Last year Tom Hessman and I, Suzanne Kensington, took up golf. Tom quickly caught the golf bug and became quite obsessed to the point where I started looking for a golf 12 step program for him to join and golf widow support groups for me. Well, not really.
Tom found out pretty quickly that he hated wearing a golf glove. It was a nuisance to take on and off and the glove didn’t allow him to “feel” the club grip very well.
So he decided to try tape and band aids. They were messy, didn’t provide enough protection and usually didn’t last through a round.
He looked all over and couldn’t find anything on the market to meet his needs. He bought one of those neoprene can koozies that you use to keep your drink cold, and with the help of my daughter, Savannah, on her sewing machine, made the first prototype.
The prototype worked great. He not only wore them for golf but found the finger braces useful for all kinds of activities to prevent finger blisters and reduce calluses, including weight lifting. As he began wearing the braces he discovered that his painful arthritis fingers felt so much relief from the compression, support and heat that was generated from wearing the braces.
That’s when we looked at each and knew we had something that a lot of people could benefit from. Prene Products LLC of Chandler Arizona was born. With Tom’s MBA & 30 years in corporate America and my 25 as an entrepreneur we found our skill sets to be very complimentary.
We went to work and found a manufacturer and our first samples were shipped to us. We then “tested” them on our family and friends. The huge gathering of family at Thanksgiving was the perfect opportunity to hand out samples and get their feedback. Grandma was thrilled with the relief she got from her painful fingers and yet had her fingertips free to grip, grab and touch whatever she needed. My nieces and nephews made a game out of discovering all kinds of uses for the finger braces.
We decided to develop 2 product lines – Neo Nuckles our sports brace and Finger Friends our medical brace.
Our Research and Development Department meets frequently at night in our family room in front of the television and Tom uses every excuse he can to go out to the golf course and test our new and developing products every chance he can.
Our 4 year old granddaughter, Aurianna, is our unofficial mascot. We have had lots of fun using her in our YouTube video promotions.
We just recently developed our newest brace – Finger Grippers. The Finger Grippers brace is different in that it is thinner, has a rubber textured outside to provide a significantly better grip. I am a fair weather golfer, Tom not so much. A few weeks ago we went out to play and got caught in the afternoon monsoon downpour. The Finger Grippers worked great to help keep a good grip on the club despite the rain.
We just introduced our Finger Grippers at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando with an excellent reception.
Tom & I
Our Mascot and granddaughter, Aurianna