Real Leaders

Turning Passion into a Lifesaving Patent

Kim Highfield is a lifelong entrepreneur and founder of SportPort — a producer of women’s athletic apparel. After becoming aware of the potential dangers of cellphone radiation, she developed a patent for protective pockets in clothing that blocks electric and magnetic fields (EMF). Her technology recently went national and proves that intelligent design, paired with women’s health, can be profitable.

Highfield first learned to be an entrepreneur at six-years-old dancing at family events. “Dad paid me a quarter per dance because I was good at imitating Shirley Temple,” she recalls. “It was my first lesson in business — don’t be afraid to put yourself out there if you feel you have something to share.”

As proprietor of women’s athletic apparel company SportPort, Highfield is now scaling operations based on her patent for EMF-resistant clothing design and her original patterns and florals. She spent nearly a decade in personal study and two years in formal R&D to create the first EMF-resistant SportPort bra.

“Entrepreneurs face intense obstacles every day and adaptability is key to success,” Highfield notes. “I don’t have a fashion or legal degree. I was successful in the world of design and patent processing because of my passion to conduct my own research, based on ideas that I believed in.”

Family has always played a pivotal role in Highfield’s drive, in both her personal and professional life. “I began researching everything around cellphone radiation after my mother got cancer,” Highfield recounts. “I believe in actively pursuing knowledge around a problem to help solve it — we should adopt this same attitude in business. During the time of my mother’s illness, I also studied pediatric psychology to understand the issues and organize programs for my sons, both of whom were diagnosed with learning disabilities. Through these efforts I was able to help raise their IQs by 15 points to an above-average range. It was something the doctors didn’t think possible.”

Anything I set out to achieve comes from the heart.” — Kim Highfield

Highfield’s passion for unearthing solutions and strong desire to succeed (she’s also a former athlete) has translated into business success and innovation. Her concern for the health of athletes exposing themselves to prolonged periods of cellphone use inspired an idea. She used her years of visual arts training and collaborated with some of the industry’s top artisans, patterners, and compressors to create a lifesaving garment.

“When I started to become aware of the risks cellphones pose when placed against the body, especially soft tissue, I realized a true need in women’s athletic apparel that was lacking — a cellphone pocket that would function for both convenience and also protect our bodies from harmful EMF radiation.

“I’ve been able to share a room with industry leaders because I’m not afraid to experiment in new directions,” she continues. “My passion for new ideas, has always translated into long hours of research around those ideas, so I come to the table equipped with data, professional opinion, and most importantly, direction.”

For Highfield, the road from passion to patent is paved with preparation. “It’s important to have the passion to get you through those down times,” she concludes. “My need to find a safe solution for women who exercise and carry their cellphone is why SportPort exists today.”

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