Ten years ago, a Poway teen named Chelsea King was raped and murdered while jogging in Rancho Bernardo.
The story, which made national headlines, touched the lives and broke the hearts of many. But, for two local woman, the story drove them to create a business that could help prevent future crimes.
Kate Nowlan and Kimberly Caccavo are the founders of GRACEDBYGRIT, a local apparel company that provides detachable safety whistles with its products. All bottoms sold by the company also include hidden front and back pockets to hold a cell phone.
Caccavo said the two were inspired to create the company after competing in a triathlon in memory of Chelsea.
“At one of the Tri’n for Chelsea team meetings, Kelly King, Chelsea’s mother, mentioned that if Chelsea had her phone or a whistle – something to attract attention – the tragedy of her death may have been prevented,” Caccavo said. “We took this into consideration while training for the triathlon and developing the first items of GRACEDBYGRIT apparel, deciding to include a detachable whistle with each piece.”
Nowlan, a mother of two daughters, said she was personally affected by the story of Chelsea.
“It is a moment I will never forget,” Nowlan said. “Chelsea’s light continues to shine in so many aspects of my life.”
The duo is taking their mission to empower women one step further this month by offering a free self-defense class.
The class, which will be led by instructors from TITLE Boxing Club Carlsbad, will be held from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23.
Nowlan said the self-defense class will help attendees “instantly feel more prepared” should they ever be in danger.
“We want women to feel empowered and to always feel safe while working out, whether running a trail or getting on a stand-up paddleboard,” Caccavo said.
For more information about GRACEDBYGRIT or the class, go to www.gracedbygrit.com.
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