How to start a self defense keychain small business [7 Quick Steps]

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Thinking about starting a self defense keychain small business? This can be a helpful protective item for people that find themselves in situations where they need self defense. It can give you confidence to walk to your car alone at night when you get off work. You can take it with you on the go on outings. It’s a keychain that can look minimal but, become a weapon that can protect you if you fall into a situation where you need to defend yourself.

I’ve seen these self defense keychains on TikTok circulating like crazy.

It’s actually the first time I saw one or heard about them. I think they make a lot of sense. Back in the day, I used to carry pepper spray with me on my keychain. My mom gave it to me to protect myself in case I ever needed to use it. Today, more inventive ways to self-protect exist like self defense keychains.

Read more about how to start a self defense keychain business.

What is a self defense keychain?

self defense keychain
Kubotan defense weapon isolated on white

A self defense keychain is a small and discreet tool that can be used for personal protection. It is typically designed to be attached to a keyring or carried in a pocket or purse, making it easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Self defense keychains can come in various designs, but they generally feature a pointed or jagged edge that can be used to strike an attacker in self defense.

Some self defense keychains may also include other features such as pepper spray, a whistle, or a flashlight. They are a popular option for individuals looking for an easy-to-use and affordable way to stay safe while on-the-go

How do you start a self defense keychain business

Follow these seven steps to start a self defense keychain small business:

Starting a self defense keychain small business is an awesome idea! Here are some tips on how you can get started:

Step 1: Research the market

Do some research to see what’s already out there in terms of self defense keychains. Look for gaps in the market where you can provide a unique product or service.

Determine who your ideal customer is. Are you targeting women, men, or both? What age range are they in? What are their interests and habits?

Analyze the competition: Look at other companies that offer self defense keychains. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What makes your product unique compared to theirs?

Conduct surveys: Reach out to your target market and ask them what they look for in a self defense keychain. What features do they want? What’s important to them when making a purchase?

Use online tools: Take advantage of online resources like Google Trends, which can help you see what people are searching for related to self defense keychains. Use social media to gather insights on your target audience’s preferences and behaviors.

Attend events: Attend local events related to self defense and personal safety to network and get a sense of what’s popular in the market.

Analyze data: Once you’ve gathered information from your research, analyze it to identify trends and insights. Use this information to refine your product and marketing strategy.

Step 2: Design your keychains

Come up with a design that’s unique and practical. Consider what features you want to include, such as:

  • A pointed edge
  • Pepper spray, or
  • A whistle

Or, other clever ideas for design.

Step 3: Get your supplies

Once you have your design, you’ll need to get your supplies. Look for suppliers that offer high-quality materials at a reasonable price.

There are a few different options for finding supplies for a self defense keychain business:

  1. Online suppliers: There are many online suppliers that offer a wide range of materials and tools for small businesses. You can search for suppliers of metal, plastic, or other materials, as well as suppliers of keychain rings and other components.
  2. Local hardware stores: Depending on the materials you need, you may be able to find them at a local hardware store. They often carry items like metal rods, rings, and other hardware.
  3. Wholesale suppliers: If you’re looking to buy in bulk, you can reach out to wholesale suppliers. Many of these suppliers specialize in providing materials to small businesses and offer competitive pricing.
  4. Trade shows: Attend industry trade shows to connect with suppliers and other businesses in the self defense keychain industry. This can be a great way to find new suppliers and learn about the latest trends and products.

When looking for suppliers, it’s important to compare prices and quality to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples or referrals from other businesses in the industry to help you make informed decisions.

Step 4: Make a prototype

Create a prototype of your self defense keychain to test its functionality and make any necessary tweaks to the design.

Prototyping a self defense keychain involves creating a physical model of your design to test its functionality and make any necessary tweaks before moving on to mass production.

How to make self defense keychains?

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create a design: First, create a design for your self defense keychain using a computer-aided design (CAD) software or by hand. Your design should include all the features you want to include, such as a pointed edge, pepper spray, or a whistle.
  2. Choose a prototyping method: There are several prototyping methods available, such as 3D printing, CNC machining, or manual prototyping using materials like clay or foam.
  3. Make a prototype: Use your chosen method to create a physical prototype of your self defense keychain design. Depending on the method you choose, you may need to send your design to a third-party provider, or you can create it yourself.
  4. Test your prototype: Once you have your physical prototype, test it to ensure that it meets your design specifications and is functional. You may need to make adjustments to the design or materials used based on your testing results.
  5. Make improvements: Use feedback from your testing to make improvements to your design and create a new prototype. Repeat the testing and improvement process until you’re satisfied with the functionality and quality of your self defense keychain.
  6. Move to mass production: Once you have a final prototype, you can move on to mass production. You can use the prototype as a model to create molds or other production methods to create multiple self defense keychains.

Prototyping is an important step in the product development process, as it allows you to test your design and make any necessary improvements before investing in mass production. It can help you save time and money in the long run and ensure that your self defense keychain is functional and meets your customers’ needs.

Self defense keychain wholesale buying is an option as well. Instead of making these keychains on your own, you can buy them at a wholesale price and markup to a retail price to resell to consumers.

For example, you would buy self defense keychains wholesale at $1.00 each and resell for $7.00 each, earning a $6.00 profit.

Step 5: Start marketing

Get the word out about your business through social media, flyers, and other marketing channels. Make sure to target your marketing efforts to people who are interested in self-defense and personal safety.

Ways to market selling self defense products

Here are some effective ways to market and sell self defense products:

  • Online advertising: Use online advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads to target potential customers based on their demographics, interests, and location.
  • Social media: Use social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to showcase your products and interact with potential customers. Share images and videos of your products and engage with followers through comments and direct messages.
  • Influencer marketing: Collaborate with social media influencers and bloggers in the self defense or safety niche to promote your products to their followers.
  • SEO: Optimize your website and product descriptions for search engines to improve your visibility in search results when potential customers search for self defense products.
  • Content marketing: Create valuable content such as blog posts, videos, and infographics that provide information on self defense techniques and tips, and feature your products as a solution.
  • Events and trade shows: Attend trade shows, fairs, and other events to showcase your products, meet potential customers, and network with others in the industry.
  • Referral marketing: Encourage satisfied customers to refer their friends and family to your products by offering incentives such as discounts or rewards.

Remember to highlight the features and benefits of your products, and emphasize the importance of self defense in today’s society. By using a combination of these marketing strategies, you can effectively reach and connect with potential customers and grow your business

Step 6: Start selling

Once you have your keychains ready to go, start selling them online through your own website or on platforms like Etsy. You can also sell them in-person at local markets or fairs.

I’ve also seen these keychains sell well on social media like TikTok and Instagram.

See this example:


support a small business 🥺🛍 ily guys… my goal is 10 orders 📦💕 let’s see if tiktok can work it’s magic 🤞🏼😣 #smallbusiness #selfdefensekeychain

♬ original sound – Lethal Lady Luxe

Step 7: Keep improving

It doesn’t stop here! Your business will continue to grow and evolve. Keep improving it!

Listen to feedback from your customers and use it to make improvements to your product and business.

Why get into the business?

Here are some common reasons why people start a business:

  • Pursue a passion: Many people start a business based on a hobby or passion they have. Starting a business around something you love can be a fulfilling and satisfying experience.
  • Be your own boss: Starting a business allows you to be your own boss and have more control over your work environment, schedule, and decisions.
  • Financial independence: Starting a successful business can provide financial independence and the opportunity to earn more than you would in a traditional job.
  • Solve a problem: If you see a need for a product or service that isn’t being met, starting a business to fill that gap can be a rewarding experience.
  • Create something new: Starting a business allows you to create something new and innovative that can make a positive impact on people’s lives.
  • Flexibility: Running a business can offer more flexibility in terms of work schedule and location.
  • Build a legacy: Starting a business can be a way to leave a lasting impact and create a legacy that you can be proud of.

Business ownership has drawbacks as well. You can be working long days for minimal pay in the beginning, if any pay at all. You’re learning everything on your own, bootstrapping your business. It can tiring, stressful, overwhelming and ultimately fail, potentially.

Did you know that 20% of new businesses fail within the first two years?

You want to escape the rat race of 9-5 life just to fall into a new rat race, business ownership. It can feel that way, sometimes.

When I quit my job for entrepreneurship, it was definitely a dream. At first, at least. But, I traded a 40-hour workweek for a 65+ hour workweek. I neglected my family, felt stressed all the time, gained weight as a result of not taking proper care of myself, got a mysterious stress-related illness and it was all too much.

I ended up selling it!

And, I transitioned into a more low-stress business: blogging and content creation.

By the way, read how to start a money-making blog here. It’s an alternative side hustle you can do alongside this or in place of this business, if you so choose.

Ultimately, the reasons for starting a business will vary from person to person. It’s important to consider your personal goals, interests, and values when deciding whether entrepreneurship is the right path for you.

Bottom line

You just read about how to start a self defense keychain small business!

Is this a business you’re interested in pursuing?

Jenn Leach, MBA

Jenn Leach is a Houston-based MBA with over a decade of experience in the banking industry. She writes at Millennial Nextdoor where she writes finance, money, business, and lifestyle content to help millennials create additional income streams online. Join her on Substack at

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