How well do tools like rape whistles and pepper spray actually help prevent sexual assault? If you look at the statistics — like how nearly one in five women and one in 71 men have reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention — you might not think so much.
Recent Harvard Business School graduates Quinn Fitzgerald and Sara de Zarraga are co-founders of Flare Jewelry, an early stage startup that’s developing technologically enhanced jewelry meant to help prevent sexual assault. They plan to make a product that will leave antiquated and ineffective tools in the dust and also empower women without making them compromise their personal styles, reports Harvard Business School staff writer Olivia Vanni.
“We asked each other, ‘what problems do we really care about?’ and sexual assault became an apparent answer,” de Zarraga told us of Flare Jewelry founding. Working with survivors, the Flare Jewelry team was able to zero in on specific features that would best serve people in compromising situations.
“It will be a modular piece that can be put in bracelets or necklaces,” Fitzgerald shared. It is meant to be discreet so it doesn’t impact the look of a piece of jewelry. “The modular component keeps it versatile and discreet, so no two styles look alike,” de Zagarra said.
Flare Jewelry is first designed with college-aged women and young professionals in mind. However, the duo sees other potential user demographics—people with disabilities, children, travelers, and grandparents. They also anticipate parents and partners of target users to purchase safety-equipped jewelry for their loved ones.
Flare Jewelry intends to take a socially conscious approach while handling it’s revenue. “We want to create a culture against sexual assault, so we’re donating part of our proceeds to fund education prevention programs. We want to be part of the solution every way we can be.”
Harvard Business School staff writer Olivia Vanni