So if you follow my content at all, I’m sure you didn’t miss the launch of Parry! You can find Parry here on the App Store and on IG but in a nutshell, Parry is an app I created to help get women out of uncomfortable and awkward situations, especially before they have a chance to escalate into something more serious. When Parry is activated, you get a fake but realistic sounding phone call giving you an easy exit strategy and excuse to leave. You also have the option to have your location texted to your emergency contacts for an added layer of safety.
But today I wanted to talk about how Parry came to be – I talked about this a little bit in my recent post on “How To Start A Business When You Know Nothing” (because let me tell you, I knew nothing about developing an app), but I thought I would share more about how the idea came to be and the process I went through from narrowing down the concept, to solidifying the branding, to actually getting the app developed. Hopefully this is helpful if you have an idea and are trying to think of how to bring it to fruition or maybe you’ll just enjoy hearing the story about Parry! Either way, let’s get into it.
So, unless you’re living under a rock, you know that I am true crime obsessed. I love true crime documentaries, podcasts, psychological thriller books. Because of this, plus the fact that both my parents were FBI agents, I feel like I am always hyperaware of my surroundings. For better or worse, I am always skeptical and overly cautious. I don’t feel paranoid (Stephen may argue differently lol), and I don’t think it’s healthy to go through life that way, but the sad reality for women is that we have to pay attention and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
So anyway. After making Stephen listen to a crime junkie episode one day he was like saying how awful the episode was – I was like yeah, I know. As a man, you don’t have to think about any of this. As women, we constantly have to watch our backs. He then said, why aren’t there more things out there to keep women safe? It was such an obvious statement, but something that I never really thought of. Like, I always just felt like the “solution” was to be aware of your surroundings, be overly cautious, etc. And while I still think we need to do all those things – it’s like, why aren’t there more tools out there to at least help women feel more comfortable in their day to day? This is what got the wheels turning for what eventually turned into Parry.
After some googling and research, I found (or didn’t find rather) that there wasn’t really much in the space designed around women’s safety. There were a couple options for when you’re in a true emergency, but I couldn’t find anything that was focused on more day to day scenarios to help women feel more at ease. So after looking more into both spaces and thinking through everything, an app focused on helping women feel more secure in their daily life was the route I wanted to go for a few reasons 1. I felt like there wasn’t really anything in the women’s safety space that focused on this 2. While I’m all about things to help us in an emergency, since emergencies are more rare, I thought it would be better to focus on something women could use more often (and that helps get you out of that situation before it escalates into an emergency in the first place) 3. Since (Parry) was just going to be an app and I could eliminate a wearable component (like some of the other emergency brands out there), I could get it launched ASAP and make the price super affordable and accessible ($1.49/week, $3.99/month, or just $29.99/year).
With this initial concept, Parry was just going to be the fake phone call component plus sending your location to you emergency contacts. But then I was thinking – there are plenty of times where as women we don’t necessarily feel in danger or so uncomfortable that we want someone to know where we are, but we still need an excuse to leave. This is when the fake phone call (only) and the fake phone call + location became two separate options (so women could choose which was most fitting for whatever situation they were in).
I wanted to share a little bit of the behind the scenes of this thought process just to show that if you have an idea it’s not necessarily (or likely) going to be linear. You will probably go through a lot of tweaking and reiterations of the concept/product. And this was just the idea itself – I’m not even talking about the app design and development! Point is, if you have an idea don’t be afraid to think outside the box of what you initially envisioned.
So the branding was probably the hardest part for me because in the past, all of my branding has been for my, personal brand. This was a brand and product that was completely different from my personal brand and I wanted to keep it that way, but it was hard to not let my own personal influence of what *I* like in my own brand not influence Parry. Spoiler alert: I am absolutely obsessed with Parry’s branding, even though I never thought I’d like pops of neon! But it was important for the brand to speak to the target audience, and represent what Parry is as a brand. IMO, the most important part of your business aside from having a great product (obviously), is the story around your brand/business which is largely tied into the branding. Beyond the product, this is what allows people to really connect with a brand. That’s why I think it’s an area that you should definitely invest in. I worked with Hannah from Duende Design Co. and I really have to give her all the credit for bringing Parry to life. I told her about the concept/idea, the mission behind the Parry, why I felt like women needed it, etc. but she was able to take all of my thoughts and really turn Parry into the brand it is. She also designed all of the app wireframes – she took Parry from a business to a brand and she did a fantastic job.
The App Development
Needless to say, this was an area that I knew nothing about. Honesty, still learning a ton everyday. But remember when I said in this post that google is your best friend? Well, I started off googling things like “how to develop an app” “app development firms.” Stephen was a huge help with this (amongst many other things in the this process), but it really took a lot of research and interviews to find the right developer (and team). I won’t bore you with more details on this part – we had a great team but needless to say it was a very long process with lots of back and forth, trial and error, etc. But like with any business you start, if it were easy and a quick process – more people would do it! So don’t let that discourage you 🙂
If you guys have any questions about Parry or the process, leave them below and I’m happy to answer!