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Meet Brian Pennington of PepperFace

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Pennington.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Pepper spray is a dependable, effective self-defense tool, yet researched told us the majority of women don’t carry one. We surveyed thousands of women to find out why more women don’t carry a pepper spray. After surveying, there was a clear Top 5 reason why:
1. Too Big
2. Too Bulky
3. Too Ugly
4. Don’t know how to use it
5. Scared they are going to spray themselves

After gathering this info, we designed a pepper spray that answers all these challenges. We designed a slim, lightweight and compact pepper spray that can easily fit in the palm of your hand or can attach to a keychain, purse or bag. With fashion being valued so high in today’s society, we took this trend in the design of our pepper sprays. We created a stylish pepper spray that is a fashionable accessory to attract more women. Unlike the traditional vertical sprays, PepperFace sprays horizontally. There are 2 reasons why we went with a horizontal spray; 1) helps prevent spraying yourself b/c you have to point the spray away from you in order for it to work and 2) if someone is going to attack me my first reaction is to put my hands up to cover my face.

With a horizontal spray fitting easily in the palm of your hand, you can protect your face and spray an attacker at the same time. We provide both HEAT and TEST inserts. The HEAT inserts have the pepper inside of them. The TEST inserts are water-based and used for practice purposes. It’s critical someone is comfortable using a device that could potentially save their life. With our TEST inserts, the user can practice using the spray at home before they take it out with them in public. Our outside casings have a lifetime warranty and these inserts are refillable. If a spray runs out or expires, all the user has to do is purchase an inserted refill instead of having to buy a whole new spray each time.

Lastly, we are more than just a company that manufactures and sells pepper sprays. We want to be an awareness symbol to help end violence against women. We partnered with the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCDSV) to raise awareness to help end violence against women and also to provide resources to those unfortunate enough to have become a victim of violence.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s never a smooth road when starting a business. I purchased the name PepperFace about a year and a half ago and shut down all operations to completely revamp operations and the website. During this time, I decided to redesign the sprays and start manufacturing these sprays on our own. I knew manufacturing was going to be a difficult process, but I had no idea it was going to be as difficult as it really was.

We had to be very precise in every square millimeter and it took us running over 20 different samples runs to get the outside casing dimensions correct. After the casing was set, we had more obstacles to overcome with the inserts to fit properly. We ran over 10 different sample runs of the inserts to finally get it correct. These two major obstacles were in addition to interviewing and hiring a website design/development firm, a digital marketing firm, and locating the most efficient vendors/warehouse.

I projected this endeavor would take about 6 months to go live with. With all the above mentionings, and other tedious tasks needed to be completed when starting our own business, it took over a year and a half to successfully launch PepperFace.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with PepperFace – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I mentioned a lot of this in my previous answers. We manufacture and sell stylish pepper sprays. What sets us apart from most all other pepper sprays are the following:

1. Our slim, compact, and stylish designed pepper sprays
2. Our horizontal spray, unlike the traditional vertical pepper sprays (benefits of this are listed in the previous question)
3. Provide HEAT and TEST inserts with each purchase (benefits also listed in the previous question)
4. To extend even further on our stylish design, we offer 14 different pre-designed crystalized pepper sprays that are decorated with Swarovski crystals.

My father told me at a very young age; “nothing good comes easy.” This statement couldn’t be truer with the launch of PepperFace. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I launched a company and caught the attention of Hollywood enough in the beginning to be part of the Swag Bags – which are the gifts bags given to top Oscar Nominees. This has all been great and something I’m very proud of, but the proudest I’ve been has been our involvement to help end violence against women. We use our platform, and our partnership with the NCDSV, to raise awareness to help end violence against women and to provide resources to those unfortunate enough to have become a victim of violence. The awareness we have raised and the help we have provided to the NCDSV is what I have been most proud of.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During the month of April, we are going to donate 10% of our proceeds to our partner, NCDSV.

In addition, we are in the process of getting into different retailers/boutiques not only in Chicago but across the country as well.

Pricing:

  • Standard Spray – $27
  • Pre-designed Crystal Sprays – $125
  • Refillable HEAT Inserts – $7
  • Refillable TEST Inserts – $6

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.pepperface.com
  • Phone: 312.285.2980
  • Email: bpennington@pepperface.com
  • Instagram: @thepepperface
  • Facebook: @thepepperface
  • Twitter: @pepperface

      

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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