They’ve smashed glass ceilings and hurdled obstacles in male-dominated industries. When there are no seats at the table, they craft their own and pull out a chair. Women of independent wealth, leaders in their fields or corporate queens — these are the Tampa Bay area women of wealth and power, gathered in one, exclusive circle.
According to Tracey Serebin, founder of Elegant Living Tampa Bay, an events and membership organization dedicated to supporting the Tampa Bay area’s wealthiest women, women control $11 trillion in assets across the United States. Yet pervasive stereotypes still add restrictive constraints, even for those at the top.
“Women are still taught to be conservative with their wealth,” Serebin says. “Only 14% of wealth managers are women. Women are more likely to tell you how much they donated to their favorite charity than to discuss what they’ve invested in. And wealth is not something they generally feel comfortable talking about.”
With Elegant Living Tampa Bay, Serebin wants to change that limiting attitude. In her past role as director of business development for Dupont Registry Tampa Bay, Serebin observed how luxury marketing often ignores women, targeting the wealthy elite male population only.
A successful entrepreneur herself, Serebin realized women needed a room of their own—a metaphorical space with other women—to start conversations and expand limited expectations. Serebin launched Elegant Living Tampa Bay in 2022.
Serebin curates events, both fun and informative, in order to give wealthy women the opportunity to interact with other like-minded women on topics unique to their situations. As Serebin explains, “So many of our members come from male-dominated verticals and they’re at the top of their level. It’s good for them to get out of their vertical, mostly male, environments and meet other women who are in a similar situation.”
Starting with “Wine, Women and Wealth” Elegant Living Tampa Bay began hosting events, specifically for VIP women, in 2022.
“We give women an intimate environment with other women,” Serebin says, “Providing a much-needed opportunity to discuss portfolio diversification and other financial topics with experienced wealth experts. It’s not a business program. It’s more focused on the personal and how women, specifically, can expand their wealth and build out their portfolio.”
Serebin quickly attracted the support of three local women at the top of their games: Lisa Holland, president of Sheltair Aviation, Katie Bull, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Speedbird, and Monica Ruth, co-founder of Florida Yacht Life and Florida Beach Houses. With the growing popularity of the events and the support of her partners, Serebin created a “Woman of Wealth’’ membership, Cuvee Femme Voyage. Touted as the “best wine and wealth membership for women,” Serebin provides a network for women to expand their influence in a comfortable place of friendship and fun.
For Serebin, women supporting women is a priority. Growing up in the Tampa Bay area in the 1980s, Serebin was interested in studying business but there were few role models of women-led companies. While at the University of South Florida, Serebin started a balloon-delivery service to put herself through school.
“They didn’t have anything on campus and I could sell to students who wanted balloons for different events. But then also because USF was in Tampa, I could market to the city,” Serebin says.
She was learning more from her business experiences than in the classroom—USF didn’t offer a specific business degree back then—so she took a break in her studies to pursue other opportunities. She’s never looked back.
Serebin is now building out to other Florida regions.
“Although, obviously, our biggest group is in Tampa,” Serebin says, “but also we’re looking at expanding over to West Palm Beach. We’re expanding down to Naples. We’re already in Sarasota and Orlando. And next month, I’m actually moving into the Northeast, doing an event at Rolls Royce in Paramus, New Jersey, and Field Point Private Bank Headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut.”
Elegant Living Tampa Bay offers seminars on everything from how to build the right support team to investing in commercial real estate to simply enjoying a night of “Cigars and Champagne” across Ybor City. Serebin’s goal is to create memorable, rewarding, experiences that fit the busy lifestyles all women juggle.
“Many of our members are not necessarily corporate people. They may be an attorney or a scientist, but they’re all saying, ‘OK, I’ve hit this level of success in my career but now I want to look at my wealth aspect.’ And a lot of them are so busy juggling responsibilities, with work and family, that they like the convenience of looking at the private membership page and saying, ‘Oh, Tracy’s having an event next month. Let me put it on my calendar.’ It’s a new peer group outside of work, and they get to learn some things, too,” Serebin says. ♦