“When you quit, you fail.” Every time you try and fail, you learn something about yourself and gain experience that can help you the next time.
I had the pleasure interviewing Kelly Revis.
As Safr’s Director of New Markets, Kelly Revis brings over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and entrepreneurship. Kelly is responsible for Safr’s growth and expansion across the U.S. and globally. An attorney and MBA, Kelly identifies opportunities, secures funding and support, and oversees business development and growth in new markets. Kelly is proud to further Safr’s mission — empowering women with the safest, best-in-class rideshare services globally — serving as a vital force in the company’s growth and visibility. Prior to joining the Safr team, she founded and served as CEO at Dirtstriker, a leading janitorial retailer that has served the Dallas Fort-Worth area for over 15 years. Previously, she served as a Director at Preferred Business Solutions, where she was responsible for sales, pricing structures and training. Prior to that, Kelly was an Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at Rhino Environmental Systems for over ten years, where she supervised company operations, customer relations and HR. She has also taught on entrepreneurship. Kelly holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Baylor University as well as both a J.D. and MBA from Texas Tech University. She lives in Frisco, Texas.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I always had a vision to make the world a better place. As a lifetime entrepreneur, I started several businesses from the ground up. Some successes, some failures, but every time, learning a tremendous amount about entrepreneurship, marketing and people. I was finished with my personal charge to keep up with the Jones’. While reflecting on the important question some years ago, “how can I give back?”, teaching was a lightbulb answer for me. Without having a degree in education, I took an alternative certification test, passed, got hired, and was teaching entrepreneurship at a highly-rated high school within months. Our world now needs entrepreneurs, as all the statistics show that 80% of all jobs thirty years from now have not yet been created. It is up to our youth to keep America strong and provide those jobs.
Once I was introduced to Safr, a new rideshare for women’s empowerment, I was immediately moved to join the team. Today, I lead the development of new markets and locations for the company. We are currently open in Central Florida, with national plans for expansion throughout the remainder of this year and next year.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
Over 36% of Americans have used a rideshare service, but reports have shown that most rideshares do not vet for safety — and rider experiences have suffered as a result. Safr is here to disrupt the troubled rideshare industry with a solution for both riders and drivers. On a global level, we are addressing the world-wide issue of inequality, particularly for women but also underserved groups like families, the elderly and the LGBTQ+ communities around the world. On a practical level, we are offering a better, safer and more reliable rideshare with benefits other rideshares do not offer.
Safr’s mission is to empower women through safety in rideshare. The Safr rideshare app — which is easy to use and available for download for iPhone here and Android here — has three main features that distinguish the brand: gender preference, identification matching, and trusted drivers. Safr offers drivers and riders alike a gender preference. We have a trusted driver option, so that a rider can choose the same driver over and over. We have a color match system so our drivers and riders are not getting into the wrong vehicle. We do the most extensive driver background checks, and have a dedicated team of drivers who meet in person on a monthly basis, providing a sense of community for drivers. Safr is dedicated to providing women a safer alternative to other rideshare companies, where safety has simply not been a priority.
We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
Mentorship is extremely valuable for people in business and in life. My biggest mentor was my grandfather. He was a very successful Texas banker with a big ranch. He taught me so much about life! From how to drive a suburban vehicle at age 12, to doing my own tax returns at age 18, to putting me through law school — he was one of my biggest inspirations. He taught me the three necessities in real estate as I was buying my first townhome: location, location, location. He showed me how duct tape can fix almost anything. His reputation preceded him everywhere. His presence impacted my life on every level, from loyalty, to respect, love, grace, and faith.
Another great influence on my life was my aunt. A lead soprano Master Singer, state-champion tennis player, and successful banker — I looked up to her for everything she put her mind to with so much devotion. In spite of her incredible talent, she did not survive domestic abuse. I think of my aunt often, and her circumstances have made me so passionate about the Safr mission to empower women.
Today, Safr donates rides to shelters for women and their families, as well as donate a portion of each rideshare to charities that support our mission. During these trying, unprecedented times, domestic violence has risen drastically and these nonprofits need more help than ever before. I am proud to be a part of the Safr team, leading the development of a better, safer means of transportation in the fast-growing rideshare industry, but also giving back to the communities in which we live and work.
I’m also inspired by the Safr team, comprised of other entrepreneurs with diverse and cross-disciplinary backgrounds. Diversity truly makes teams stronger and better.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
It’s always helpful to remember words of wisdom, and write down what speaks to you.
I love the quote, “When you quit, you fail.” Every time you try and fail, you learn something about yourself and gain experience that can help you the next time. Benjamin Franklin made over 3,000 attempts before the lightbulb invention not only worked, but created a solution to the problem.
“Learn something new every day.” My mother said this to me many times, explaining that knowledge is power, and it applies to you no matter what your age. With each new technological advancement, change is happening rapidly in every industry. Be purposeful in learning! By staying current in your own career field and following the trends, you will be able to keep your company in the forefront and plan for potential challenges.
“Be afraid, then do it anyway!” When I was five, I climbed the ladder of a high-diving board for the first time. The water seemed to be about one hundred feet down. I took a deep breath, counted to three and jumped. After that first leap, I realized how much I enjoyed the experience and then proceeded to do it again and again. The key is to avoid unnecessary danger or risk, while recognizing what small things that you may fear are holding you back from trying something new and potentially life-changing.
How are you going to shake things up next?
Keeping things new and fresh is important, particularly for a technology-powered company. Safr is currently partnering with licensees around the United States, and eventually around the world. The licensing model is more valuable for investors compared with other rideshares, who are unable to turn a profit. The licensing model sees greater returns but also provides a higher level of quality in each and every licensee location.
Since announcing the launch of Safr licensing opportunities, we have received almost one thousand requests from all over the world to be a part of the Safr brand and bring our rideshare into each local area.
Safr is proud to have also added delivery services, a subscription plan for discounted rates to frequent riders, and are working with school systems to provide an alternative to the bussing system.
Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?
Yes, I love The Shack, an amazing story of faith and hope, and how to recover from great grief by untangling the emotions, anger, and sorrow from great loss. We have all suffered a great loss that sometimes has no explanation, but through faith, we can persevere.
I also love John Wooten’s “Coach Wooten’s Pyramid of Success Playbook.” Growing up in an all-sports family, I learned from Wooten’s lessons that the hard courts teach you so much more than how to dribble a ball. Amongst many levels of his pyramid, Wooten coached discipline, respect, teamwork, passion and devotion. All of these lessons have been valuable in how I address all aspects of not just work, but life. I refer to our Safr office as the ‘dream team,’ except we don’t call timeouts when there are no timeouts left. I love my teammates and we all have the drive to change the world by providing a safe alternative for women’s transportation.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would love to see a movement toward gender and human equality across the world. Women are paid 27% less on average to their male counterparts, yet they spend 80% of GDP. If we had equal pay, women could better provide for their families and contribute to the overall economy. I would love to ensure that people, regardless of their background, have equal access and safety in their lives.
I’m honored to be a part of the Safr team, which provides women greater safety in transportation, whether they are a passenger or driver. I encourage everyone reading to download our app at www.gosafr.com, and sign up to start driving or riding today.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
When I was in 7th grade, I was awarded athlete of the year for my school. My coach gave me a poster that read, “How high I aim, how far I reach, how much I see, depends on me.” I wasn’t allowed to hang posters in my bedroom, so I hung it in my closet for the next 6 years. I read it every day when I woke up to get dressed. If affected my mindset for everything. It influenced my drive to succeed in everything I did, from grades to extracurricular to athletics to social skills. I truly believe that your success in life depends on you. When we started Safr, we were dedicated to making a difference from the ground up with nothing but a vision. We already have over 13,000 drivers signed up from all over the world, and expect to grow exponentially. The exceptional, personal dedication of each Safr team member leads us to achieving our mission.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow Safr on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/safr-driven-by-women/, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoSafr and Twitter at https://twitter.com/gosafr. Whether you’re looking for a new rideshare alternative to increase safety for you and your family, seeking driving opportunities, or even looking to open a Safr license in your area, contact me anytime on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelly-revis. I would love to hear from you!