- Tell us about your invention/product? What problem does it solve?
Go Guarded is a line of self-defense products developed for female runners. Unfortunately, being a female runner can be frightening at times as street harassment and fear of assault can be constant worries when running solo.
- What was the inspiration for your invention/product?
The inspiration for Go Guarded came a few years ago during a solo run in a local park when I inadvertently took a wrong turn and ended up a tad concerned for my personal safety. The sun was setting and I found myself in an unfamiliar and secluded part of the park. While I picked up the pace and found my way to a more populated area, the concern for my personal safety while running stuck with me.
- What is the number one goal you have with regards to your invention/product?
The Go Guarded mission is to provide empowerment through innovative self-defense products that are practical and effective for female runners and other on-the-go individuals.
- Who is your product for (target market)?
Female runners and other on-the-go women who want to feel safer while running, traveling, taking public transportation, walking home at night, etc.
- How long did your invention/product take to get to this point (from the time you conceived of the idea to now)?
Go Guarded products have been on the market for approximately five years. It took about a year, maybe a little longer to move from product idea to production.
- When you had your idea, what was the first thing you did?
I sought feedback on the product idea from trusted friends. When the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, I then sought out a product development engineer.
- What has been the greatest challenge getting your idea from your head to something tangible?
Money, always money. I had to figure out how to finance the product development of my idea.
- How did or are you funding the development of your invention/product?
I borrowed a few dollars from friends and family, but ultimately I borrowed against my retirement fund to finance the development of Go Guarded
- How do you currently market your invention/product?
I currently market Go Guarded through social media- Instagram and Facebook. Unfortunately, I’ve run into a number of roadblocks marketing Go Guarded as it is often banned under overly broad weapons policies. It has been challenging to work around those policies and still spread the word about Go Guarded.
- Tell us about your background?
I have a business degree from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in criminal justice from Arizona State University. My career has always been in criminal justice, and I still work FT in this field. While I used to be a Probation Officer, I now work as an analyst. My career has always been interesting and fulfilling. Working in criminal justice has fueled my passion for personal safety and has led me down the path to create Go Guarded
- Who are your favorite female creators and why?
Sara Blakely of Spanx. She grew an entire empire with an idea, $5,000 in savings, grit, and hard work.
- What is a typical day like for you?
If it is a weekday, I will spend a few minutes in the morning to see if any messages came in overnight that need my immediate attention. I wish I could say I then meditate, do yoga, and enjoy coffee on the patio, however, it is shower time so I can head into the office at my day job. I am fortunate at least to have a job that allows me a bit of freedom to also manage Go Guarded throughout the day, whether that is responding to emails or having quick Zoom meetings.
After work, I will often meet friends for a run or a walk. Then I head home and fill orders. I hope to be able to retire in a few years and focus solely on Go Guarded, but until then my days are filled with a lot of work
- Who have been your role models, mentors, etc?
Unfortunately, I have not really had any, rather I’ve had to figure things out for myself as I go along. I do have some great friends who I bounce ideas off and who will provide advice when asked, but I have never had an official (or unofficial) mentor.
- Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I am proud of what Go Guarded has become, and I am proud to be part of a movement where women stand up for themselves. Also, I love women who cheer on and support other women. It can get rough out there so we need to show up for each other!
- What’s the best way for the readers/audience of Inventing Women to connect with you (feel free to include the links to your social networks and websites)?
Go Guarded is on Instagram and Facebook
- What is the cost and how can we learn more, and purchase your product?
Go Guarded products range from $7.99 to $24.99 and can be purchased from the Go Guarded website. https://goguarded.com/