Caroline Olah knows she and her husband Jason are raising their daughters in a different world from that of their childhoods.
"Dropping them off at the mall isn't like it was when I was younger," the Lakes of the Four Seasons woman said. The worried mother had provided 15-year old Claire and 12-year old Grace with mace, but knew it went into a pocket or purse where it might not be as quickly accessible as it should be.
"I'm a huge problem solver. ... My friends say my brain is always working," Olah said.
Olah began nearly 18 months ago to try different ideas toward the goal of developing a fashion self defense pepper spray bracelet.
"I wanted to make it as perfect as I could," she said.
On July 1, the trademarked Little Viper was launched. The patent is pending. Made of lightweight silicone, which is good for joggers since it doesn't sweat, the bracelet weighs only 1 ounce and contains three to six bursts of pepper spray with a 3-feet range.
"It has three nice buttons to make it adjustable. I say one size fits most," Olah said. "My daughters and their friends wear them," she said.
While she sees her market as primarily female, Olah said male joggers as well as men taking their dogs for walks might find it a spot-on, self defense tool.
Launching only months ago means the production line is short. "We assemble all the bracelets out of our home now," Olah said. The "we" are her husband and daughters.
The Olahs invested their own capital to start the business. While some investors have expressed interest, she said the family is uncertain.
"Were just not sure if we want to part with a portion of our company in exchange," she said.
LittleViper.com sells to distributors and individuals, but may not ship outside the United States. Olah said the bracelet has "caught on" with a self-defense company, and they are in talks.
Both she and her husband are Purdue University graduates, so Olah is looking into ways to market the Little Viper there.
"My degrees are in marketing and communications," Olah said. She said her creation fits well for social media marketing.
An added bonus is there are no products like it in the market now. "We're not competing with anyone," Olah said.
"I wholeheartedly believe that if women wear this, it would reduce the amount of successful assaults by a ton. This gives them at least a chance. And, it definitely eases my mind," Olah said.
Not one to wait for things to happen, Olah is also working currently with a developer to create an iPhone application that would serve as another security measure. It will be a free download in the Apple store, she said. While it will feature the Little Viper logo, the app's name has not yet been decided.
Olah also is the owner of PayDayResume.com, a resume and consulting service she has operated for 15 years.