Gregory-Portland senior Ciara Sambrano and recent graduate Mia Gutierrez didn’t have aspirations to become business owners during their day-to-day lives. They were just busy being teens trying to get through high school and see what life had in store for them.
But it was one night as Gutierrez was scrolling through TikTok she came across something that wasn’t just for the safety of young girls, but possibly a way to make some extra money.
“On TikTok I saw what this one girl was doing and I thought it was a pretty cool idea,” Gutierrez said. “So I called Ciara that night and I told her we should start making them and selling them just to do something fun on the side.”
The idea was a bracelet that comes with self-defense items such as pepper spray, a taser and a glass breaker. On top of that, you can customize them and get them in different colors and styles.
“We wanted women to feel safe, but make them as well,” Gutierrez said.
Sambrano added, “It’s mainly for ladies and girls so they can have all these things on-hand.
“For instance, since Mia has a baby, when she’s trying to put gas or clean her car, she’s always turned around. Now she can always have something for backup in her car just in case something happens.”
For these young ladies, starting a business wasn’t something they had any experience in. What they did was think about how much each individual item would cost – and try to buy them in bulk if possible – while trying to keep the cost down for the customers and make a profit. They also added in their time and effort and came up with the affordable base model at $40, with each customization adding to the cost.
“It took a lot of time out of our schedule, especially with me going to school and Mia having a baby and both of us working all the time,” Sambrano said. “But we had to make sure we were doing it right, fast and on time for the customers and making them the way they wanted them.”
Two months and $800 later, it seems the two friends have made quite the side hustle for themselves. All without a website, storefront or even a phone number to get a hold of them.
They simply use social media.
If a reader wants to purchase one, simply visit Sambrano’s Facebook page and message her.
While the duo is currently looking at expanding the line, they said that at the moment they are happy with just selling out of their product and getting tagged all over social media for their creations.
“A lot of the girls would get them and then comment on their social media how much they loved them and how cute they were and tag their friends,” Gutierrez said.
Sambrano added, “I guess we’ll keep making them as long as we’re selling them.
“It takes a lot of teamwork, so we probably couldn’t do it without each other.”