We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Baer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea started as I was writing my book: from Beaten to Badass. I made and designed a bracelet to give myself motivation to keep writing. I then posted it on my Facebook page and people began to comment. They wanted to know if I would be willing to make them one that they could purchase. I started making and selling the bracelets and began giving a portion from every bracelet sold back to organizations supporting those impacted by Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. This is a cause that is very personal to me. Henceforth, my business, Beaten to Badass, was born.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault, I began telling others my story of grace and grit on my own road to recovery. The sharing of my story became the basis for my book. “from Beaten to Badass”. Through my memoir I give readers the strength, hope and courage to keep going and become the BADASS women they were always meant to be. I also founded the organization Beaten to Badass to empower and support those who have been beaten down in life. My life’s purpose is to confront the “elephants in the room” and give women strength. By inspiring and motivating, I teach survivors to leverage all of what life throws their way to bring out the powerful women they truly are and how they can become their own heroes. Through my coaching and speaking, I encourage survivors to look within themselves where they will find the power to unleash the badass within themselves. They may feel defeated and feel life is unfair by the cards they were dealt. However, the only way you lose is if you don’t learn and you don’t get back up. “You are a Badass.” By sharing my story, I have created a movement surrounding the elephants in the room. My book has become a survival guide in giving others a complete picture of many different challenges that life can throw at one person, especially domestic violence. Domestic Violence is only part of one’s story, yet my book shows the complete story of the before, the during and the after. I am most proud of my Make an Impact in 2020 mission. The Make an Impact focuses on the sponsoring of my book: from Beaten to Badass and having books sent to shelters across the USA (and internationally) to help those impacted by Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. When someone sponsors a book, they become the light in someone else’s darkness, showing them that they are not alone, and most importantly giving them strength, hope and courage to keep fighting for themselves. Currently, we are working with (and providing books to) 450 shelters in the USA and 2 internationally. Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota and Puerto Rico are all fully sponsored, which means that every domestic violence shelter in those states has at least one copy of the book: from Beaten to Badass. The feedback from the shelters has been incredible as most shelters see the book not only as a survival guide for their clients, but a resource guide for the employees, volunteers and advocates that help the victims and survivors navigate through the darkness of abuse. I got to where I am today because I kept speaking up and sharing my story. I put fear aside and knew I didn’t go through all the pain to stay silent. I knew that my silence would not only hurt me and slow my progress, but inhibit others that were looking for someone to be their voice. It’s a great responsibility knowing that if I wasn’t willing to speak up about abuse, then why would others. I share both in my book and through my speaking and coaching the lessons I have learned along the way that gave me the tools I needed to survive through it all. Lessons include, but are not limited to, acceptance, strength, faith, integrity, growth, mindfulness, and persistence. Yet, I didn’t do it alone. I gained insight and resilience on my journey with the help of mentors, friends, parents, and coaches who all made a difference in my life. Without them and the lessons they taught me; I don’t think I would be who I am today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend, Jennifer, and I are pretty laid back when it comes to hanging out. We both feel who we are with is more important than any place we could go. We both love being outside and in nature. Because Fall is the most beautiful season in Colorado, we would take full advantage of the cooler weather and the changing leaves. I would plan out a trip for us to take in the natural scenery and beauty that Colorado has to offer. First, when she arrived, we would start close to home and would go hike Chautauqua’s Royal Arch trail, and enjoy a picnic lunch at the top before we hiked back down. This would enable us to talk and share what is going on in our lives and discuss problems and solutions. My best friend and I absolutely love the mountains which are so beautiful this time of year. The colors are absolutely breath taking. Therefore, we would begin in Estes Park and enjoy the Estes Park Aerial Tramway. We would take the opportunity to take the scenic route of Trail Ridge Road and stop at the overlooks for the most breath-taking views and also a stop along the Hidden Valley Creek where we would hopefully catch a glimpse of the beavers emerging from their lodges. After a day of the Aerial Tramway and a scenic drive with occasional overlook stops, we would head to a hotel for the night to get rest. The next day we would explore the trails within Moraine Park and Bear Lake Road which is said to be one of the most picturesque areas in the park, taking in the nature, fresh mountain air and hiking from one mountain lake to the next. After a day or two, depending on how much trail we were able to cover, we would like to head back south to the Garden of the Gods, the Manitou Springs incline and then a nice train ride on the Royal Gorge Railway while enjoying a nice meal as we take in the scenic and historic sites. From there we would head back north to round out or trip and enjoy the Red Rocks and the trails that surround the beautiful flatirons. Sharing the natural beauty of Colorado would open us up to the splendor of the world and invigorate us in the pursuit of happiness in our lives.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, to God, for giving me a desire to be an individual. Next, to the love of my life, who has unconditionally loved me, supported me and motivates me to live my life with purpose and intention every single day. I include my Dad, for being an example of unquestionable strength, as well as my Mom, who taught me to accept myself as I am. Finally, to all those who are and who have been a part of my story. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. And, lastly, to all the women who have given me hope and inspiration by sharing their stories with me and encouraging me to do the same.