Matilda Butler

What Does Persistence in Women’s Lives Have to Do With Tea, Nannie Helen Burroughs and Voting?


Learning About Persistence in Women’s Lives

Nannie Helen Burroughs Suffrage OrnamentIn our previous post, Kendra wrote about the life of Nannie Helen Burroughs and how she turned “no” into “yes” throughout her life. Persistence as it applies to women’s lives is one of the takeaways from that blog. And as I reflect on Nannie’s life, I remember the times in my own life that I gave in too quickly or thought that “no” meant “no.” Only later did I realize that “no” sometimes just means “not now.”

In seeking inspiration for achieving persistence, I’ve become interested in Nannie’s life and how persistence paid off for her.  This led me on an unexpected path of tracing a series of events that created some of the influences on Nannie’s life and the lives of all of us — especially in relation to voting and other civil rights.

Here’s a Fun Story You May Enjoy Discovering as Much as I Have

Original Tea Chest from Boston Tea Party

Only surviving chest from Boston Tea Party

On December 16,1773, in the growing evening darkness, more than 100 men boarded the Eleanor, Beaver, and Dartmouth ships in Boston Harbor. In what later became known as the Boston Tea Party, these men poured the contents of 342 tea chests into the water. (Stay with me…this really is relevant.)

As a tea drinker myself, I can’t even imagine how many cups that would have been.

Of course, you already know the tea dumping part of the story. But did you know the bigger story about tea, about how…

…America was Changed by Those 342 Tea Chests PLUS 5 Other Cups of Tea?

Earlier that morning in 1773, merchants and tradesmen Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, and others, met at the Old South Meeting House. There these Sons of Liberty voted against paying the English tax on tea. Instead they decided to dump all the tea as a visible and powerful statement of their unhappiness with England forcing them to comply with laws and taxes when they had been unable to influence them.

Throwing tea overboard was one of the early acts of defiance that led to the American revolution. Colonists used the tea to demonstrate their refusal to pay taxes without representation in government. That was persistence.

5 Cups of Tea … 75 Years Later

It’s July 9, 1848 and tea again is the focus of a revolution that was needed to have a voice in making the laws that they must follow. This time it was women that wanted change in American laws rather than English laws.

Imagine, if you will, a parlor in Jane Hunt’s home in Waterloo, New York. Looking around you see a red velvet sofa, a wall map of the 30 US states (it would be 111 years later before a map would show 50 US states), and five chairs encircling a polished wood tea table set with embroidered linen napkins, silver spoons, a bone china sugar bowl, cream pitcher, and teapot plus five matching cups and saucers.

The women arriving to fill those chairs were Martha Wright, her sister Lucretia Mott who was visiting, Eizabeth Cady Stanton from nearby Seneca Falls, and MaryAnn M’Clintock whose husband rented a home from Jane’s husband.

Jane poured the tea and after a bit of socially expected chit-chat, discussions quickly turned to moral and political injustices that women face in their everyday lives. But this time words were not enough for them. They agreed to hold a convention to advance the cause of women’s rights.

Jane brought paper and pen to the table and the women wrote an advertisement for the Seneca County Courier. The ad invited readers to Seneca Falls 10 days later, for “a Convention to discuss the social, civil and religious condition of women.”

7 Days After the Tea Party

Because women were not allowed leadership positions, the women had no experience organizing and running a large meeting. But they knew they needed to present a statement of purpose.

Elizabeth Cady StantonSo when they met again, this time in the M’Clintock home. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and MaryAnn M’Clintock, using the Declaration of Independence as their model, wrote what became known as the Declaration of Sentiments. It said, for example:

We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal…

On July 19-20, 1848…

The Seneca Falls Convention ad attracted more than 200 women and men who, after much discussion over two days, passed the Declaration of Sentiments that argued for women’s right to vote, along with other points. But there was no immediate success. Words are just words. It took actions, education, and persistence before the 19th Amendment, which opened suffrage to women, became law.

Finally, Women to the Polls in 1920

It didn’t just take persistence. It took a lot of persistence over the following 72 years before women could finally vote in 1920. Many of the women who participated in the early days of the suffrage movement did not live long enough to ever get to vote.

On August 6, 1965…45 Years After 1920 When “Women” Gained the Right to Vote

I put the word “women” in quotes because it was only theoretical that the 19th Amendment meant both white and Black women could vote. In reality, it took 45 more years before the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 that specifically lowered the barriers to voting for Black women.

And Back to Nannie Helen Burroughs

And so I find myself circling back to Nannie Helen Burroughs. She was just one person walking that long road to women’s right to vote. Earlier she walked the multi-year road to establishing a school for Black women and girls. And even before that, she walked the road to her own education.

It’s true that we “know” we need to persist to achieve our goals. But that is such vague advice. I find inspiration in reading about specific women who have persisted and succeeded.

I hope it helps you too.

Matilda ButlerWhat Does Persistence in Women’s Lives Have to Do With Tea, Nannie Helen Burroughs and Voting?

Rosie Celebrated with Congressional Gold Medal

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Rosie the Riveter on EtsyWe’re celebrating Rosie the Riveter! 

On Thursday November 12, the day after Veterans Day, Congress recognized Rosie with the Congressional Gold Medal Act. Both houses passed the act, and on December 4, the President signed it into law. Join us in the Celebration!

Why Rosie is celebrated now? It can take hard work and many years to persuade Congress to award a Gold Medal. In this case, Rosie got her medal thanks to the tireless efforts of Mae Krier of Levittown, Pennsylvania, one of the few remaining World War II Rosies. Now 94, she began in 1980 to promote the need to recognize the important contributions that women made to winning WW2. And now, more than 30 years later, she gets to celebrate.

But That’s Not the End of It…Make It Annual!

Krier is tireless. She is now working to make March 21st National Rosie the Riveter Day. While Rosie is acknowledged annually, only House Resolution 162 and Senate Resolution 76 can make the day official and automatic.

How can you help?

Contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to vote for this one day each year to celebrate the contribution of millions of women who helped win WW2. Rosies, who are the embodiment of strength, courage, and empowerment, are role models for women today

And Krier never quits. She hopes to live to see a Rosie statue at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Rosie the Riveter polka dot bandana

Rosie the Riveter Bandana 27 inches

Wear the Original Legacy Bandana

Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act This bill directs the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to make appropriate arrangements for the award of a single Congressional Gold Medal to Rosie the Riveter (i.e., any female individual who held employment or volunteered in support of the war efforts during World War II), in recognition of their contributions to the United States and the inspiration they have provided to ensuing generations.

National Museum of American History will display the medal, as well as make it available for display at appropriate locations.

Celebrate with the Authentic Employment Badge Collar PinRosie the Riveter employment badge collar pin

And now, introducing We Can Do It! Women. These figures some of the most inspirational women of past and present.

Rosie the Riveter Gift Box

Our Rosie the Riveter ornament, employment badge collar button, and artisan rose petal soap gift box is just one of many We Can Do It! Women.



Matilda ButlerRosie Celebrated with Congressional Gold Medal

We Can Do It! Began 77 Years Ago

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Rosie the Riveter Poster

First Posted February 15, 1943 at Westinghouse Electric Service factories

The We Can Do It! poster began 77 years ago

Imagine showing up for work on February 15, 1943. After hanging up your coat, you walk onto the factory floor and notice a new poster on the wall. To keep up morale, you are treated to a new one every two weeks.

But this poster is different. It shows a woman much like you. She wears a red-and-white polka dot bandana, blue factory clothing, employment badge on her collar, and has the words We Can Do It! captioned over her head.

We Can Do It! — that’s your attitude too so you like this poster.

Limited Distribution of We Can Do It! Poster

Rosie the Riveter PosterAbout 1800 copies were originally printed and displayed in the Westinghouse Electric Service factories beginning on February 15, 1943. That was the humble beginning of the now famous poster.

Fast Forward…

The poster was almost forgotten. However, the women’s movement of the 1970s rescued it from the dustbin of history. In fact, it became an integral part of the feminist movement. And today, it is a recognized icon, symbolizing women’s strength, courage, and empowerment.

In 2020, 77 years after Westinghouse displayed the original Rosie the Riveter poster, we have a 2-FER offer on our special version of this poster.

"Doing the Rosie"Purchase one poster and we will give you a second one for FREE in our combo deal. What’s so special about this poster? This is a two-sided poster. SIDE ONE is a digitally enhanced copy of the original that we purchased from the National Archives. SIDE TWO is all the same background and text except we removed Rosie. This lets you pose in front of the poster “Doing the Rosie”. 

Here’s what you get in this special 2-Fer Combo:

  • 24” x 36” We Can Do It! poster, 2-sided with a Rosie side and DIY side for posing
  • 2nd 24″ x 36″ poster — FREE
  • 1 red and white polkadot bandana, and
  • 1 Rosie employment collar button.

Get All 4 items at an incredible price. This combo has a value of $58.01. Your price is just $24.97.

 CLICK HERE to get this Special Combo Offer

2-Sided Rosie the Riveter PosterWhat Can You Do With This Special Offer?

Here are just a few ideas. We’re sure you have other ones: 

  • Give 1 poster to an elementary or secondary teacher in anticipation of March’s Women’s History Month AND keep one for your kitchen
  • Send 1 poster to your daughter at college for her dorm room AND  keep one for your office
  • Donate 1 poster to a woman’s shelter AND keep one for a women’s luncheon
  • Make 1 a party favor AND use the DIY side of the other for your daughter’s (or granddaughter’s) birthday party photo backdrop where all the guests can “Do the Rosie.”
  • Use as a puppy bandana, AND empower your dog (although she probably already knows it).
  • Share one with your best friend.

You can keep the bandana and collar button for yourself, send them along with your gifted poster, or use them at a party. Both items make posing in front of the DIY side of the poster great fun.

Matilda ButlerWe Can Do It! Began 77 Years Ago

Hope You Are Healthy Throughout 2020

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2020 Is Here and We Hope You Are Healthy!

Kendra and I (and Rosie too) send you our wishes for good health in 2020. Of course, sometimes wishing doesn’t work out. 

When we find that a friend is temporarily sick, is undergoing surgery, has been in an accident, or is diagnosed with a serious condition — we want to send both get-well wishes and a gift to help lift our friends’ spirits.

Here’s What We’ve Been Doing!

Over the last few years, we’ve sent Rosie gear as encouragement gifts to friends — one with shingles, two with flu, one after breast cancer surgery, one with a hip replacement, etc. That worked great for us. But what about people like you? People who love Rosie, her CAN DO attitude, and all that she stands for.

Matilda ButlerHope You Are Healthy Throughout 2020

Mele Kalikimaka from Rosie the Riveter with Haupia Recipe

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Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka as I say when in Hawaii and Merry Christmas as I say when I’m on the mainland. I’m Rosie the Riveter sending you greetings, best wishes, and thanks from Hawaii. Now don’t be jealous! But I’m sitting at the base of a gently swaying palm tree, listening to the Common Myna chatter, and watching the long waves roll in toward the beach. It’s December, and I’ve been thinking about Pearl Harbor. How different the scene was 78 years ago on that terrible December 7, 1941 as smoke filled the air, ships sank, and thousands of lives were lost.

Two Surprises

The surprise military strike against the US also inadvertently created what might be described as an even greater surprise. What is the surprise? It’s the millions of women who soon took up the battle on the homefront. They left their homes to:

Matilda ButlerMele Kalikimaka from Rosie the Riveter with Haupia Recipe

Top 7 Tips for Halloween Costumes

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Halloween will be here before we know it

Thinking about your Halloween costume? We’ve got the top 7 costume tips to ensure you have a enjoyable and memorable Halloween. 

Halloween Costume Tip #1: Start planning your costume now. Why? Plan early (if you can). Plan late (if you procrastinate like most of us). Whenever you begin thinking about Halloween, you should interpret that as a reminder to get started. Some costumes require extra time to be sure you have everything you need to have the perfect effect. Some costumes need to be tried on and adjusted. The distance between NOW and Halloween isn’t expandable. Each day that goes by is one less day to decide on and order your costume. The sooner you act, the less likely it is that you’ll have to pay a premium for expedited shipping.

Start on your costume as soon as you can. We have all 3 BE A ROSIE Costume Kits in stock. Every year we have customers who wait until 2 or 3 days before their Halloween event…often multiple days before Halloween. We do all we can to meet their deadlines, but they often have to pay for Express Delivery.

Halloween Costume Tip #2: Consider where you will be wearing your costume. At an office party? To work on your usual schedule? When taking your children or grandchildren out for Trick or Treat? To a neighborhood gathering or the party of a friend? Hosting your own Halloween party? If you are hosting a party, then you want to give extra consideration to your costume as it may influence your decorations and even party favors.

Consider where you will be wearing your costume. One of several advantages with the Be a Rosie Costume is that it is appropriate at work and at play. 


We wouldn’t give you all these costume tips without showing you costume options that meet all 7 of these Halloween considerations.


BE A ROSIE (BASIC) includes Rosie the Riveter 22” bandana, Rosie’s employment badge collar button, Rosie iron-on embroidered name patch. You’ll get authenticity…with a twist of imagination. 

Halloween Costume Tip #3: In choosing a costume, make sure it will be comfortable. Some costumes look great when you are standing in front of the mirror, but what about when you are at work that day or going to a party in the evening, or walking with your children while they trick or treat? Can you easily sit in the costume? Do you have to constantly fuss with it so that it doesn’t come askew? A comfortable costume lets you focus on the event, friends, and family—not your clothing.

Choose a comfortable costume. Be a Rosie Costume Kit provides all the accessories for a definitely comfortable outfit. This is what Rosie and millions of working women wore to their jobs in factories during World War II. 

Halloween Costume Tip #4: Safety is key for your costume its as much as it is for a child’s Halloween outfit. Some masks, for example, make it difficult to see and elaborate headdresses can hinder your ability to move around safely. Long costumes may get in the way when you climb steps or want to dance and long sleeves that hang down over your hands can be a problem when it is time to snack, eat a meal, or even drive. And if you are wearing a costume to work, consider the motions you routinely go through and make sure your costume will allow you to perform your usual tasks in a safe way. 

Be sure your costume is safe. Safety was critical during WW2 as well as today. Rosie the Riveter’s bandana was important to keep her hair away from machinery. She wore boots or workshoes for comfort and safety. With this costume, you don’t need high heels that might trip you up on a Halloween evening or leave your feet sore the next morning.


BE A ROSIE (DELUXE) includes our BIG, official 27” bandana, collectible enameled Rosie collar pin, handful of real rivets, genuine WWII ration token and 1943 steel penny, temporary tattoos, Rock Your Dots socks, hand-painted polka dot Bobbie Pins(tm) and a Rosie iron-on embroidered name patch. Just add blue jeans, overalls and blue shirt…instant Halloween costume. And you’ll look just like the original “We Can Do It!” Rosie.

Happy Halloween, 2019.

Halloween Costume Tip #5: Let your costume help you make a statement. You want others to recognize your costume and, more importantly, know that it is a reflection of who you are and your values. Let the costume be fun while considering what it says about you.

Let your costume help you make a statement. Halloween is a great time to make a statement about who you are and what matters to you. Rosie the Riveter is a symbol of strength, courage, and empowerment. That’s a fabulous message to share with friends, co-workers, family, and even strangers who see you in your “We Can Do It!” costume. It’s also a great conversation starter.

Halloween Costume Tip #6: Be sure to consider others who will see you. Tips 5 and 6 work together. Tip 5 has you thinking about who you are and how you want to present yourself. Tip 6 reminds you to consider others. Will you only wear your costume to a party with other adults? Consider how your costume might work with your group of friends or your children. Find something that can be appropriate for different ages. 

Not everyone will know who Rosie the Riveter is. This year we added our polkadot name patch…your Rosie ID. Discuss Rosie with friends; you might even consider Rosie appropriate for a group costume. After all, Rosie and her colleagues all dressed similarly. You can do the same thing. You and a friend, or several friends, might all go as Rosie the Riveters. Or how about you and your daughter? We have a number of precious mother/daughter photos. We even have a great photo of a mother and son. It’s never too early to show respect for strong women.

Halloween Costume Tip #7: Get a cost-effective costume. Avoid costumes made of cheap materials that just end up being thrown away or stashed forever in the back of your closet. Some cheap Halloween outfits pull apart at the seams before the night is over. How about a costume with elements you can incorporate into your wardrobe after Halloween is over?

This year, you can BE A ROSIE without emptying your piggy bank. Plus, you get high-quality gear such as the soft cotton bandana, the collar pin, the red and white polkadot socks (BE A ROSIE DELUXE) that you can wear any time. If you get the DIY kit, you get a poster you can frame. Plus, you can dress in your own jeans and blue work shirt from your closet and accessorize with our Rosie gear.


BE A ROSIE (DIY) includes all the items of a BE A ROSIE (DELUXE) with two exceptions. We have replaced the socks with our 2-Sided 24” by 36” DIY “We Can Do It!” Poster (Rosie the Riveter side and DIY side without Rosie so you can pose in front and BE A ROSIE).
Matilda ButlerTop 7 Tips for Halloween Costumes