The Original Boss Babe

boss babes RVA

#bossbabes #girlboss #ladyboss

These hashtags abound across social media and are used to celebrate women-powered accomplishments.

The women that come to mind will be different for everyone, but I tend to think of Lauren Messiah, Aliza Licht, Marie Forleo, and Lilliana Vazquez – women who built their businesses and brands from scratch and are killing it in the fashion game.

Women for you may include Hilary Clinton, Rosa Parks, or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Or maybe Ann Burras Laydon.

I’m gonna throw this way back for ya’ll: Ann was born in 1594 and in 1608, at age 14, she became one of the first two women to traverse the ocean and set foot in what is now Virginia. She came over as a maid, but later found work as a seamstress – making her one of the ORIGINAL #bossbabes.

Not a lot is known about Ann and her family. They survived what was known as Jamestown’s “starving time” and the Powhatan attack in 1622. By 1625 they moved to Elizabeth City (what is now Newport News and near my own hometown of Yorktown, VA). While we don’t have the details about her seamstress business, can you imagine having your own business in the 1600s?

I believe that the traits she embodied that allowed her to do what she did hundreds of years ago, still hold true to today’s modern boss babes:

  1. Courage – Today it’s easy to jump on a plane and see the world. Or to tune into social media or television and get up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening thousand miles away. Imagine getting on a boat and setting sail – not knowing ANYTHING about what you may encounter on the journey or on your arrival – how insanely scary.  Courage was a must for Ann and it’s a must when embarking on your own freelance or entrepreneurial journey. There are SO many unknowns, but sometimes the only way to find out what they are is to just take that first step, even if you aren’t sure where you are heading.
  2. Grit – Can you imagine the perseverance Ann must have had to overcome sickness and cramped quarters on a boat for hundreds of days? Or making a new life from sticks and mud (literally)? Nothing but pure grit and a get things done attitude could have made her stick it out – and it’s the same for boss babes today. Sometimes you just have to stick it through and refuse to let anything get you down.
  3. Humility – Let’s face it. Ann was a maid when she started out. But she wasn’t above doing the small tasks and no doubt, it was her dedication to those that led her to her own business. If you are a boss babe, whether in your side hustle or your own business, it’s so important to stay humble and be willing to put in time to “pay your dues.”

So, let’s take a page from 1608 and an original boss babe and go get it.

This post was brought to you by the 2019 Commemoration / American Evolution, affiliated with the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation to celebrate historical women from VA now through Mother's Day - there are 12 women that are in the process of being commissioned into statues in the Capitol gardens. Ann Burras Laydon is one of the 12 women being featured by the 2019 Commemoration in the March to Mother's Day campaign. These twelve women have shaped the history of Virginia and paved the way for women today. To celebrate, they are hosting a giveaway – keep reading for details!

March to Mother's Day Contest on Instagram

We've teamed up to give you an opportunity to win a VIP weekend in Richmond for the launch of the first Women's Monument of its kind. This VIP weekend includes one night's lodging at the Quirk Hotel and dinner in Richmond, VA for the groundbreaking ceremony this summer on Virginia Capitol grounds. To be entered to win simply follow the instructions below!

How to Enter

  1. Follow (@Commemorate2019) and like this post
  2. Tag the names of 2 friends you want in Richmond for this exciting event.
  3. Share your own story of an inspiring woman in your life and finish your post with the hashtag #MarchtoMothersDay and tag @Commemorate2019.  

Please remember you must follow @Commmemorate2019 and use the hashtag to qualify.

All entries must be submitted by 5/15 Midnight EDT. We ask that PRIVATE accounts are made PUBLIC during the contest in order to be entered. The winner will be announced on 5/19, we appreciate your patience while we verify all the entries. Good luck! Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 16+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's term of use.

Sponsored post disclosure: This post is brought to you by the 2019 Commemoration / American Evolution. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the 2019 Commemoration.