Today our guests are Emily and Kayla from Oneiric Hockey. They are finalists in the Lion’s Lair competition this year, and they have also been on Dragon’s Den Canada, where they were offered a deal. The Dragon’s Den deal did not end up going through after the show.
The product they have designed is a protective base layer that holds shin pads securely and conveniently. They launched towards youth initially, and there was demand for an adult line for players and goalies.
The main protective focus is on the back of the leg and the calf, as well as a cut-resistant ankle.
The idea came about as a university project. Based on multiple injuries to the back of the leg, and the feel of hockey equipment, as well as the process to get ready, led to the design of the product.
They had a hard time finding a manufacturer in Canada that could make the product for the cost they wanted. Many factories also indicated they were not able to make it, due to the nature of the fabrics and design. Using an agent they sourced a manufacturer.
The design allows the shin pads to slide into a pocket securely, there is a padding at the back of the leg and calf to protect from slashes and pucks, as well as the built in cut-resistant ankle, all in a base layer pant.
The cut-resistant fabric is a glass fibre. After looking at various swatches, they determined which one was best for their product. The fabric has a 5 out of 5 on the slash test, which was the highest quality they could get. The material is actually quite soft.
The first prototype was put together over the course of a few weekends using fabrics and padding that was readily available. This was taken to a freelance designer to take it to the next level. From there it was taken to a factory that helped them create a “tech pack”. This had specifications and materials and made it look like a saleable product. From there they went through several tests on kids to try out the product. Once they were happy with the product they placed the order for a larger quantity. This is a very lengthy process, but a passion-fueled process. Adults fit different and have different expectations than children do. Children can be much more finicky.
The product will now be sold in some stores and online.
Book Mentioned: The Kind Worth Killing