Ceri Wheeldon, the founder and driving force behind Fabafterfifty.com, saw a need and set out to fill it. At the peak of a long and successful career as a headhunter, Ceri changed courses.
“It all started one day while I was sitting in an airport while waiting for my flight to be called. I was 49 at the time, and would have described myself as someone who was enjoying a full life. As I sat flipping through a magazine I stumbled upon a letter written to an advice columnist that caught my attention. The author of the letter, a woman in her fifties, described her life as dull and boring. She was despondent over being relegated to an arm chair, left only to look on and watch as her daughter happily lived the life that she herself once lived. The columnist’s response to this woman shocked me. She should expect to slow down, was the advice. In essence, she was advised to start knitting and buy a rocking chair! It was also suggested that she visit ‘seniors’ websites where she might meet other people her age.
I could not imagine any of the vibrant midlife women that I knew being happy with such a response! In fact, I was so astounded that I went home and visited the ‘senior sites’ to see what they might have to offer this poor woman. Sadly, each one was as outdated as the next in their portrayal of women over fifty. At that moment I knew I wanted to offer an alternative, to create a place where the women over fifty that I knew would look forward to visiting and where they could find real support, advice and inspiration.”
With the support of leading ‘experts’ in the fields of health, fitness, finance, career, style, anti-ageing, hair and make-up, Ceri has successfully put together a website that offers practical tips and information that address the interests and needs of the real fifty something woman. In addition, Fabafterfifty.com provides a platform for women to share their thoughts and ideas as they cobble together a new image of aging. She has created a community that invites the active, engaged members of the sandwich generation to learn, laugh, share, network, make new friends, inspire and be inspired.
Fab After Fifty has taken an active role in redefining our perceptions of what it means to be a woman over fifty in today’s world. More active, healthier, fitter and vibrant than ever before, this generation of fifty something women is breaking new ground as they start new careers, delay retirement, travel, connect and make a difference in the world.
Women over fifty are far from considering themselves invisible or past their ‘view by’ date! Ceri Wheeldon is living proof of this. She is not sitting in a rocking chair, knitting and watching the world go by, she is actively making a difference in women’s lives everywhere. Perceptions take time to change, but Fab After Fifty has already had an impact. “One of the nicest things that has happened to me since setting up FabafterFifty,” Ceri tells me, “was when a woman in her early forties told me that after visiting my website that she was no longer afraid of reaching fifty.” Naturally! Ceri makes being fifty look like a dream come true! Perhaps, partly because, for many fifty something women, it is.