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MN – SELF-PROTECTION – Assault Victim Launches Self-Defense Product Line

Violent crimes in Minneapolis are at a five-year high, The Washington Post reported last month. And Turqouya “Tee” Williams knows what it feels like to be a victim of such a crime: in 2014, while exiting her vehicle after work on Bloomington Ave., she was attacked by two men. In April of this year, driven by her 2014 experience and the sudden death of her father this year, Williams launched Soul Sistas, a Minneapolis-based business that makes personal protection keychains containing tactical self-defense tools, self-defense sprays, and alarms. “I felt motivated to start my business as a means to live out [my father’s belief in me] and to heal,” Williams says. “And in light of several safety concerns arising in our communities, I wanted to channel that frustration into something tangible and solution oriented.” For every five keychains Soul Sistas sells, the company also gives one away for free to a Black woman who is escaping domestic violence. Did you face additional challenges and/or advantages because of when you launched your business? “ I think I’ve face both challenges and advantages in starting a business this year. One challenge I’ve faced is limited interaction with potential customers. First, I just love meeting new people and human interaction. Secondly, I typically provide a demonstration to ensure folks know how to best utilize it. I’ve had to cultivate new ways to showcase my products online. I think an advantage is we are moving to a more technology-based world, and my products are all shippable. I’ve had great success through my website sales.  [full article]

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