By Desiree Carver The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga.
A local woman with a dream is one step closer to achieving fame and fortune thanks to the reality show "Shark Tank."
Regina Schrieffer-Hafer heard about open auditions for the show in Miami and decided to take her local online store to the "sharks."
"Shark Tank" is a critically acclaimed ABC television show with a team of "sharks" -- successful business people -- who hear pitches from a variety of entrepreneurs. If the "sharks" hear a pitch they enjoy, they put part of their personal fortune on the line to help.
Hafer's business began in 2012 while she cared for her mother who was battling cancer.
She originally owned some women's boutiques, but lost them when the economy shifted.
"Steel Cowgirl" is Hafer's online store that helps solve a problem that the majority of female motorcycle riders face.
Hafer said most women are unable to fit into motorcycle clothing intended for females.
Many females often find the clothing is too revealing for their age, herself included. She began riding later in life and became tired of not being able to find appropriate clothing for her.
Using her artwork for the clothing, she began an online store selling women's motorcycle clothing in sizes small to 5x. Each design is appropriate for women of any age and provides a positive message.
Although it initially began as a part-time job, Hafer decided to make it a full-time career after the tragic loss of her mother.
Hafer took to social media to promote her business, which began taking off at rapid speed. She added "Steel Horse Rider" to her site as well to include men's clothing.
She also donates a percentage of all of her sales to charities.
While she initially never wanted to take on a partner, her need for more inventory made "Shark Tank" seem like a great opportunity.
The audition in Miami brought more than 600 people, each hoping their pitch would win over the casting agents.
"When you get there, they tell you to not expect a call back," Hafer said. "I went before four casting agents and pitched my idea. They then tell you if they decided to call you it could take as long as two months. I was called back in three days."
Out of the 38,000 people auditioning nationwide, Hafer was one of only 1,600 to receive this coveted call. During the weekend, she will record her second audition. The number of rounds is kept private, but Hafer believes she has a good chance of making it on the show.
If she makes it on the show, she plans to ask for $100,000 for a 45 percent stake in her company. She plans to use the money for production, manufacturing and to get into retail stores.
Her personal dream goal for the show would be to be sponsored by Daymond John, the fashion and branding expert, and Robert Herjavec, who is a technology innovator and has involvement with motorcycle companies.