In a whirlwind of product conception, design and now marketing, a Maple Ridge man has created a clip-on face shield he hopes will be a game-changer in the fast-food business and beyond.
It’s called The Cap Shield, which attaches to a curved-brim baseball cap.
Joshua Bradshaw, who runs Vital Manufacturing Inc. in the Port Kells area, said he came up with the idea in early March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to grip B.C.
“We saw how employees of fast-food restaurants weren’t wearing face shields, but most of them wear ball caps,” said Bradshaw. “It all just kind of clicked.”
Over the past month-plus, several prototypes were created, patent applications filed, injection molds made, supply chain secured, a promo video filmed and, as of Tuesday (April 28), the Cap Shield website has gone live for online orders.
Bradshaw says the removable, reusable shield not only provides a safer work environment for employees, it can help build customer confidence.
“That’s what we’re targeting, the food-service industry,” he said. “As things start to get back to normal, we think customers will appreciate seeing employees wearing a face shield. And we’re getting lots of sales inquiries from dentists, salons, the film industry – all kinds of industries we weren’t expecting to hear from, even aerospace. We were kind of targeting the food industry but it’s gone beyond that.”
A product promo video is posted to https://capshield.ca, along with ordering info. A single Cap Shield Kit sells for $12, including a lens and three clips.
For every 100 units sold, the company will donate 10 face shields to a volunteer or non-profit organization.
“It’s early in the release, and we’re getting some online orders already and hoping to ramp up,” Bradshaw said.
“We’ve had some big companies reach out already, but I don’t think we can name-drop just yet, we’re not there yet, but we have some big companies reviewing it,” he added. “We’ve sent samples to a few very large companies that would be fantastic to get, and we’re hoping to get traction there.”
The project to get The Cap Shield to market was helped by family friends and Vital employees, Bradshaw said.
“We’ve been getting lots of help from friends with the website and now social media, all that,” he noted.
“It came together relatively quick here, but it’s surprising that for a relatively simple product, there’s a lot of work involved to make it reality, Bradshaw added. “We design and build complicated industrial automation machines, that’s what we do, and now this is a division of that. I was kind of amazed to see how much work it is to set up a product like this properly so we can deliver high-volume orders.”