Damsel in Defense: Arming Women with Tools and Confidence for Personal Protection

by Lin Grensing-Pophal

Click here to order the November 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Company Profile

Founded: 2011
Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
Founders: Mindy Lin, Chief Marketing Officer; Bethany Hughes, Chief Services Officer
Products: Self-defense


 Bethany Hughes and Mindy LinBethany Hughes and Mindy Lin

The data is startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one in five women report having been raped at some time in their lives, another 5.6 percent have experienced sexual violence other than rape within the past year and 13 percent report experiences of sexual coercion at some time in their lives. For college women the numbers are even higher.

Coercing others to engage in sexual acts against their will has emerged as an international issue, with more than 21,000 human trafficking cases reported since December 2007, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center—and 12,490 tips or reports have already come in this year through August.

These are troubling statistics, even more troubling for the women counted in those statistics. So many feel helpless to defend themselves or aid others. But here’s where direct sales comes in: Two women decided to create a business in order to empower women to defend themselves.

Damsel in Defense, launched in 2011, is the first direct sales party plan company to sell self-defense products. It’s a mission-driven company, with products to protect women and proceeds to fund national and international charities, such as the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and Wipe Every Tear.


Company founders Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes strive to educate women about how to protect themselves in dangerous situations.

Basic Beginnings

Like many entrepreneurs, Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes started operating out of their homes, a situation that didn’t last long, however. They quickly outgrew their 120-square-foot office that housed them in 2011 and moved to a 6,000-square-foot space and, most recently, have built a 20,000-square-foot warehouse and office space in Boise, Idaho.

The beginnings of Damsel in Defense were humble and somewhat unplanned. The women met at a “moms group” in 2009, Lin says. “We were both transplants from California and both very safety-minded people.” The mothers in the group, she recalls, “didn’t carry anything to protect themselves besides themselves.”

About that time, she adds: “My household came …”

Click here to read the full story.

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About Direct Selling News
Direct Selling News Magazine has been serving direct selling and network marketing executives since 2004. Each issue of Direct Selling News offers content on topics that shape the dynamics of our industry.

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