Stefanie & Oz speak with Quinn Fitzgerald of Flare, a smart bracelet and app-based communication system giving you immediate help with the press of a button. They discuss entrepreneurship, product development, and the meaning of safety.
“Safety is agency, it’s having the permission to be your full self, to be confident and in control of what’s around you, to know that you’re never alone, that you’re always connected, you have a system of support behind you, and to operate with that peace of mind.” – Quinn
Find Quinn at getflare.com
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On this episode, Stephanie and OS speak with Quinn Fitzgerald, a flare , a smart bracelet and app based communication system, giving you immediate help with the press of a button. They discuss entrepreneurship, product development and the meaning of safety.
Welcome to founder thought. Uh , today we’re here with Quinn Fitzgerald. She’s the co-founder of flair . Hi Quinn. How are you today?
Great. Thanks so much for having me on.
Excellent. So in just a quick sentence, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? Just a sentence or two?
Yeah, I’m an entrepreneur , uh , an advocate, a survivor of assault and , um, frankly, my survivor story is not at all unique and that’s a huge problem.
Absolutely. So let’s talk a little bit about your background first. So tell us a little bit about , um , where you grew up, what you studied, how did you sort of get to where you are? Tell us a little bit about that. Yeah,
Well, I am the youngest of three girls in my family, so I have okay . Two older sisters and , uh , grew up in a household where we were taught to eat dessert. First, do our own lemonade stands every summer, have lots of different jobs. Uh , we’re encouraged to think outside the box , um, make our own path. And I spent a lot of time in the early side of my career in politics. Mm-hmm , <affirmative> thinking that, you know, the private sector was this far off distant thing. And even further than that was the idea of making your own company and being an entrepreneur and never thinking that that was something that I was capable of or possible in my life. Yeah . And it turned , it took me finding an idea that was so close to me. I couldn’t put it down to have the gumption to pursue it. And then it took actually doing it for me to realize that being an entrepreneur is not a job, it’s rather a way of life. And that I had actually been an entrepreneur my whole entire life. I just didn’t know it. It’s saying it’s looking at how things are done and saying, I think that can be done better. And not only do I think it can be done better, but I’m gonna actually try to do it and I’m probably gonna fail , but I’m gonna learn a lot in that process and I’m gonna make the world a better place by doing that.
Amazing . So what, when you were younger, what was sort of your dream? Like where, where did you see yourself going?
Um, well my high school superlative <laugh> , which was written by my best friend , um, was that I would start a rubber ducky museum <laugh> by myself because when I was little, I collected rubber duckies <laugh> um , so I never really knew an answer to that question. I always knew that I wanted to do something that I felt like mattered that made mm-hmm <affirmative> the world a better place, especially for people who , um, whose voices weren’t being heard. Uh , but I never set a strict five year , 10 year plan for myself. Um, I always just pursued the passions that I had and have , and chose to see that as enough , um, and chose to have some flexibility in how I dreamed because of that. So, you know, when I was younger, I was really into sports and into music and art. And so I had dreams of being able to pursue all of those things. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> but I always felt really drawn to politics because I felt like that’s where you get to really work on the things that matter. Um, and then I went into politics right after undergrad and I , um, loved the diversity of thought and the shared passion that a lot of people had, but I realized that the government has its hands tied in a lot of ways. And it’s not really mm-hmm , <affirmative> the center of change. The center of change is across different sectors. It’s people who are doing the work in a lot of different ways. And so I decided that I wanted to go to business school so that I could learn about how to create change from a different perspective.
So how, how are you getting into the business? How the idea came, obviously you survive . So how how’s the whole idea start?
Yeah, so my business is a safety communication system and that’s made up of a smart device, a smart bracelet. It looks like this, this is one of our designs. And then it has , um, mm-hmm , <affirmative> a hidden technology module underneath. So it’s a , a bracelet with technology inside of it that connects to an app that helps you get out of uncomfortable, unwanted, unsafe situations and call for backup . And it gives you multiple options so that you can take action across what we call the safety spectrum. Because when I say safety, people tend to think emergency only, but in reality, mm-hmm , <affirmative> a safety situation is an emergency, but it’s also those earlier on in the moment times when you’re questioning somebody’s intent or get a weird vibe. And you’re not really sure how to act. And mm-hmm , <affirmative> why we created the business is because my co-founder and I are both survivors. And we felt like the industry mm-hmm , <affirmative> had perpetuated stereotypes around safety, perpetuated victim blaming in a very damaging way. And we wanted to mm-hmm <affirmative> change to change how people were thinking about safety so that they could address how it’s actually experienced in their life without feeling ostracized from it.
So at what point did you take that idea to say, okay, this is something unique, something that’s needed. Um , how did you take the idea and then turn it into something? And at what point did you realize that something needed to be made?
Yeah, that’s such an important question because at that juncture, in starting a business or creating a product or doing anything, you have nothing. And then how do you go from nothing to something? It feels like this, you know, canyon, it’s a big leap. That’s impossible to cross.
It’s a big leap. Yeah, absolutely.
Yeah, exactly. You have to like build the bridge as you go . Um, so we were really deliberate in how we decided to build. And one of the reasons we felt like the industry had been getting it so wrong for so long is that it felt like they weren’t talking to people. It felt like they made an assumption about what safety is. It’s like, okay , you’re in a dark alley and somebody is gonna grab you . So let me make a solution for that . But it didn’t address the situation I was in or that my co-founder was in and frankly, multiple situations . Um , and so we started by saying, we don’t wanna make assumptions. Let’s not assume that our situations matched everybody else’s and let’s go talk to people. Mm-hmm <affirmative> we literally talked to thousands of other people about their safety mm-hmm <affirmative> and we just spent time listening. And then that became the crux of how we decided to build, because we would take those surveys, focus groups, one on one interviews, bring those all together, find patterns in it, build something. So we started out by building like sketches and drawings and literal, like 3d printed plastic mockups of what a bracelet could look like. And then from there we went and talked to people about it and got feedback. And then we took those through plastic mockups and we put technology inside of it. And then from there we had people actually wear them and they were, oh gosh, they were so ugly. They were literally plastic that we spray painted gold and silver to make it look like jewelry <laugh> . And we had people wear those four weeks. We did pilots with them and we were like, okay , if they’re willing to wear this clunky plastic thing on their wrist for their safety, clearly there’s a huge need here. And clearly we’re on this something. Right? And so then we made our next version, which was actually jewelry with a smaller plastic piece on the top, in the middle. And we had people wear that for a month. And then after that, we were able to actually make it into jewelry. And it took us four years of finding the right jewelry partner because the jewelry industry itself is very antiquated as well, and not used to dealing with precise measurements. So finding the right partners to be able to help us actually hide technology in a way that was incredibly discreet, which we didn’t make a jewelry. Cuz it looks good. We made a jewelry because it’s safer for you because if you take action without the people around you, knowing then that action isn’t gonna result in more violence and it’s gonna make you more willing mm-hmm <affirmative> to take that action earlier in a moment. Yeah.
So let me ask Aquin , because I , when I looked at , uh , you said a new background, you used Harvard a lot. So the guys who we came up with, the technology, did you go for the , uh , I think something in Harvard, you went for a stadium , Harvard or something like this to come up with the technology, how we came up with the technology is the technology new or guys he came up with the technology. Uh ,
Yeah, well, we didn’t use Harvard a lot. Um, I think it’s just part of our history. And we come from a place of being really transparent about our own stories and where we come from, how our product is built, where it’s built, what its costs are, everything. Um, and so Sarah , my co-founder and I met at Harvard business school and we started the business through the accelerator program there at the Harvard I lab . Um, and we felt really fortunate to have had that opportunity because it’s a network of people who wanna help you and will give you advice and help you think through some of the challenges. Um, and neither of us have started a business before. So they kind of give you a playbook now, of course you don’t always follow that exact playbook, but they help you understand what steps you need to take and how you can take them . Um, but the product was entirely developed by our team.
Mm-hmm mm-hmm <affirmative> so is the technology new or it’s uh , you guys , you take a technology and you edit it or change it.
It depends on what you’re asking. Right? So the parts, the kind of technology that we use, we use Bluetooth technology. We have a mobile application that technology exists and it exists and used in different ways for different things by different people, right? Um, like the idea of wearable is not new, but a wearable for safety is new , uh , in the ways that we use it for your safety, very simply, but elegantly are new. So we have , um, we have a pending patent that covers a lot of different parts of the technology in the whole system.
Mm . And let me ask a , is your product for female male or who are your product who will use your product?
Yeah, so there’s a lot of misconceptions in life and that is definitely the case for the safety industry as well. One of the misconceptions is that safety is only a problem for women and that is not true at all. Another misconception is that safety is only a problem for younger women. And that is also not true to our work. We found that safety doesn’t have an age and it doesn’t have a gender. Now, our offering started out on the more feminine side because that was our experience. Um, but we recently launched a leather bracelet that is more gender neutral. Sure . And are gonna be coming out with some other styles too. And we find that , um, our customers range in a lot of different aspects , uh , because depending on where you live, what you do , uh, you most certainly have a safety need. I don’t know, a single person who doesn’t care about their safety. Um, but some people mm-hmm <affirmative> are more conscious of that because of their job or their history or their experiences. And because of their identity, we live in a world in which your safety , um, changes depending on your identity. And that really shouldn’t be linked, but it is.
So then one thing actually about the product , cause we’re talking about this, let’s say I am , I came for you. I saw you Quinn . I told , Hey, Quinn , what you do, you do ? I thought , so why I should have the product? Why me? Or , uh ,
Or maybe like tell us some , tell us some of the benefits or some of
The features of it. Yeah . Like why? Because sometime I feel people like hesitant because you know why I should get , I don’t need it. Uh , so why,
Yeah. To be honest with you, honest, I haven’t found anybody who’s hesitant. Um, I think that there are a lot of people who live , um, very consciously of how their safety is at risk and they wanna plan for that and they wanna have options. And what we do as a business is, I mean, the way I see safety, I should say more specifically is that safety is not only about avoiding violence. That’s a big part of it. But it’s also about how you approach the world with confidence and control and agency. So much of the way that safety exists in our lives is the choices that we make and the constraints on those choices. How do we show up in a moment? How do we present ourselves? Where do we go? How do we get there? These are all choices that we make for our safety. And if you have a plan, if you know that you’re connected at all times and that you have backup when you need it, you will approach those decisions differently in a way that enables you to flourish more. Right? I can’t tell you the number of people who, you know, just, just look at the number of assaults that happen in college and the number of people who drop out after being assaulted or the number of people who avoid going places, because they’re worried about their safety there. And that’s, that’s a world in which people are holding back because of their safety. So what I personally get super excited about is what does a world look like? Where everybody, no matter their identity can feel like they can go after their goals fully
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And , uh , uh , I’m sorry was probably talking too much about the product, but how the product works . So let’s say I have the ju cause it’s very amazing idea. It’s like very smart idea. Very amazing. So how’s the product work . If somebody never heard about how’s the product work? How , like I have the Judah in my hand, if I feel unsafe, if I am in the place , just I push something. So how it work .
Thank you for asking this. Oh , so Blair gives you discreet safety options that heck can help you at any time , anywhere at any point in a moment where you’re feeling unsafe, where you’re feeling uncomfortable, or if you’re in an unwanted situation. So you can press the hidden button that’s on the side of the bracelet, you press it once. And we send you a phone call. We call it a fake phone call. Technically it’s a real phone call, but it , we call it fake because there’s a recording on the other end that has a conversation with you. You can listen to that, recording in advance and prepare for it. And you can choose between different recordings. It’s your friend. Who’s locked out. It’s your coworker , cuz you’re late for a meeting . It’s your partner checking in . It’s your friend who just got broken up with it’s a pet . They’re all reasons that you need to leave immediately . That’s excuse to leave. Say you’re on a bad date and you’re feeling uncomfortable and you don’t know how to excuse yourself. You get a phone call and you have to go . You can also press and hold the button and we’ll send your GPS location and an alert to your friends and family. We put them on a text chain so that they can coordinate with each other. If they have different pieces of information and you can send that same <inaudible> to an on-call agent who is trained, will call you, check in with you. You can stay on the line with them. If you just want somebody to talk to and they can also send emergency response directly to your location, they have your live updated location can send 9 1, 1 right to you. So it’s a quick silent, discreet way of getting multiple forms of help immediately.
Oh wow. That’s amazing. This sounds amazing. And why people , they not using it enough? I , I need to get one. Why doesn’t everyone have one already? Yeah. <laugh> so , uh , uh , and let me ask you , uh , so when, when you , do you have a mentor? What , uh , besides like this, when you building a business, I’m sure you did have a mentor. How did the mentor help guys do still use a mentor?
Yeah, so I think having a mentor is a very personal decision and one that each person can choose to make and invest in on their own. Sure . The way that I have mentors is not, I don’t have one mentor only. I have a network of mentors that I utilize because they each bring different expertise, different ways of thinking different frameworks into my life. Um , and my co-founder and I share a lot of the same mentors and what, the way we think about it is they help you see around the corners that you can’t see yet. Um, so we look to founders who are a little bit ahead of us, or a lot ahead of us. We , we look to experts in our space, in our field , um, experts for particular things, particular aspects of our product , uh, like engineering, supply chain management, marketing , um, growth website, development, UX, UI, all different aspects. Mm-hmm <affirmative> for us , that’s been really a powerful network that we’ve been able to rely on when we need expertise that we don’t have yet. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. I think that frankly, it’s been crucial to our success at the same time. I always like to tell other founders that getting advice is really important and people often wanna help founders. You know, you’re doing a really hard thing and people wanna help you. And there’s only a few ways that they can really help you. You know, they can help you create the product and the work they can help you by giving you connections by giving you money or by giving you advice to help you giving you ideas. But if we all did the same thing, the same way everybody else did, there would be no innovation. And as a founder, as a entrepreneur, you’re in the business of innovation and sometimes you have to go against the grain and you have to have confidence in that. So I’ve developed what I call my , um , mental trash bin, where , uh , somebody is giving me advice and I send it through my own filter where I say, this is advice that I really appreciate, wanna take and run with, or this is advice that I really appreciate, but I’m just gonna dump it in that mental trash bin and say, thank you so much because you can’t pursue it all. You have to hyper prioritize and you’re not gonna always agree with them . And at the end of the day, you need to hold yourself accountable to your customers, to your vision and to yourself and to your team too. Amazing. Of course .
So now you do have a partner yes. Or founder a co-founder
I do. Yeah. I have a co-founder.
Yes. Yeah. And I , I , I read about both of you guys and I actually, I think I saw a video for you interview guys, do you have a challenge working together because I’m sure you have probably she has different opinion . You have the , how we come over these challenges, especially when you saw the new business. Cause I’m sure the challenge happen . You know, we want to move in this direction. No , I think we should do in this direction . And we interview a lot. Co-founder where we see this is really huge thing, how they come over it and how they make sure the common movement in one direct action . So how can you come over this challenge?
Yeah. Yeah. Every founding relationship is different. Uh , and my partnership with Sarah is one of the most important aspects of our business. You know, we each bring different aspects to the business. And I think we’re part of this new wave of leadership where it used to be, that you had to say, one person is in charge and the other person isn’t so that when there were disputes, the person in charge would win. Um, but now we’re part of this new wave where we believe that our partnership is what brings us success. And we’re committed to that partnership and working together to come to decisions together on a lot of things. Um, and so we both lead the company together and we operate that way and we actively invest in our relationship. We have do time dedicated to spend with each other every week. And we also time dedicated every month to have a check in about how we’re each doing, how our relationship is doing and to work on that together.
Oh, wow. Amazing. Amazing . So, no , I want to go back actually for the business. When you came up with the idea, when you guys, how you went to enter the market, did you find the challenges to enter the market? Because I feel a lot of people have an idea. Then they develop the ideas then , okay. We have the product where , what we do now. Uh , so how , uh , is this case ? What , how he did it if , if we can ask.
Yeah, of course. Um, so we have really excellent timing for going to the market. And if you can sense some sarcasm in my voice, you are a hundred percent accurate. We launched literally two weeks before the pandemic hit in and we had a whole plan for how we were launching based a lot , um , with doing on the ground , work with college students , um, and college students were some of the first people to be sent home during the pandemic. So we had to reinvent the wheel early on. Um, and we certainly did not do that perfectly. Um , but what we found was if we put ourselves out there that our customers would find us and we would find our customers. So we sold exclusively on our website, on our e-commerce platform, which is get flare.com and have grown exclusively and tremendously there utilizing , um, digital, online advertising , um, organic like word of mouth flywheel conversations about safety mm-hmm <affirmative> and using influencers, building up our social media platform, frankly, we haven’t done anything too revolutionary yet on the marketing side, it’s just been telling our story and talking to people about it. I think because I’m because the product is so mission oriented, I think that lends itself to people being really interested in understanding where it comes from. You know , there’s something really powerful from taking the worst experience in your life and flipping it on its head to use it, to create positivity.
And let me ask you is guys , you are the only product in the market like this. We , we work for example, we work with a company where it’s called Rusk olive , but I think for senior , I don’t think they have any, I didn’t see any product before for like younger . Like it’s different as the idea it’s way different here, but do you have anybody in the market where they have something similar?
There is a lot of things that people do for their safety. Um, okay . So there are products like personal alarms or the , you know, your, your iPhone can contact the police, but at the same time, it also lets out a really loud alarm <laugh> to make sure that you wanna do it. So it really blows up your spot, not , not discreet at all. Um , there’s also the typical things that people have been using for decades like whistles and pepper sprays, self defense , the buddy system find my friends. Um , the list goes on. What we’re competing against as a business is this , um, this notion of safety being an insurance product for this like one off moments for the rare emergency that will happen. And what we’re trying to do is help people understand how safety exists on a day to day weekly basis for them, and that they can take actions and utilize technology so that they know that they’re never alone and that they can navigate situations more effectively , um, using tools like flare , but it’s not your standard industry where you name like 20 other companies that are doing the exact same thing. And you’re different because of X, Y, and Z reason, right? We’re competing against habits that people form and behaviors for safety. Um, that frankly haven’t been cutting it for us. And mm-hmm , <affirmative> when I say competing, I do that with a lot of hesitation because mm-hmm , <affirmative> , I don’t think I’m competing against anybody in this space. Like my reason for starting this company is because I want people to be more active for their safety. And I know the consequences of not doing that. And I know the benefits of doing it. So anything that anybody does for their safety I think is, should be celebrated. And what we find is that our customers, aren’t just buying flare. They’re doing everything that they can for their safety to educate themselves. And one of the reasons why I think the industry has been so fraught with misinformation and like a general feeling of ness is that it told you historically, here’s the one thing you can do for your safety and I’ll solve your safety entirely well, to be Frank with you. That’s a lie. There’s no one thing that you can do that will solve your safety entirely. You need to do a lot of things for your safety. And the way we think about flare is it’s one tool in your toolbox, and it’s a tool kind of like, you know, your Swiss army knife that gives you a lot of different options in one, but you should be educating yourself about what other tools that you can have, cuz so many of them are mental.
So let me ask another question. Um, what’s what has surprised you most about building this business?
Um, to be honest with you, what surprised me most is the reaction that we’ve gotten from so many people. I know the statistics, everybody knows the statistics, one in three women and one in four men experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, in the us Mm-hmm <affirmative> . But I don’t think I really realized what that meant until I started flare . And what I mean by that is the number of people who’ve come up to me and disclose their own safety situations has been astounding mm-hmm <affirmative> . And I have found a lot of power in the sharing of those stories in using those stories to help make something that could be used to prevent it from happening to somebody else. And I was frankly surprised by the number of people who wanted to disclose something so deeply personal to them to a total stranger
Mm-hmm <affirmative> so do we wanna move on to rapid questions?
I am ready.
So here we go. Do you wanna ask these questions all again ? No . You go ahead and ask it <laugh> all right . So the first question is what’s your favorite food?
Mac and cheese
<laugh> oh , that’s a good one. What is your favorite movie?
Oh, no, you’re gonna hate me on this one. I don’t have a favorite movie. Like actively choose not to have a favorite movie.
Okay. That’s fine. What’s your favorite drink?
Pina colada .
Um, are you a tea or coffee person?
Um, are you a day or night person?
What’s your favorite book? If you have one
<laugh> one person who inspires you.
My grandmother, she taught me to eat dessert first and wear feather Bellas .
<laugh> amazing. Um, what do you think about setting goals?
I like to set intentions more than goals.
And what do you mean by this? Actually, this I’m interested in this, so I’m gonna pre you’re gonna interrupt the rapid question. Yeah . So what , what do you mean by this? Because this is a , this is the first time somebody tell me , I like to set up intention, not goal . What do you mean by this?
So it depends in the , you know, in a professional setting, goals are incredibly important and you need to have them , especially concrete goals that are measurable and actionable. But in my personal life , I have found that there’s so much that happens. That’s outside of your control. When you set a goal, you’re dictating to yourself what that’s gonna be, but you’re not giving yourself the flexibility for your passions or your interests to change, especially when you set long term goals. And so what I like to do when I make personal decisions is set intentions and reasons why I’m making that decision. Great example, why did I start flare ? Why did I become an entrepreneur? When I decided to pursue this? When I was in business school, I said, not I’m gonna start this business because it has to succeed. And we have to get to this level of funding and this many customers and this much money or make this kind of exit . What I said was I’m gonna do this because it is something that I am incredibly passionate about . It is something that makes a positive impact in the world . And it’s something that is gonna challenge me every single day. And in the moments when tough things happen, because hashtag startup’s hard when those challenges happen, I always fall back on those three things and say, why am I doing this? I’m doing it. Cuz I’m passionate. It’s gonna challenge me. And it has a positive impact. None of those things are about the success of this business. It’s okay if we end up failing, but I’m gonna keep going and keep pursuing because of those three reasons. So those are my intentions in making the decision rather than a goal for the business.
This is very interesting. This is the first time I hear . That’s amazing. I hear some way I speak about this way. So this is very smart. Very interesting. Okay. I’m sorry. I uh , I , uh , I , I jumped off . No
Worries. That’s why we wanna, we wanna get to know you. So this is great. Um, are you a dog or a cat person?
Dog. Um, what’s your biggest fear
<laugh> the end.
Um , yeah, which is so stupid. Cause it’s inevitable.
Yeah. And you won’t probably know when it happens, right. <laugh> just gonna happen. Yep . Like boom, you’re gone. Yep . Um, what would you change about yourself? If you could change one thing?
Um, you know, I have been overweight for my whole life and grew up in a world in which being overweight was not celebrated. Um, and so from that, I have a lot of trauma and confidence issues. Um, not when it comes to being myself, but when it comes to my body image, that’s the thing that I would change. And it’s also something that I’m actively working on.
Mm-hmm <affirmative> amazing.
We always work on this.
On that. We put goals and never have . That’s why I need a set . We intentions. <laugh> I need to put the intention for this because now I’m gonna change it for intention.
That’s great. Um , what’s your favorite kind of music?
Happy music. Great
Belly makes me feel invincible.
What do you , I think you’ll like this question. What do you miss most about being a kid?
I have an exact answer for this one. <laugh> I ? What I miss most about being the ki a kid is the ability to lie on the floor and just have a fit in front of anybody . Like as a kid you’re allowed on the time anywhere it’s totally acceptable . I really miss that .
I think we should lie on the floor more often. I do think that’s a great, a great example. Um , alright , so now we’re on our complete this sentence , uh , portion. So let’s get started. So when I started my business, I wish I knew blank .
I wish I knew that I knew the business better than anybody else. And to have confidence in making decisions that were different than what other people would’ve done. Mm-hmm <affirmative> , mm-hmm,
<affirmative> amazing. Leadership for me is about what
Having empathy and drive and putting your efforts towards making life better for others.
Great . The one thing that makes a great team member is what
Humility and openness ,
Um, challenges in life or business are blank.
<laugh> amazing . Um , I want my legacy to be
Uh, the best advice I would give someone is,
Is do it. I think there’s so many people that have an idea and they never pursue it. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and doesn’t take a lot to pursue. You don’t have to drop everything to do it. You can do it one step at a time. Just don’t regret. Never trying
Yeah, I’m start somewhere. I think actually I was the idea because I see , we see a lot of people have amazing ideas, but you know, it’s not only they don’t do it. I think , uh , where they come from or what is around them, the voices you cannot do it. It’s not gonna work. Oh, you never try it, man. See if it works , does not work . Just something
Different family asking them , how will you even make money? Like, oh yeah. You’re so right on that Oz it’s it’s not just about your willingness, it’s about the ecosystem you’re in and the echo chamber that you’re in . And does it support you or does it not? So, you know, I think the other important thing to your point is to find supporters, to be aware of what your echo chamber is and make sure that it’s people who believe in you and will support you. And if it’s not find me, find me on LinkedIn, send me a message. I will support you. <laugh>
Yeah , this is actually a great, because I think people need , you become the people, you know, because I think if the people, you know, who is the people there , I think it becomes the people , you know, because the people, if you know, people like they want to support, they want wanting to be success rude for your success. You will does design have to be business, anything in life, even like just going walk and two mile , anything in your life. If you have right people around you , I think this make a huge difference . But a lot of people actually, they don’t , they have challenges
With this . Yeah. You need permission from yourself. And from those around you to feel like you’re capable of doing it . I frankly, I didn’t feel like I was capable of being an entrepreneur until I found that idea. I couldn’t put down and I was in business school. I was in a place where they’re really good at making you feel like you’re capable.
Mm-hmm <affirmative> amazing . So just to wrap things up , um , what does the future look like for you personally and for the business?
Yeah , I don’t know . We’re frankly at a really interesting point in our, our lifespan where we have a few options for how to , uh , continue from a distribution standpoint. Um , and for, for Sarah and I what’s most important is how we progress the story around safety , um, and ensuring that, that continues to show up in people’s lives in a positive way. Um, making people feel validated for their experiences and to know that they’re not alone. And so mm-hmm , <affirmative> , that’s what we hold as our north star in the decisions that we make. Uh , and I know that the future looks like a lot of challenge. Also a lot of things to celebrate in that because at every stage in our business, it is always felt like you take the really positive , amazing momentum with really hard challenges all at the same time, like any mm-hmm <affirmative> our society right now has , uh , a culture around startups where often they’re put on pedestals or they’re made to seem as the ultimate success and you achieve it. And everything is great, but I don’t know a single founder who hasn’t struggled like with the existential existence of their business at one point or another. And frankly it’s not at one point or another it’s all the time. Um, and so it’s not like a , everything is rosy when you find success story for anybody mm-hmm , <affirmative> , it’s really hard and it takes a lot of commitment, a lot of time, a lot of drive. And so, yeah , I think that I, the reason why I’m saying all this is cuz I want to actively combat this notion where like startups are just like instant successes. Uh, because I think it does a disservice to all of the other founders out there who are working their asses off , um, every day . Mm-hmm, <affirmative>
Amazing. Um, what impact do you want to have on the world? And I think you’ve probably already answered this cuz you are in a very unique situation and have a very unique product, but tell us , um , what you perceive as your impact on the world.
Impact you want to have in the world.
Yeah. So , um, I care a lot about ensuring that people who haven’t had a voice before are able to have a voice and to speak up and to share that experience and have it be accepted and addressed. Um, I care a lot about how people think about their safety, because I think there’s, mm-hmm , <affirmative> so much pain that can be avoided and so much benefit to the world that’s missed because people are holding back or feel like they can’t be their full selves. I want to work to help people pursue their passions more. And for me that means creating a world that’s safer where we more openly talk about how safety affects each and every one of us and people feel confident in taking action for their safety. Not because they’re doing it because they are vulnerable, but because they’re doing it because that’s a world where we exist in . Unfortunately we exist in a world where we are going backwards when it comes to safety. And our company’s mission is to create a world where products like flare aren’t needed and to put ourselves out of business and to achieve that. We need to keep fighting every day to change the culture and the norms. I know that selling more flares isn’t gonna achieve, that’s gonna achieve that is cultural societal, institutional, judicial educational, you name it, change mm-hmm <affirmative>
So what does , uh , one more question actually, cause you talk about a lot safety and I think you mentioned it, but if you can tell me what safety in your own world what’s safety for you. So what is safety? Cause I think you mentioned safety a lot. Yeah . And I think you mentioned it a bit like going out, being , feeling comfortable, but what’s safety for you.
Safety is agency. It’s having the permission to be your full self, to be confident and in control of what’s around you to know that you’re never alone, that you’re always connected. You have a system of support behind you and to operate with that peace of mind
And okay, so this is a great , now I’m gonna jump back to the business. Uh , I have a few question I’m gonna just , uh , after that, cause actually it’s a very great idea. Now you are only in the online. Yes. Only people buy online.
Are you planning guys to go for like stores like , uh , like , uh , big store , big chain ? Are you not
T B D um , we have some really exciting potential to be
Determined, to be determined. Yeah.
To be , yeah . Or to be disclosed. We can’t really say anything about.
Okay , great. Um , amazing. Okay. Uh , amazing. Um , is there anything else we should know if uh , about ,
Um, no, I think, you know, you can find out more on our website, get flare.com . Um , but I frankly really appreciated this conversation. I feel like we’ve covered so much ground from what it means to be an entrepreneur and how to pursue your dreams, to how to make a product to what safety means and how it exists in our lives.
Abso absolutely. Well,
Thank you so much Quinn for joining us today. It was a pleasure.
Thank you. I really appreciate the space that you’ve created for founders, to be honest and authentic , um , and help people who, you know, might be thinking about doing something to realize that it is achievable and accessible for them .
That’s absolutely amazing.
All right . Thank
You so much. Thank you , Quinn .
You’re welcome is so nice to meet you both.
Thank you for listening to founder thought you can find more episodes wherever you listen to podcasts or on the web founderthought.com . Founder thought is a production of pepper gang .
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