As I type out this bog post peering through the fifth-story view of my study window an ominous gray sky rolls high as it speckles my window with the first of its droplets. For most of us rain is a normal occurrence and for some of us a near daily one. It bears no surprise that today’s entrepreneurship duo who set out to improve our protection from the rain comes from Vancouver, Canada.
Cahay Ho and Kevin Truong, each originally from the eastern part of Canada, decided to do more than merely cope with the increased rainfall they reinvented the most basic and iconic of raingear—the umbrella.
“During our initial years living here,” explained Truong, “we both had broken our own fair share of umbrellas from $7 umbrellas to $30 umbrellas. Each one of these umbrellas broke in different ways…the rivets broke at various connections, the ribs bent upon wind impact or the canopy tore.”
These experiences and failed products have become the premise in the research and development for Truong’s and Ho’s concept.
They call it Cypress Umbrella with the tagline “The last umbrella you will ever buy”. This umbrella is completely redone. “Lots of challenges were encountered during the design process. The umbrella’s architecture is one that exists like no other which meant we had to redesign much of the componentry,” shared Truong.
The entire frame of the umbrella is telescopic, from the collapsible stem to the rib supports. As explained on its campaign page this telescopic design is 10 times stronger than traditional structures. In addition the Cypress Umbrella utilizes an independent suspension system giving the ribs pivot and flex ability without the entire canopy flipping out—literally.
Truong shared with me that, “Cahay drew inspiration from his work on high end race cars and integrated this into the everyday umbrella for an entirely new purpose and function. To integrate all these parts into a clean and easy to use assembly yet function effectively was one of the most difficult processes.”
As an added touch the Cypress Umbrella’s canopy is interchangeable with 10 patterns to choose from. Yet as complex as this umbrella is it only takes a few minutes, two-and-a-half to be exact, to remove and replace canopies. The base of the umbrella has a built-in sleeve that pulls up to envelope the entire Cypress promising a drip-free experience while totting.
“To see so much funding from all our backers has truly shown us that our efforts were not wasted,” expressed Truong. The Cypress Umbrella displays the engineering acumen of Hedgehog Products Inc., the parent company of the Cypress, and with the financial backing received so far the firm should have the capital to further invent and develop.
“The Cypress Umbrella is our pilot project but we got lots more ideas down the road,” says Truong. "We're confident to push out more innovative products in the years to come!”
POP open a Cypress Umbrella today by backing this Kickstarter project.
Cypress Umbrella’s Kickstarter Campaign Page
Hedgehog Product’s Website