Hi there! My name is Carolyn Peeler, I am a creative gal whose passions include travel, paper and fabric crafting, newborn photography and graphic design. I have combined those passions into my company “Carolyn Peeler Creative Studios”, the home of all my creative ventures.
From 2004 until 2014 I was the Sr. Creative Director at Melissa Frances, a scrapbooking and giftware manufacturer. While my main duties included product design and development, I was also given amazing opportunities to travel and teach paper craft projects at events in such far flung destinations as Russia, Israel, Colombia, Italy, France, Sweden, Brazil, Poland, Panama, Spain and Norway. During those years, as my passport was filling with stamps, I started dreaming about organizing and hosting my own international retreat.
Preparation and opportunity didn’t collide until I met Terri Brush in 2011. Not only was she generous and creative, but she was someone who had run her own successful art retreat on the west coast of the United States for many years and had built a reputation for quality. As we started talking and brainstorming, it became obvious that by combining my passion for travel, contacts in Tuscany and experience in international art events, with her creativity, network of past attendees and hosting experience, we could create something really unique and special.
In 2014, Terri and I co-hosted our first two “La Dolce Vita” creative lifestyle retreats. They were a labour of love and we were both overjoyed at the response and feedback we received from the attendees. We returned in 2015 and once again it was a pleasure to share this special corner of Italy with those who attended. In 2016 Terri was unable to attend and so, for the first year, I led "La Dolce Vita" by myself. Moving forward Terri has decided to step back from "La Dolce Vita" and graciously wished me the best as I continue to offer this special brand of creative lifestyle retreat to attendees.
"La Dolce Vita" has had five editions now over the past 3 years, and none of them have been the same. Each week has been different from the one before, in part because of how attendees interact with each other, the leadership team, and the estate. I have been so blessed to meet women from around the world who show up with their hearts wide open to accept new friends, challenges and opportunities in the most wonderful way. This is what makes "La Dolce Vita" special... the women who set out on an adventure ready to embrace all that it is. For this, I am thankful - together we have made some lifelong memories! Through facilitating "La Dolce Vita" I have also learned more about myself. I have learned how much I love connecting attendees with culture, art, fantastic deals, great food, and good people... it's fulfilling in so many ways.
So, who am I when I’m not wearing my professional hats? I am a vintage lovin’ gal who owns way too many shoes, has trouble passing a Goodwill store without stopping, and for years I have been putting off home renovations to indulge my passion for travel. I love a good massage, having someone else do my hair and enjoy binging through tv series on Netfilx. I am a child of God who seeks to live my life concentrating on the abundant blessings I have been given. Together with Rick, my best friend and husband of 19 years, I make my home in a suburb of Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Thank you for considering “La Dolce Vita” as a part of your creative journey. I am looking forward to hosting "La Dolce Vita: Where Women Create & Where Women Cook" edition and can't wait to meet you in Italy!
Working side by side with me to make your stay at "La Dolce Vita" a memorable one will be my friend Paola Mereu.
Hailing from the southern Italian Island of Sardinia, and trained as a lawyer, Paola fell in love with a Tuscan man, who wooed her from her Island home. Together with her husband and two teenage daughters she splits her time between her home in the Siena city center and Bichi Borghesi, the estate owned by her husband's family for over four centuries, where she works as the guest manager and event organizer.
She is a strong, fiercely proud Italian woman with a tender, loving heart who will treat each retreat attendee like they are a family friend who is her special guest. She is an integral part of the behind the scenes mechanisms of what makes "La Dolce Vita" work. She is stylish (every year we have participants who want to steal her wardrobe), kind (if she can possibly find a way to accommodate a request, she will), and loves to laugh and have fun. We can't wait for you to meet her and get to know Tuscany through her eyes!