By KEVIN CASSIDYAssociated PressAuthor Michelle Ann Fields says her daughter Betsy Ross was an ‘amazing businesswoman’ whose work inspired her to pursue the business of making hand paper.
Betsy, a native of South Carolina, is credited with inventing the use of hemicellula for printing newspapers and with inventors like George Washington who made a similar printing technique popular.
The award-winning artist who became a household name in the 1950s is one of only three women to have won the prestigious Art Newspaper of the Year award.
She is one among a growing number of women who have used their own talents and their business acumen to push boundaries in a world that has become more accepting of unconventional and unusual ways of doing business.
Beth Ann Fields, known as “Betsy” to her friends, has been making handmade hand paper for decades.
Fields has been in the business for more than 30 years, including a successful run as a certified caterer at the World’s Fair in Chicago.
But it was during her stint as a caterers assistant in the 1960s and 1970s that she discovered she was better at making paper than she was at running a small business.
“I think it’s because of the environment that we were in then,” Fields said.
“It was a little bit of a different world then.”
A New York Times story from 2011 described her experience as a young woman in a family struggling with the financial hardships of working in a factory and struggling to find enough money to keep up with rent.
Fields said she never dreamed she would make such a significant impact on the industry, which is dominated by women.
“The world’s changing, the way people communicate with each other, and I think it just seemed like an opportunity to be a part of the change,” she said.
Bettany Ross Fields, born in South Carolina in 1950, is one, among a handful of women, who are credited with introducing the use (Hemicellum) for printing papers.
Fieldes, who was known as Betsy Ross in her hometown of Myrtle Beach, S.C., was a certified copyist in the 1940s and 1950s who earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida.
She moved to New York City to work for a local newspaper in 1949.
She was a young and ambitious copyist who quickly learned how to print with the help of her daughter, Betsy, who had graduated from Yale.
“Betsy was the perfect little girl,” Fields recalled.
“She had the confidence and the drive to get things done.
She worked hard, and she got to do something she loved.”
Betsy’s success in the industry was matched by her success in her own life.
Fields became the wife of a well-known New York businessman, Donald Ross.
Donald Ross was one of the earliest adopters of the printing process.
The Rosses would often travel together in the family car to New Hampshire and Maine for their annual trips to the state.
When Donald and his wife, Mary, were widowed in 1952, Betsy was a primary caregiver for the couple.
Betsy and her husband made more than $20,000 annually selling newspapers.
They later sold their publishing business, which included a weekly newspaper, for $1.4 million to a group of investors.
Betsy Fields and her father Donald were among the first to sell a newspaper to a syndicate.
In 1963, Betsy founded her own printing business, Betsy Ross & Sons, and in 1966, she married Donald Ross, who died in 1997.
She worked for two decades at her husband’s company and at the New York World’s fair.
In the 1970s, she opened her own business, Ann Ross & Son, in New York.
She eventually sold the business to her father, Donald, for a reported $500,000 in 1983.
She continued her work as a freelance copyist and in 1987, she co-founded the Ann Ross Family Printing Company in Manhattan.
In 1995, she started her own publishing company, Ann and Donald Ross Publishing Company, in Manhattan, which has been publishing her work ever since.
Her daughter Betsy’s most recent book, “Wings, Tails, and Lips: A Family of Papermaking Hand-Printed Books,” was published in 2015.
She said she and her daughter have enjoyed publishing together for years.
“She’s always been a very creative person and her passion for printing has been the driving force behind her work,” Fields told the Associated Press in an interview.BETH ANN FIELS, daughter of DONALD ROSS, founder of ANN & DONALD ROSENBERG publishing company in Manhattan in 1990.
Field says Betsy Ross, born Betsy Ross and married to her husband Donald Ross in 1953, was a “beautiful businesswoman” whose work influenced her to seek