Lisa Lindahl: Inventor of the Sports Bra & Activist – Ep. 43

Lisa Lindahl is the inventor of the sports bra, or as it was known back then, the “Jogbra”. Her invention has changed the world of women’s sports forever, earning her a place in the Smithsonian and in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Washington alongside legendary inventors like Thomas Edison. 

She’s also an author, activist, champion of epilepsy education and empowerment, and the inventor of a device for people recovering from breast cancer. 

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5:19 – “My sister and I were on the phone talking about adequate support when we were running. And she said, ‘why isn’t there a jockstrap for women?’ And we both laughed. We thought that was uproarious. But then I sat down after and I thought ‘why isn’t there!?’”

10:09 – “Our first full year in business, we did over half a million in revenue and were profitable.”

10:46 – “All marketing—good marketing—is really, is education.”

15:07 – “It wasn’t all pretty… Part of why I wrote the book… Unleash the Girls is not just a business memoir. It’s really a story of women becoming. Getting over their insecurities, gaining confidence, dealing with conflict, learning the difference between being assertive and aggressive. You know, we were really what is now referred to as second wave feminism.”

17:41 – “I started running because I was trying to change my relationship with my body, and I found it so empowering on so many different levels. And when I realized that that was happening for millions of girls and women—that they had the same experience—then I realized that the Jogbra had really changed the flow of the river.”

25:26 – “Applying for a patent, waiting for it to be granted… No one could copy us right away. They had to wait until the patent came out. So that gave us about a six to nine month leap ahead in the marketplace.”

31:07 – “One of the things I’m quite proud of that I did while there was create the Women in Epilepsy initiative. Because up until that point, so little research had been done on whether or not there were, in fact, any gender differences in how epilepsy occurred in the patient.”

37:02 – “The actor Leslie Bell came to me and said, ‘Lisa, you have to help me make this thing. I don’t know about manufacturing or bras or anything, but you have to help me.’ She showed me pictures of women with breast cancer—that they were in such pain. It was their lymphedema was so bad that I couldn’t say no.”

42:50 – “Now we talk about our materialistic philosophy, letting go of all that and instead focusing on what it means to create beauty.”

46:43 – “Trust your intuition.”

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