MEET Jody Wheeler
Jody Wheeler didn’t like the problem she often encountered when the underwires would protrude in the center of her bras. But she never envisioned it would lead to her starting a new business.
“I wanted to put a “STOP” to those wires causing me to throw away expensive bras,” she said. “I learned many women have this problem. Now there’s an answer, The Underwire Stop.”
A few years ago, Jody’s sister — to whom she had given a kidney — and her sister’s husband were killed in a car crash. Several months later, Jody broke an ankle, was dealing with depression and had time on her hands. So she started working on a solution for her bra problem.
Up Rev, a product developer engineering company, helped create the butterfly design that is the Underwire Stop — the first item created under Jody’s company, Near the Heart. Melbourne-based TSR Molds brought the product to life. The butterfly clips onto the center of the bra or bathing suit top and prevents the wires from poking through the material and into your skin. Jody said new shapes and colors are planned.
Jody said the most rewarding experience has been spending time with her granddaughters, teaching them to cook and sew and encouraging them to reach for the stars and follow their dreams.
“I hope to be setting a good example,” she said.
Jody spent 40 years as a hairstylist and salon owner, worked as an Orbiter Integrity Clerk (OIC), unarmed Space Shuttle Security at Kennedy Space Center, and is now an entrepreneur.
“My husband, Richard, of 47 years is my best support but the whole family has been involved from the beginning, encouraging me to look for a patent attorney,” Jody said. “I located Kelly Swartz in Melbourne (of Widerman and Malek) I now have a design patent and trademark logo.”
Jody also credits the Orlando Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners with helping her through the business process.
Near the Heart
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