Keep your ear to the ground in Austin and you’ll hear the rumblings of #bossbabesATX. This group’s near-viral momentum over the past year and a half shows no signs of slowing down.
What Is #bossbabesATX?
The leadership team of #bossbabesATX is diverse, savvy and united in their passion to empower creative Austin women. Their mission, as stated on their website, is “to foster connection among self-identified women in creative industry.”
The group saw a need to bring Austin women together to support and inspire one another. For the past several months, they’ve built a solid community of Austin’s female makers and doers.
How Did #bossbabesATX Get Started?
Jane Claire Hervey, Founder, Head of Operations and self-described go-getter, showed a knack for grabbing online attention during college. She wrote 25 Buzzfeed articles that went viral.
Upon noticing a lack of connection and support among women in business, Hervey got busy. She conducted a study, talking to women at different stages of their careers. She discovered that creative, professional women had similar stories as they faced internal and external struggles navigating their careers.
Due to either less female representation in their fields or an innate sense of insecurity and caution, these women craved–but couldn’t find–other women to go to with questions.
So Hervey brought a group of women together to hash things out. Inspired by their discussions, she and a few talented women launched #bossbabesATX and haven’t looked back.
The leadership team includes co-founding member, and Vendor and Community News Coordinator, Ashlee Jordan Pryor; co-founding member and Arts Coordinator Leslie Lozano; Editorial and Nonprofits Coordinator Jasmine Brooks; and Press and Sponsors Coordinator Lauren Murray.
The group grew organically from the 20-something women in Hervey’s study to more than 200 women attending the first meetup. Soon the bi-monthly get-togethers were attracting 900+ interested women.
To allow genuine connections and because of venue capacity, #bossbabesATX eventually had to cap attendance at between 400-500 participants. Hervey says this is an ideal number for now.
What Types of Events Does #bossbabesATX Host?
Clearly, the group struck a nerve in the Austin community, a city known and loved for its creative side.
Six meets a year are at the core of the schedule. At each, attendees have a chance to network, sharing business cards and stories. Next, 30 women stand and speak about their business or nonprofit for one minute each. Hyperlocal, female vendors are always at the meets, selling their wares. The meets conclude with more mingling and photos.
Advocacy and activism are also celebrated at these meets. For example, this year a law school student was collecting clothes, diapers and other essentials for the victims of the 2016 Louisiana floods.
The list of #bossbabesATX events and classes is constantly expanding. They are in tune with the community’s personal and professional needs.
The group is body positive and covers all aspects of womanhood, so practically no female interests, concerns or triumphs are off limits. Last year’s Notorious RBG Ball at Spider House Ballroom celebrated women with music, vendors and speakers.
This year’s offerings include “Hustle Harder,” six free workshops on starting and growing a business, a body positivity conversation with ModCloth Co-founder Susan G. Koger and other guest speakers, and a “Side Hustle” panel discussion.
The #bossbabesATX team also offers paid courses on social media branding and marketing, an annual CraftHER Market (more than 2,000 people attended this year’s market), and an upcoming Community Caucus. The team sends out a Community News blog to its email list and is active on all major social media networks.
The Next Big Thing
The organization has several projects in the works:
- Babes Fest, a series of events celebrating women in creative arenas, is coming to life.
- In Spring 2017, there will be a dedicated festival showcasing women in music, film, comedy and art. The #bossbabesATX team is booking talent for the event now.
In short, #bossbabesATX is riding a swell of local interest to meet the needs of Austin women. Their popularity and visibility has grown so fast that they are attracting nationwide attention. The goal is to keep a hyperlocal focus on Austin while figuring out a way to let others participate, as well.
Hervey sums it up neatly: “I don’t believe we have created this web of connected women so much as we are shining a light on the one that already existed.” By bringing the web out of the shadows, the #bossbabesATX team is killing it with Austin women.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you been to a #bossbabesATX meet?