Hail to Mama President
This is my salute to "Mama President" Liz Philosophos Cooper, President of the Jane Austen Society of North America who made me feel like my own mom was with me in Chicago this past week for the Annual General Meeting. As many of you know, my mom died of the flu (compromised immune system from breast cancer) in 2019 and she was my number one fan. Having a mother in my corner to support my designs brought back great memories of when my mom attended my fashion events.
So, thank you Liz and thank you to her daughter-in-laws Kristin, Jillian and Cori for modeling, parading, dancing and strutting it in every room of the ball.
Here is Liz pictured speaking at the AGM banquet in her wedding gown that was revamped into a Regency gown for the event, always encouraging people to dress up to the ball and leading by example. Throughout the event, she led her daughter-in-laws Kristin, Jillian and Cori around the room to introduce them as "The Dashwood Sisters" and mentioning that I had made the dresses. Something my own mother would have done and why it was so touching to see "Mama President" do it for me.
Having Liz as the president and formally introducing me to people, made me feel so welcome as a new member. I came to the AGM by myself and naturally being an introvert I tend to be a wallflower to avoid being awkward. But throughout the event, everyone I met invited me to great conversations or showed me something of interest or kept me from being glued to my phone.
The Philosophos / Cooper Family (Kristin, Jillian, Molly, Liz, and Cori)
It's rare for me to attend events for the first time and not feel so shy, but it goes to show how special JASNA really is in bringing us all together like a family. This AGM very much felt like a family affair as shown in the picture above and I don't see myself missing another one ever again. Not only for the warm welcome I received from my own JASNA Regions in the New York Metropolitan, Capital New York, and Greater Phoenix (where I grew up) regions but for the strangers who became my new friends
JASNA NY Happy Hour in July a week after I joined
(Me, Miguel Angel Jordan and Sarah Rose Kearns)
Georgie Castilla of Duniath Comics before his presentation at the AGM
Becky Dolan a Chicago AGM Volunteer in the dress I made for her
Maryellen Kosydar (JASNA Maryland) at the banquet in a Jennyvi
My Lizzy gown worn by Lindsay, me, my dance partner Alyssa Opishinski
I made all these dresses inspired by Jane Austen characters
(Joy Prevost, Kristin Cooper, Me, Lindsay Allison, Jillian Cooper, Cori Cooper)
Need a dress for next year's AGM in Victoria? Email me at email@example.com and let's start planning looks.