-opening opportunity to see how you can make heart-felt connections with a 1,200 lb horse. BY THE WAY There’s no riding involved. Just making heart connections — transformational work. (Believe me, I spent a day with Beauty, my horse at the ranch, and he taught me a lesson or two.) Make sure you bring study boots. Rocky landscape. (Yes, that’s me with Beauty.)




Session: The Art of Seeing with Elizabeth Watt. 
Photography can function as a powerful tool for refreshing our perspective and grounding down in self-awareness. Anyone can develop a Good Eye with practice. By educating
Good Eye templateour ‘Seeing’, not only do we hone our photographic vision, we bring a new level of mindfulness, engaged presence and heightened awareness into our day-to-day lives. We feel more awake and alive, more creative and intuitive. We find Flow. We recognize how habitual seeing leads to habitual mindsets that can keep us stuck. It’s about actively ‘seeing’ rather than passively looking….dropping the labels and judgement.

We will experience the pleasure and the power of capturing beauty in unexpected places. We will learn how to be a scavenger in the universe; wandering with intention, capturing beauty—using our  cameras (iPhones just fine) to tune in rather than tune out.


Vanin BLC hatphoto

Session: Coaxing Out your Creativity (for once and for all) with Mary van de WielWe’ll explore how to tap into your creative juices and desire, address the procrastination and self doubt — then start to recognize and own what it is we love doing. And allowing it to to be seen ..ahhhh. A highly-idiosyncratic session on creative expression and our willingness to recognize our most creative selves — so others can. I’ll  share a little about my personal story and how BlackLineCrazy.com got its start right here in San Miguel in 2014! As I said, magical things happen in this 15C mountain town.



Special Bonus: You’ll get the chance to sit on the hot seat for my signature Brand Audit (a mini-15 minute version) with your home page beamed up for everyone to see! That’s when I’ll evaluate your site and, with a laser-sharp focus, spot, identify and interpret the invisible clues embedded in your brand (and that might be shooting you in the foot.) On the spot, I’ll suggest more irresistible, heart-felt messagingIt’s what your clients are longing for.




Agenda |  Sunday August 21- Thursday August 25, 2016

7am bright and early Your opportunity to sign up for a yoga class, meditation or start walking around the town. Your call.

8am-9am Breakfast at Casa Rosada

9am-2pm Business-Unusual sessions. We’ll have a coffee break mid morning and substantial snacks to keep you quenched (and not starving.) You’ll quickly get used to having ‘comida’ (lunch) around 2pm!

2pm+ The afternoons are all yours (see below for options/activities).

Evenings We’ll have more suggestions than you’ll ever need for dinners, theater, etc


Costs & Registration Information

• August 21-25, 2016 Retreat | INTRODUCTORY RATE ONLY $2,350 USD

October 15-20, 2016 Retreat | $2,730 USD

• 2017 Additional Retreats to be announced in San Miguel de Miguel


August 21-25, 2016 Retreat: 8 rooms booked at Casa Rosada: 4 rooms w/ two queen beds;  4 rooms w/ king sized bed.

Early bird registration (paid in full by July 14, 2016) $2,110 USD per person. If you’d like your partner/husband to join you, we can make that happen at additional cost. 

•  Book after July 14, 2016  $2,350 USD per person.

To register Please get in touch via email — van@zingyourbrand. We’ll plan a call to make sure this is the right fit for you, answer any questions. Then I’ll tell how you great the weather is in August. 



Included in Cost

horses near Jardin

  • 5 nights accommodation at Casa Rosada Hotel,  18th century Mexican Villa
  • All breakfasts
  • One welcoming dinner on Sunday night, Aug 21
  • One celebration dinner, Aug 25
  • Five-day workshop facilitation (9am-2pm) with Mary van de Wiel
  • 3 follow-up calls, 45 minutes each, over the next 2 months with Van to check in and review your progress and support your next steps
  • One morning of experiential learning in the Mexican countryside tapping into a heart-felt connection with your own chosen horse and co-facilitated by Marti McGinnis and Van.  (FYI I took Marti’s workshop recently and decided it had to be part of the workshop. Any questions or concerns? Email me. No experience with horses required.
  • Insightful sessions with renowned New York-based photographer Elizabeth Watt on the Art of Seeing and developing our Good Eye. Together we will experience the pleasure and the power of capturing beauty in unexpected places —  and learn how to be a scavenger in the universe, wandering with intention.



Not included in Cost

casa rosada• Flights to and from Mexico

• Pre-arranged shuttle transportation to and from San Miguel from international airports in Leon or Mexico City. (Bookings via www.viajessanmiguel.com/ or www.bajiogo.com

• Daily lunches and three dinners (Two dinners included in package)

• Any personal purchases or travel made beyond the scope of the workshop or personal tips

• Travel Insurance.  We can take no responsibility for cancellations due to medical or personal issues, loss of goods, luggage etc.

  •  Please note: Full payment is required on signing up for your seat at the Business Unusual Retreat.

 A list of items to bring and additional information will be provided on enrollment.



Other Activities

Activities can be arranged for an additional charge include:

  • Yoga, meditation, QiGong classes at LifePath Retreats
  • Extraordinary shopping with recommendations provided by fashionista Patrice Wynne of Abrazos San Miguel Designs
  • Tours around San Miguel and countryside
  • For the golfers, there’s a golf course just 10 minutes away
  • Visit to several historic sites ie Atotolinco, (UNESCO World Heritage site.)
  • Book a late afternoon ‘comida’ (lunch) at one of several well-known Hacienda Restaurants out in the country. (Amazing)
  • Relax in one of the town’s famous hot water springs, La Gruta. (Not to be missed.)
  • Tennis courts are close by
  • Hikes in the Botanical Gardens
  • Spa services: facials, massages and a lot more



Vanin BLC hatphoto

If you have any questions, I’d be delighted to schedule a call and we can go over anything in the program, and of course, I’d like to hear more about where you are at, and what you most need from a workshop like this! So get in touch via mail and, in the meantime,  I’ll look forward to continuing the dialog ––and excited about seeing you in San Miguel de Allende!

Optimistic, Van

email van@zingyourbrand.com



We all wear several hats, right?

My business hat zingyourbrand.com

Other creative hat? Take a look blacklinecrazy.com

PS I post daily blacklinecrazy updates here instagram.com/maryvandewiel

skype: van de Wiel (Brooklyn, NY)



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