By: Patranya Bhoolsuwan, KIRO 7 News
SEATTLE – A young woman from Seattle has founded a company selling products that could save lives.
The startup is called “Wonder Hoodie” and it’s based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its founder, 25-year-old Vy Tran, grew up in Seattle and graduated from UW.
Tran said she launched the company following a tragedy in her hometown. In 2016, her next-door neighbor was shot and killed in an attempted robbery in the Rainier Valley neighborhood.
“Afterwards I couldn’t stop thinking about it,” said Tran. “My mom and my brother still walk home every day in the same neighborhood and I still didn’t feel comfortable.”
Tran started designing bulletproof gear that incorporates casual outfit designs, like vests, jackets and hoodies.
Her products now meet the National Institute of Justice requirements for body armor.
Tran said her product can protect the wearer from anything from a knife to a .44 magnum handgun.
“Our customers have given us really good reviews,” said Tran “They said they can’t really feel the armor. It’s light and breathable.”
Tran said with her price point between $450 and $650, her products may not not be affordable to everyone.
But she’s been getting a lot of interest from teachers across the country, including one who told her he’s saving up so he can wear one to patrol his campus.
“He said ‘I really like what you are doing and I really like what you are making. I hope to finally buy it after 2 or 3 paychecks,’” said Tran.
So Tran has decided that for every 10 items sold, she’s donating 1 to an educator.
She said parents have also inquired about her products for their children. Tran said in light of all the school shootings around the country, her products do give people a peace of mind.
“I hope no one has to need what I am making, but if they do, wonder hoodies will be the best option out there.”