Anna Reger is a champion of women, children, and the community. She’s a mother, wife, and business owner who believes in the power of a dream and hard work to make it a reality.
Anna is the founder of Flip Lok, along with her husband John Reger (the inventor). Flip Lok is a safety device that started as a way to protect children in case of a shooting, or threat of a shooting, at school. Today, Flip Lok goes far beyond the classroom to protect people in their homes, dorm rooms, offices, and more. Because everyone deserves to know their loved ones are safe, everywhere.
Anna was born and raised in one of Houston’s poorest neighborhoods and was the oldest of six children. After her father lost his eyesight to a rare illness and couldn’t work, her mother worked multiple jobs to keep the family’s lights on. As a teen, Anna worked at a foster home caring for children with disabilities. After multiple tragic car accidents left her seriously injured and on the verge of death, Anna underwent numerous surgeries and dealt with many difficult health challenges. These experiences instilled in her a deep humility and gratitude for life that she carries with her to this day.
Despite these seemingly insurmountable challenges, Anna persevered – earning her GED, an associate’s degree in science from Houston Community College, and later a bachelor of science from the University of Houston. Today, Anna is one of Texas’ leading entrepreneurs and is paving the way for other women in business.
Her story is an inspiration for young women who may feel trapped by circumstances such as poverty and tragedy.
“It doesn’t matter where you start; it’s all about where you end” Anna has said.
What inspired the creation of Flip Lok?
My husband and I had talked about a simple solution – a stronger, accessible lock – for years after seeing so many heartbreaking situations in schools. We thought someone else would surely create and market a solution. Then, my youngest came home from school one day and told me about the lockdown procedure they practiced. I asked her if she knew how to lock the door or what to do if her teacher was out of the classroom, and she couldn’t tell me. I could not continue sitting around waiting for someone else to come up with a solution to active threat situations in schools and elsewhere. I knew we needed to be the ones to act. With that, we created FlipLok.
What would you say has been the sole mission of your company?
My mission, and FlipLok’s mission, has been to create one universal method to protect families whether at school the office, or at home. I want to empower children by giving them the tools to protect themselves.
Can you share the benefits of having the Flip Lok in classrooms across the globe?
The school/ commercial version puts power into the hands of not just the teachers, but also the students. Our patented school lock technology is made to be within reach for anyone in a shelter-in-place situation to be
able to use. It is ADA compliant, and for the school version, when it is engaged, there is big lettering that says “Call 911” on the lock to remind anyone with a phone to get in touch with emergency responders. There is also an unlocking mechanism for emergency responders or administrators.
Thinking back on your concept of entrepreneurship, can you remember the first successful business you saw growing up in Houston?
The first successful businesses that I saw were those of my best friend and husband, John’s. He is a creative, visionary, and inventor who has had multiple business successes. He inspired me to know that I should feel empowered and confident in my business decisions, and that however they turn out, we will figure it out along the way. Since then, we’ve started several business ventures that are active to this day.
You have experienced several obstacles in your lifetime, how have those moments impacted and prepared you for where you are today in business?
I spent a long time learning to step into my power. As a woman, it doesn’t matter if I’m in a room full of good ole boys, in front of a buyer for a national chain, or elsewhere. I have a voice and as long as you are prepared and act confidently, no one can take that away from you.
What is next for Anna and the FlipLok Brand?
I am a strong advocate for standardized active threat drills in all schools across the United States, secondary locks for classrooms, and providing more mental health resources for students and have a petition on Change.org to do so. I just spoke at TEDxSugarland and will continue to advocate for these changes in classrooms across the United States.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A Pretty Woman Who Hustles is a woman who brings other women up with them. There is no greater power than helping others step into their power. If we all can remember to help another woman step up a level or two, who may have been in a situation we were once in, then think about how much we can change the world!