Fairway Sunhat (by Shapeflexer)
lightweight bendable shapeable crushable durable packable machine washable waterproof extra wind resistant multi purpose Sports Sun Hat
Category: Fashion & Wearables
Alright, hat enthusiasts, you've got 3 days left to back the Fairway Sunhat, and let me tell you, this is the Iron Man suit of sunhats. It's got a deployable neck cape that's detachable. Yes, DETACHABLE! It's like Batman's cape but for your neck. Going for a jog? Secure your shades with the back bungee cord. Got a ponytail? There's a gate for that! And it's not just for golfers; it's an all-in-one hat for the modern adventurer. So, if you're still rocking that old baseball cap, it's time for an upgrade, my friend.
Enter for your chance to win a Shapeflexer here!
Interview with Damien Henning, Creator of the Shapeflexer Fairway Hat
Damien sat down with Matt to cover several topics about his personal story and the active crowdfunding campaign. Below are some key takeaways, a video of the conversation, and the full transcript.
Key Topics Discussed
- How he was able to make the hat both lightweight and wind-resistant.
- What Damien means when he says the Fairway is "Waterproof".
- Detail on the new "tightly sewn insulated steel".
- Why he moved the manufacturing base from China to India.
- Why the two khaki options have a Minimum order quantity of 5,000.
- Damien's most profound and surreal memories from his 4 years in Antarctica.
- Damien's motto to live by.
This transcript was computer generated and might contain errors.
Matt (BackerClub): All right. yeah we have Damien Henning. Am I saying that right with the fairway sun hat by shapeflexer?
Damien Henning: Exactly right. Yes, that's me.
Matt (BackerClub): So yeah, we're gonna start off this interview. We're gonna have kind of three different sections here, and they're gonna be products specific questions crowdfunding and business-related questions and then the few personal questions at the end. And so, just get right into it. in the video, we actually noticed that you had mentioned that it's both lightweight and wind resistant. How did you manage to achieve this balance with this half?
Damien Henning: not It's something that everybody wanted. I just thought it was impossible, trying to imagine professional motion machine. What's the point that I thought just gotta be a way I can make it now. It's not light weight compared to I had you make out a newspaper or, she ball cap. You buy it that cubs game or something? It's just lighter compared to the other fairways on hats, but it was hot waves comparable to a lot of the bigger stuff has the market like a Tilly or The sunny day afternoons and it's comparable to those a tiny bit heavier than those. But compared to the other pair of display, shapeflexer I made it weighs light as a feather now, I was able to achieve that by just a lot of little things added up, I made the foam a little bit thinner. It used to be four millimeter. Now, it's about two and a half millimeter, but it's a more resilient fall
Damien Henning: I'm working with a new factory now which is why it's going to take so long to fulfill people. They're, got some complaints about Why am I not gonna get fulfilled until next year? And one thing I'm thinking, it's gonna be winter until You probably won't need a sun hat. That much the winter and early spring and second of all, I've got the factory and there's always bumps, we start with a new factory, It's their time frame. I don't want to over deliver it under promise and over deliver as opposed to over-promise under deliver. So I got the winter I made the phone thinner.
Matt (BackerClub): Of course.
Damien Henning: I no longer have a copper cable. In the brim. which was the Biggest cause for the massive weight of the first one. That's what the only difference between the first. shapeflexer light, was the light didn't have the copper inside. I mean, a few other minor changes, but basically was the same hat. The
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, that's actually one of our questions. We had noticed that in the video. It had mentioned the tightly sewn in insulated steel and…
Damien Henning: Yes, yes,…
Matt (BackerClub): so you actually changed it from the copper…
Damien Henning: this you and…
Damien Henning: the steel having to be so. Why use the copper was because you could bend it hundreds of time for a break?
Matt (BackerClub): yeah. That's exactly what we were gonna ask about. Yep.
Damien Henning: And with this one because I say tightly so it's not like a specific type of steel. It's slightly sewn into the actual brim of the hat. The fact that the nylon around the hat is tightly stone that you can't. It's very difficult to bend it at a completely. Question angel like that. When you bend it it'll maintain sort of u shape. So you won't get that stress on the wire, it'll be much more gentle on the wire and I've done some stress test with it. It definitely holds up comparable with the copper did.
Matt (BackerClub): Gotcha.
Damien Henning: it's much lighter and have by having it. If it wasn't highly sewn in and people fold it up, which I want people to fold it up, put in their pocket, put in their bag, put in their purse, whatever, put in there cooler. and have you a good way to seek over your cooler and…
Damien Henning: then it's really just no physical or actually, without the video. I just thought of that I could have got together and coolest Guy. No. he's Kickstarter.
Damien Henning: so hard and really Cause that harsh stress on a cable. if you take any cable and you bend, I mean, somebody folds it with a pair of light,…
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah. It won't snap due to material fatigue, right? Yeah.
Damien Henning: Yes. Or if it does it'll take several years to do Yeah, and another way I made it lighter was it's also a little smaller diameter is maybe 10% smaller diameter, which doesn't sound like much. Most dermatologists recommend son, had this at least three inches from the crown point to the edge of the brim. And on the original, shapeflexer, I'd like three and a half to three, and three quarters. it meant to be protection like a shelter in your head, but it made some people think it was just too heavy two cumbersome, too big and bulky and certainly not good for golf or tennis.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, like a sombrero.
Damien Henning: Yes, a lot of people Jason, it's like wearing a sombrero, I said, sombreros do actually protect your head pretty well from the sun. but people aren if you have a choice to go out in a day with a computer ball cap and a big Mexican sombrero, you're gonna throw a ball cap on just…
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, exactly.
Damien Henning: because you're gonna say, let's take a little bit of self and some sunscreen on to it, lah blah. So yeah, I wanted it to be a little more comfortable with it. Rather people wear mine, nine times out of ten and where the original shapeflexer four times out of 10 because of comfort and Practicality.
Damien Henning: So, the new one is still that magic spot of three. I'm not gonna make any smaller than that. I'm not gonna make any sun has smaller than this, because then they'd be like, bowler hats and maybe useless or those little fisherman, bucket frat, boy, hats.
Damien Henning: It just come out to here. I don't do anything. I'm always amusing me to see people wear those as sun protection. Think they're getting sun protection and they're not just looking like pools but maybe it's a fashion statement. I don't know about bucket. I'll protects to talk your head if you don't have any hair there but that's the one, protect your face your neck. So yeah that's so between the small diameter. Inner brim, lack of copper. And a thinner fabric. I'm using a thinner nylon. It's also been silk here. It's smoother too. I'm actually feels a lot more like, silk than the original. Shapeflexer feels a little bit gritty like sand tape or this newer one feels much silkier, but it's still every bit is strong. so,
Matt (BackerClub): yeah, I was noticing that was kind of one of our questions was that it was
Damien Henning: Between. All those things. I was able to make it as light as possible to still be very More winter Assistant than the shapeflexer light. In fact, just as with resistance, the original shapeflexer, classic copper version,
Matt (BackerClub): Wow, So yeah, is there any other materials that I was in? That was one of our questions was, what type of material is it made out of that makes it actually waterproof and machine washable
Damien Henning: Okay, I gotta get one thing straight now. I tried to make this clear in comment sections and everything. When I see waterproof it's waterproofed in a sense that it will not damage the usability as a sun hat. If you want to use it as a rain hats, it won't keep your head. Totally dry. But if you have an interracial downpour, even a small waterfall, as you saw my video into the shower, the brim won't hold.
Damien Henning: Fold or buckle.
Damien Henning: But it's not waterproof, essential. Keep your head and hair dry. you wouldn't want to wear a rain hat as sun protection because your head would sweat like crazy.
Damien Henning: There's no ventilation. They're heavy. they're thick rubber. This is not gonna keep your head. Totally dry a little. Keep your face dry for several minutes before. Eventually the water will see through and start to drip a little bit. But your hair will get wet before your face does. So but it won't affect the usability of a sun out. he's swimming a lake dive underwater to pick up something you dropped and come right back up with a heads on the hat, on the shape will be the same. That's all because of the wire. In the brain and the stiffer foam that I'm using now and the wire. That's in the rib I'm using the type of phone call UVA.
Matt (BackerClub): Yep.
Damien Henning: And after get what it stands for, you can Google it, but the wire the brim is coated with a tiny bit of rubber. And so, that actually keeps it from even resting. And a connection points because it's not a total ring. I'm putting in it's a piece of wire. They have to connect, they keep the metallic parts, completely airtights away from water and air so it won't rust.
Matt (BackerClub): Okay. Awesome.
Damien Henning: So that's how I was able to keep this through the shape and have a machine washable and sometimes you put a sun hat in a washing machine, it's never the same. It's always droopy and…
Damien Henning: worthy. I've done that many years myself. That's one of the reasons I invented the first shapeflexer because I was so sick of bikes, new sun hats, all the damn time. That.
Matt (BackerClub): No I actually was gonna say the same thing. I actually have a fear of sun cancer. I actually had a spot removed off of my chest and so when I go out I'm here in Florida and so always on the boat at the beach, And so I'm always have a hat on.
Damien Henning: Yeah.
Matt (BackerClub): I don't even have any hair up here to protect my head. So, you…
Damien Henning: Sure.
Matt (BackerClub): I had as a must and, this thing is, right up my alley.
Damien Henning: Yeah, also made the event mission. The original shape flexors. The holes were a little bit bigger than a little bit of The new vent mesh, let's virtually no sun and it's every bit as ventilating as the first one. So that's another change I made in this version and I mentioned that quickly the video but I tried to pack and switch the video. The first cut of the video was six and a half minutes long. I decided down break up, little other parts to put them in the campaign page to make the video three and a half minutes some more palatable length. And yeah,…
Matt (BackerClub): Awesome.
Damien Henning: I almost died from skin cancer myself. I don't know if you know that, but yeah, in 2019, I haven't seizures that I had brain, tumors, they found out later metastasize from skin cancer. But I digress.
Matt (BackerClub): we're glad you're here so that you could create the hat for all of us.
Damien Henning: Yeah. Yeah one of the things I was thinking is if I get over this I'm gonna make the best time something. They'll blow the first shapeflexer out of the water that sort of hoping. well as I know this one is, but I'm hoping everyone else agrees with me.
Matt (BackerClub): that people don't quite understand about the hat that you want to make sure that they know,
Damien Henning: I guess just though the waterproofness it won't keep your head dry. It's waterproof in the sense that a dive watch is waterproof. It's not gonna keep your wrists dry but the water spiritually and…
Matt (BackerClub): Got to.
Damien Henning: water won't affect it at all sunscreen, water processories. I can keep your whole body dry but it won't affect how it protects you from the sun ear buds waterproof earbuds. They're not gonna keep your ears dry or even inside your ears dry, but they won't hurt or affect the usage of the earbuds. That's what I mean. When I see the sun has waterproof that shape will bend.
Damien Henning: It won't work. And You can submerge it. It'll be fine and it dries pretty quickly, too.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, I think that's a great feature because like I said, I wear a lot of hats and there's nothing worse than getting the hat wet and having basically a droopy sun hat, all day that you have to wear.
Damien Henning: And now they might be a little moist but if it's a hot day, a little cool moist sweat, man, might feel good for you and it'll drive in. Especially the sun is dries real quick, even inside the air conditioned house. It rise within a few hours if you just hang it up somewhere. Okay.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah. you touch on one thing kind of interesting I've noticed this when I wear a lot of my hats when you sweat in it you get a sweat on that because that does this happen with that or does it have anything?
Damien Henning: Yeah, I made this the first version is white so that version you won't see the sweater rates, they'll be there, but you won't see them because the sweater rings will be white and the hat is whites, but also the downside of a white hat. Is it starts to look dirty, …
Damien Henning: more dirty much quicker. and also golfer, is, I really wanted to appeal to golfers. With this one, golfers prefer to have Everything white has white shoes, white socks, white pants, white hair, I don't know, so, I just It seems to be a traditional golfers, have a white hat. So, I just thought I'd make the base one of this white to separate. It would put it aside from the other machines, just because this is not a shapeflexer, it has a lot of Hilarities but I want to make it very clear. it's not shapeflexer part three. It is that there's the two shape flexors and the fairway, they do overlap a little bit but they're different hands.
Damien Henning: And Your original question was about.
Matt (BackerClub): just the sweat mark, Yeah, you kind of answered it. So
Damien Henning: It's gonna be there, and Being nylon Taking a wet rag, If you don't want to put it in the washing machine, which is as easy, don't take you a couple hours to do a cycle and try it the dryer or let it drip dry. I would just take a damp rag, and Comes off real fast. Even on our darker colors.
Matt (BackerClub): Awesome cool. So, without further ado will go right into a little bit more about the actual crowdfunding campaign. And then, a little bit more about your business model and stuff. So you kind of touched on it a little bit. In the very beginning, you had mentioned that you moved the manufacturing base from China to India and what were the reasons why you made this move? And can you tell us a little bit more about the supplier and why you chose them?
Damien Henning: I didn't want to make things in China anymore. I would have liked to mentioned all this in the video but it was too long as it was I,…
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, of course.
Damien Henning: Political reasons. I don't like
Damien Henning: I spent a lot of time in China, the Chinese people are wonderful, what their government's doing to the Weaver population. It's just turns my stomach and I can't give any more money into that economy than absolutely necessary. So, I did not want to make things there and that was the biggest reason. In fact, Indian backers in Indian China even had more friction in the US and Indian back for saying,…
Matt (BackerClub): wow.
Damien Henning: Why are you making your hat in China? It's a terrible place. blah blah. I'll buy it now because I really want it, but please Make it anywhere other than China make it in Thailand, or Taiwan or Nepal, don't make it in China anymore. and a couple other, European backers said that to you. I don't like making things right things made China probably it's hard to avoid, but I just thought This,…
Damien Henning: I don't want to do that. And also, Considering we've had a bit of a impetuous relationship with as far as trade goes.
Damien Henning: If Trump is reelected and terabyte come back and they might charge a high tariffs on our stuff too and the whole career situation. the pair, when when I was fulfilling the light, was it the highest point and possibly a lot of extra money, which was annoying. But what I gonna do, like the price and…
Damien Henning: I saw a lot of everybody and I just did the bulletin and pops up there, but I just thought with India with a very good relationship, the current president, It's very pro pro west. Also in China, I always had to deal with a middleman. because I don't speak Mandarin.
Damien Henning: In India, everybody speaks English. In fact, it was the official language until 1976 when he became the official language. So in India, vast majority of people speak English, especially people in the business world owners, the factories, the production managers, the designers all of them speak English just as well as you and I. So the English speaking was a big reason I wanted to have it. I want that way. I can deal directly with the factory in China. I did not deal directly with the factory. I tried to deal with the factory, a couple times and have a personal translator, but they made real garbage. The first factory I use, I had to remake my productions of several.
Damien Henning: Hundred hats. I spent four months in China,…
Matt (BackerClub): What wow.
Damien Henning: finding the right factor. I used four factory before I found the first three didn't work out from before work, but the cat was number four. Sandy is a middleman but up there higher price, but at that point I was just so happy to have one that actually made quality products. I was like, okay, I use an online whatever so it's cheaper to make them in China so I can charge less money. These will probably retail for fifty dollars. My shapeflexer retailed for 16 and it might go up to 65 or 70 if I keep selling them just because it's so expensive to make it china, and another reason is,
Damien Henning: I have a more rapport with India. Personally, I've spent a lot of time there and maybe I know more of their mentality and I know what's important to them. And I've spent a total of now.
Damien Henning: Nine months in India. And as most of the time as a traveler, maybe a small percent of that time for business. This last time What I was there I was there for about This last time, three and a half months. Spending time, looking for a factory and even in India, I went to three factors before I found a good one and I was the first two were in Panel Nadu, which is the southern part of the country. And the last one was in the North North and Jam.
Damien Henning: Punjab, which is right on the Board of Pakistan. So the other side of the country. So I was really Criss Cross the country, trying to find the best factory because I didn't want to use a factor until the sample was just awesome. Because I did not want to put my name. I spend a long time building up my reputation. I wasn't gonna jeopardize it by taking a quick way, just like my first this is an example is good enough. I'm still making it better, okay, you guys are good.
Damien Henning: I had to disappoint the first two factors a lot because they say, Hey, where did you go? And I just say, I didn't want to say, you made crap and I don't want to use you.
Matt (BackerClub): Okay.
Damien Henning: I just decide it's not a good. Fit for right now. Somebody is somebody else. So, I use these guys in Punjab and they make a lot of hats. They've never made a hat, just like this. In fact, that's why I end up. It could be a while to get that sample, right? Because they never made a hat with the employable detachable pain.
Damien Henning: And the ponytail gates and the wire It took several samples to get that, right? But once I did, I think it's gonna be well worth it because For me it's cheaper price for the customer and the backer and fairly easier for me to communicate right through the factory about any problems, any defects or anything like that. And also the Indian people are not Systematically, incarcerating their Muslim population, which the Chinese are doing with the wiers and the beauty political anything is very divisive and it's any changes people watching. I think your country is great. I love the Chinese people, it's been a of They're many great people in China. I mean a lot of lifelong friendships when I was there but with the government's doing the leaders, I don't support it and so I can't put my money there anymore. So that's very answer to your quick question about what?
Matt (BackerClub): Know what? That's a little bit more on the factory. I did notice that you kind of went in detail a little bit about the colors of the hats and how there's minimum order quantities of them and we noticed that the first eight have a 500 but then to make a khaki one, there was a five thousand minimum order, quantity. And so the factory provide a reason behind the five thousand minimum order.
Damien Henning: Yeah, this is don't shoot the messenger situation. I'm just a factor today this fact is a lot of hats and those I call them the hateful eight because they should be eight colors that aren't very popular. Although I think a lot of people like the Red and the black and the white, obviously I think a lot of people will like a lot of the colors, but khaki was the biggest, you think his son had khakis gotta be in it?
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah.
Damien Henning: Three. I really want to make a khaki one. They don't really make Their hats in any khaki colors. It's already popular in India, people actually dressed very colorful, especially the women. They are very loud, bright colors, and khaki is anything, but a lot of bright color.
Damien Henning: A lot of whites and blacks just very drastic colors. because khakis is kind of a light mud color. Basically it's not very popularity so they don't have it on hand. So if they do make that they have to order a lot of material that they don't have on hand, they have these other ace colors on hand ready to go to wellness notice. And they only do minimum,…
Matt (BackerClub): God.
Damien Henning: quantity to
Damien Henning: You time to cut it all up and to process the 5,000 for calculus because they don't have any khaki material there at all. So they would have to order that from another supplier and bring that into their factory and then use that. So it's kind of like if it's not on their shelf, they've got to go get a whole stock of it. They got to make it work their while to go do all that and they gotta make some money too. And I want them to make money, I don't skin anybody here.
Damien Henning: Nothing out the backer. What everybody to rising time, raises, all boats. I want all of those go up here so I hated to tell backers that, but I'm getting so many.
Damien Henning: Companies going so successfully right Right now I'd say I'm 90% sure I can do khaki. I'd like to also do a green color because that seemed to be the second most popular color, that's not in the hate plate. That's is not available that I would also need a 5,000 And unless I get a huge spike at the end, If I did agree, it would be all of green as opposed to die. I think dark forestry look great but anymore, people are interested in all green. I don't think I'll be able to swing that unfortunately and if it's the deal breaker for some people, maybe that's why I've got some pledge cancellations because they realize their color choices into the hat. That's fine. I'd rather than pledge knowing they're getting exactly what they want. And settled something that's kind of color is important to you and…
Damien Henning: swallow your pride and just get something that normally wouldn't wear, because they had whatever color. Is it's in is great but of color.
Damien Henning: What are your main priorities and your colors? Not there then
Damien Henning: There's nothing I can do about. I'd rather you cancel now, but give the hat and be disappointed. What you look at the bear, I want to make everybody backs Very happy. They did and very eager to whatever new project that could forth in the future. So,
Damien Henning: That makes sense. 5,000 minimum order quantity.
Matt (BackerClub): that definitely clears. A lot of things up. I think, for a lot of people,
Damien Henning: It kind of put that in a update to my backers about why I had to, and I'm still waiting to hear back from my fact, my factor in India, to give me an actual swatches that I've been going to do. send to my backgrounds, I'm gonna do a Google survey and…
Damien Henning: who likes which color the most, and the winner will be, the one. I can't make four shades of cat. Yeah, Porsche can make you happy.
Matt (BackerClub): Of course.
Damien Henning: I'm gonna make one that's the most popular. I think it's gonna be a cross between. If you see my shapeflexer colors, I had a dark hacking, a light khaki. I think the one I come up with is gonna be a combination between those two. I want to be darken up the light enough. You can't please all people, but one color is going to win and that's the one I'll produce, but I still waiting for the swat and swatches thankfully, we got lots of time because over a month left, but I reminds me to…
Damien Henning: what I'm off the phone today, I've got to contact my factory. Hey, what's going on with swatches? They said, We'll get them to you. We can our factory that when
Damien Henning: Buying the material from the fabric from it's dragging their feet, getting them this watches, so you'll light a fire to them so they can light a better factory. Then the swatches it's a process. So,
Matt (BackerClub): what would you say so far is the biggest challenge? You faced, and overcame for the hats like either design or manufacturer or the actual Kickstarter campaigns itself? What would you say is the biggest challenge?
Damien Henning: The biggest challenge is what we discussed earlier, was getting a hat light to be that durable, rigid and wind resistant. I didn't even know if it was possible. I had other things. I was kick around my head, trying to think of other ways that I could make it more stiff and lighter. And still, I mean you can make a sip of light, but it's not gonna be bendable,
Matt (BackerClub): Of course.
Damien Henning: it could be a
Damien Henning: Some sort of material that's really brittle, a graphite, you…
Damien Henning: and it's gonna snap. So I'd have a bendable shape of foldable packable and lightweight and wind resistant. That was a huge challenge and spending all that time. Sometime when I was in India, it was getting drenched by rain. And, my phone will be wet, I have to try it out in a bowl of rice, and I just be thinking what I do in here is this even gonna be worth it? She's already got my first hat. did well that Kickstarter?
Damien Henning: Cam.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, at least. I think so. That's one. I've seen yet, anyway.
Damien Henning: I hope I'm 95%, sure, you'll think so. Once you're holding your hands and feel on your head, I want everyone I know to look great and that was the purpose of the crowdfunding campaign. But I wanted everyone, I was so happy to get the comments back on the first shapeflexer campaign. Hey, I love the way that feels like so cool. I don't want to take it off. my wife stole it. I'll never see it again. So I can order another, all that sort of makes me feel really good and I'm hoping I get a lot of that. I think I'll get a lot more that with this one too.
Matt (BackerClub): are there like any people or organizations that you would like to acknowledge for their help in bringing this hack campaign to life.
Damien Henning: My back is the first two campaigns.
Damien Henning: This was all because of any of you guys are watching this is because of you that I'm doing this and I didn't thank you as much in the videos I wanted to but I just cut that I had a bit about thinking the backer specifically my video but I had to cut it for time. I'm already talking even faster than normal doing the video. It's way too. To, micro machines like that.
Damien Henning: But Yeah, you guys made all this possible and it's only because you told me, you like, to have you back to me in the first place. You could chance me once maybe twice, maybe with campaign one, maybe with two, maybe with just two, maybe just with one because you
Damien Henning: Told me that there were people out there that wanted a better son hats that stuff on the market was not up to your specs and people just been dealing with they thought. was good enough with sun hats and sun protection so important. And yeah my back hurts. That's really who have got to think more than anybody. It wasn't for my thing to them and their faith in me. I would not be This third campaign, never would have happened. None of the camp that the second and third county, the first county would have happened, I would have got no backers and I thought that was the best way to time because I'm gonna go. work for Amazon or go back to working Antarctica, like, I used to or, Whatever. But In the backers. Took a chance on me and I'm gonna do all my power to Make them regret it. I'm gonna do all my card and I make you regret it backers.
Matt (BackerClub): Just a touch really quick. What do you envision the future of shapeflexer hats? what's on the horizon? You give us a little snippet.
Damien Henning: once this account funding campaign is over. I want to put these on my website, I'm still not sure I'm not gonna do a separate website for the fairway and it's everyone for The name of my website to shapeflexer slash fairway.com since they are different hats. I I'm looking for the fairway center. What's the shapeflexer crap? I can't wait, it doesn't exist. I want to go buy Italy and I think, wait, come back. So I've got to try to integrate the new products and with a new Web website with the old website and try to make it. I realize a much better Kickstarter campaigns that I'm running a business running it online store, very good at it, and I'll be the first two minutes and I
Damien Henning: Love to get onto shark tank someday even something like that. Just have a partner who actually knows what they're doing. If That knows how to run a business. Just doesn't know how to come up with the product and the advertising for it which I'm really good at. is better with overall marketing and dealing with Instagram for influencers. Are you doing instagram at all to build a business? I am clueless with all that. So I definitely need help with all of that. If I'm gonna make this a normal household product and he building the brand, that's what I want to do. But getting of course, Shark tank because a dream, but you're just as likely to win, Powerball is already get up.
Damien Henning: in fact, First son, has I did hear from one of the they say, they were producer but I think they were kind of a lower rung. Producer from Tank that said, Hey I love your products. I want you to do a video. Blah blah blah. send it there so I did it. This was back in.
Damien Henning: early, 2019 about six months. Before I got the cancer, the video did a mount of paperwork for them, talking about numbers. And what I was expecting, what I wanted to send them, a bunch of samples and then she said, a message back, a few months later, the other gonna pass. So I was a little disappointed because, anything shark tank, this would be a great shark tank and…
Damien Henning: I'm sure I would be vivacious enough. Hopefully not crazy now, but, get on the show and To have a product in a pitch and back numbers to back it up to get one of those guys to back me. But even if it's not on shark tank, there are other
Damien Henning: Venture capitalists that are looking for other businesses to get into. And I would love to have somebody that really knows what they're doing to partner with that would be the golden key. And then I can keep bringing up more products and I'd like to have as I was talking before about the hat, not being totally waterproof. I'm adding as an add-on, these plastic waterproof covers. It's one of these add-ons that came with, depending on when you back in early Bird campaign or when they campaigns over, it's gonna be available as an add-on that you can get at the mosquito net and…
Matt (BackerClub): Okay.
Damien Henning: a sunglasses. They're all gonna be available to add-ons and that will definitely change your son hat, instantly into a rain hat because then you can stand under water in your head and necklace stay dry. so,
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, there you go.
Damien Henning: did I ask you your original question? Like I said about it so many tangents. I'm sorry about that.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, no. I was just asking what was next Do you have plans for another hat or…
Damien Henning: Yes.
Matt (BackerClub): is you're just worried about producing this one at this point?
Damien Henning: No producing this one at this point. what's gonna be immediately on the horizon? Is once the campaign is over, I'm going back to India. I know, I'm gonna have to be there, we've got anything, there's a few things, the original sample that they didn't do just perfectly that. I know they can do better on and I'm gonna be there breathing down their next. they're in a little town called Jawan Dart. It's not a very nice place but I have no problem. Staying there and reading down the factory snack looking at samples. I'm waiting there for another month if I have until they get the brunch and tablet just perfect. And they'll say maybe 10,000 of these or however, we need, but it has to be exactly like this. I'm gonna keep this one to compare with all the ones you make. And if anything's like this, that's not like those, I'm gonna say, Start the whole thing over. they're gonna know how strict time, that's why I deal with this factory. This fact is very used to it and I think that they'll be very receptive to that. So
Damien Henning: Yeah, that's…
Damien Henning: what immediately next on the horizon is going there and I'm not gonna be able to rush them. I know people want these hats a little earlier. I was hoping to get a feel by Christmas. but, Even if I ship things by air like a bird, maybe a hundred hats by air to some people that are just desperate to have my Christmas, I don't think they'll be in here any earlier than March honestly,…
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah.
Damien Henning: or even maybe February, but definitely not my Christmas But yes, going to India. Staying there may have to stay there. Another three months, who knows? But I'm gonna stay there until the state's. Perfect is way too many people have there. Trusted me and I'll say for me to just think we find and I'll do the order. Yeah, it'll be okay. It's on autopilot.
Damien Henning: no, I'm gonna be very hands-on, very in the weeds, in the trenches, and at the factory, I did the same thing in China, and it'll be much easier to do in India, because I'll be dealing directly with the factors as a postcode middleman from the middleman company. Going with me to the factory, we go together, and there's a translation difficulties and Cultural problems. I'll be dealing directly with the factory this time so that way I'll be able to get the hats made perfectly.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, I think that's great. I think that you having so much, personally watching over the campaign gives those backers. A lot of, reassurance that they're gonna get a quality product and may not be super soon,…
Matt (BackerClub): but at least it'll be a great quality. So I think they'll be fun to hear that.
Damien Henning: I seen this thing once a place. I got my haircut once they said it's gonna be cheap fast and good. It can't be all three if it's cheap,…
Damien Henning: it's even fast. It's not gonna be good, it is fast and good. It's not gonna be cheap so this is gonna be I don't want to say cheap because it's not like it's a very product, it's inexpensive. It's gonna be in expensive and…
Damien Henning: quality but it's not going to be fast. Not this first time. unfortunately, as much as
Matt (BackerClub): No, I think the price is definitely very So yeah, if you just want to wrap things up here for the last little bit, I have a few personal questions that I think that some of the backers might find really interesting. And then,…
Damien Henning: sorry.
Matt (BackerClub): the first one is How did your own experience as an adventurer at inspire the creation of the shapeflexer sun hats? Because we did read a little bit about your bio and you have a very, colorful background,
Damien Henning: yeah, I got Some people get addicted to devices when they're young. Maybe it's weed. Maybe it's alcohol. Maybe it's Flandering. I don't know but I'm not down anybody. My vice was travel. I've got a dick to it.
Damien Henning: I couldn't stop. I first went to the Europe when I was right after college graduation, 22 years old and I never felt so alive so happy. So that's a whole other story. But basically let's just say I got to do to traveling. So I worked in Ireland. Worked in Australia, work to New Zealand. And then I got a job in Antarctica working there. And when we're getting a job and Antarctica is giving a travel addict is giving hair went to a heroin Chucky. it's just makes it worse because you can Work there for Six months off. You're not gonna go home and get Joe job. you got plenty of money. You're gonna go shopping. That's what I did.
Damien Henning: And having the fair skin, I do being all my relatives are Norwegian. So it's about as fair as you can get. and there has been other types of cancer in my family, I knew a sun protection was important. Also, I don't want to age any faster than I already have. I mean, I'm already no sprint chicken so times doing just a fine job. Aging me. I don't need a son to help it. So, I was always trying to wear a sun hat at least from the first two years. I did not wear a sun at and I just thought it was invincible, and sometimes I didn't anymore sunscreen. It was really stupid and I either paying for later, it probably had somebody to do with my melanoma later. So anyway, when I started traveling with the sun I was very happy to have it with me all the time. But
Damien Henning: first time I got wet, the very first one, I had was an Australia. I was in a rainstorm. So free grades from us hiking on this multi-day track by myself and I just got drenched, I was in the Northern Territory and the wet season was just coming on and I got drenched and then the hat went from nice and straight about the store to being floppy and mushy and crappy. And I haven't tried to iron it, but it was never the same again. And that started a long line of me, buying a new flipping sun hat, a few months, depending on how much I was using it. And I got so sick of doing that. and this is in between all the traveling and all my time in New Zealand, a lot of time too. And New Zealand, there's a lot of hiking they call it trapping on the north and south. It's a lot of great things about where some have their constantly. And there is where I first hand stitched
Damien Henning: A copper cable in doing an rei hat that I bought, I answered the copper cable into it as this works really well. This is that I can pull it put in my bag. I never thought of making a business out of it until a lot of other trackers were saying, Hey, Damien, where'd you get that somehow? I want to get one like it I made it myself and took these several days, so I can make one forever after charge about 300 bucks, for it, my time. So I don't think you're gonna watch that. yeah, they're never mind. I'll just deal with this one. I thought That's the light bulb went on, maybe I can make a business out of this. maybe there is a demand for somehow, it doesn't just to business made for obso. Lessons isn't made to just turn to crap,
Damien Henning: after a couple of vacations, after a couple of watch after wash one rain storm, even if it could be packed after packing, it wrong. If you fold it, it's packing a suitcase. The open it up. When it gets your destination. Never to say, increase increases they never come out. So that's why I thought I think a sun hat can be better than this. And I've got to find a way that I can mass produce, that's why I came up with the very first shapeflexer, and evidently there was the demand for it. my hunch was right, and it was more than right. I was overwhelmed by the positive support. I got for the first one. So after all the adventuring and also the hiking and tracking, I didn't Colorado.
Damien Henning: when you're above 12,000 13,000 feet. The sun is super intense anything for every thousand feet, you go up in elevation from sea level. The sun's power increases by 20% or something like that. That's just an exponential rise. When you get 14,000 feet and also, I was hiking that high in India, and Nepal and other places. you really got to watch. I love being a high country. I love me. I was from beach person, but a total mountain goat and I love being in the mountains.
Damien Henning: There you really have protect yourself because it's very powerful there.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah.
Damien Henning: It's a little bit CD because you got a nice cool mountain breeze, your face isn't feeling hot. it doesn't the beach in the desert, but you're slowly sizzling and…
Damien Henning: you don't realize it and then you come back and looks like a tomato, when the days over when you give yourself enough sun protection and then the sunscreen all is rip into my eyes and it's sting like crazy from sweating. God, it's gotta be a better way. I sound commercial about it really like that's and then I sort of wearing sun has swallow trekking, and I'm happy. I did it, but none of them work. either that's all. Thank you. 14 years in Colorado, work. None of the sun has, probably a broad word very well. So I decided I'm gonna make a new one and maybe other people like it and I'm really happy they did. And this one, just Trying to approve.
Matt (BackerClub): So yeah, you mentioned Antarctica. I read a little bit on your bio and it said that you had spent four years in Antarctica and out of Antarctica. But, the question we had was if you could explain some of the most profound or surreal memories that you had while you were there because I think there's not a lot of people who've spent a lot of time in Antarctica and so I thought this was a really interesting opportunity to kind of ask you. if you have maybe one thing that you think was surreal or profound that you could share.
Damien Henning: No one. there's not a key that's kind of a plateau, we're talking about because there's a lot of little ones,…
Damien Henning: but off the top of my head, It would be seen the auroras so bright down there and moving around, curtains in heavens. It was just amazing. I've never seen Aurora is like that with the closer you already either pull, north or south It's just fantastic.
Damien Henning: It's just made me feel like when you're isolated and you're spending a winter in Antarctica and darkness 24 hours a day for several months, it kind of starts to brain your soul a little bit. Even get a hyper person like me really relatively cheerful person might be down a little bit like the winter blues, they call it, but then when I saw that Aurora, it just flipped my switch back on Why? And then the that was at Big Myrtle Station. The other one was at the South Pole Station.
Damien Henning: Going outside after being dark 24 hours a day for a couple months, it was the austral summer Australian. It was sometime in late May I went outside during a full moon and the full moon made everything. So bright was almost like the sun was back on the sky, like this Cassie shadows and I didn't need my flashlight walk around outside. This is great. it's like this guy.
Matt (BackerClub): Wow.
Damien Henning: Hey, I should get my sunglasses, all the beach party out here. Frostbite that was surreal to seeing the moon. Be so bright, your eyes are so used outside being pitch black that when you get that full moon, it provides so much light that it was casting shadows and Didn't necessate.
Damien Henning: Didn't cause the need for a flashlight.
Matt (BackerClub): That's amazing.
Damien Henning: It though, those are two moments that I had when I was down there on top of my head.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah. that's awesome. Yeah, I would love to go to Antarctica that's definitely on the bucket list. I know a whole lot of people don't go there and it's quite difficult to actually go there. But
Damien Henning: How much your crazy person wants to work there or a multi-million that can afford a cruise for 30 days?
Matt (BackerClub): yeah. Exactly.
Damien Henning: That's pretty grand. It originally but I'm very happy. I made it in fact, one of my goals in life is to make it down. There's a tourist, I'd love to have enough money to go there as a tourist and not go down there for work. Just so I can enjoy from morning till night where I am because sometimes you work so much, you get so stressed out about things. It's still everyday life. You got relationships, you got bosses who don't like you, you got friends, you're having fights with, Of stress from back home, things happen to your family. Life still goes on down there but
Damien Henning: Trying to get away from that for a moment, they're appreciate where you are. Just taking it and letting it wash over you is really an amazing thing and hopefully I'd like to be able to do that someday without going down there for work. So we'll see if that happens or not.
Matt (BackerClub): All Then we just had one last question and that is with your wealth and experience across the globe. Are there any life lessons or mottos that you've adopted that you'd like to share?
Damien Henning: I can't think of anything that don't already sound like. trade platitudes that you've heard a million times before, but I guess, one of the things is, It ain't over till the fat lady sings, I'm not fat, shaming anybody. I mean, I used to go over itself. When I was all the way until college, I was a chubby little soccer, but it ain't over. As long as you draw breath, as long as your heart speeding don't quit. I mean, that's what my motto when I was fighting cancer, that was my motto. When the ships seem to be down for a business and I just thought, this is a waste of time. I'm gonna do something else with my life. This
Damien Henning: People might like my Kickstarter. Just don't give up.
Matt (BackerClub): Right.
Damien Henning: I mean, that sounds really. I wish I had better words of wisdom.
Damien Henning: but, Yeah, and another quick thing, don't look down on somebody unless you're trying to help them up. I think Jesse said that I was like that.
Matt (BackerClub): Really good.
Damien Henning: That's one. You probably don't hear as often so I'll throw that in there too.
Matt (BackerClub): Yeah, I like that one. That was really good. So yeah, I think we're going to wrap up the recording here and thank you very much for your time Damien. I think you shared a lot about the product by yourself and…
Damien Henning: Yeah yeah I'm sorry advance.
Matt (BackerClub): we're really grateful
Damien Henning: Whatever has to edit this because I don't f** really fast but I hope there's a lot in there that you can pick out of. I kind of give you a shotgun of information, hope you can pay off some good stuff to make it relatively cohesive. And so interesting interview I don't know I
Matt (BackerClub): I think you did and I think you did, because you could have gave us one word responses, but that wouldn't have been very great would it?
Damien Henning: That's not my style at all.
Matt (BackerClub): So it was great talking to you Damien. Thank you very much.
Damien Henning: Likewise, thank you, thanks for the opportunity.
Meeting ended after 00:47:22 👋