By Stephanie Bofinger
When women fall, I want them to be able to get up, dust themselves off and keep going.
Whether they’re a woman like me (some might say a bit crazy!) who has fallen while riding a motorcycle in the dirt, or an elderly woman who has fallen at home. Even if they are a woman who has fallen on hard times because of domestic violence.
I want these women to be protected.
I also want them to have the confidence and the strength to get out there and give it a go – whatever it is they are doing.
For me, riding a motorcycle across the Simpson Desert for the Dolly’s Dream Charity in 2019 was the turning point after years of emotional abuse.
It was also what gave me the inspiration to design and create protective gear specifically for women – but which now represents more than just a product or a business for me, because it is helping protect women in more ways than I first thought possible.
In particular, I am able to help protect women from domestic violence by donating a percentage of sales to the Women’s Resilience Centre in Sydney, to help them become strong and independent.
I want women to feel strong, but also protected. This is what drives me.
I have always been an independent person, and something of an entrepreneur!
My family in Germany have run a nursery and florist business for 125 years and, as a child, I would take the discarded plants and re-pot them and sell them. I also re-used the silver wire from floral arrangements to make jewellery that my friend and I would sell.
I guess I have always thought outside the box.
When I was designing Fempro Armour, I was thinking about Aquawoman (not surprising given I had been a competitive swimmer for 20 years) and Wonder Woman.
I wanted women to feel strong, but feminine. And protected when they fall – because they will. As a motorcycle and motocross rider, I fall all the time.
Falls are also a fact of life as we get older. My grandmother died during surgery for a broken hip, so it has become another driving force for me that my armour can be used to help protect the elderly – both women and men – from serious injury due to a fall.
That they can wear it without feeling self-conscious, and can move about with more confidence – and hopefully stay independent for longer.
What drives me in my business is not the money – don’t get me wrong, making money allows me to do all the crazy things I like to do. But there is more to life.
For me, more sales means something more important – it means that more women are being supported and protected, and are feeling strong and independent.
Stephanie Bofinger is the creator or Fempro Armour – body protection armour and apparel to protect women involved in contact sports, professionals and aged care.