Interview with Debbie Mercer

Interview with Debbie Mercer

Website / URL
https://www.ziphers.com
Bio
Zip Hers is empowering women by offering activewear that provides comfort, convenience and discretion while solving an age-old problem that women have always had.
Tell us your best small idea for big business wins
When we started to design Zip Hers, it occurred to us that the invisible zipper that is on the market has a very small zipper pull and could be hard for a lot of women to grasp when zipping and unzipping. So our designer and I worked at creating a custom zipper pull that is larger and stronger and easily grabbed. We also designed a zipper pull that is hollow for women who may have limited hand usage and need to be able to put her fingers inside the pull to pull the zipper up and down. These are very beneficial for wheel-chair dependent women.
Tell us about you; your background;
I have always wanted to help women and been a volunteer or a board member for non-profit organizations which missions are to help women grow and thrive through exercise and nutrition. I am marathon runner and an avid hiker and it was during my adventurers that it became apparent to me that we women needed to be able to “pee” outdoors by not pulling down our pants (like men get to do). Not only would this give us privacy and discretion but it would allow us to participate in our adventures or competitive sports at our very best because we would not be wasting time in port-a-can lines or taking off gear. We would be on the same playing field as men.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
I believe businesses all over the world are still recovering from the pandemic in some way. We launched at the end of 2019 and then struggled through 2020 but as the world opened up, women started planning more outdoor adventures and we were able to spread the word about how awesome our products are. Some women are skeptical because we do have such a unique design. But the more women who wear them and review them, the better educated we hope other women become.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Every entrepreneur goes through periods of fear and doubt and anxiety when starting up a new business. There will always be wins and there will always be challenges. The most important business superpower in my opinion is to overcome those fears and doubts and to not give up. You may need to find ways to solve a challenge when one comes up or you may need to practice self-care (exercise, healthy eating, meditation) to find balance to keep moving on.
What does “success” in 2023 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
My vision for 2023 is to have our adaptive wear (pants that serve physically challenged women in wheelchairs). I would love to have these in rehabilitation facilities all over the world to help not only the women themselves but their caregivers. Another vision I have is to offer our pants to first responder and the military. Because or pants unzip and you don’t have to take off any gear, this would allow them to keep their duty belts on while going to the restroom which is hugely beneficial. There are stories about women having to hang their duty belts in public restrooms and then losing parts of it by falling off or even leaving guns on the back of toilets. If the women are working outdoors, they can “go” without pulling anything down or taking anything off.And of course, I would also love to continue to have our pants, tights, capris, shorts worn by hikers, runners, walkers, climbers, kayakers – all all other outdoor enthusiasts.We want to empower women to be their best in whatever activity they choose.

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