An insightful 2009 retreat stirred Tahlequah resident Erin Webb’s passion to see girls and women live free and fulfilled lives, and she continues to spread hope and open conversations through the nonprofit Beautiful You.
“I was stuck in a place where I was questioning my life: Does my life have meaning? Can I be used for good even though I don’t feel good? Can I make a difference? Is there any reason I am alive? At that retreat, I realized I was leaning into the wrong things to answer those questions. I realized I had been leaning in to the wrong things to find my value, purpose, and beauty,” said Webb. “My mistakes, my shortcomings, my imperfections didn’t disqualify from a life of purpose.”
Webb said Beautiful You was born on that retreat when a woman she didn’t know said to her, "You are so beautiful. You are beautiful inside and out, and you have such a beautiful heart.” Webb said she also learned to surrender her hurts and weaknesses to Jesus, so he may use them for his glory and to empower and encourage others.
“I hope that through Beautiful You, other girls and women will recognize, believe, and live out their own beauty with confidence,” she said.
Webb is a 2002 Tahlequah High School graduate, and she graduated from Northeastern State University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in communications.
The first Beautiful You conference was held in 2017, and the 2021 conference is set for April 10-11. It is open to all women ages 13 and older.
“The past few years, 29 Eleven Church hosted us and allowed us to use their facility. It will be our first year to have a retreat-style conference. New Life Ranch in Colcord, Oklahoma, is saturated with beauty and peace – the perfect setting to get away to rest and restore with wide-open spaces, beautiful grazing horses, rustic cabins, fireplaces and fresh air,” said Webb. “The theme is 'Wild & Free,' and I am so excited about what we have planned for the ladies who attend. Each year, our goal is to make women feel special, loved and encouraged to live free and fulfilled.”
There are one-day and two-day options for the conference, and early bird rates end Feb. 12. Conference speakers will include Webb, Jen Tomasik, Sabrina Miller, and Shanna Armbrust.
“Following a year that brought new stresses and trials, we are excited to provide an opportunity for women to disconnect from the world and refresh their hearts and minds,” said Webb. “Women who come will refuel their tanks so they can run with wild and free expectation and purpose.”
In June 2020, Beautiful You launched Table Talk, which is an opportunity for women to pull up seats to encouraging and life-giving conversations.
“So far, 20 different ladies have been given the opportunity to share their stories at the table,” said Webb. “Some exciting changes are in store for Table Talk in 2021 to go deeper into seldom discussed, yet often experienced, issues women face. In the midst of the pandemic, we realized women were missing out on conversations that mattered. We noticed a need for women to have a place to feel connected and have a place to be seen and to be heard. A dose of encouragement can sometimes go a long way.”
Webb hosts Table Talk with Felicia Graff, and in December, they started the first Tuesday edition. They encourage women to invite a friend to their table, or to join the Beautiful You group in person at Lift Coffee Bar at 7:30 p.m.
“We post a blog post with some thoughtful questions that can be used to help the conversation go deeper. But mostly, our hope is for women to connect with one another, whether that be at their dining room table, a coffee shop, taking a walk, or through FaceTime,” said Webb.
Videos of past Table Talks are on www.facebook.com/beautifulyou.love.
In October, Beautiful You began the Bella Experience, its mentoring program for girls ages 11-12. The group started with a Camp Bella to allow everyone to bond.
“The mission is to empower girls to discover, develop, and deploy their God-given purpose, beauty, and gifts. We meet monthly for an experience where we have lunch together, celebrate successes, learn valuable skills and meet with our small groups,” said Webb. “The girls are planning out their service project and we are working on getting them job-shadowing experiences in an area they are passionate about. We are looking forward to the end-of-the-year gala, where the girls will get to share their experience, and all proceeds will support next year's Bella Experience.”
The next cycle of the Bella Experience will begin in the fall.
“Our vision is a world where every girl and woman knows she is loved, irreplaceable, has something valuable within her that the world needs, and uses her beauty, gifts, and passions to change lives,” said Webb.
For more information about Beautiful You, its mission and events, visit www.beautifulyou.love.