It all began on a family ski trip to Park City Utah in early 2014. It was going to be an especially exciting trip because our youngest son Barrett (age 3) was going to try skiing for the first time. His older brother Kendall (age 5 & pictured wearing a raccoon hat) had learned to ski at age 2 ½ and Barrett was eager to give ski lessons a try and best his brother on the slopes.
On this particular day I was doing my best Walker Family Sherpa impression, lugging my family's skis, poles, helmets, and gloves across the snow to the ski school staging area. I dropped a glove and when I bent down to retrieve it; my sunglasses slipped off my hat and were stepped on and destroyed by a passing fellow skier. I will never forget my son Kendall’s tiny voice and facial expression when he said…"Dad, you should find a way to attach your glasses to your hat so they won't fall off". My younger son Barrett kicked what was left of my shades across the snow and giggled....typical Barrett. Kendall’s comment stuck with me and, as I purchased a pair of replacement sunglasses at the mountain ski shop, I made a reminder in my phone to search online for a solution when we returned home.
Back in Virginia, I quickly realized that there was really nothing on the market that would temporarily tether a pair of sunglasses to my myriad of baseball caps, winter knit hats, and outdoors fishing hats. So I decided to try and make my own solution, if for no other reason than to safeguard my sunglasses moving forward and with no thought of bringing such a solution to market. I dug through my junk drawer looking for something I could fashion into a suitable solution to hold my sunglasses to my hat yet retrieve them effortlessly when I needed them. My early prototypes were miserable failures. One early model had my wife calling me a unicorn! Thanks Honey!
When the boys saw what I was doing, they quickly got busy creating their own solutions made out of toilet paper rolls, construction paper, and an inordinate amount of Scotch packing tape. I bravely wore several of their “inventions” on trips to the grocery store and to their karate practices. I got plenty of crazy looks but the boys loved it! When I experimented with a few small disk magnets and an old silicone bracelet, the “Eureka” moment came to me. I would use magnets to hold the solution on the hat and a silicone band to firmly hold the sunglasses by the nose bridge. I merged the two together and … The LIDSLASH was born! Lash your sunglasses to any Lid (hat)!
Once my rudimentary prototype caught the attention of my friends, I quickly realized I wasn’t the only one driven crazy by this nagging problem. Soon I was making them a few homemade models. After about the first half dozen models were “in the wild”, a friend suggested I consider making a more polished prototype and facilitate the research as to whether a market might exist for such a product. I reached out to a local engineering firm for help creating some "finished" product samples and sent them to family and those same friends to test for a few months. When the field testing reports came back extremely positive, I sat Kendall down and asked him whether he wanted to move forward with his idea and manufacture a small production run of the product and whether he would help me sell them. He blasted off like a rocket… so excited to see his idea become a reality that he had a hard time sleeping that night. We eventually found an overseas manufacture who rushed us a small order and we set out to see how many we could sell in the coming months.
We identified the upcoming Washington Redskins Training Camp in late July of 2014, which is held a few miles from our town of Midlothian Virginia, as our “launch” date and venue. The LidsLash Project, as it became known, evolved into a true family affair. My wife and the boys helped count and sort the product and I packaged each unit and boxed them. We secured a booth just outside the gate of the Redskins Training Camp facility and were blown away by the response and positive feedback we received those two weeks of camp. We felt we were on to something when we learned we had actually sold more LidsLash than the Popsicle vendor stationed beside us sold popsicles... in steamy August…in Richmond VA! Since Kendall wasn’t allowed to be at our booth in a formal capacity, he waited up for me each night to see how many we had sold, help me count the proceeds, and get ready for the next day. I was so proud of his interest and enthusiasm in the project.
So what’s happened since then? We continue to sell our product on our website and on Amazon.com. In fact, we just recently solidified our ranking in the top 5-10% of all products sold in their Sports & Outdoors Category! The boys are delirious! They have visions of buying new remote control planes and I’m thinking we just might have something to help pay for part of their college tuition! How crazy is that! Check out our reviews here ----> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YVVYV3G
With that said, we know none of it would be possible were it not for the “early adopters” and wonderful people like you that continue to visit our site, purchase our products, and share the LidsLash story with your social circle. I can’t tell you how excited Kendall & Barrett are to hear from customers who share their feedback and refer their friends and family to our site to see the LidsLash Project. We hear countless stories about lost sunglasses, which we’ve fondly labeled #ShadesOfSorrow, and how the “Lash” is helping keep up with favorite, popular, and / or expensive sunglasses.
So whether you’re hunting, fishing, hiking, golfing or just enjoying the great outdoors, rest assured your sunglasses are secure where you instinctively placed them…. on your hat brim! No more lost shades, or worse peering through scratched and gouged lenses that look like they were mauled by a mountain lion. Keep them #HighAndTight until you need them!
Finally, it’s not just about us and this silly silicone strap. We’ve decided to use the LidsLash to help raise money for great causes that are dear to our hearts and millions of other people worldwide. We have a breast cancer model (Pink Ribbon) in which a portion of the proceeds are donated to organizations committed to helping find a cure for a disease that touches just about everyone’s life. Our “RVA” model helps support our local Richmond VA community. We’ll be rolling out new models in the coming months so keep coming back to our site for updates!
Christopher, Kendall, & Barrett