How a life-changing moment didn’t stop Eric LeGrand from finding his purpose

Eric LeGrand is the founder of Eric LeGrand Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Eric LeGrand thought his life was over on Oct. 16, 2010, but little did he know from that day forward, he was going to step into the true purpose of his life. LeGrand has shown a level of hard work and dedication throughout the years. He’s been able to inspire and help others around them live out their dreams.

LeGrand is now the founder of Eric LeGrand Kentucky Straight Bourbon, his first entry into the spirits industry.

Tell us about your spirits brand.

About two and a half years ago, I reached out to my now business partner about starting my own spirits line. The reason behind it was I traveled all around the country and the world, and I’ve had my fair share of cocktails and beverages. A lot of times people look at me and they say, “Wow, you can drink?” Just because I have a spinal cord injury and I’m in a wheelchair doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the finer things of life. I wanted to build my own brand around it because I knew people loved spirits, but I knew that it could also make a difference. When I reached out to him, we decided to come up with this whiskey, which we’re doing a bourbon right now, and that’s how we want to bring it out there.

What was that day like for you when you suffered your injury and how did it help you grow into the person you are today?

I thought my life was over when I was lying on that field, paralyzed, not knowing where life would take me. I’ve never been somebody that ever gave up. I know when people rely on me or go out of their way for me. I give them my best effort, and that’s exactly what happened.

After my injury, so many people were reaching out and praying for me, not only in this country but around the world. The message is, I took this on as a responsibility. How can I give up on all these people who have supported me? I put myself in that athlete’s mindset and I had to start grinding. I started working on controlling what I can control and everything else I’ll leave in God’s hands.

What mark do you want to leave with your business and everything you do?

I have a shirt that says, “Leave your mark.” I always tell people that I want others to look at me as a hero and inspiration. Someone who never gave up with the odds against him and still made the best of their life with what they were given with all the people that are around me and the people that God blessed me with. I want people to look and say, “You know what, he took full advantage of all those opportunities and lived his life to the best that he possibly could.” That’s what defines a hero to me.

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