Can Your Jewelry Save Your Life? With Trelawear, The Answer Could Be “Yes”!
The idea for Trelawear began when Founder Mara Perlmutter’s elderly fashionista mother became housebound due to illness. Despite Perlmutter’s best intentions, her mother refused to wear any of the emergency response devices that had been purchased for her because of how unattractive they were.
Eventually, Perlmutter’s mother offered a suggestion: “You’ve been in the jewelry business over 25 years. Can’t you make me something beautiful to wear in case of an emergency?” With that, the wheels began to turn, and Mara started to apply her extensive experience as a fashion and jewelry executive to develop a product that would fit the bill.
Mara partnered with longtime colleague and fellow jewelry executive Anthony Pucci to design and produce the line that would become Trelawear — a jewelry-based, stylish pendant with a beautifully-disguised emergency alert button on the back. When the button is pressed, Trelawear’s built-in technology transmits the alert to a MobileHelp base station (plus the option of a mobile device) and connects with a trained emergency operator.
You can support Trelawear by contributing to their Indiegogo fundraising campaign from September 25th through October 24th, 2018. Read on to find out more about Founder Mara Perlmutter and her line of discreet emergency response necklaces, Trelawear.
Name: Mara Perlmutter
Company: Trelawear, Inc.
Job Title: Founder & CEO
Current home base: Westchester County, New York
Originally from: New York, NY
I’m a connector. I love putting people together both professionally & personally.
One thing on your bucket list:
Travel to all 7 continents. I’ve been to 6, but I’m missing Antarctica.
A woman in history you admire and why:
Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a trailblazer in her own right who validated the voice, power, and knowledge of women to lead.
A present-day woman you admire and why:
RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). Brilliant scholar, direct, determined, and has more fortitude than any 85-year-old I’ve ever seen. I had the honor of attending the Supreme Court in session this past March, and was mesmerized and inspired by her.
Quote/piece of advice that you live by:
“I know what I know; I have no idea what I don’t know.”
What inspired you to start your current venture?
My dad wanted my fashionista mom, who became more housebound due to illness, to wear an emergency response device. He ordered five different brands, and she refused to wear any of them since each one was truly unattractive. She said to me, “Mara, you’ve been in the jewelry business over 25 years. Can’t you make me something beautiful to wear in case of an emergency?” And so the idea was born. The launch of Trelawear fulfills my promise to her.
How is your company making a positive impact and/or generating change in your industry?
Trelawear offers the first attractive, discreet emergency response devices in the market. We make women feel good, while providing safety and security. With aging baby boomers, the 65+ population is growing exponentially, and Trelawear pendants provide the first “safety with style” solution for women to retain their independence.
What is one thing you and/or your company have accomplished that you are most proud of?
We’ve partnered with industry leaders in technology, real-time device monitoring services, and jewelry manufacturers to produce beautiful, reliable products you can trust to work in any emergency situation. I’m very proud of that accomplishment.
What is one major milestone that you would like your company to accomplish in the next year?
Sales of over $1,000,000.
What is one project/deal you are currently working on that you are most excited about?
I’m very excited to be presenting and featured on QVC.
What, in your opinion, is one of the biggest challenges facing your industry today?
A major challenge is customer retention for emergency alert service providers due to “refuse to use” feedback by customers — primarily women. Too often, they keep their device in a drawer and just don’t wear them, so they cancel their service agreements. Our product offers a solution to this industry-wide problem.
What is a trend in your industry that you foresee becoming popular in the future?
Multi-function mobile wearable devices that include wifi technology, A.I., fall detection, medicine reminders, and more, all in one device.
What is one of the greatest challenges you have personally faced at this job?
Throughout my career, I have worked for large corporations or very successful family owned businesses. This is the first company I personally funded, and making fiscally responsible decisions is critical. I have made a couple of bad decisions, but I’ve learned from them, and those lessons are invaluable moving forward.
What were you doing before your current role?
I have had a long, successful career in the retail, wholesale, and licensing of leading contemporary fashion, jewelry, and accessory brands. Throughout the creation and development of Trelawear, I was President of a Designer Jewelry Division. I represented brands including French Connection, Laundry by Shelli Segal, The Sak, and Isaac Mizrahi and sold to major department, specialty, and online retailers.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to other female founders and change-makers?
Believe in yourself, partner with the best industry leaders possible, and don’t let frustration derail you in achieving your goals.
Are there any great resources you have discovered that you would like to share?
Monthly events at NYC Start Up Academy, NYC Monthly VC Breakfast by Early Growth Financial Services/Cooley LLP/TriNet/Square 1 Bank, and Aging 2.0 puts on multiple events and conferences that are relevant to Trelawear’s target audience.
Fun fact about yourself:
I’m a worldwide foodie who loves the total dining experience and enjoys sharing recommendations with others.
For more on Trelawear: