Two Friends Launch Badassery Life Podcast Celebrating Women’s Strength & Resilience
Last fall Kelly Young realized that she missed writing, so she decided to start a blog called “Badassery Life”, all about connecting with ordinary women doing extraordinary things.
“I didn’t care if anybody read it,” Young says. “It was more for me because I get so inspired, motivated and moved by women’s stories.”
One day Young and her friend Stevi Stoesz Kersh were chatting about the subject over lunch, when an idea struck.
“What if we turned my blog into a podcast?” Young asked. Stoesz Kersh was all in, and the pair set out to bring their idea to life. They gathered equipment and recruited like-minded females to help them in their quest – people like Ginny Doran, who believed in their mission and offered to volunteer time to edit segments.
“This is a personal passion project for all involved,” Young says. “None of us are getting paid.”
Young and Stoesz Kersh both work in public relations and marketing, and they believe in uplifting females. As for the podcast partnership, it seemed like a natural fit from the start.
“Why wouldn’t I want to do a badass thing with my badass friend?” says Young, president of Baise Communications.
They launched the podcast in January of 2020 and began sharing stories of resilience, strength, bravery and transformation. One story chronicled a domestic violence survivor whose estranged husband came to her house and asked, “Are you ready to die today?” He proceeded to brutally murder their toddler, then came after her. She escaped and has since become an advocate against gun violence. Another woman, following a divorce, gained a substantial amount of weight, slid into a depression, and was suicidal before turning her life around and becoming a bodybuilder.
“These women are impactful and are effecting positive change holistically,” Young says. “They are badasses in many different facets of their life. I don’t get caught up in the number of listeners. I just care about empowering women. If we can change one life or impact one person by a story we’ve told, that’s the purpose.”
The initial idea for the concept came after Young wrote her first blog highlighting a friend’s accomplishment of running three half-marathons in three days, in three national parks. Her friend confided that being an accomplished runner is not what she felt made her a badass – that came from the fact that she had overcome sexual abuse as a child.
“If you want to share that story, I think that makes me more of a badass,” the friend said.
Young and Stoesz Kersh believe that every woman has a story, and they are happy to provide a platform in which females can share those stories. They keep the podcasts between 30 and 35 minutes in length so that commuters can listen on their drive to or from work. The podcasts are aired every two weeks on Monday mornings.
In one of the podcasts, a woman chronicles leaving her job and volunteering her way around the world for an entire year. In another, a mother talks about her son, who had been a victim of gun violence. Shot in the head at the age of 16, his skull was shattered, taking away his ability to walk or talk again.
Young maintains that the greatest thing about the interviews is the way listeners connect with the females in purposeful, relatable, meaningful ways. Young and Stoesz Kersh’s hope is that they are not only empowering the women they are interviewing, but also empowering those experiencing the podcasts.
October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and these friends are proud to celebrate such an accomplishment.
“Women play so many different roles,” Young says. “We are entrepreneurs, coaches, moms, taxi drivers and advocates. Each role is equally important, but to be a woman-owned business is a challenge that should be celebrated and recognized.”
Born in Savannah, Georgia, Stoesz Kersh was raised by her grandparents in Linton, Indiana, after her military father died in a helicopter crash one month before she was born. Young, a mother of two, is glad her podcast serves to inspire her daughter.
“She’s even opened my eyes to some girls and women we should feature,” Young says.
The pair feel the podcast may be especially healing right now, when people might be suffering after months of social isolation.
“People are feeling alone,” Stoesz Kersh says. “Hearing these stories enables women to identify with others on some level.”
Young adds that feel-good stories are perhaps what many people might need at the moment.
“We want to find the positive beauty in the world,” she says.
For more information on “Badassery Life”, visit anchor.fm/badasserylife.