By Kelly Young/Stevi Stoesz Kersh
Badassery LifeSep 24, 2023
Karissa Hulse: A badass mom, advocate for safe streets and more!
After her son's friend was knocked off his bike by a driver on their way to school, Karissa became a fierce advocate for safe streets in Indy’s school zones, where kids are walking and riding bikes on streets that are not safely built or managed for pedestrians. Karissa is an advocate on things we take for granted, she has unbridled passion for Indianapolis and for the urban experience, and she’s loyal to those she shares a passion. She someone who reminds us we need to care!
We talked about her advocacy and volunteer work, losing her mom to cancer at the age of 9 and then her dad to early onset Alzheimer's Disease earlier this year. She also opened up about infertility and pregnancy loss. And while Karissa has experienced great loss, she chooses to be grateful for the wealth of love in her life and the family and friends she has -- and we talked about that too.
Cassie Stockamp keeps living her Badassery Life (travel, love and so many cool experiences)
We caught up with Cassie Stockamp a few months ago and loved our conversation. We didn't know where in the world she was then (turns out she was in Florida) and we don't know where in the world she is now (we think Canada) and that's what makes this badass woman so badass. The more she learns to say yes and let go, the more magic shows up. Every conversation with Cassie is incredible! She's a gem. She's empowering. She's living more open-hearted with no regrets. She's badass! Guarantee you'll love this episode!
Julie West: Advocating for AEDs after her son died on the football field
This badass woman is compassionate, courageous, and thoughtful.
Julie is dedicated to the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest in youth and is a fierce advocate and champion for raising money and awareness around the importance of AEDs. She founded the Play for Jake’s Foundation after her son collapsed and died on a football field in 2013. Her hope is to save lives and help prevent this tragedy from happening to other families. The Play For Jake Foundation partners with schools to provide heart screenings for its students, as well as to raise funds and awareness around the importance of AEDs.
"I will never overcome the loss of my son but I have learned what works best for me in dealing with my grief. I live with this mantra, “What would Jake want me to do"? - Julie West
Cristina Fontana: Living a badassery life as a transplant advocate, organ donor
Cristina was a kid when she tried to donate her kidney to her parents to save their lives (her dad was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, her mom became ill several years later and was on dialysis for months). She was told no because of her young age. She remained committed to saving a life through organ donation, knowing that the opportunity would present itself…someday. That day came a few years ago when she was matched with a stranger.
This badass woman is proving that donating an organ doesn't limit anyone's abilities. Last year she trained and hiked the summit of Africa's highest peak - Mount Kilimanjaro - to bring attention to living kidney donation. She did it to prove that she could and to prove that people can resume not only normal lives, but extraordinary lives post organ donation.
Cristina Fontana is not only an advocate, she's a radiation therapist, oncology nurse, and a yogi, to boot.
Carol Howard: the Badass behind Rev, Zoobilation and more
Carol knows how to throw a badass party! And her parties raise millions for Indianapolis nonprofit organizations. In this episode, we talked about her career - including working at Motorola executing their sponsorships of Vans Warped Tour, X Games and their motorsports sponsorship of Michael Andretti. In 2018, she directed the Universal Studios UK Movie Premiere “Born Racer” held at Indianapolis State Museum. She directed the Premiere and coordinated the pre-event cocktail reception, red carpet, media, and photo opportunities with Universal Studios. One year later, she planned and managed a press conference and trailer premiere for the “Ford vs. Ferrari” movie, attended by Academy Award-winning actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She has an amazing career, but her favorite job is being a mother to three strong and resilient girls. She opened up about a difficult pregnancy with her twins - if she delivered full term, all three of them would've died due to a very dangerous infection in Carol's placenta. She credits IU Health to saving their lives and providing her the best care the weeks and months ahead of her delivery. For that, Rev has become her labor of love and her way of giving back to the hospital.
We talked about feeling vulnerable, finding joy, the things that really matter to her, and what has led to her success. Tune in to hear about Carol's friend Ashley Judd and the "crappy" ending for her first pair of designer sunglasses.
Learn more about Rev: https://revindy.org/
Jess Stone: a badass dog mom on an epic adventure (on her motorcycle) raising money for girls
This badass woman has been traveling the world on a motorcycle with her husband and their 75-pound German Shepherd, Moxie. Unfortunately, since the time that we interviewed her, tragedy has struck. Her husband was in a terrible accident (he survived) and their beloved dog died following complications resulting from an ordinary knee surgery. As you can imagine, Jess is gutted and heartbroken.
After much consideration, we decided to move forward with posting this episode, as scheduled, because Jess Stone is an incredible woman and we want to celebrate her, while honoring Moxie!
Jess is an adventurer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, wife, dog mom, content creator, and so much more. Originally from Canada, Jess talks with us about growing up, meeting her now husband in Africa where they were both aid workers, learning to ride a motorcycle on the side streets of Liberia, and more. She's traveled across nearly 90 countries, including an eight-month long trip on her motorcycle from North to South America. Her latest adventure includes traveling the world and raising $100,000 for Girl Up - a girl-centered leadership development initiative. She talks with us about the GoRUFFLY Around the World adventure and moving to Guatemala and supporting a women’s microfinance nonprofit.
While our hearts our broken for the loss of Moxie, we're inspired by Jess and her beautiful spirit.
They are streaming live on Instagram on Wednesday, April 19 at 9pm Eastern / 6pm Pacific, where they will share more about Greg’s motorcycle accident with a chicken bus, the injury that proceeded Moxie’s surgery, and the unfortunate complications that resulted in her death.
Fletcher: Living their badassery life after transitioning to gender nonconforming (and what it took to get there)
Fletcher has fully transitioned from female to gender nonconforming and talks about that journey in this episode. Although they are still learning about who they are, therapy and the undying love of their chosen family has helped them find their purpose and grow into the person they are today. It wasn't easy. Fletcher grew up stifled in a very religious family and never felt safe at home to talk and explore their thoughts and feelings. It wasn't until the pandemic gave them time to explore who they were that Fletcher made some life-altering changes.
Today, with two Master's Degrees in hand, Fletcher has found purpose in helping young people choose their path - not the path chosen for them. Fletcher works as the Young Transgender Persons HIV Prevention Program Manager for the Damien Center (the largest Aids Serving Organization in the state of Indiana – a nonprofit that provides services to more than 25% of all individuals living with HIV in the state). They have also found great love with their girlfriend and is living their authentic badass life.
Fletcher took us through a rainbow of emotions in this episode. Find out how Fletcher found the support to grow, love and to be loved. Hear about their greatest challenges through this journey. And join us love on Fletcher who went from never feeling worthy to now being a servant leader and everyone's biggest cheerleader.
The Owners of Trail and Vine are Living their Badassery Lives (drinking and hiking)
These two badass women are bound by wine, a sense of adventure, a strong community, and their interest in helping women get out and enjoy the outdoors! They're event planners who both love the outdoors and being active. They started a new company during COVID when they found a gap in the market for a service they new they could provide. Staying true to themselves and committed to growing Trail & Vine, they are drawn by the excitement of the unknown and the adventures ahead.
Badasses Lisa Almert and Kirsten Peterson join us to talk about how and why they created Trail and Vine, their challenges and successes, and what the future holds for their new adventure company. They talk about the event side of their business and how they're building a community of like-minded individuals who enjoy a good hike and a great glass of wine.
Watch for upcoming events and episodes with Trail & Vine at @trailandvine (IG) and @trailvine (FB)! Find out more information on their website: www.trailandvine.com
Stephanie Miller: Living a badassery life free from addiction
After learning to manage her disease of alcoholism, Stephanie is living a life where she can show others that there is life after addiction. She hit rock bottom. She was trapped in a loveless marriage that ended in divorce. As her drinking escalated, her health declined. She lost her business and nearly lost her life. Her nights (and days) of drinking took a serious toll on her body, showing up in life-threatening seizures.
She overcame. Today she's sober, happy and healthy. Her sobriety taught her she didn't need a lot. "You just need to be sober and you need to love yourself."
Stephanie describes herself as resilient, empathetic and fierce. We describe her as a badass. In this episode, Stephanie talks about the help she received at Dove Recovery House and the challenges of learning to manage her disease of alcoholism. She talks about her road to recovery, what led to her success, and her new career giving back to other women at Dove House.
Learn more about Dove Recovery House: https://doverecoveryhouse.org/
Read more about Stephanie's story: https://doverecoveryhouse.org/dove-opens-doors-stephanies-story/
Allie Missler: Badass advocate and foster parent (she's fostered more than 80 children)
She's an established Patient Voice Advocate with 20 years+ biotechnology experience (a woman with a badass career) ... a wife, mom of two adult kids, foster mom to more than 80 children in emergency situations, and an advocate for important causes. Last year she testified before both the House and Senate opposing Senate Bill 2 (in her words: "a half-assed attempt to placate the public after stripping women of bodily autonomy"). The Senate bills aimed to address expected rise in unwanted pregnancies. Allie spends much of her time and energy advocating for children and their families who are in the state’s care. She has submitted proposals for conferences and was selected to present at the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) Congress in Muscat, Oman. She told us she will never let what she cannot do stop her from doing what she can.
When she started volunteering her home for emergency short-term foster care in 2017, she and her husband had hoped to just provide temporary shelter for children in central Indiana who needed help. She has answered calls to host a child at 3 AM “because their only other alternative is to sleep on the DCS office floor.” She has loved and cared for a malnourished 1-year-old who only weighed 11 pounds, a spunky preteen (and her doll, Malachi), 3 infants who were surrendered at “safe haven” locations, where no questions are asked, a young boy with cancer, and so many more. In total, Allie and her husband have housed 79 kids for anywhere from one night to several months.
She talks about her advocacy work, being a foster parent, feeling vulnerable, and so much more in this episode. She also encourages listeners to get involved (a message we thought was important to share here): "We must create space for people to contribute in unique ways that connect to their strengths. I often say that not every home is set up to host a child, but EVERYONE can do something. Send a foster family a meal, pass along outgrown winter coats and boots. $21/day does not begin to cover the cost of raising a child. I fancy myself an “aggregator of goodwill.” I seek to match needs and resources. We all have connections, and all can contribute to the solution."
Emily Crews: a Badass anchor who left TV to sail the world
She’s originally from Tennessee, loves country music and cowboy boots, a foodie who loves barbeque and southern cookin’. She's a former Emmy-nominated TV News personality whose career landed her in Florida, where she fell in love with the water and her husband. Meet Emily Crews (those of us in Indianapolis remember her as Emily Kinzer). After dedicating the last decade to featuring impactful news stories about local communities, she's now documenting her travels and telling the stories of the people she meets along the way.
Together with her husband, Cole, they are The Adventure Crews. They're on a mission to capture the world through the lens of their camera and take as many people with them on their journey. They believe life is short and the time is always NOW. And everyone and everything has a story to share. Emily is sharing her story on a blog, YouTube ... and we're excited that she spent time with us on Badassery Life.
In this episode, Emily talks about her career, her adventures (from shipwrecks to swimming with sharks; the Florida Python Challenge and everything in between), Ocean-to-Table, how this lifestyle'/business is sustainable, and more.
Emily is living her badassery life. She and her travels are pretty badass!
Follow Emily: instagram.com/theemilykinzer/
Click here for their YouTube Channel
Jennifer Parker: A badass advocate for people with disabilities who has suffered heartbreak and devastation
This badass woman has overcome so much - so much that we had to double/triple check our facts before we started the interview. She shared with us that she has overcome divorce, a blended family with 5 children, including an oppositional defiant child, a child with autism, a child with a severe congenital heart defect who endured 4 open heart and 13 other surgeries, court battles, having a restraining order violated 19 times, a child who was assaulted by an adult at a children’s museum, a child who was abused, a child who was strangled, and by far her most difficult challenge ever – having a child who drowned.
Yet, she has overcome all of that (and more) and is thriving as the president of the Alex and Ali Foundation, a local nonprofit that empowers people with disabilities through meaningful employment opportunities. She's also a keynote speaker and advocate for children and adults with disabilities and a faith-based speaker focused on taking the next right step and keeping hope in the midst of hardship and suffering.
You'll have to listen to her story yourself to know why we think she's such a badass!
Links we talked about in this episode:
The Alex and Ali Foundation: https://www.thealexandalifoundation.com/
Happy Hounds: https://www.thealexandalifoundation.com/happy-hounds
The Hope Gallery: https://www.thealexandalifoundation.com/the-hope-gallery
Regina Mehallick: a culinary badass and former owner of R Bistro and R2GO
Regina is a badass culinary trailblazer. She’s a five-time James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist and a true pioneer in the farm-to-table movement in the Midwest. She's a world-cuisine connoisseur and a culinary gem in Indianapolis. She's the former owner of R Bistro and R2GO. Indianapolis was heartbroken when she shut down her restaurants, but she's still living in the city and we caught up with her. In this episode, Regina talks with us about her career, the travels that influenced her culinary style and tastes, her challenges and successes, what brings her happiness, and so much more. She also shared advice for young chefs.
Regina said she's living her badassery life because she's teaching and sharing her knowledge of Culinary Arts with young students at the beginning of their life in food. Not only was it a thrill to talk with her, but afterwards she shared her cherished Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe with us (probably because Kelly couldn't stop talking about it during the interview).
Sarah Boutwell: a badass photographer, art advocate, nonprofit executive, and survivor of childhood trauma
Sarah is a girl from Indy's eastside who decided 20 years into the restaurant industry that it was time to fully go after her dreams. In the midst of COVID, she took on her photography career full-time and started putting energy into her non-profit Re-Generation Indy. In this episode, she talks about the sexual abuse she endured as a child and how she overcame that and started to heal by opening up to women about her past trauma. Today, she's created a badass sisterhood of like-minded souls who have taken the leap of being weirdly vulnerable in order to promote personal and collective growth. We talk about her past, her current projects, her successes and challenges, what makes her happy, and her greatest gift.
Sarah describes herself as determined, compassionate and goofy. Others describe her as honest, inspiring and hilarious. We describe her as a badass! Check out her episode. Support her nonprofit (regenerationindy.com). Follow her on social. She's an inspiration and incredibly talented!
Polina Osherov: The badass co-founder of Pattern Magazine, an entrepreneur, mom, and more
Polina Osherov is Co-Founder and Executive Director of PATTERN. She is also a commercial photographer. She credits her success to persistence, hard work, and knowing how to pick her battles. She describes herself as direct, driven, and solution-oriented. We describe her as a creative badass!
From the Soviet Union to Australia - a life that led her to Indianapolis. A dad who was a cinematographer and photographer - her introduction to photography. A career that included being a small business owner, an entrepreneur, a photographer, co-founder and executive director of Patter - a creative person with a passion for fashion. She talked about all of that and so much more.
Some say she's intimdating, but she wears a pair of cat ears that have become part of her brand (which she tells us about). And although she says her gift is tough love and she's faced many challenges, she's forged ahead and is kicking ass.
We introduce you to this creative badass woman in this episdoe.
Jennifer Cvar: A badass cyclist, competitor, and Momentum Indy Founder
Jennifer describes herself as gritty, loving and humorous. Friends say she's tenacious, loving, passionate. We think Jennifer Cvar is a badass! She's the founder and executive director of Momentum Indy | Indy Crit, thriving and serving as the only female founder/manager in the American Cup Series, which she also helped to found.
She grew up riding her bike as a kid and loving the independence her bike gave her. Fast forward to after college when she started taking spin classes at the YMCA at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis. There she met a group of mostly male cyclists who invited her to join their group rides. Frustrated that she was always in the back, she built up her stamina and strength and before long moved up to the front – and even onto podiums after competing in crits.
Her career in racing competitively led her to creating the Indy Crit, an annual bike race in downtown Indianapolis that has gone from just a race to a weekend to a long festival. We caught up with her right before the 2022 Crit (took place Aug. 27).
To learn more about the IU Health Momentum Indy, two-day bicycle festival, visit momentumindy.org
Janet Allen: A badass artist, advocate, and co-CEO of the IRT
Janet is the longest-serving arts leaders in Indianapolis. She has created art with amazing professionals from around the country for nearly 40 years. While she describes herself as tenacious, loud and forward-moving, she believes others would say she’s demonstrative, energetic and mouthy. The word we use is BADASS!
Janet joined the Indiana Repertory Theatre in 1980 as a dramaturg (which she explained to us), then as associate artistic director, and, since 1996, as artistic director. In this episode, she talked about her career, her time in New York (and why she came back), challenges, successes, and so much more.
After her 40-year career at the IRT, Janet will retire on June 30, 2023, after the 2022–2023 Season. Her final season will also be the IRT’s 50th Anniversary Season, which she talked about too.
Get your tickets at irtlive.com
Mary Stumpp: a Badass advocate and recycler who is known as the "Can Lady"
This badass woman founded The Can Lady Project, an Indianapolis nonprofit, which has collected more than 20 million cans, raised thousands of dollars for teachers, and works to educate local youth. In 2007, she was inspired to help her community by doing something simple: recycling. Think you can't make a difference? You CAN - just ask the Can Lady. She basically started a recycling initiative that donates field trips and supplies to teachers all funded by cans that you toss and she recycles. Since its inception the project has generated more than $60K in donations. What CAN you do?
"I could sit around, do nothing and complain, or I could get up and do something to get money in the hands of teachers and teach kids about recycling." - Mary Stumpp
In this episode, hear how she got started, why she started the project, how she drew the attention of Mike Rowe's Facebook series, and so much more.
To learn more, make a donation, and to help The Can Lady visit facebook.com/thecanladyproject/
Deb Gardner: A badass cyclist, marathoner, Pickleball player
In 2017, Deb completed a 50 by 60 challenge with her husband – where they ran a marathon in all 50 states before they turned 60 (they’ve actually completed over 60 marathons AND a 100 mile race). In 2018, they crossed off their bucket list a bike ride across the country (literally from coast to coast). And as if that isn’t enough, a month after they finished their coast-to-coast ride, they started planning a ride along the Continental Divide.
When she's not running or cycling, she's busy with her seven adult children, five grandsons and two granddaughters. She cooks a “healthyish” scratch meal for her extended family of 21 once a week. Deb is retired, which according to her means working on her bucket list: volunteering, spending time with her family, and lots of self-directed learning. In addition to learning to play Pickleball and solving Wordles, Deb is teaching herself Spanish and French so she can better communicate with the Spanish and French speaking neighbors in the food pantry where she volunteers weekly.
She talks about all this and more in this episode of Badassery Life.
Cara Berg Raunick: A badass advocate for women's and sexual health, abortion, and more
In this episode we talked with Cara about her career, her fight for women and women's sexual health, and her persepctive on Roe v Wade and abortion. Listen to this episode and learn why she's passionate about vulva vaginal disease and about her purpose of bringing light to dark places. Cara talks about things people don't like to talk about and finds a way to normalize them. She's using her voice and her voice needs to be heard.
Cara Berg Raunick is a doctorally-prepared women’s health nurse practitioner and a lifelong advocate for women’s and sexual health. She’s involved with an organization called PATH4YOU, a diverse team of healthcare providers and individuals passionate about quality reproductive care for all AND she’s serving as concert co-producer of SPRING AWAKENING, benefiting All-Options Hoosier Abortion Fund taking place at the Cabaret in Indianapolis on August 13. (visit riverbendproduction.com/springawakening for tickets)
Lindsey Rabinowitch: a badass, proud mom of a transgender daughter
Lindsey is a wife, mother of two, volunteer, co-founder of an annual memory run/walk in memory of her mom, and an active member of her church. She's also on a journey being a parent of a transgender daughter. She's learning how to support her child who is gender diverse, doesn't fit the norms and struggles with anxiety, ADHD and depression. Lindsey is supporting her child with beauty, grace and in such a badass way that inspires others.
Lindsey told us she's "a mom trying to love, support my children and create equity, inclusion and belonging in the world (through my motherhood and work)". She's loyal, authentic, kind and devoted to her family and values, loyal. She has incredible grit.
In this epsiode, Lindsey talks about her challenges, feeling vulnerable and the support network helping her walk this beautiful and tough transgender journey.
Suzi Dent: living her badassery life as a #metoo movement warrior for other women
Suzi is considered to be one of the women at the beginning of the #metoo movement. She was a key witness on a harassment trial against a popular celebrity in her home country of Australia. In 2014, she found herself in a London Court room, getting her inner warrior on in support of all women who have been victimized, by sharing her story to the world as a bad character witness in the child sexual assault trial of an international British star. We talked about that and more.
Her past has been filled with challenges: self-esteem issues, she almost went bankrupt, had a dysfunctional family on both sides that involved drug and alcohol addiction and suicide. But today, Suzi is a multi-award winning film and television hair and makeup artist and an international award-winning motivational speaker. She’s also the author of the upcoming book series Bare Naked and Beautiful, a live audience talk show host and MC, an educator, a facilitator, a mother, an ex-wife, a Holistic Confidence Coach, a model, and Mrs Earth Australia 2017.
Shelly Snider: A badass advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and trans youth
Shelly is a mother, wife, musician, lesbian, Christian, hippie, helper, leader, and listener. She’s also the new (and first female) Executive Director of Indy Pride – an Indianapolis-based nonprofit that produces events that educate, honor our history, and celebrate the diversity of the Indianapolis Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community.
In this episode we talked with Shelly about her challenges (personally and professionally), feeling vulnerable, what makes her happy, what's led to her success, and the incredible work she's doing for the LGBTQ+ community and her advocacy work on behalf of trans youth.
Shelly shared that she's living her badassery life bcause she has "the great opportunity to represent a whole community and provide opportunities for them to connect with each other."
Susan Baughman: a badass woman leading Indy's biggest sporting events
For the past two decades, Susan Baughman has played a major role in Indy's biggest sporting events. Most recently, she served as the president of the 2022 College Football Playoff Host Committee - a female sports executive leading that event for the first time in Indianapolis. She's a long-time leader in the Indianapolis sports movement who likes creating positive connections with people. She describes herself as positive, tenacious and friendly - we describe her as a true badass!
In this episode she talks about growing up on a farm, her challenges in the business world, what really matters to her, and more. Find out how she was able to build a pool in the then "Conseco Fieldhouse" for the 2024 World Swimming Championships, how she likes to keep in touch with people for years to see them progress in life, and what the playbook looks like for her future.
Britnee King is living her badassery life as a bold, beautiful boudoir influencer
Britnee talks about one of the biggest challenges of her life (an unexpected divorce) and how she turned it into opportunities for personal growth, advocacy (body positivity, mental health awareness, self-care, self-love, embracing strength as a woman), and creativity. After her divorce, she signed up for a year-long influencer program with Bethany Quinn Stuidos – an Indy-based photographer who exclusively shoots black-and-white boudoir.
After her first shoot, Britnee saw in the pictures a woman who was not defined by her brokenness. She was a woman picking up her broken pieces and putting herself back together however she saw fit, answering to no one. She was liberated.
In this episode, Britnee talks about feeling vulnerable, finding self-love and strength, and the incredible power of a boudoir photo shoot.
Jennifer Buchanan: Beautifully Curvy, Confident, Chaotic, and Badass
Jennifer describes herself as friendly, genuine and driven. Others describe her as outgoing, confident, passionate. As a wife, mother of 3, a business owner of a new specialized boutique focused on women sizes 12/14 through 22/24, and a survivor of an eating disorder she battled for more 20 years, we describe Jennifer Buchanan as a true badass!
She opens up about her eating disorder and addictions and her newfound purpose and passion: "Her Beautiful Chaos" boutique. She talks about her struggles and successes and why she wants to encourage women to enjoy feeling comfortable and bold in the skin they are in.
Her online boutique opens 2/4/22 - www.HerBeautifulChaos.com
Lauren Bavis: an investigative reporter, co-host of Sick podcast, a badass
Lauren is an investigative reporter based at WFYI in Indianapolis and the co-host of Sick, a podcast about what goes wrong in the places meant to keep us healthy. Before she became one of our favorite podcast co-hosts, she honed her journalistic skills at The Herald-Times, in Bloomington. She grew up outside of Annapolis, Maryland and attended Towson University where she majored in journalism – and met her now husband. The two of them moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 2012 after graduation.
In this episode, Lauren dishes the dirt on season 2 of Sick, where she and her co-host focus on prisons - places that have to keep people healthy, but are built to push them. Bad ass!! She also talks about her career, successes, challenges, and what she's doing to live her badassery life!
Follow her on Twitter @lauren_bavis
Jen Edds: a badass woman with her own company, podcast ... and a ukulele
Jen is a full-time podcaster, podcasting editor, and consultant for local business owners. She also has a daily motivational podcast called The UkuDaily Dispatch where she delivers daily inspirational ditties AND she released her first album. Her mission is "to help the do-gooders of the world make a profound impact by putting them in the ears, heads, and hearts of new audiences with podcasts and other audio content." She describes herself as Curious, Loving, and Happy. We describe her as a badass and someone we should all know!
In this episode we talked with Jen about her career, her music and her ukulele, her challenges and successes, and even things like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Andrea Homoya is living her badassery life as the Founder of Ash & Elm
Cheers to this badass woman! Andrea Homoya is the Founder & CEO of Ash & Elm Cider Co. in Indianapolis. She opened the company with her husband, Aaron in 2016, and just 5 years later they have not 1, but 2 locations; ciders AND food, and they’re leading the way in building Indiana into a cider state.
She grew up all over the world, spending her youth in Tanzania, California, and Singapore before settling in Indianapolis. Her career path is just as interesting – from an internship coordinator at a local high school to a community health worker project coordinator to a research assistant and a wellness advocate before becoming the founder and CEO of Ash & Elm Cider Company.
In this episode, we talk about everything from her past to what she has planned for the future; her challenges and her successes; and why she's fine with just being ‘good enough’ instead of being obsessed with perfection.
Learn more about Andrea, Ash & Elm, and become an "In-cider" by visiting ashandelmcider.com
Join other badass women on our first Badassery Life field trip in 2022. We're heading to Ash & Elm. Sign up here: www.facebook.com/events/2726924167611893/?ref=newsfeed
Nicole Kearney is living her badassery life as the Black Vintner and Founder of Sip & Share Wines
Cheers! This badass woman took her hobby and love of wine and became the Vintner and Founder of Sip & Share Wines - a boutique winery that’s passionate about creating community with wine for underrepresented wine lovers! Nicole is a writer turned winemaker with a Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing. When she’s not creating vegan wines, she’s writing for stage or web. We talked about her career, her biggest challenges of being a black woman winemaker (she's part of just 1% of Black winemakers and .01% of Black women winemakers), being vulnerable, and becoming successful. ALL WHILE TASTING HER FABULOUS WINES!!
Listen to the full episode to learn how she envisions the energy of each of her wines, her interest in creating more wine brand ambassadors and tips for first-time home winemakers - although after tasting her wines during the podcast, we say skip making it at home and buy from Nicole's selection at Sip & Share Wines.
Ashley F---ing Metro is living her badassery life as an artist and advocate
Ashley Metro is a 21-year-old artist based in LA and Austin. She does body art and styling, murals, canvas work, and photography, and drawn comparisons to Keith Haring. Just a few days before her 20th birthday she was personally selected by Gabbie Carter to style and body paint the performer for the 2019 Pornhub Awards. You'll have to listen to the episode to know why she uses Ashley F---ing Metro.
She has an unrelenting focus to achieve her dreams and take full advantage of any opportunity made available to her. Ashley talks about being a voice for positive change, her artistic influence, challenges she faces as a young artist, and more. Oh, did we mention that she created art for Dave Navarro?
While her artwork speaks for itself in regard to its ability to change lives, she is also actively pursuing several charity opportunities where she can help people in need directly.
Brittany Conrad is living her badassery life in the pool after losing her leg
Brittany hasn't let anything stop her from doing what she wants to do - including a lawnmower accident at the age of 4 that left her with a prosthetic leg. Today, at the age of 11, she has swam her way into multiple National competitions and has broken 5 National records. We talked with Brittany about the accident, how she faces daily challenges as an amputee, her success in the pool, and more. We also talked with her mom about the accident, how they survived some of their worst days and how Brittany is excelling in the pool and in life.
Brittany has a goal to someday swim in the Paralympics - we look forward to that! This young badass girl is definitely someone to watch!
Dr. LaWanda Jobe is living her badassery life as an urban children’s book author
Growing up during an era where African American characters were limited or non-existent in the children’s books that she read, Dr. Jobe vowed to change that. She's passionate about creating stories for the young and young at heart that focus on children of color. She's having a blast living her badassery life creating these stories.
Life hasn’t always been easy though. Her mom died of Leukemia when she was just 8-years-old. She was a teen mom, single mom, a Type 1 diabetic, divorced, worked in corporate America for 17+ years, where she was overlooked and not promoted. She overcame those challenges with prayer, focus, dedication, determination and drive – and a lot of love and support from her family.
She opens up about her badassery life during this episode!
Aleanya Moore left the projects lives a badassery life as a mentor, speaker and Founder of Ladies Under Construction
Aleanya grew up living in low-income housing, had a no-show father and a schizophrenic mother who was addicted to both drugs & alcohol. Growing up in the projects witnessing drugs, violence & poverty, left Aleanya feeling unsure of what life had to offer, along with not understanding or valuing her worth. A high school basketball coach recognized her potential and pushed her into a more positive direction in life. Aleanya decided she would be the first in her family to go to college and pursue a degree. Today, she’s the Founder/CEO of Ladies Under Construction – a mentor outreach program for girls in the Indianapolis area.
She's incredibly inpsiring and gives the BEST advice.
- Dream big. Don’t give up. Remember why you got started. Be tenacious.
- Do it anyway. You’re already feeling the feeling, so continue on.
- Get a tribe of people that will push you on the days you can’t even push yourself.
Her thoughts about her nonprofit About Ladies Under Construction ... I think about construction. I think about foundation. I think about something being built. You think of yourself as a woman. You think about these young girls. What is the foundation that needs to be laid and how many layers need to be put on top of each other to help build her to be that woman she needs to be.
Tune in. Subscribe. Share.
To learn about her nonprofit, Ladies Under Construction: https://www.ladiesunderconstruction.org/
Eilise Lane is living a badassery life as the CEO & Head Brewer of Scarlet Lane
Eilise is one of the few female brewmasters in Indiana, she's the CEO of Scarlet Lane Brewing Company, where 85% of her leadership team is female, and she's on a mission to inspire other women brewers. Those are just a few of the reasons she's a badass! She's from Coatsville, IN and a graduate of Butler University. She completed her brewing degree at the American Brewers Guild in Vermont and trained with Ninkasi Brewing and Fort George Brewing in Oregon. She opened Scarlet Lane in 2014 - one of Indiana’s first female owned and brewed production breweries. Although successful, she's had some haters and harsh criticism along the way. Eilise talks about her successes and challenges, embracing the strange and unusual side of the company, and what the future holds for Scarlet Lane. Grab a beer (one from Scarlet Lane, of course!) and tune in!
Pamela Bliss is living a badassery life creating outdoor and indoor murals
Pamela was told by her high school art teacher that she couldn't paint. She showed her! Today, Pamela is living her badassery life supporting herself alone with her artwork. That's something Pamela says not many artists -- and not many female entrepreneurs can say. Pamela Bliss has found a niche and a portfolio that has given her credibility in the field. She's not afraid to tackle any project no matter how big or small.
Pamela paints large-scale interior and exterior murals and regular canvas size painting. Her subject matters include figures, landscapes, architecture, and portraits. Past murals include many historical, diverse, and ethnic subject matters. Most recently she painted the late Holocaust survivor and international humanitarian ambassador Eva Mozes Kor. Other celebrity work includes a 60-feet-tall Reggie Miller in Indianapolis; late author Kurt Vonnegut at 38 feet and Hoosier rocker John Mellencamp, 35-feet high in his hometown of Seymour.
In this episode, Pamela talks about her career path (she went to college to become a teacher), her start as an artist, stories about some of her celebrity paintings, her successes, her challenges, what matters most, and so much more.
Living a Badassery Life: From Being Shot and Left for Dead to Serving Celebrities and Opening Her Own Restaurant
Jasmine West is the owner of Muva’s Kitchen – soul food, down home cooking. She opened her restaurant in 2020, amidst the pandemic. The date of her opening is significant and very personal. It falls on the anniversary of the day she was shot at 11 times and left for dead. Her friends were shot and killed. She was 21. When she recovered, she turned to sex, drugs, and partying to take away the pain. She ended up getting pregnant and that changed her life. Her parents were addicts and she wanted a better life for her child. That’s when she got clean and got into culinary school. Today, she owns her own restaurant. But before she ventured out on her own, she spent several years making meals and feeding celebrity athletes, including players from the Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts, many who remain her friends.
In this episode, she talks about growing up, the shooting that nearly claimed her life, how her life spiraled out of control during recovery, and how she turned her life around to become a successful chef and restaurateur.
Living a Badassery Life: From Swimmer to Singer/Songwriter
In her senior year at Indiana University, this badass woman was a 10 time All American swimmer breaking Big Ten records. Years later, Jenn Cristy is making records on her own. She's running an entertainment company, recording from her home studio, and performing concerts. Back at IU, she was discovered by Hoosier rocker John Mellencamp when she sang the National Anthem at an IU basketball game that he attended.
In this episode, Jenn talks about growing up in a white family, where kids in her school bullied her pretty fiercly. She gives us a glipse into her life as a musician and a swimmer, life on the road with Mellencamp, and her challenges and successes in the studio and owning an entertainment business.
Pat Carlini is living her badassery life reinventing herself after decades in the spotlight
This badass woman was the long-time anchor of Channel 13 Eyewitness News’s Sunrise and Noon programs, the side-kick on the Bob and Tom Show, an Indy-based, nationally-syndicated radio show, and a popular emcee for (more than we can count) community events. She dishes the dirt on her career, celebrities, and how she's reinventing herself after decades in the spotlight. Today, she's learning to adjust to being an empty-nester, finding her tribe, and building a career as a writer, speaker, voice and on-camera talent for a variety of groups/businesses. She gets real about challenges in her personal and professional life and what she's doing now to live a badassery life.
Lucy Riles is living her badassery life as the founder of Life of Mom
Lucy talks about life growing up, challenges and successes, love and loss, and so much more. During her first 5 years of motherhood, Lucy was raising a medically fragile child with special needs as well as suffered the loss of her mom to breast cancer and her stillborn son. Her story is one of hope after loss, love after heartbreak, and having an inner mother warrior strength during life’s most difficult times.
Lucy is a mother of four, wife, dog mom, youngest of 12 kids from the South Side of Chicago, content creator, storyteller, and founder of Life of Mom, a "virtual village" and safe space for moms worldwide. She's a two-time published author of MOM vs DAD: The Not-So-Serious Guide to the Stuff We're All Fighting About co-written with her husband, Tom. As well as From Belly to Baby: A Journal for Pregnancy and Baby's First Year. As if that's not enough, she's also a Season 1 contestant alongside her Black Lab, Duchess on Amazon Prime Video’s new hit series, THE PACK! (think Amazing Race but with your dog)
Leslie Nuss is living her badassery life as a musician, special needs advocate, and a survivor of a brutal attack
Leslie is a mother of two, including one special needs child, an advocate for the special needs community, a singer/songwriter, a fashion designer (clothes and accessories), and she's a survivor of an assault 20 years ago that was a gang initiation (she was at a movie theatre when she was attacked and stabbed multiple times. Leslie has seen it, done it, lived it. All the beauty, disappointment, sadness and glory of her life can be found in her songs.
She talked about her career, her music, her challenges and successes, and the horrific night she was attacked.
Alexa Curtis is living her badassery life as an entrepreuner, influencer, podcaster, and more
After being bullied as a kid, Alexa channeled her energy into writing a fashion blog at the age of 12. At 14, she scored tickets to the 2012 Fashion Week in New York City, by 17 she moved to Brooklyn, NY, studied high school online and continued to pursue fashion, which ultimately landed her sponsorships with Forever 21, British Airways and Jet Blue. She started a nonprofit in 2016 and so on and so on. Today, she's the CEO of Life Unfiltered with Alexa and produces her own podcast.
We talked to her about growing up hustling, the people who didn't believe in her, starting the nonprofit M.I.N.T., where she talks with teens about everything from cutting to sexting, suicide to body image, and more. We also talked about her success and what the future holds for her brand. For the person who told her she's a "nobody", we completely disagree! Alexa Curtis is a total badass!
Kristine Bunch is living her badassery life free from prison and helping other exonerees
"An electrical fire took her son. An arson expert took her freedom." Kristine spent 17+ years behind bars after being arrested and charged with setting a fire that claimed the life of her three-year-old son. In 2012, the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned her conviction after lawyers argued that arson evidence was wrong and key documents had been withheld from the defense before trial. Kristine was set free — 17 years, one month, and 16 days after her wrongful arrest. Today, Kristine is the co-founder of the nonprofit Justis4Justus, supporting exonerees as they transition back into society after wrongful conviction.
Kristine talked with us about that tragic day that she lost her son - and ultimately her life. She talked about the trial, her experience in prison, her family, fighting for justice, and the work she's doing with Justis4Justus. She's living her badassery life working to ensure that nobody else goes through what she did and that her 17 years in prison isn't wasted.
Michele Ladd is living her badassery life on the road, in an RV, offering hope and help to Veterans
Michele knows firsthand about INVISIBLE WOUNDS and how it can affect the individual and their loved ones. She’s the mother of 2 Veterans: a US Marine Combat Veteran and a US Navy Sailor. She’s also the daughter of a deceased Retired US Air Force LT. COL. Since 2017, Michele has been traveling the country in an RV raising awareness of PTSD, Suicide and Mental health in our military heroes. It’s part of a program called "Operation 22 to ZERO.” -- 22 veterans die by suicide every day. Michele uses the RV as place for veterans to talk out their feelings. She shares the message "Never Give Up Hope or Faith" with Military, Veterans and First Responders.
She started the nonprofit National Veterans Resources, is the CEO of a company called Heroes Home Advantage, runs a Real Estate business, and does it all - and more - from the road. She talks about what a typical week looks like, why this work is so important, and how people can get involved. Michele Ladd is an "RV hero gypsy" and a true badass!
To learn more about Michele and her work, visit https://nationalveteranresources.com/
She's living her badassery life training dogs for the Iditarod (1,000 miles of dog sled racing in Alaska)
This badass adventurous woman traveled to Alaska in 2017 to watch the famous Iditarod sled dog race, then returned as a volunteer at the Iditarod Ceremonial Start in 2018, and ultimately as a sled dog handler and trainer in 2019 - which is what she's doing now. The Iditarod is nearly 1,000 miles of dog sled racing in brutal conditions along a trail that takes mushers from Anchorage over mountain ranges and flat tundra to the western coast of Alaska, and finally to a town called Nome. Sherri explains that mushing and working with sled dogs is "strenuous, rewarding, fun, exhausting, dirty, peaceful, and so much more complex than what people see depicted in a photograph or video."
Sherri DeCoursey graduated from Purdue University with a TRIPLE MAJOR in English and writing, has worked as a writer, editor, and corporate marketer before she completely (and literally) switched gears to start racing go-karts before moving to faster, more powerful cars with roll cages after an accident left her with broken bones, second degree burns and a concussion. She was the first Executive Director of Indiana’s ovarian cancer non-profit, was the assistant Executive Director of a service dog non-profit that trained dogs inside Indiana prisons, got her yoga teacher certification and taught yoga around central Indiana, became a rep for Southern Living at Home in-home parties, and has traveled extensively to places like Thailand, Sweden, Central America, the UK, and Europe. Today you'll find her in Alaska working for mushers at their dog kennels training for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Sherri DeCoursey is definitely living a badassery life!
Mali Jeffers, co-creator of GANGGANG, is living her Badassery Life using her voice to create change
Malina Simone Jeffers (Mali) was called an Oreo growing up (black on the outside, white on the inside). Today, she's called a cultural architect, creative placemaker, community builder, artist advocate, and has even been referred to as “the unsegregator” by the Indianapolis Star because of her tireless work in diversity and racial equity. She talks with us about growing up in white schools and neighborhoods, her career path, spearheading the effort to have local Black artists create a Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Indianapolis, and her most recent endeavor: the creation of GANGGANG, an Indianapolis-based art incubator for artists of color. She's a badass working to challenge personal perspectives towards more equitable thinking.
She's living her badassery life intent on serving overwhelmed moms (all women, really)
This badass woman is a wife, hands-on mother of 4 boys, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, author, speaker, podcast host, and an avid reader (in the last five years she’s read over 250 books). She’s building her own company helping serve overwhelmed moms, while homeschooling her four sons. But it hasn’t always been easy. She’s been through a divorce and bankruptcy, yet she’s overcome them and come out of it with a life she loves.
Amber packed up her family and traveled across the U.S. for 16 months; 57 cities while her son performed in the Broadway musical School of Rock: The Musical. During that time she wrote the book Stretchmarks - an inspiring and funny book for moms, filled with practical parenting tips and tools. We talked about both experiences, her greatest challenges and successes, and what matters most and brings her joy.
These two chicks are living their badassery lives baking from scratch AND with whiskey
The two women behind Two Chicks Whisky talk about falling in love and getting married, their blended family, and how they went from baking desserts for school events to a food truck to a successful bakery, despite having any formal culinary or baking experience at all. Before the bakery, Paige was a bus driver in Avon; Rhonda continues to work full-time as a probation officer. They talk about overcoming challenges (including being a same-sex couple in a small town) to become successful bakers and business owners. We learned about their name and the secret behind their delicious recipes (and yes, some of their desserts are made with whiskey). Their mantra is: “Never give up on your dream, even if it's not always perfectly planned”. They don’t want the title of being the biggest name in desserts, but to be the best. Based on our interview, we think they're not only the best - but the most badass!
Tamara Winfrey-Harris is living her badassery life as a storyteller of the Black female experience
“I want to tell the stories of Black women and girls, and deliver the truth to all those folks who got us twisted—tangled up in racist and sexist lies. I want my writing to advocate for my sisters. We are better than alright. We are amazing.” Tamara is an author and writer who specializes in the ever-evolving space where current events, politics, and pop culture intersect with race and gender. We talked with Tamara about all of those things, and more.
Tamara is also the Vice President of Community Leadership and Effective Philanthropy at Central Indiana Community Foundation, where she is creating social impact by leading on critical community issues. We talked about that too.
She's living her badassery life helping teen survivors of sex trafficking
Did you know that human trafficking earns global profits of roughly $150 billion a year for traffickers, and that behind drugs, trafficking is the second most profitable organized crime in the world AND the average age a victim enters trafficking is 12 to 14 years old. Kellie Leeper is doing something about it! She's the Director of Communications & Development for Ascent 121, a nonprofit that provides advocacy and recovery services for Indiana teen survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation. She joined us to talk about her work and the work of Ascent 121, what listeners should know about trafficking, what signals and signs we should be aware of, and more. On a personal note, she talks about the importance of self-care, especially for women.