Eastbourne man creates business to tackle Covid facemasks problem
A 21-year-old man from Eastbourne has created a business after noticing a problem while wearing facemasks.
Alex Wickens has created MistyClip – a company aimed at tackling the problem of glasses misting up while wearing a facemask.
The idea came when Alex was working in Asda packing orders ready for delivery.
He said, “I was frustrated that my glasses were constantly steaming up while wearing my facemask — trying to see the product labels was equally challenging whether I wore my fogged-up glasses or didn’t wear them at all.”
Due to the problem, Alex found a business in France in October that was using 3D printers to make a clip that could stop glasses steaming up.
Alex said, “These devices had been created and refined by an engineer with an interest in robotics, and the product had really taken off with amazing customer reviews.”
He said the clip works by redirecting the flow of breath away from the surface of the glasses. The product is also made from a renewable resource made from by-products of the food industry.
Alex said, “We bought 3,000 clips, arranging for them to be imported directly from Normandy to Sussex.
“Within days I had created a brand called MistyClip, built a new website with an online shop, produced a home-made promotional video and launched a marketing campaign through Facebook and LinkedIn. The rest is history.”
2020 has been far from what Alex expected. In February, he secured a place to go to flight school to train as a commercial pilot.
March lockdown meant that the airline industry went into ‘free-fall’ according to Alex, with lots of redundancies and no idea of when things would begin to recover.
He said, “You’ll understand my reluctance to take on a £100,000 loan for training without any reassurance of a job at the other end.”
Despite this, Alex’s new venture shows positive signs. Alex said half of MistyClip’s sales are coming from recommendations or second purchases.
The business is also helping others. Alex said 10 per cent of the price of each clip sold goes to a local charity and these donations ‘provide homeless individuals with employability skills here in Eastbourne’.
He said, “My aim is to raise at least £500 every month for the local charity for as long as we continue wearing facemasks.”
Alex has got his hands full now – he’s even had to enlist his parents to help with the dispatching process. The business is selling hundreds of the clips directly to the public and he said large corporate companies are also showing interest in supplying workforces too.
Anyone wanting more information about the clips can go to www.mistyclip.co.uk