Flare is a jewelry brand that doubles as wearable tech. The bracelets include a button that will automatically allow friends to GPS track an individual, allow the wearer to contact the police and so on. In an interview with Fortune, the co-founders of the brand, Quinn Fitzgerald and Sara De Zarraga, were asked about their inspiration in starting such a brand.
When asked what the inspiration was to start Flare, De Zarraga said, "We are both survivors and wanted to create the tool that we wish we’d had at the time, and an alternative to the male-created safety products that often do more harm than good. A tool that can de-escalate situations instead of making them worse and doesn’t require you to jeopardize your reputation or success in that environment. Flare gives you options to decide what is right for you in the moment. It fits into your life instead of you having to do something new or different and connects you to others, so you are never alone. Quinn and I were both in the same class at Harvard Business School and one of our projects was to create a start-up concept. This is when we created the concept behind Flare, but knew this was way too good of an idea for a business school project. We kept Flare close to our hearts until we were fully prepared to develop it."
"We were tired of the victim-blaming that has dominated the safety industry and seeing images of people walking down dark alleys, when the vast majority of assaults happen with someone you know," continued Fitzgerald in her own answer to the question. "We wanted to create a tool that was not just built for emergencies, but for the gray area—for taking action earlier when you get a red flag but don’t yet have certainty. Because that is when it is safest for you to take action. We are driven not only by our own personal experiences with assault but also the experiences of thousands of people who have shared their stories with us over the course of four years of product development and research. We have a vision to help women, and anyone who feels this need, live safely, with confidence and control. That being said, we can’t talk about Flare without addressing how terrible it is that a product like this needs to exist; frankly, we hate that this is needed in society. We want to see a cultural shift, including changes to our legal system, better education and resources for those affected by assault, along with better youth education and mental health to help curb toxic masculinity in the first place, to name just a few. While those systemic changes happen, we created Flare as a stop gap for today while real change is made. That’s why our mission is to put ourselves out of business and create a world where safety products like Flare aren’t needed."
When asked if there's a possibility of expanding Flare's line of jewelry, Fitzgerald said, "Yes, we are constantly looking to add to our styles and options to meet our customers where their needs and styles are. One of the most common questions we get asked is about diversifying our style options, making styles that are less flashy, for example. One of the reasons we believe the safety industry has been so ostracizing and has gotten it so wrong for so long is that they haven’t been listening. Our approach has always been to not just listen to feedback but to act on it. The last thing we want to do is create another safety device that ends up in the junk drawer. Look out for a big step in that direction coming later this year, after all safety is a basic human need that everyone experiences, not just specific gender identities."