My buzz is seeing my products help so many people continue with simple every day tasks that we take for granted, but for someone who cannot do something this is massive.
Also seeing my gloves stocking in shops, again i find it hard to believe that it is my idea, manufactured, then stocked in shops, the buzz is great.
Gripaid Ltd is a glove manufacturer with a patent in the U.S.A and the product consists of two inner brands called Gripeeze and Grip-Par.
Our unique patented strapped gloves work on all kinds of applications giving the end user a usable gripping hand even if their hand does not work due to either injury or illness or just for good old-fashioned old age.
In my case a builder by trade from a young lad, I injured my hand at work and found myself trying to get the bandage to ‘work for me’ by wrapping it different ways so as I could hold a trowel and firstly continue to work, and secondly I am a keen golfer and wanted to continue to play golf.
Gripaid evolved through my personal experience and frustration and fear of primarily not being able to continue to work in the building trade, mission accomplished as they say I found myself on a journey to help other people and as a ‘one Man band’ have taken the ‘invention’ to product stage, testing, quality control, market and now have a business with a patent in the U.S.A.
For a Bricklayer from Liverpool this has been and continues to be a massive learning curve not to mention the highs and lows of starting a small business with no prior knowledge or experience, ‘resolve, commitment, belief’ has become my ‘mantra’ as Gripaid strives for the financial support it needs to grow and develop.
Last year it became apparent that Gripaid required much needed admin support (not my forte) so we approached Jobcentre Plus and accessed the opportunity to take a person on a 6 week trial period after interviewing several candidates we took a young person named Chloe who had completed a College course in Beauty Therapy and with little knowledge of admin but who showed great potential to develop and learn new skills and who demonstrated employability and good work ethic. Chloe excelled during the 6 week period and is now a full time valued employee of Gripaid.
Gripaid has also seen great benefit in accessing the advice and support of United Kingdom Trade and Industry (UKTI) the value of joining and accessing the ‘Passport to Export’ program (money well spent) I completed the 2 day course and it was a valuable experience for me and an enormous help in being able to take my product into Europe and the U.S.A regarding a minefield of agreements, accreditation, environmental requirements, legislation and more.
The Gripaid product is multi-faceted and diverse and we have developed a product range of gloves including Sports Gloves, Golf Gloves and Mittens, Elastic Tubes, Home & Garden Gloves, DIY Gloves, Fingerless Mittens, Fishing Gloves and Ski Gloves. For 2015 we are already in development of yet another product the wheel chair gloves.
All of the gloves work with the same wrapping system, this is; a strap that has Velcro which is stitched into the wrist area and then folds over the knuckles when the hand is in a gripping position which has the opposite Velcro on and simply locks the hand on to the object.
Our gloves do not look like a piece of medical equipment. If you have an injured hand or medical condition our gloves are not obtrusive and do not stand out advertising this fact but instead just look like a normal glove. Our gloves come in all sizes from Children’s 5/6 to Adults 2XL.
Gripeeze gloves work for all kinds of conditions such as Arthritis, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Neuro, Spinal conditions and even Prosthetics. We are now stocked in numerous hospitals such as The Robert Jones Hospital Oswestry, Birmingham Children’s hospital, Buckinghamshire Hospital, Nottingham Children’s Hospital and numerous Rehabilitation Center’s.
Occupational Therapists love the simplicity of our glove but also the cost of the glove for example generally the cost implications for a piece of specialist gym equipment for spinal injury patients are highly priced.
For the able bodied person, our gloves take away the repetitive strain out of holding an object as the strap does all the work and takes the strain from the muscles in the forearm, and white knuckle.
People say the simplest ideas are the best ideas, Gripaid gloves work on a simple system but really do work!
Our Golf Gloves are now ‘Royal and Ancient Golf Association’ approved which means you can play in competitions if you have any kind of hand ailment. We are also stocked in San Roque, Valderrama, and La Reserva in Spain, all very well regarded prestigious Golf Clubs which illustrates our product is of a very high standard.
As well as this, we have also been taken on by QVC UK and have recently had 2 sell out television shows and our next QVC slot is on 22 March 2015.
QVC recently included Gripeeze in their 20 year U.K celebration of Entrepreneurs in their Garden Centre showcase. The event was also covered in the ‘Telegraph’ Garden shop which gave us ‘free’ and much appreciated television and national press coverage. We are now approaching QVC Germany, Canada and USA so this is very exciting times for us. We are also currently in talks with B & Q, Screwfix and a major garden center retailer.
We have 2 major medical distributors in the UK, Patterson Medical and the Nottingham Rehabilitation suppliers. We have one in Sweden, Spain, and soon to be Czech Republic. In Norway we have just gained a chain of pharmacist called Abtek1 of over 300 outlets.
Key achievements in the last 12 months relating to the category.
• U.S.A Patent issued on 3 March 2015, no: US8, 966,664B2
• Vendor, QVC UK.
• Stocked in San Roque, Valderrama and La Reserva, Spain.
• Swedish Distributor.
• Patterson Medical distributor, UK.
• The Wright Stuff Distributor in USA.
• The Jason Robinson Foundation, London.
• The Puffin Foundation, Australia.
• Pharmacist chain ABTEK, Norway.
• Launch of our Logo Gloves for the corporate sector.
• Gripeeze: Media coverage, National Television and National Press.
• Grip-Par Trademark Completion.
What makes your business stand out from your competitors?
Gripaid is innovative and forward thinking as it continues to evolve and market research shows that we are a totally unique patented product.
The Gri-Par and Gripeeze products are diverse and our unique selling point is the now patented strapping which has so many applications and adaptability from being able to use to continue employment as in my case and even carry out DIY to even walking the Dog by just being able to grip the lead, to Spinal rehabilitation to Kite surfing in Australia or to Stroke affected golfers.
Enablement and sustained independence for everyone for example enabling the elderly to carry their shopping bags and complete other daily tasks empowers and enables independence for a longer period of time.
Gripeeze allows individuals to carry out the simplest everyday tasks like holding a hair brush, hairdryer and even a toothbrush, just being able to do things for themselves again for individuals with a disability doesn’t just empower it creates a feel good factor which can promote general wellbeing overall. Gripeeze doesn’t just empower it gives a sense of value back to the person!
For the able bodied person Gripeeze takes away the repetitive strain out of doing a chore job as it allows the pressure to be taken from the forearm tricep muscle and white knuckle. Our product enables all kinds of people from all different walks of life and abilities.
Functionality is the key for any product however Gripaid also takes into account not only the quality of the material it has taken into consideration of the feel and touch, not to mention aesthetically as the product looks professional comes in a range of colours and is pleasing to the eye to the consumer.
The Glove is multi-functional with a broad consumer base and is inclusive of disability, able-bodied, Children and Adults alike and the corporate sector has embraced it along with the Health Professionals who see it as a tool for enablement whilst being affordable and cost effective as a provider. The cost of our product is also very affordable to the general consumer.
Grip-Par are also working with the ‘British Inclusive Golf Charity’ which aims to bring disabled and non-disabled people together on the golf course through a programmed of taster sessions, organized range games and organized on course golf events, enabling better social inclusion and aiding rehabilitation, British Inclusive Golf. Grip-Par is a main sponsor as we help raise money so as they can facilitate taster sessions so golfers with a disability feel confident to participate.
Development Plans for the next 12 months?
• Major UK brand recognition
• Major vendor outlets including B&Q, Screwfix, Dobbies etc.
• Launch our Wheelchair glove.
• Taken on by QVC USA, Canada, Germany
• Major vendors across the USA
• Brand recognition from Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
• Looking towards licensing the product to larger companies.
• Completion of Certificate of Registration for Gripeeze Trademark.
Passion , believe in what you do, dedication and focus.
Being an entrepreneur can have the most rewarding days of all, but it can also get you down.
Listen to advice, if you rush into something, it can take you down the wrong road which can be very hard to get back onto the right road, costing you time and money.