The New Lightwalker Belt Lights the Way for Dog Lovers, “Trick or Treaters” and Cancer Crusaders

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What started out as a safety accessory for dog walking in dark places, has surprised the creators as its popularity spreads into new markets.

There are so many new uses for our belts; it’s very exciting to discover them. We’re now looking at emergency preparedness opportunities. Having experienced the Northridge earthquake firsthand, I keep my belt on the nightstand, just in case.

Due to customer demand the Lightwalker belt is no longer just an accessory for dog walking anymore. October 2011 marks the launch into new markets, including Halloween accessories for children, emergency preparedness and cause related colors.

It all began when Sonia Alvarado had her hands full walking her 4 dogs. Unable to see the hazards lurking on her neighborhood sidewalks, she twisted her ankle. Without a free hand to hold a flashlight, walking the dogs in the evening was stressful and dangerous.

Twisting her ankle inspired her to find a solution – that same night; she envisioned a belt that would light the ground. After an all-night search at the computer, unable to find exactly the kind of belt she wanted, she set out to create it herself. Two days later, her sister Sandra, helped to test the first prototype in the backyard. That was the birth of the Lightwalker belt and Accessories LA, the company behind it.

When the sisters exhibited the belt at a Pet Expo they were surprised to find that the first enthusiastic customers were security guards who needed the belts for their night patrols. There were also horseback riders, hikers, runners and bikers who bought the Lightwalker belts.

Then a friend who lost her mother to cancer suggested they make a pink belt in honor of breast cancer crusaders who walk for two days raising money and awareness to fight the disease. That’s when the pink belt was born. In honor of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the sisters decided to donate a dollar to a breast cancer charity for each pink belt sold with each buyer choosing the charities that receive the donations.

The new orange Halloween belt for children was requested by a customer who wanted her son to be safer during his trick or treating adventure. The belt will make its debut at the San Diego Pet Expo, in Del Mar, California October 15 and 16.

Sonia credits Ellen DeGeneres and her jokes about inventions in helping to awaken the inventor in her. From Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer,” she learned that dogs need to walk every day. The creativity and entrepreneurial spirit was fueled by Sonia’s previous job as a 3-time Emmy Award winning producer of a business TV show on KTLA, Channel 5.

The Lightwalker is a new fashionable and practical belt originally designed for dog lovers to feel safer when they walk their dogs at night. It features a bright, battery-operated LED lamp with 18 bulbs, and comes in different colors and sizes for women and men. The belt can be worn over a T-shirt or a jacket. The Lightwalker is currently sold in the USA and will soon be available abroad.

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Sonia Alvarado

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