A Widow Woman’s Dream

“The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow. One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life. Act with audacity.” *

In our world of today, we are told: Entrepreneurship for women is controlled by a glass ceiling. Yet the quotation above was heard long before the term ‘glass ceiling’ was invented!

The author born in 1777 was Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, only child of an affluent textile industrialist in Reims, France. In 1798, when she was 21 years old, Barbe-Nicole married the boy next door: Francois Clicquot, only son of Phillipe Clicquot.

A short six years later, Francois fell suddenly ill with a fever and died, leaving her a single mother and a widow.

The French word for widow is ‘veuve’

Barbe-Nicole became Veuve Clicquot.

Sound familiar? Of course it is. You have heard of it before:

Veuve Clicquot label

Veuve Clicquot label

* The words were written by Barbe-Nicole Clicquot to her granddaughter, in a letter to be found in the book titled: The Widow Clicquot By Tilar J. Mazzeo.

It tells the Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It.

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27 thoughts on “A Widow Woman’s Dream

    • Nick, her husband’s family had a small wine business that was not doing well. After the death of her husband, the father in law wanted to close it but Barbe-Nicole convinced him not to and invest some money so she could build it up. It took several investments before it really got off the ground, but the wise woman kept battling on!

  1. Grannymar,

    I had a friend who was married to a paint broker. He used to sell paint by the ton to,for instance, the City of New York to paint the Brooklyn Bridge.
    He was also an alcoholic and spend most days wining and dining buyers so they would order the paint they needed from him.
    One day he had a heart attack and died.
    My friend answered the telephone the day after the funeral and it was a buyer asking how soon her husband could deliver a huge order. He had not heard of her husband’s death and apologized when she told him that he was gone and that there was no paint business any more.
    After she had hung up she thought to herself , “Wait a minute, if he could make such a good living selling paint while he was drunk, I should be able to do it sober.” She called the buyer back and told him she was mistaken about there being no more paint business and asked how much he needed. He gave her that order and she never looked back.
    She increased the business considerably and sold paint for 30 years and left a fortune when she died.

  2. It used to be the practice when ordering Veuve Clicquot in a restaurant to request .. “a bottle of the widow” .. “Not a lot of people know that” .. Michael Caine .. 🙂

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