The Veronica Beard Woman is all of these things #andthensome. We’re celebrating the confident, versatile, humorous and passionate women that inspire us by highlighting the sides of their personalities that make them unique.
Maya Samuelsson has long been inspired by the strong women in her life, so it should come as no surprise that this model and activist has become an inspiration to so many around her – us included. Between raising a new baby, stepping in front of the camera, and working on the Three Goats Organization (the charity she co-founded with her husband, chef Marcus Samuelsson), Maya still makes time to get out on the court every morning.
Wife, model, and. basketball player. She's all of these things #andthensome.
Being a woman is…many things: a mother, daughter, sister, business woman, wife, and friend. I came from a very strong mother and sister who inspire me to this day.
What makes you feel confident? Different places, languages, cultures and colors of people make me feel confident. From knowing my family tribe in Ethiopia and growing up in Holland to living in Paris and working in New York City.
The words you live by? Love, don't hate.
When do you feel the happiest? Being with my family and being in Ethiopia. I love working to bring education and training to young women through our Three Goats Organization there.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Keep asking questions and stay positive. Fashion is fun but its also hard, so enjoy the ride.
Describe how you feel when you’re out on the court: When I sweat, I feel less stressed. It's when I really take time to reflect.
What causes are you most passionate about? I was once a young girl in Ethiopia, so I knew that helping young girls with education, access to clean water and food would always be my passion projects and something I could relate to. My husband and I founded Three Goats Organization to give back and be part of the solution.
How has being a mother changed your life? I didn't know it would be this much love. My mom has 12 kids, I was number 10. My life changed in seeing all of the things my mom went through, my sister went through and that women all over are going through.
How do you unplug at the end of the day? I don't know how you can unplug with a small baby! I love doing yoga, taking a bath, and having dinner with my family.
What motivates you?
I came here as an immigrant because I really believe in America and in
working hard. The creative people in music, art and fashion inspired me
and make me want to do more. I feel like there are no limits.
Your Style Icons: I have so many!Annie Lennox, Prince, Naomi Campbell, Princess Diana and the women of Ethiopia.
Knicks or Nets? Knicks, no doubt!
Photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank at Marcus Garvey Park in NYC