Hello, my name is Victoria Penta, I am a disabled jewelry designer and beginning metalsmith. I would like to thank Laurien for allowing me to write for all of you.
One night I woke up from a dream about those Life Alert devices and immediately thought I can make them pretty (for those that don’t know, Life Alert is a company in the U.S. that supplies buttons to disabled and elderly people that when pressed call for emergency services.). I did some research and found out that they can only be used in the home and was disappointed, then I looked into personal alarms and found all these ugly, bulky, plastic things that I knew women would never use. The next day I was at my mother’s house with my cousin and sister and I told them about the dream and how I was upset that I couldn’t do anything to help the disabled, they all chimed in with “make your own” and “women will buy something pretty that keeps them safe” and “this is not just something for the disabled but for all women”.
So I came up with a basic design of a wire cuff bracelet with a gemstone bezel setting and the gemstone would be the on/off button for the alarm. First, I bought a cheap plastic alarm and talked to a friend of the family who is a sound engineer, and she explained how the circuit boards in the alarm worked. Also she told me once I get a working prototype made she would set me up with an investor she knows, who’s always on the lookout for new and exciting things. Then I set up a meeting with electrical engineers at a maker studio and asked them if my design was possible, they said it was! I was so happy I started buying gemstones and metalsmithing supplies as fast as I could.
Below is a very rough drawing of my alarm bracelet, sorry for the bad photo.
But, I felt I needed to do more than just make these bracelets, I wanted to help other people too. So, I started a blog on assault on women, the LGBT community, the elderly, children, and the disabled. I call it a safe haven for all affected by assault of any kind. Each week I have been researching statistics and writing about what I feel not many people are talking about; such as the rape of young women, the sexual and physical abuse of the elderly, and the abuse and kidnappings of children. In addition, I have started a Facebook page to share blog posts, thoughts, pictures, and in the future my alarm bracelets.
I have some big dreams for this product. I want to see my bracelets in every college campus store and hanging as a keychain on every child’s backpack, I hope to create a community with my blog where everyone will feel welcome and comfortable talking about personal stories, and I hope I can make a dent in the amount of sexual and physical assaults that happen each year.
Thank you for letting me write for you and it’s an honor to be part of this group/blog.