Wine and finances at Dartmouth's Independent Women Forum

Joanne Oostveen
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Angela Mercier, financial consultant and certified divorce financial analyst sits in her workspace at Blackstar Wealth Partners on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. (Jenny Gillis)

Angela Mercier says she came up with a great way for women in Metro to learn together and empower one another.

As a financial health specialist and certified divorce financial analyst, Mercier was always fielding questions about everything from mortgages, to how to start dating again after a divorce.

"But I found out that it wasn't just divorced women that needed to come together, get information and help one another. Women at all different stages of their lives, all ages, married or single, can benefit from support and help to get their tough questions answered."

So she created the "Independent Women Forum."

"What we do is bring together guest speakers, host our events in a comfortable environment, serve snacks and wine and women love it. They can ask questions and learn and meet people who can help them."

The next event being produced by Mercier's "Independent Women Forum," is called, "Thriving and Surviving Downsizing." It will be held on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Café Brea at 530 Portland Street.

That night Mercier is bringing in experts from the real estate industry, a mortgage broker, financial planner and a professional certified organizer.

"Although, the theme is downsizing, much of the information given will be pertinent to all women. What does staging do for the re-sale of your house, regardless of what stage you are at in your life? When it comes to de-cluttering we could all use some useful tips."

Mercier is now happily married, but has been through a divorce and has been in that place where confusion takes hold of your life.

"Empowerment refers to increasing the social, spiritual, educational, gender, or economic strengths of individuals and communities," she said. "I want women to feel like they can treat themselves, bring their questions, get answers and feel comfortable at these events."

She says she wanted to hold her events at hubs in the community, where women can feel even more at home.

"Café Brea is well known, has a great atmosphere and I figure many Halifax women will know how to find it."

Mercier wants to plan even more events around topics that interest women.

"I want to help women be strong but not afraid to ask for help. Learn to express who they are at their core, challenge those who want to put you in a certain mold just because you are a female and be the best version of you that you can be."

Tickets to the "Thriving and Surviving Downsizing" Event at Café Brea on Sept. 26 at 6:30 are $20 and include cheese, fruit, sweets and wine.

To find out how to buy a ticket email

Organizations: Independent Women Forum

Geographic location: Dartmouth, 530 Portland Street

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