Product name: LACEBRACE
Product protection: Patent pending, registered design – UK
Lace brace is a boot lace cover offering increased power, support and control. The design features protection for the foot, grip for ball control, style, lace covering preventing water entering through the lace area, and increasing player confidence.
Liam Hughes is a football dad, standing on the sidelines week after week watching his 7 year old running around the pitch. One issue that he noticed time and time again was boot laces coming undone, therefore stopping play to re-tie wet and muddy laces.
He then got to thinking about a resolution with added features to improve performance. He thought of Lace Brace, and then approached Innovate to do something about it.
Liam worked with Innovate to design Lace Brace. The designers provided Liam with presentation material for him to use to showcase to potential partners or manufacturers. Innovate also helped him to apply for his patent application.
Liam then took his designed idea and showed a manufacturer in China who then created a prototype. Lace Brace then started to be manufactured. Liam describes this stage as a big learning curve: “We have just moved to another manufacturer, also in China, that has provided samples of the same standard at a much more competitive price.” Liam has really found his feet and is making some good choices for the product and business.
What’s happening now?
The future for Lace Brace looks extremely bright. He has sold a number of units from the website, as well as bulk orders from football coaches for teams and academies. Perhaps the most exciting progress of all; Liam has been in touch with major retailers and Premier League football clubs who are interested in ordering, licensing and/or buying for team branding. This is an amazing step and opportunity for the product.
When asked if he is pleased with the results, he said “Yes, it’s been tough at times, but I’m now happy to see the results. It’s great to see the kid’s confidence when striking the ball. Many coaches have noticed a boost in player confidence when striking the ball.”
Liam’s future plans for Lace Brace is a big branding campaign, work on adult sizes and to work more with the Premier League football clubs.
Finally, his advice for other inventors is this: “Do your research to make sure you are producing the best possible version of your product from the off. Take as much advice as possible from experts and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”