One student tapped into his lived experiences as a Black male in America and created a product that could determine for some motorists if they will return home. After the young man took his idea from brainstorming to market, he has a product now available at Walmart, Amazon, and other retail stores.
David Price, the founder of The Safety Pouch, came up with the wallet after his parents gifted him with his first car and sat him down at his kitchen table and gave him “the talk.” His parents sought to prepare him for some of the hazards that come with “driving while Black,” including getting stopped by the police and being required to provide them with documents that may not be easily accessible to the motorist at the time.
“My mom and dad always made it clear that as a young Black man, I have to be extra careful in this world,” Price explained in an interview with Essence. “I’ve always been aware of that.”
He said, “Before my parents gave me the keys to my car, they sat down and had ‘the talk’ with me, and during that conversation, I kept thinking there must be products out there that help facilitate safer interactions between drivers and law enforcement.”
The Safety Pouch, a storage device that can keep all of one’s driving credentials in one place, according to Good Impressions by Meredith, a company Prince has aligned with to better communicate his brand.
The idea was taken from a concept to a product while Price was a student in Kate Yoo McCrery’s entrepreneurship course at Loyola University, a class he mistakenly took.
As an instructor, McCrery encouraged the students to try to create a product that could have a major impact on the world, looking to solve one or more societal issues.
In an interview with AfroTech, the Loyola University junior summed up the need for such a product by saying it “was created so that Black drivers would not have to reach for their information to share with police officers during a traffic stop and risk the chance of being shot because they assumed that they may be reaching for a weapon.”
The pouch is cleverly colored in bright orange to make sure it is easily seen, and a tool to spark conversation, something important to Price, who is also a political science major.
“One of the great things about The Safety Pouch is not only is it a great tool, but it’s also a form of social commentary to show the extent to what measures Black drivers have to take to feel safe during a traffic stop,” the Gen Z creator said.
Now, with the help of his professor, the product has been in the marketplace since May 2020.
“Originally, the plan for the state is possible to launch it in the winter,” Price said. “But we released in the spring of 2020, right around the same time Ahmaud Arbery was killed by police officers. [Editor’s note: Arbery was not killed by police.] And I was just thinking, ‘Jesus … racial tensions are so high.’ This product is exactly what people need right now.”
Many have seen that need, taking note of the commercial appeal of the product. This includes retail giant, Walmart, which wanted to purchase 15,000 pouches from the young businessman.
Initially, he did not have the capital (approximately $80,000) to fulfill the order.
To make matters worse, because his manufacturer is in China, the shopping costs have been inflated by the international crisis of the Ukraine invasion. He was short $30,000 to accommodate Walmart’s request.
Remarkably, through the help of friends, family, and some grants he was able to overcome the Walmart obstacle and will reportedly have his Safety Pouch sold in the automotive departments of 400 stores.
Price said he is proud of the work and feels accomplished by all of his recent success.
“This is an incredible accomplishment because my goal has always been to help protect people by making the Safety Pouch as accessible as possible, but also make it kind of like a statement piece,” Price said.
“Because while the way I do see it as a solution in the short term, we need real policy change and legislation to help with police brutality during traffic stops — brutality in general. We need change. The Safety Pouch, I hope, can help inspire that.”