Mar. 28, 2017

Amy Flora

Damsel in Defense 

 

I met someone who is one of the more interesting people I have ever met. She is interesting in so many ways however, I’m writing about her because of her unique job. Her name is Amy Flora and she sells a line of women’s self-defense products for, Damsels in Defense.

Penny Thomas Barbour suggested we get together so Amy and I decided we would meet for brunch at one of my favorite restaurants; Applewood House of Pancakes in Litchfield Beach. Amy made sure she brought a bag of toys with her to show off. I only brought my husband – she wins.

“Do you do the Damsels in Defense full time,” I asked, in spite of the fact I agreed not to make this story just about that subject.

“No. I’m a full-time wife and mom and I work full-time at my church,” she answers over the top of her menu.

“Church? What do you do there?”

Amy laughs and sets her menu aside. “I work with communications mostly. You know; weekly letters, bulletins and things. I work on power point presentations and, I do a little of Facebooking for the church.”

The waitress comes to check on us but we’re not quite ready to order yet. As she leaves the table, I ask Amy, “How long have you been married and where did you two meet?”

“We’ve been married about 15 years and we met through sales,” she answers thoughtfully. “We were both selling hospital equipment at the time; which he still does.”

We talked about many different things and shared stories with each other about life, men, children, and so on. Eventually, the waitress wandered back over and took our order, much to my husband’s delight. He had remained quiet the entire time (except for his stomach) and, even though I did agree ahead of time not to make this entire story about Damsels in Defense, I could see Amy twitching. I think she even kicked me under the table with her fidgeting. She wanted to get to it so I led to that subject once again and asked, “How do you find time between being a full-time wife, a full-time mother, and have a full-time job to do any sales work for Damsels in Defense?”

This time, Amy leans in with a big smile and says, “Because it’s something I believe in.”

I had her. I knew it! I just dug into my salad and let her have the floor. To keep her going I asked, “Tell me about it.”

“Well, Damsels in Defense was founded by Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes. They wanted to empower women. The great thing is, it’s not just for women though, men can and do use many of these things as well.”

“So, if I wanted a gift for my son-in-law, what could I purchase from you?”

Amy reached down and pulled out this long black stick. “It’s a flashlight and it’s a stun gun. As a matter of fact, they’re all flashlights so he or she could be walking to their car with what seems like an innocent ole flashlight to see their way. If someone attacks them, they just flip the switch and it becomes a stun gun.”

Amy then pulls the band from the flashlight end off. I thought she had broken it until she explained, “This is a safety mechanism so that if the assailant grabbed the stun gun before it went off, your son-in-law could release the key and the other person would not be able to use it against him.”

As she put the black stick away, Amy pulled out a cute little pink item that looked like it was a lady’s razor. “This is a smaller version and as you can see, it’s a flashlight too (she turned on the light). It’s just smaller.”

I flipped through a catalog Amy had given me and seriously considered this as a gift idea for both my son-in-law and daughter. If she only knew my son-in-law is to a flashlight like a dog is to a stick in a game of fetch. “So you sell stun guns then?” I asked as I laid the catalog on the table.

“Oh, no! We have more than just stun guns,” she denied. “We have a great pepper spray item too and the best thing about that is it has a UV dye in it. If you sprayed someone with it, this dye would still show up under a black light for up to a week later."

Amy showed me the different merchandise (that she had with her and in the catalog) which would be beneficial to protecting and empowering anyone who needed it. After demonstrating a few of them she said, “I always make sure I keep my stun gun with me at all times, especially in the car.

“Did you know that if you have a gun in your purse, you could be charged with concealing a weapon, but you can carry a stun gun and it’s not considered illegal. It’s the best invention for women because it’s lightweight, easy to use, and it’s legal – we don’t need target practice to use it either.”

As our brunch came to an end and we were preparing to leave Applewood, the hostess asked about Amy’s bag of toys. Before, Amy did not turn on the stun gun but this time, she did a demonstration and explained, “This has about 7 million volts of electricity. It’s going to hurt whoever gets zapped with it.”

You could hear the stun gun snap-crackle and pop before it zapped the air. I thought to myself if my daughter had one of these and turned it on … oh yeah, the would-be assailant would know he’s about to be fried and laid out like a slice of bacon.

“It plugs in and is good for about eight hours,” Amy continues. “If you don’t use it often, and hopefully you won’t, it only needs recharging about every two months or so.”

Additionally before leaving the restaurant, I learned that Amy does Damsel Parties where she comes to the event (armed) with her bag of goodies and lectures about their functions and how these things help prevent anyone from becoming a victim. I’m very interested in doing a party and getting a few women together (Look out Amber, Beth, Jessica, Eliza, Penny, and many others I have not mentioned).

As with all of my interviewees, I truly enjoyed meeting Amy. I left more confident realizing I could effectively protect myself and not be a victim. More importantly, I feel I made a new friend. Thank you, Amy! I hope we meet again and soon.

For anyone who is interested in Damsel in Defense’s various products or possibly hosting a Damsel Party, Amy Flora can be reached via email at Defendyourselfgal@gmail.com