It never ceases to amaze how entrepreneurs can take items that we have all used for decades, such as umbrellas, without issue, and completely redesign them, leaving us wondering why we ever did it the original way. Such is the case with the “KAZbrella”, an umbrella that has been redesigned to push upward and outward, ostensibly allowing users to open them in tight spaces and keep the device dry when closed.
I think that most are familiar with the basic design of umbrellas, but British startup KAZbrella attempts to flip this idea on its head with a device that includes a double-spoked frame that is covered by a breathable fabric with hydrophobic coating. KAZbrella highlights the ability of the device to withstand some serious wind gusts, noting that, in the event that the umbrella is blown out of place, it can be returned to form with the press of a button. Users must like black as a color for the outside of the canopy, as that is the only option at this point. However, there is a bit more variety when it comes to the inside, with black, red, purple, teal, and “bespoke print design” available as choices.
The KAZbrella is pretty pricey, running 35-65 pounds (plus shipping), but may be worth it for the novelty. They are still in the production stage, per their crowdfunding campaign, with plans to deliver the umbrellas in October or November.
Jenan Kazim, the Cypriot inventor behind this redesigned umbrella, tells me that they have had funding offers, but instead opted for a Kickstarter campaign. This has apparently proven to be a wise choice, as said campaign was quite success, taking in more than 265K pounds (more than 10x their original goal of 25K from over 3,300 backers. They were almost too successful in getting the word out, as Kazim says that they have had demand for about 6,000 KAZbrellas, but have actually stopped taking pre-orders out of a design to keep the first production run small and manageable.
As far as plans are concerned, they are currently concentrating on finishing their first production run and delivering the promised product. Only then do they plan to consider expansion.