Her Story : Note from Renee

Dear COCOladies, 

I apologize for being MIA (missing in action) for months as my beautiful mom wasn't doing well during The COCOLILY Social and shortly after - in June - she left us and went back home, to heaven. After fighting for so long with colon cancer - till it finally caught up to her spreading to the lungs and then the brain. She is the toughest woman I have ever known and I was blessed to call her mommy.

I'm opening up because I believe in being real and authentic and sometimes sharing your story with someone else, might help them on their journey.


It's been quite the grieving journey for me as my mom was my rock and my support system so it's been hard, I won't lie. My little man keeps me going every day though in addition to the beautiful bittersweet time I had left with my mom - up until I held her hand and she took her last breath.

I'm slowly getting back into the groove. I've been keeping busy and blessed by being able to do what I love - marketing consulting & graphic design with The House of COCOLILY.

I haven't given up the celebration + inspiration of my entrepreneurial roots, COCOLILY & CO....it just all had to be put on hold while I processed my mom being gone.

Every day is still an up and down journey...some days I'm ok and some days I breakdown but 'tis the grieving stages and its expected, especially when you've loved and been with someone every day for 38 years and their hugs made everything better.

Thank you for your patience and I hope in due time, The COCOLILY Society will thrive once again and the motto on which it was built on 'community over competition' comes back and we all do great things together. 

While The COCOLILY Social was super successful and loved by speakers and attendees - it unfortunately resulted in a debt of over $50K - an expensive lesson but there was only so much I could do with sponsor sales, etc. while trying to be with my mom as much as I possibly could.  Just being real and authentic. There was the option of shutting it down and not paying the remaining amount due for the Sheraton BUT I had built it up to an incredible event and was blessed by the calibre of speakers and the agenda - I couldn't do that to the true supporters of the event and its vision.  And, my mom said "Don't shut it down...just do it..it will be great." Moms know best.

So full speed ahead it went and I think it was all worth it when the next day I headed out for a walk down Clifton Hill with my little man and a woman stopped me on the street and said "Renee?" - I thought to myself "Do I want to be Renee in this case?" LOL and I replied "Yes" - she continued by saying "I just wanted to thank you for putting on an incredible event yesterday - it was truly inspirational...thank you" and I walked away with a smile and a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart that it was worth the blood, sweat, tears and debt.  To be able to inspire and bring together a beautiful group of women in one day, was worth it.  

On a lighter note...
We working on slowly re-branding in addition to launching a lot of new things so please stay tuned and I hope you'll join the COCOLILY community again.  We are thinking about possibly producing another COCOLILY Social but in the Toronto area - for  inspiration, collaborations, motivation and building that tribe. 

And again, thank you for your support and patience - it means the world to me.

Yours in Celebration + Inspiration,

R E N E E