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Friday 25 May 2018

Personal safety is a cause close to third year BA (Hons) Fashion Management with Marketing Sophie Walter’s heart. After her sister was mugged in Manchester, Sophie decided to base her final project on a personal protection device to combat and prevent assault, that remained stylish as well as providing safety. 

We caught up with Sophie, 22, from Eastbourne, to find out more about the product.

Tell us a bit about your final project
I decided to create a product that would be able to combat and prevent assault. I wanted to create a product that was accessible to anyone in the UK, at an affordable price, but was also fashionable and wouldn't stand out as a ‘personal protection product’.

Throughout my final project I researched the market itself, while discovering facts and statistics concerning the crimes. With consumer input I created the SideKick brand that would produce a personal safety bracelet that would be able to track locations, send alerts to emergency contacts via being synced to a SideKick app, as well as having waterproof properties enabling the user to use the product at all times. My project incorporated an extensive marketing plan, as well as creating a business plan for the SideKick brand.

What was the inspiration behind your project?
My inspiration first came from my sister being mugged in the streets on Manchester. Aside to this, I saw a poster calling for witnesses for an assault case that was being investigated. I am personally affected by these crimes, and felt great passion to research an idea and product to create a protection barrier for people who might need it.

Sophie's SideKick website design

What have you enjoyed most about your time at Solent?
I have loved every aspect of university, I've made friends for life, as well as learning huge amounts relating to my course, and being encouraged to become more confident in myself. I was also lucky enough to have extremely kind and inspiring lecturers who were able to guide me through university.

What's next for you? 
I have a few job interviews lined up in the marketing sector - I'm hopefully looking to become a marketing assistant or PR assistant in the near future.

Please share any advice you have for other students or potential students?
The advice I would give would be to take first year seriously as it does help to guide you in second and third year. But also have fun and enjoy your degree because it's a once in a lifetime experience.

To find out more about Sophie’s project, visit the School of Art, Design and Fashion degree show.