HOUSTON — This Hispanic Heritage Month we're celebrating inspiring figures in the community like a Houston businesswoman who's defied all the odds to become successful.
Anna Reger is a petite powerhouse who has started and built businesses throughout the years.
Her business headquarters is located in northwest Houston. The space is the backdrop for some big ideas, including her latest endeavor Flip Lok.
As a mother, Reger wanted to empower school children to be able to protect themselves in the event of an active shooter with simple yet highly effective technology.
"You just flip it, it locks, and it drops," says Reger about the Flip Lok designed and patented for schools. She said it takes just seconds to activate and is stronger than a deadbolt.
She's determined to get Flip Lok in as many apartments, homes, and schools as possible.
"I'm a Latina woman. Having a lock company and putting my face on the box, you hear people say you can't be the founder, you're a woman." Reger said. "Well, I'm going to be that founder and I'm going to show you."
Reger's tough and has always been determined. She grew up in far northeast Houston as the oldest of seven siblings. She left home at the young age of 14.
"I kind of felt almost like I was a burden, and my parents could probably have less pressure if I was gone," she said.
Reger left home and school. She then spent the next seven years of her life working at a foster home and caring for disabled children while sharing an apartment with her then-boyfriend. But a devastating accident ended that relationship and almost the end of Reger's life.
"I literally couldn't walk or talk. I was in a wheelchair for about two months." Reger said. "I wasn't supposed to make it right?... So, I'm here and I'm stubborn. I'm also a fighter."
Reger fought to make a comeback but only to be seriously injured in a second car accident not even a year later.
"I was working and they called me to come to like a late-night shift and I fell asleep at the wheel."
This accident resulted in more severe injuries, including Reger's face being crushed.
"They had to do a lot of surgeries," she said. "I have like three rib grafts now where they did my nose and fixed all my face."
Matters only worsened in Anna's life after that. Her father passed away six months later.
As devastating as it was, it was a turning point in her life. Reger's father had constantly encouraged her to return to school after leaving home, and after his death, she did just that.
"I didn't think I could do that. Right? I only went to eighth grade. And so, when my dad passed, it was like, I really want to do this, right?" she said.
Reger worked to get her GED, went to community college, and ultimately attended the University of Houston. Her intent was to study nursing but she needed one class to fill a gap and it could be an elective. So she found herself in a business management class.
That's when she decided to become an entrepreneur.
Decades later, Reger become a serial entrepreneur repeatedly turning creative ideas into successful strategies along with her equally as business savvy and creative entrepreneur husband who also designed the Flip Lok.
Together they've invested in real estate, race cars, and ran a successful wig line, but now Reger's taking the lead with the locks.
"I'm an entrepreneur. I'm constantly looking for solutions," Reger said.
Her company RockStar Wigs found a quality solution for wigs and changed the industry. Now she's ready to disrupt the lock industry and make schools and homes safer.
"This, for me is finding a viable solution for protecting our children."