Feb 3, 2023
Entrepreneur creates custom helmets that fit children's patkas
Financial considerations when launching a side hustle
What started as a journey to create a helmet that would keep her three bicycle enthusiast sons safe, turned into a full-fledged small business for Ontario mother Tina Singh.
Singh started the process over three years ago to create Bold Helmets, a custom helmet for young Sikh bikers, that included additional room to fit a child's patka underneath, which consists of a small piece of cloth wrapped around the head.
“I started with the helmet shape and look first. We then went to an engineer and discussed dimensions and the manufacturer prototypes that we needed,” Singh told BNN Bloomberg.
“We then completed the safety tests and regulations, which took a few more months. This was a longer process because we were working on a unique design for the first time, considering the dome we added in the head-cavity, on top of the helmet – which meant the testing process ended up being a little more time-consuming.”
According to the Ontario government’s website, “By law, cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. For children age 16 and under, a parent or guardian must make sure they wear a helmet.”
Singh said she has had more than 1,000 parents reach out to her ahead of her product’s official launch last month, voicing the same concerns about current market options not providing the right fit for kids wearing a patka.
Since starting her company three years ago, she’s invested over $80,000 out of her own pocket to design and create the specialty helmet.
COMBINING TWO PASSIONS
Singh said her experience working as an occupational therapist helped with designing Bold Helmets.
“Designing and product developing is a part of occupational therapy, the beautiful thing about this whole process is that I think I can combine both professions,” she said.
“I can still do what I love for myself career-wise and contribute to another cause I am extremely passionate about, which is making sports more accessible to all children.”
Bold Helmets have already passed helmet safety certifications that are recognized in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. But Singh plans to focus on selling her product online in Canada, before moving into the international market.
Looking forward, the Ontario-based entrepreneur sees “potential for growth in other helmet-mandated Canadian sports, especially amongst young hockey athletes.”
Singh said she “feels for other parents whose athletic children too need more inclusive helmets,” and said if her current inventory sells out she may look to bring on investors in order to expand her business internationally.