We've all been there: stuck in an uncomfortable situation with the guy at the bar who just won't leave you alone. You try to text your friend for help, but she's not responding. Claire Guentz has got your back.
Claire Guentz is known for sharing tips on everything from fitness to fashion on her blog and Instagram account (@claireguentz). And because of her impeccable taste, the former nurse has amassed a social media following of nearly 200,000. Recently the 33-year-old was inspired to tackle a new topic: women’s safety. After getting hooked on true crime podcasts during the pandemic and recalling scary moments from her college days, the lifestyle expert from Raleigh, North Carolina decided to create an app called Parry that helps women get out of potentially dangerous situations. We chatted with Guentz to discover how the easy-to-use app works.
How does Parry work?
"It’s an app that's focused on the women's safety space and was created as a way to help women feel more comfortable in day-to-day life. Unfortunately, I feel like, as women, we are constantly put in uncomfortable situations, whether it’s being hit on and someone won’t take the hint, or you’re walking to your car and have to be aware of your surroundings constantly. When the app is activated, the user can receive a fake but realistic sounding pre-recorded phone call. It gives you an easy excuse to leave a situation. On top of that, the user also has an option to have their location sent to their designated emergency contacts that they choose when setting up the app. You can enable the app to receive the fake phone call, or you can receive the fake phone call while simultaneously having your location set to your group of emergency contacts. We wanted to create something that bridges the gap before things escalate.”
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What does Parry stand for?
“The word parry means to defend, ward off or block. I wanted something that had meaning, but that was also discreet.”
What was the inspiration behind the app?
“In January 2021, my husband and I were on a trip, and I asked if he wanted to listen to a crime podcast. He said, 'Why do you like listening to this?' I said it was good to be aware and feel prepared. Then I started thinking about how this is so terrible that women have to deal with this. So, after that trip, I started researching the women’s safety space to prevent these situations. I found a few things that women can have at their disposal, but they were device-related, and the functionality wasn’t great. Plus, since there’s a device component, they’re also like $150. I started thinking of something that would be more affordable and could help prevent these situations before they even happen.’
Has there ever been a moment in your life where you found yourself in an uncomfortable situation?
“I remember this guy who lived across the street in college who would always be waiting for me. I could never find an easy excuse to get away. I felt trapped. Nothing happened, but it could have escalated quickly. I, like many women, placated the person because I didn’t have an easy excuse to leave. So that’s why I wanted to create an easy way to exit these situations."
What’s your main goal for the app?
"I hate that an app like this has to exist. But my overall goal is for women to feel more comfortable in daily life because they know they have an easy excuse to leave an uncomfortable situation.
You can download Parry on the Apple store and sign up for a subscription. The pricing for weekly is .99/week, $2.99/month and $24.99/year.