Jane Claire Hervey
founder of #bossbabesATX
We took some time to meet with our forever #WCW and asked her 7 top-of-mind questions around the intersections of women, creative industry & Austin.
1. What brought you to Austin and what led you to found #bossbabesATX?
I originally came to Austin from the Rio Grande Valley in 2011 to pursue a Bachelor's in Journalism at the University of Texas. I was a #coolnerd in college (or so I like to think), so I completed my degree a bit early and worked all through school. By the time I graduated I had a full-fledged freelance career and a solid background in content marketing. I began to take jobs in the start-up/media world, and I found myself searching for resources and peers who understood me (and also friends—sometimes we forget how much a good time can impact our professional lives and our wellbeing). This pressure (whether self-imposed or the result of external forces) led me to interview women in creative industry I admired about their jobs and what they wanted from the world; I was surprised they felt as equally disconnected as I did.
With these conversations swirling around me, I decided to host the first #bossbabesATX meet. From there, it just grew into the space I never knew I needed—a space that could cultivate conversation, commerce and community between hard-working, multi-faceted women. A space in which women were not required to be complete. A space in which we could explore the complexities of being human, perpetual works in progress. A space that's accessible in both finance and concept. A space for feminism applied. It's been a two-year journey in what I'm sure will be a lifetime of discovery.
2. How do you define a #bossbabe?
Any woman navigating the patriarchy and making it work, embracing both her strengths and her weaknesses. Single mamas, entrepreneurs, grandmothers, side hustlers, artists, creatives, etc.
3. The mission statement for #bossbabesATX speaks to our souls with its dedication to the intersections of female empowerment and the arts in Austin. Tell us your favorite story (either your own or from a member) that exemplifies the positive impact of your organization's mission.
I really believe that "empowerment" is not making others feel good—it's sharing with others in a way that supports them in a way that's actionable. Stories about finding a job or starting a business through our organization (this sort of networking even happens at our festivals; it's beyond our bimontly meet-ups) are probably my favorite. There's an intimacy in finding your bread and butter through human, face-to-face interaction. I get to listen to those stories often, and it's heartwarming.
"I really believe that 'empowerment' is not making others feel good—it's sharing with others in a way that supports them in a way that's actionable."
4. How can our followers get involved with #bossbabesATX?
Attend an event! If you're not into networking, come to one of our discussion programs or festival programs. You can also volunteer as tribute to one of our events (jk—just volunteer) or donate to our work at bossbabes.org.
5. We use the word "auspiration" to describe the same type of community inspiration and connection that #bossbabesATX fosters. Where do you go to be "auspired"?
I usually go wherever my friends are playing or showcasing work (many of my friends are artists—I'm also a musician). Most of my nights are spent at galleries or at bars listening to others perform.
6. What's the best advice you've ever received?
When life gets tough, take the stairs. One of my professors relayed this to me in college, as we walked down the stairs after class one day, and I didn't quite get what he meant. I think I do now; taking life step-by-step is much more rewarding than demanding your immediate transportation to the next level.
7. And just for fun... what's your fave ATX treat to beat the heat?
A rusa from Hay Elotes. Yuuuum.