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Martha Stewart, Queen Latifah, Christina Applegate, Donna Kelce + More Celebrate What It Means to Be Over 50 With QVC

"Don't age with dread, age with excitement" — Annette Dunleavy, Q50 founding member

QVC is here to set the record straight: Our 50+ years may just be the best years of our lives. And to celebrate this, they brought together 50 influential, empowering women all over the age of 50 to share stories, form bonds, discuss the concept of aging and, most of all, prove that age really is just a number.

Held in Las Vegas on April 23 and 24, the “50 Over 50” summit included A-list celebrities like Martha Stewart, Christina Applegate, Queen Latifah and Patti Labelle, alongside world-renowned doctors such as Dr. Mary Claire Haver, America’s favorite football mom, Donna Kelce, and First for Women’s own editor-in-chief, Liz Vaccariello. Altogether, they made up QVC’s “Quintessential 50” – aka the Q50. The two-day summit included a night of conversation and entertainment, followed by an eventful day of panels, discussions and interviews, all focused on embracing “the age of possibility,” QVC’s  mission statement for this summit.

QVC Q50 Women
Quintessential 50 women.QVC

When QVC launched their “Over 50 and Fabulous” program, a segment hosted by makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty Mally Roncal, it allowed for a fun, engaging and “no topic off limits” discussion for women in this age range. Immediately, they “started to see the connections and the conversations — and she [the 50+ consumer] was so ready to have these conversations,” said Annette Dunleavy, Q50 founding member and Vice President of Brand Marketing at QVC, during a sit-down conversation with First for Women. “And we’re like, who better to do it, we have all these women, right? They know what we’re going through. So let’s just connect into it. It was just so natural.”

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The mission of the summit

Faced with societal pressures, the changing of our bodies (hello, menopause) and a constant narrative that women should be afraid of aging, it’s no wonder we are often terrified of approaching 50 (or beyond). The insidious message is that aging is the worst thing that can happen to us — and that fine lines and wrinkles, gray hair, body changes and simply looking “older” is not accepted in today’s world. QVC wants to change that, starting with the Quintessential 50 Summit.

They want to spread the message that life is far from over once you turn 50. In fact, it’s the opposite. 

“Life is just beginning after 50 and women have endless possibilities, and you can live the life you want. Don’t age with dread, age with excitement,” says Dunleavy.

Knowing that women over 50 often feel isolated and alone while dealing with the pressures of aging, QVC wanted to create a space for women to join together, lean on one another and have the healthy conversations around aging that our society is lacking.

“This is a place for women to have these conversations, to celebrate their lives, to share their stories with other women that can relate to them and are interested in hearing what they have to say,” says Sue Schick, Senior Vice President of Broadcast and Content at QVC. “And to ask all those questions that we really don’t have a place to ask all the time. So it’s just so uplifting and it’s so inspiring to be part of a group of, cohort of, women who are similar.”

Highlights of the summit

After an intimate cocktail hour and reception on Tuesday evening, the Q50 women started the day Wednesday morning on the red carpet and press line, posing for photos and stopping to answer a wide variety of questions.

When asked to name one thing she’s learned to embrace after the age of 50, Donna Kelce, mother of beloved football players Travis (who is also dating Taylor Swift) and Jason Kelce, told First for Women, “Make sure that if you want anything in life, you should go for it definitely. If you’re working and you want a particular job, don’t think just because you do a good job you’re going to get promoted. You have to ask for what you want, because people don’t know that you want something … you have to tell people what you want!”

Donna Kelce and Liz Vaccairello
First for Women Editor-in-Chief Liz Vaccariello with Donna Kelce.Liz Vaccariello

Later, Martha Stewart, who has long been looked to as inspiration for aging gracefully, told us her secret to slowing down, even as time rushes on: “You start getting old the day you’re born, so pay attention. And you can turn back the clock just so much, but you can really slow down the clock a lot if you pay attention.”

Following the red carpet, some of the women, including Roncal and chef and TV personality Carla Hall, served as keynote speakers, sharing stories of how they got to where they are now — and how their careers or lives have flourished even more since turning 50.

The day also included  an inspiring, heartwarming panel moderated by Liz Vaccariello, with members of the panel being Christina Applegate, Rita Wilson, Patti Labelle, Billie Jean King and Martha Stewart. They discussed the meaning of female friendships, how to stop caring what others think, the importance of finding medical professionals who truly listen to you, the impact of authenticity and more. Applegate claimed that her authenticity is her “power.”

QVC 50 over 50 panel
QVC 50 Over 50 panel with Christina Applegate, Rita Wilson, Patti Labelle, Billie Jean King, Martha Stewart and Liz Vaccariello.QVC

The buying power of women over 50

Despite the fact that women over 50 represent a huge part of the consumer population, they are often underserved and underrepresented in media and the market space. QVC is uniquely positioned to understand this, with their main consumers all being in this age group.

Even with an ever-changing trend cycle, women in this age group constantly struggle finding something that works for them, whether that be in the fashion space or beauty and wellness realm. Many brands are not catering to women 50+, making their options extremely limited. QVC wants to be one of the brands doing the opposite, and provide plenty of products for women to choose from, and even better, all within one place.

“The main thing I want everybody to take away from this is: at 50 plus, we’re here, we’re alive, we want to be heard,” affirms Chief Information Officer for QVC, Karen Etzkorn, to First for Women on the red carpet. “We own most of the consumption in the world, and we make most of the decisions, so we kind of deserve to be celebrated!” 

Click here to see the full list of the QVC Quintessential 50.

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