Meet Kelly Sayre

By Libby Bahr
Guest Author
Kelly Sayre Image

All women are born with a superpower: intuition.

Our situational awareness skills are naturally impeccable. We can read a room’s energy immediately upon entrance and interpret a friend’s intention by the subtle shift in her eyes.

These skills are vital when it comes to self-defense. The problem? Situational awareness is hardly taught, especially from a woman’s perspective.

Ladyboss Midwest visited with Kelly Sayre, founder and president of The Diamond Arrow Group and author of “Sharp Women.” Kelly shares her journey as an entrepreneur and discusses her passion for empowering women to feel safe in everyday life.


Tell me a bit about yourself! Where are you from and what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I grew up in a small Midwest town with about 500 people. I absolutely couldn’t wait to get out into the big, wide world as soon as I graduated high school. Eventually, I did make my way back and today I enjoy spending time with my husband, two young boys, and our 180-pound Great Dane.


What did your early career look like?

During my senior year of high school, I took an entrepreneurship class and fell in love with the concept of owning my own company. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what my “thing” was. I worked in the hospitality industry and for a women empowerment organization focused on executive peer groups and events (much like Ladyboss Midwest).

I absolutely loved sharing women’s stories. The opportunity to brag for other women was special to me because I discovered their tendency to remain humble about achievements. At this point in my career, I had found my passion: helping women recognize their own strength.


How did you discover your passion for situational awareness?

A friend of mine once set up a women’s self-defense class. At the time, I had never taken one and thought it sounded like a great opportunity to protect myself. In class, we spent the entirety of four hours on physical training. At the very end, the instructor quickly shared that physicality is actually the last thing to do. Instead, we should focus on situational awareness to avoid danger altogether.

My mind was blown! I wondered why I spent an entire class mastering physical skills that I’m supposed to avoid using.

I began to research: What is situational awareness? How do I know what threats to look for? The more I dug, the less I found. There was only one book published by a man in 1997. It’s an excellent book – deemed the “bible” of situational awareness – but it didn’t consider a women’s point of view. This was when I discovered the need for a woman’s perspective on situational awareness.


What led you to take the leap and start The Diamond Arrow Group?

I found this information fascinating and started sharing resources that women found helpful. Because I always dreamed of starting my own business, I decided to part ways with my previous job and build The Diamond Arrow Group from the ground up.


What inspired you to write ‘Sharp Women’?

I had recently taken the leap to launch The Diamond Arrow Group when the pandemic hit. I still wanted to share this knowledge with women but was unable to do it through in-person events and trainings.

Instead of giving up, I wrote the book I wanted when I first started training in self-defense. I did it by addressing readers as human beings and leading with practicality instead of fear.


How did you choose the book’s title?

Years ago, I read a piece discussing how an arrow can only propel forward by pulling backward.

I loved this perspective shift on facing challenges head on: When it feels like life is dragging you back with difficulties, focus and aim for the future. When it came time to name my company, I knew I had to incorporate this metaphor. Upon further research, I discovered that an arrow shot through a diamond symbolizes courage and protection from harm.

The mission of The Diamond Arrow Group is to help individuals, especially women, gain confidence in their personal safety skills so that they can live life on their terms. I don’t want women to stop traveling or jogging outdoors because they’re scared; I want to equip women with tools to confidently handle threats.

The truth is that many self-defense classes don’t address situational awareness in depth because it is a sticky topic, often easier to avoid. When it is addressed, the message typically uses fearmongering. I found that it comes from a very helpless place – and women aren’t helpless! We’re strong, intuitive, and deserve to feel safe.

Fear shouldn’t be the only way to learn. We learn through laughter, examples, and open discussion. These are all themes I incorporate into my book so readers feel as though they’re sitting next to me, having a glass of wine, and chatting about the threats women face and how we can protect ourselves against them.


What is the main theme you want readers to retain from ‘Sharp Women’?

By trusting yourself, you have the power to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Women’s intuition is so fine-tuned because of our natural care-taking tendencies, making us excellent at reading nonverbal cues. (It’s been proven in study after study that women are better at reading microfacial expressions and accurately interpreting them than men.) Although this phenomenon is usually recognized in terms of parenting – “moms know best” – it is the same skill we need to read potential threats.


Anything else you want to share about self-defense for women?

I believe that all women are born sharp, with feminine intuition as our superpower. Cutting through life’s crap – whether that’s society, friends, or family telling us what to do and who to be – dulls our edge.

All of us already have the tools we need to improve our self-confidence and personal safety. This book explains how to use your natural skills.

Women are not broken or helpless. We just need a little sharpening.