In 2006 my son walked off the rugby pitch on a bitterly cold day with blue hands, so too did the rest of the players. He walked up to me and shoved his hands up my jumper for warmth as usual. The game had been a tough one, not because of the opposition but because of the weather. Most of the players had their hands under their armpits during the game which meant passing was awful. Looking around at the other players and thinking of the game I said to my son, ‘what you need is some heated gloves’!
That was the light bulb moment for me and I started researching and designing a solution. I bought some gloves, some silicon tubing, a meat syringe and some heat packs and began to experiment with ideas. Using a great design company I finalized my idea into a workable design. From my initial idea to having the glove ready for market took five years and in that time I spoke with so many sports players, athletes, sailors, gardeners, triathletes and even people with medical conditions such as Raynaud’s disease who have sought similar products for their area of interest and to ease their symptoms.
So it is our ambition to help as many people as possible by creating heated gloves specifically designed for each area whether that is sports, leisure or medical and no matter what level of participation from fun to amateur to professional. We design each glove with feedback and help from you, the people who are going to use them. We aim to be the best and only heated glove producer in the world that can cater for every sport heated gloves are needed. With that in mind we created this website in order to talk to you about what we are doing and for you to tell us your thoughts and how we can get better.
The name actually comes from the Latin for the Arctic Fox - Alopex Lagopus (also called Vulpes Lagopus) who is adapted to hunt and survive in the cold Arctic conditions. In fact several things stood out about this animal that made it a natural choice for us:
Firstly, they live and hunt in the coldest of regions by adapting their bodies and coats to stay warm, this is one of the main features of our products that we give you the freedom to get on with what you love no matter what the temperature. Also, they operate and stay within close family groups, like the Alago community, and will work as a team when needed but can also perform solo when necessary. Finally, they adapt quickly over the seasons, they are small and sleek and have amazing resilience and determination. That's Alago all over!
Alago on Dragon’s Den
Back in 2010 I appeared on the Dragon’s Den in an attempt to raise funding to bring you our heated sports and leisure gloves. As you can see from the video it wasn't a pleasant experience and although you can see 2 minutes of torture, I was in there for around 40 minutes trying to argue that our heated gloves are new, that they are needed and that people deserve to have gloves specifically designed for their activities. Needless to say they didn't quite grasp the idea.
Whilst none of the dragons felt there was an untapped market, my continued research into the markets and the products suggested otherwise and with encouragement from sports players, athletes, sailors, gardeners, triathletes etc I created Alago - a business with the ambition to bring you outstanding heated gloves that are unsurpassed in every area. It has taken another two years to realise the dream of bringing our products to you and it has been a bumpy road filled with hard and difficult times. However, we are finally pleased to say that our gloves are on sale and available to you right now.
One thing we have found when speaking to so many people is that there is such a need for these heated gloves that they are set to be used in all sorts of areas such as Netball, Cross Country Skiing and Running. We will be designing gloves for all these areas but people can't wait to use them, and who can blame them? Get using them for all your sports and leisure activities, let us know what you think and if we can create specialist gloves for your sporting and leisure needs.
Feel free to comment on any products that we have or suggest products we could create for you. Also, please join us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to follow our research and development and community news. Thanks for reading and thanks for helping.
Tony Curtis and the Alago team