Out of her desire to protect her loved ones, a young innovator has created a bullet-proof hoodie that can save people’s lives.
Vy Tran recently launched Wonder Hoodie, a Bay Area firm that manufactures hoodies that are actually bullet-proof, ABC7 reports.
According to the 25-year-old startup founder, she came up with the idea for a bullet-proof hoodie following a tragic incident in 2016 involving her neighbor in her hometown of Seattle.
Her neighbor was reportedly walking home when a gunman tried to rob her and then shot her dead.
“Last year, my next door neighbor, a Vietnamese mother of two was just walking home when she was approached for her purse, she wouldn’t give it up and they had a struggle,” Tran narrated.
Looks like a hoodie .. zip it open and it’s bulletproof armor strong enough for .44 magnum. Harsh realities. Interviewed the founder of Bay Area startup Wonder Hoodie @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/9EKxCirqiQ
— KrisReyes (@KrisReyes) May 2, 2019
“The person ended up shooting her eight times in the chest, she died right there, right in front of her home and mine.”
The incident had left Tran concerned for her own brother and mother as they both take the same route as her neighbor. Her first thought was to look for available bullet-proof gear for them at stores.
“I looked online for something to buy them and I couldn’t really find anything for women or children or at a price point I could afford,” she was quoted as saying.
Using her background in material science, Tran developed her own bullet-proof gear that incorporated casual outfit designs.
After sending her products off for testing, they eventually met the National Institute of Justice requirements for body armor.
Last year, Wonder Hoodie began selling the gear composed of a hoodie, a jean jacket, a vest, and other accessories starting at $450. The bullet-proof hoodie is priced between $595 to $650.
Wonder Hoodie products, which are made from DuPont Kevlar’s newest version called Kevlar XP, can reportedly protect its wearer from a powerful handgun such as a .44 magnum.
Tran revealed that Kevlar XP is rated “3A,” which she says is “the highest level of protection you can get from soft body armor.”
Her company now owns the patent for the head protection design and the zipper that connects the armor with the sweater. Such features allow users to wash the gear just like regular laundry.
Schools and parents have since expressed interest in the Wonder Hoodie products, with customers saying they are buying for themselves or their loved ones just to feel safe.
Wonder Hoodie has committed to donating one of their products to a public school teacher for every 10 sold.
Tran lamented that while she wishes she didn’t have to sell her products, she understands that the demand exists which is somewhat unsurprising under the current gun culture in the United States.
“This is just me doing my part that if someone like my mom or brother was looking for a product like this, it would be made available to them,” she added.