Last week on a snowy Wednesday night we headed to Madison to attend a soiree. We know – a soiree? That sounds fancy. What do you wear? What special hors d’oeuvres will be served? Who will be there? Little did we know, we would walk out of the snow and into a room full of amazing and inspiring women. The event was Brava Magazine’s 2017 Women to Watch Soiree. Brava honored 26 women who “Make Madison and Good Things Happen.”

Some networking events can be rough. People huddle in groups with the few others they know, and seem to have little interest in meeting anyone else. That was certainly not the case this night. In a room full of anonymous faces you were greeted with smiles everywhere you looked. The snow certainly didn’t bring on this friendliness and warmth, it was a result of a collective desire to celebrate the accomplishments of 26 amazing women.

All of the Women to Watch were introduced one-by-one and a brief overview of why they were being honored was given. As the program went on you couldn’t help but get more and more inspired. These women were badass. All of these women were empowered to make a difference in the world. We applaud Brava for honoring these women and sharing their stories.

One of the women honored was Sagashus Levingston. Not only was she one of the Women to Watch (seriously, keep an eye on her), we are proud to call her one of our Little Creek Press authors. While only Kristin had met Sagashus, we were all greeted with hugs and enthusiasm. She quickly introduced us to a group of women who she had worked with at the local Y. They had all surprised her and shown up to show their support. These women were so thankful for having Sagashus in their lives, not only as part of their support system, but as a role model. After meeting Sagashus it was easy to see why these women sung her praises. Her passion and spirit are infectious. She makes you want to work harder, to be better, to take a stand, to push the boundaries, to own who you are, and to celebrate who you can become. She is a force. She has started a movement called “Infamous Mothers.” Sagashus explains the movement best:

“We are teen moms, single mothers, mothers who once sex worked and were addicted to crack. We’re not your average good girls. We are survivors of domestic abuse and sexual trauma. But don’t call us damsels in distress. We are women with moxie and grit–game changers and powerhouses. We did more than go through the belly of hell and survived, we brought something good back–coming out on the other side as doctors, artists, nurse practitioners, homeowners, counselors, and so much more. We are 20+ women who make a difference in this world. Read our stories and witness how.”

On the drive home we reflected on the night. We felt lucky – lucky to get the chance to work directly with one of these women to help her accomplish her initiative. We felt thankful – thankful that our work allows us to create the vehicles that share such powerful information. We felt empowered – empowered to do more and make a greater impact.

If you want to read more about the 2017 Women to Watch visit Brava magazine.