By Kelly Young/Stevi Stoesz Kersh
Badassery Life is a podcast about ordinary women doing extraordinary things. Women willing to share their stories - whether they are filled with heartbreak or amazing accomplishments. These inspiring women include social activists, moms, entrepreneurs, athletes, survivors, mentors, and more. Each has a unique and beautiful story about how they are living out their 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)
August 01, 2022
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.
April 25, 2022
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.
April 10, 2022
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."
March 21, 2022
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.
March 07, 2022
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.
February 14, 2022
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
January 31, 2022
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
January 17, 2022
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. instagram.com/brassybroadjen
January 03, 2022
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
December 20, 2021
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. https://sipandsharewines.com/
December 06, 2021
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.
November 15, 2021
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!
November 01, 2021
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! bigmammashousebooks.com
October 18, 2021
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/
October 04, 2021
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!
September 20, 2021
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. www.PamelaBliss.Gallery
September 06, 2021
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.
August 16, 2021
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. http://www.jenncristy.com/
August 02, 2021
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.
June 28, 2021
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)
June 14, 2021
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.
May 03, 2021
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!
April 19, 2021
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.
April 05, 2021
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/
March 22, 2021
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!
March 07, 2021
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.
February 24, 2021
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.
February 15, 2021
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!
February 11, 2021
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.
February 01, 2021
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.
January 18, 2021
Susie Levan is living her badassery life after "Getting to Forgiveness"
In 1988, Susie and her seven year old daughter were kidnapped and held hostage in the trunk of her car. Her husband was a prominent bank executive and was the target of a bank robbery. They survived, but Susie suffered PTSD. She lost her career, her home, and ultimately her sense of safety and security. In her memoir "Getting to Forgiveness - What a Near-Death Experience Can Teach Us About Loss, Resilience, and Love", Susie talks about how she was able to deal with her near death experience. We talked to her about that frightful day, the death of her daughter from Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, her life today, and the work she is doing to help other women through the Work-Life Balance Institute for Women. Susie overcame two terrible tragedies, yet found a way to not only survive, but thrive. Today, she is a successful author, hypnotherapist, meditation teacher, reiki master/teacher, transformational leader, nondenominational pastoral counselor, and change agent. Susie Levan is definitely living a badassery life!
January 04, 2021
Anna Gremling is living her badassery life planning transportation projects that matter
This badass woman leads the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization, where she oversees a staff of 13 professional planners and an annual distribution of $47 million for transportation projects in an area that encompasses 1,520 square miles and includes eight counties and 27 cities and towns. That’s pretty badass! She describes herself as determined, dependable, and practical; while others may describe her as impartial, reliable and persistent. We talked with Anna about her career (and being in a pretty male-dominated industry), mentors, things that matter most to her, and advice she has for other women.
December 21, 2020
Ambre Crockett is living her badassery life blending fragrances
Ambre is the creator of Ambre Blends, a natural fragrance line she started in her basement before growing it into an international success. She's a driven and successful business owner, a mentor, a civic leader, a spiritual healer, a devoted friend and a true badass. She stays connected to things that feed her soul and helps her be creative. She talks with us about starting her business, how their fragrances are developed, giving back to the community, family life, and her '77 pinto.
December 14, 2020
KJ Johll is living her badassery life living "the Kinda Nerdy Life"
In this episode, we talked with KJ about her badass radio career, her work at the Make-A-Wish Foundation (where she has granted over 300 wishes), her podcast: The Kinda Nerdy GIrls, and her work as the Kitty Correspondent for Pet Pals TV. She's the second oldest of nine kids who grew up working on a farm, helped run a restaurant, and survived a house fire - all before she could drive. KJ talks about the most out-of-the ordinary/weird things she's done, her passion for pets (she has 4 rescue cats and 5 fosters who have a following of their own on Instagram at @kjscats., and raising money for causes she cares about. Today, she's living a badassery life because, as she said, “an ordinary life never presented itself as an option”. Did we mention she’s also a licensed real estate broker and a second level Reiki practitioner.
November 30, 2020
Stevi Stoesz Kersh is living her badassery life as a caregiver, biker babe and an animal advocate
Stevi is a loving caregiver to her 103-year-old mother (technically her grandmother) – the hardest, most important and remarkable job she’s ever had. She’s living her badassery life as a confident woman who knows who she is and why she’s here: “to build community and protect animals”! She’s a badass biker babe who started a biker club for women, a devoted animal lover who has four special needs dogs of her own, and the co-host of the Badassery Life podcast who allowed us to turn the mics on her for this special episode.
November 16, 2020
Amber Rose Heimann is living her badassery life while rebuilding dignity in Haiti
Amber grew up in Decatur, Indiana, graduated from Purdue University, then went on to do amazing social work. Some who know her have called her a saint for the work she's doing, to which she responds "there are two requirements for sainthood: being dead and being in Heaven and I'm not either". Rose founded PeaceCycle, a small startup business that gives employment opportunities to Haitians. She talks about her journey in creating PeaceCycle (she admits to being naïve) , the challenges of living in - and starting a business in Haiti (including being robbed), and the process of transforming a 4-ounce water bag into a treasure rather than trash. Amber is an incredibly gifted social activist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a true badass! Learn more at peacecycle.com
November 02, 2020
The Badassery Life team goes rogue and talks about caregiving, podcasts, Disney World, and more
In this episode the Badassery Life team decided to talk about the things going on in their lives. Stevi talked about caring for her 102-year-old mom, Kelly talked about a few new podcasts she's producing, and Ginny talked about her recent trip to Disney World - and all three talked about the upcoming holidays and whatever else was on their mind.
October 25, 2020
This badass woman is the voice for her son years after he fell victim to gun violence
DeAndra Dycus feels vulnerable every time she hears about another shooting in our city. She admits it's tough navigating through so much grief. Her son, DeAndre, fell victim to gun violence at the age of 13. He was at a birthday party when a fight broke out and a gun was fired. 20 bullets were shot into the house. One bullet hit one person – Dre. That one bullet – a bullet that shattered her son’s skull – permanently altered the course of his life and DeAndra's life. This episode tells a story of the incredible love a mother has for her son – a love so strong that when doctors advised her to remove her son from life support he opened his eyes. At that moment, she believed he was telling her to fight for him. DeAndra wants people to know that her tears and her sincerity are real - yet her fight comes with a cost. Hear more about that fight and how DeAndra is living her badassery life despite the most horrific tragedy.
October 18, 2020
Tina McIntosh is living her badassery life running an adult day center, kicking cancers a--, and writing a book
This badass woman is a two-time cancer survivor, a wife (to a husband who is currently living with cancer), a mom with three kids, the founder of Joy's House - a nonprofit in Indianapolis that provides adult day service and caregiver support for adults living with life-altering diagnoses and their families who care for them. She's also the only badass women we’ve interviewed who raises chickens and goats on top of everything else she has going on in her life. Tina McIntosh describes herself as a Christian, resilient and authentic. We talked about starting a nonprofit, the role of a caregiver, fighting cancer, writing her first book, "Embracing Balance", (she's looking for a publisher), and what brings her the most joy.
October 05, 2020
Marisa Kwiatkowski is living her badassery life as an investigative reporter at USA Today
Marisa handles investigations relating to social services and welfare issues, including child abuse and neglect, poverty, elder abuse, human trafficking, domestic violence and access to mental health services. While at the Indianapolis Star, she was among the investigative team that exposed officials at USA Gymnastics and their team doctor, Larry Nassar, in what turned out to be the largest sexual abuse scandal in sports. That award-winning investigation led to the documentary film, “Athlete A,” which was recently released on Netflix. Marisa talked to us about her love of writing, mentors who have made a difference in her life, righting wrongs, and staying caffeinated in order to educate, inform, and entertain the public with accurate information. She’s passionate about the truth, sharing the truth with the public, and improving the lives of the communities she serves as a journalist.
September 21, 2020
Sara Hauck is living her badassery life as the host of the podcast Facing Fear and owning her unapologetically authentic life
Sara describes herself as an ever-evolving badass female, communicator, writer, reader, motivator, fitness trainer, adrenaline junkie, explorer, sister, daughter, wife, and friend. She is constantly pursuing opportunities to make the world a better place and has a deep passion for storytelling. She's a guest blogger and social media host for Fittest Travel, and the host of her own podcast, Facing Fear with Sara, where she features individuals who are living unapologetically authentic lives and defining success on their own terms. Sara shared her top tips for facing fear, what makes her happy, why we should live unapologetically lives (she believes women apologize too much and life is too short for that), and why we should own our badassery lives.
September 07, 2020
Saundra Mitchell is living a badassery life as an award winning author after dealing with sexual and physical assault, homelessness, her brother's suicide, and more
Saundra Mitchell is the author of nearly twenty books for tweens and teens. For twenty years, she was the head screenwriter and an executive producer with Dreaming Tree Films on their various teen filmmaking programs. Saundra's latest book, "All the Things We Do in the Dark", is on the shortlist for the Indiana Authors Awards (winner to be announced Sept. 1). But before becoming a successful author, advocate, and mom, she overcome incredible grief, pain and anguish. Saundra grew up poor, was sexually assaulted by a stranger when she was 7, she was physically assaulted by both her first boyfriend and girlfriend (not at the same time), her younger brother died by suicide when she was 16, she was kicked out of the Army for being queer, got pregnant and married young, AND spent a brief time homeless. But Saundra says she has a lot of spite. She's determined to keep going no matter how many times she gets kicked in the face. As she shared with us, "she still has MF-ers to prove wrong!". She talked with us about some of her personal experiences and how they are portrayed in her new book, how she got started as an author, how therapy and writing is helping her deal with her own pain, and what the future holds. After listening to her interview, we think you'll agree that Saundra Mitchell is a real badass!
August 24, 2020
Jill English is living her badassery life speaking her truth and stopping racism in its track
When we asked this badass woman what, if any, challenges she faced, she said: "I'm a black woman in Indianapolis, where do I start?". We decided to start by asking her more questions. In this episode we talk with Jill English about racism, the disproportionality in the child welfare system, investing in change, addressing systemic racism, being vulnerable, and having difficult and uncomfortable conversations. Jill English has worked in child welfare for more than two decades and although her roles have changed over the years, her mission has remained steadfast - she has always been motivated by the kids and that drives her work each and every day. Jill is the Director of Interrupting Racism for Children at Child Advocates.
August 10, 2020
Martha Hoover left sex crimes to follow her lifelong passion for food; she now owns 12 restaurants, runs a nonprofit foundation and oversees 400 employess
This badass woman is a powerhouse business trailblazer and a leader in bringing farm-to-table dining to Indianapolis. She opened her first Indianapolis restaurant in 1989. She’s a former sex crimes prosecutor who has a lifelong passion for food – a passion that has led to a successful collection of establishments. She’s known as a tireless worker, a charismatic host and speaker, and an impassioned feminist and believer in “female capital.” We talked with her about growing up, the importance of family and food, her former career as a sex crimes prosecutor, her restaurants, and the Patachou Foundation - including the incredible work they're doing to serve 1000+ meals a week to food-insecure children. Martha shared with us what matters most to her, what brings her joy, and the three words that she thinks best describe her.
July 27, 2020
Lindsay Manfredi is living out her badassery life as a mom, rocker, author, candle maker, and more
Lindsay launched her debut book - the first book in spirituality and self-development with F*** in the title. She wrote it for rockers in mind, but in this 224-page memoir and personal development book, Lindsay shares her personal experiences with bullying and abuse, the celebrations of living a creative life, and wisdom learned along the way. She talks with us about how her book, how her spider tattoo got her into the band Cold (she's the bassist), cancelled tours because of the pandemic, being a mom on the road, starting the nonprofit Girls Rock Indianapolis, and how she got into making candles - including a Cold candle and candles for Mötley Crüe. Lindsay is definitely badass!
July 13, 2020
This badass woman overcame depression, a suicide attempt, and more to become a successful bodybuilder, entrepreneur, and author
Lizbeth Ayala Najera is living out her badassery life as someone who has made an incredible transformation – mentally, physically and emotionally. She endured a divorce, alcoholism, deep depression resulting in a dramatic weight gain, and a suicide attempt before she found the strength to become a fierce bodybuilding competitor and entrepreneur with her own workout apparel line (LizKari LLC). She is also an author (“Our One Miracle”, which she co-authored with her twin sister). We talked to Lizbeth and her sister about family, pain, passions, and about being advocates of depression and suicide prevention. We also had a good laugh about cheat (or s---) days!
June 29, 2020
This badass woman created Overdose Lifeline after her son died from heroin: Meet Justin Phillips
Justin Phillips is the Founder and Executive Director of Overdose Lifeline, Inc. – an Indianapolis-based nonprofit she founded in 2014 to help prevent opioid deaths and reduce the stigma of addiction. She is the mom to Audrey, Bryan and her son, Aaron, who died from an overdose on October 9, 2013. He was 20. She has dedicated her life to Aaron's memory and is working to make a difference so that nobody has to experience what she did. Justin talks with us about her recovery, her son's addiction, stigma and shame, heroin - the drug that killed her son and has fueled her advocacy work - and the nonprofit she created in Aaron's memory. This episode is co-hosted by Amanda Kingsbury and supported by Indy Maven.
June 15, 2020
Jayna Ledford is "En Pointe" and living her badassery life as a transgender ballerina
In January 2018, at the age of 18, Jayna posted a beautiful dance shot of herself to Instagram. The picture – and her story – received national attention. That’s because when she started dancing at the age of 5, she was the only boy at her dance studio. Years later, the dance scholarship she received at the Kirov Academy of Ballet was a "male" scholarship, which she lost after coming out. She always knew she was meant to be a girl dancing the girl roles. Today, Jayna Ledford is living out her badassery life wearing leotards, tights and pointe shoes. She’s a dance and exercise science major at Montclair State University, is heavily involved with her Filipino culture, and is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Jayna talked with us about her journey as a trans ballerina: her challenges, the support she received from family and friends, the national attention she received when she came out, and her plans for the future.
May 31, 2020
Amy Brinkley overcame addiction, jail, divorce, and her brother's suicide to live her badassery life
Amy credits stubbornness, grit, and God for helping rebuild her life that was nearly destroyed by her drug addiction. Today she is sober and working for the Indiana State Division of Mental Health and Addictions as the Bureau Chief. She is an advocate for the "lost voices" and looks for opportunities to reach back and help others. One of her biggest passions is prison ministry. Amy talks to us about overcoming her addiction, getting her life back, and what brings her happiness.
May 18, 2020
Cassie Stockamp continues living her badassery life despite COVID-19 cutting her world travels short
Cassie was living in Columbia, had plans to bike ride across the U.S. and eventually join the Peace Corp - then COVID-19 changed everything. We caught up with her on her travels, the unfortunate timing of COVID-19, and how her journey has completely changed. She talks about her short (but amazing) time in Columbia and the need to get home in the wake of the pandemic. Find out why she chose the word "surrender", what she's doing to find purpose, and how she likens this experience of a cocoon to the butterfly.
May 04, 2020
DJ Gabby Love livin' her badassery life as one of the most sought after DJs
DJ Gabby Love talks about wanting to be a DJ at the age of 16 - and how she put that dream on hold to go to college and travel the world as a hair model. Today, she's half of a DJ power couple, turning tables at parties and high profile events around the world. Her success hasn't come without challenges and sadness, including her father's death, a house fire that destroyed everything, and the perceptions (and misperceptions) of being a top female DJ in a male dominated industry. COVID-19 has her spinning records virtually and trying to figure out what's next. Listen to learn more about DJ Gabby Love - including what music she chose when asked to curate the music for Former First Lady, Michelle Obama.
April 26, 2020
Denise Herd talks about her career, her truth, being vulnerable, and the importance of sisterhood
Denise talks about how life can throw us curve balls and knock us off our stilettos, but she chooses faith over fear, which is one of the many things that has helped her succeed. We talked about everything from her proudest career moments, being vulnerable, the importance of sisterhood, and her word for the year. She stands in her truth about what she wants her voice to do, what she wants her company to do, and what she represents.
April 13, 2020
The Just Pop In! twins talk about their gourmet popcorn, their family bond, and challenges of being entrepreneurs
These two badasses love to celebrate happiness - and they make others happy with the best popcorn company on the planet. They were raised by entrepreneurs, have incredibly tight family roots, a love for life, and the gift of connection. They talked with us about their Uncle Kevin, who died from HIV and inspired their philanthropic spirit; their purpose and passion with their popcorn; and the business of hospitality. But things haven't always been so sweet for these successful entrepreneurs - a friend they hired to help build their dream cafe screwed them over and they talked about it for the first time with us. Our conversation with Mandy and Carly was raw, emotional and real! Listen to what's popping with the Just Pop In twins!
March 30, 2020
Jessica DiSanto talks about United Way's COVID-19 relief fund and being a mom and a PR professional during this crisis
Jessica DiSanto talks about being a mom and a PR professional during COVID-19. As Director of Communications for United Way of Central Indiana, we were interested in the $16.5 million Central Indiana COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund and what they're doing to support human services organizations and the individuals and families they serve who are affected by the Coronavirus. She also talks about a four-hour Cross Fit inter-gym competition, skydiving, and keeping our humanity during this time. Stay safe, healthy and kind!
March 19, 2020
Indy Maven co-founders talk about careers, fears and not giving a F---!
These badass women took a small idea and made it big in just a few short months. They had the audacity to just do it and didn’t ask for permission. As storytellers they saw major gaps in storytelling for women and they created Indy Maven to fill those gaps. Along the way – and throughout their lives – they’ve dealt with hardships, heartbreaks and overcome some incredible challenges to achieve great successes. Indy Maven is a way for these women to take all of the things they wanted to see happen for women in their city from a media and community perspective and bring them to fruition.
March 16, 2020
Jamie Little talks about being the first woman in the pit, outworking the next person, dogs, and her favorite bundt cake
This badass woman learned from her mom to "say yes first and figure it out later". With that advice in mind, Jamie became the first pit reporter to cover the Indy 500 - and the first to cover the Daytona 500 and Indy 500 in the same year - and was the first female reporter in X Games history. But being the “first female” isn’t necessarily what drives her. She’s also a dog lover, cake baker and a franchisee (she and her husband own two Jimmy John’s in Las Vegas and Nothing Bundt Cake in Indianapolis). She’s a wife, a busy mom of 2 young kids and 4 rescue dogs. She's also a sideline reporter for America's Top Dog on A&E. But what really makes her happy? Having happiness, joy and balance.
March 01, 2020
Cassandra Tanner Miller talks about the horrific tragedy that led to her son's death and the strength she found to make change
This badass woman is on a mission to make sure others don’t experience the violence she did when her estranged husband beat her, shot and killed their baby, and then turned the gun on himself. She is courageously speaking up and telling her story to make change in domestic violence policies. She feels law enforcement, the Illinois National Guard and the judicial system all let her down – and she’s doing something about that.
February 16, 2020
Emily Longnecker talks about her attack, her career, Babyface, and more
This badass woman is living her most badassery life as an award-winning reporter for WTHR - one of Indianapolis’ top news stations. Her passion for storytelling has earned her 7 Emmy Awards, multiple Emmy nominations and recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists. But a few years ago, the news turned in a different direction for Emily when she was attacked in broad daylight and her station covered the story - her story. She talks about that attack and the people who helped chase the man down. She also opens up about her career (including covering the crash of Flight 93 on 9/11), her tribe, her crush on Babyface, and much more.
February 02, 2020
Jennifer Rubenstein talks about Edible Indy, farm-to-table and her favorites
This badass woman is the publisher and co-owner of Edible Indy. She is the head recipe creator in the Edible Indy Test Kitchen and loves bringing the Midwest comfort food to the table with a fresh and farm-to-table twist. She also is the co-founder of a nonprofit, a wife, mother and an artist wanna be. She dishes the dirt with us in this episode.
January 26, 2020
Cassie Stockamp talks about traveling the world in search of truths
This badass woman has been a business owner, president of a non-profit, yoga instructor, social activist, mom to two amazing women, and more. Meet Cassie Stockamp. She talks with us about traveling around the world in search of truths. Truths about herself. Truths about ways to live. Truths about the "other." In the past year, she has had incredible experiences in places like Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, India, Argentina, South Africa, Ecuador and Zambia.
January 24, 2020
Gail Payne talks about unapologetically pursuing a professional career as an actor
This badass woman is tenacious, determined and passionate – but it took her several decades of living a comfortable life before she set out to live her badassery life! Meet Gail Payne. She is unapologetically pursuing a professional career as a performing artist in New York City. She's all in 110%. She's exposed, vulnerable - and she loves it. Performing makes her feel alive. She shares some career setbacks, emotional heartbreaks and incredible experiences with us AND ends the podcast by sharing her talent with us.
January 20, 2020
Jenni White talks about The Vagina Monologues, living and working in the LGBTQ community, and more
This badass woman has a special gift and ability to create a brave space for people to feel more at ease, to become the best version of themselves, and to spread that feeling within and among others. She does that by being the best, most authentic version of herself! Did we mention she's known as "The Moaner" in The Vagina Monologues?!? Meet Jenni White. Jenni is living her most badassery life as the founding executive director of Trinity Haven, Indiana’s first and only home for LGBTQ youth who are experiencing homelessness and housing instability.
January 13, 2020