Discreet, c’est chic. That’s how we would describe Knockout’s accessories, which are much more than meets the eye. Founder and CEO Kate Davis (she/her) loved growing up in a big, fashionable city, but often felt unsafe late at night. “I hated having to take the subway home alone,” she says. “It bothered me that the only way I could avoid worrying about the ‘what ifs’ was to take an expensive cab ride. It’s the same reason women can’t run alone outside when it’s dark without anxiety.”

So, in 2016, she decided to do something about it: “I started designing and casting sterling silver rings with sharp edges, so my friends and I could protect ourselves. Many women tell me they carry keys between their fingers at night, and I wanted Knockout to provide a safer and more accessible alternative. It’s funny to be in a business where I hope my customers never have to use my products, but I’m proud to offer them peace of mind.”

Keep reading to learn more about Kate’s multipurpose jewelry that (literally) packs a punch. 💍👊

What products does your brand currently offer?
We designed and launched a pepper spray last year that women tell us they actually want to carry with them. We also have a line of sterling silver rings and a collection of colorful lucite rings, designed to help women protect themselves.

Why do you think these accessories are essential for women?
Every time I see an online poll asking what women would do if men weren’t around for 24 hours, the answers are something like “take a walk in the park at night” or “run alone when it’s dark out.” Sadly, the majority of violent assaults are perpetrated by men, so a lot of women feel the need to carry or wear safety accessories. I want that accessory to be beautiful and help them feel powerful.

Will there be new ones we should keep an eye out for?
I’m about to launch the Knockout Siren, and you heard it here first. It’s a personal safety alarm that’s perfect for situations where you need anyone and everyone’s attention. What sets our alarm apart is its rechargeable battery. I recently tested an alarm I’ve been carrying with me for over a year, and it made the saddest little chirp. The battery was almost dead, and I had no idea! That’s a situation I never want myself or my customers to be in, so I needed our alarm to be rechargeable.

If you had to pick, which is your fave item?
Even though the rings are my first loves, I have to say the pepper spray is my favorite. It levels the playing field and makes me feel safe whenever I’m out alone or with my 16-month-old. It might surprise people to know that pepper spray is completely legal to carry and use for defense in New York (and in all 50 states).

It was important to me that the spray look modern and chic, so women will actually carry it. I was inspired by the design of the Ettore Sottsass Mirror. I love how functional we were able to make it. It’s easy to hold, has a glow in the dark top, and has an invisible UV dye that stays on an attacker’s skin, so they can be identified by police later.

Is there anyone you look to for safety advice?
I’m a big fan of Dannah Eve. I love what she’s doing to help normalize safety conversations.

Do you have any other tips when it comes to staying safe, especially if you’re out and about on your own?
Here are some tips:

  • If you have an iPhone, it has a great safety feature called Emergency SOS. Familiarize yourself with it because it can be life saving.
  • Share your location with a few select people on your phone, and check in when you’re going out on a date or you want a friend to check on you.
  • Then there’s the silent Signal for Help. This hand signal helps people who can’t say they’re experiencing violence because they might be with the perpetrator.
  • The most important is situational awareness. Trust your gut if a situation makes you feel unsafe, don’t stick around.