Ever just need some personal space with none to be found? A local woman designed a new solution that offers comfort wherever you need it.
Whether it’s a loud house, long plane ride or busy hospital room, there’s not much peace and quiet to be found most places. That’s what inspired the creation of locally-designed Harbor Hood, a wearable pillow that dampens light and sound to offer you peace and quiet wherever you need it.
“Harbor Hood is a versatile hood with an eye mask that helps people in uncomfortable places find a quiet, supportive personal space,” says Kate Brandy, Founder of Harbor Hood Co.. “You can wear on your head or fold flat to support your lower back. And it’s designed to be 100 percent washable to keep you safe wherever you take it.”
Launching in November of 2019, Harbor Hood is an eCommerce website that ships from Cincinnati. “While I am the sole employee, Harbor Hood relies on a variety of suppliers, manufacturers and consultancies to operate,” she says.
The inspiration behind starting the business came from her grandfather. “He describes unpleasant environments in hospitals. They are cold, bright, loud and usually overcrowded, making it hard to get into a comfortable position to rest,” Brandy says. “It’s a period where you need to get rest but feel the worst. I thought that other people might feel the same way as my papa.”
According to her research, patients were feeling uncomfortable in the ERs, treatment chairs, many waiting rooms and exam rooms. “Obviously, I could not address many miseries associated with illness or injury. I could, however, work on ways to shield them from some of the lack of privacy, the chillness, the noisiness and the brightness, and give them relief from the awkward resting positions they were enduring on top of their medical concerns,” Brandy says. “Harbor Hood was created to meet these needs for comfort and personal space.”
The research with Harbor Hood helped find the product’s purpose. “People told us over and over again that they would use Harbor Hood in healthcare settings, but also, and perhaps more often, for travel, mass transit commuting and while at home quarantining with their whole family,” she says. “All these environments produce a need for comfortable personal space and that is what Harbor Hood creates.”
The Harbor Hood provides you with personal space. “Personal space quiets the mind and allows your senses to accept stimuli at a more comfortable rate,” Brandy says. “Softness and support allow you to focus on what you want to, even if that is rest without the distraction of pain or discomfort.”
The name of the business came from Brandy living close to the Boston Harbor. “There is something really nice about the ships coming into the harbor for a safe, quiet place to rest before going back out for a day’s work,” Brandy says. “That metaphor holds true for Harbor Hood pillows. They are a safe harbor of quiet, supportive personal space wherever you may be.” The Harbor Hoods are available in adult sizes in the color dark gray.
Brandy wants the products “to make adults more comfortable in uncomfortable environments through innovative products,” she says. Originally, Harbor Hood was created for healthcare workers in uncomfortable settings at their job, but “customers have found the product useful in much broader applications from home and travel environments,” Brandy says.
With the COVID 19 pandemic, Harbor Hood has been negatively impacted because of their supply chain, but there have been good things that come from it. “We have raised funds to donate Harbor Hoods to hospitals around Ohio to give much-needed comfort to patients.”
The uniqueness of the product is in its shape. “Harbor Hood’s unique shape provides coverage over your ears and include a hood with a face mask, so that you can lean back or lean on your side to fit how you get comfortable,” Brandy says. “It’s also unique in that it transforms to fold flat to double as lumbar support. A pillow that can do so much is something that is really hard to come by in a sea of ineffective and cumbersome travel pillows.”
Your mental and physical health will be positively affected by this product. “It is just as important to allow yourself to take that personal space for yourself, as it is to give it. That’s what Harbor Hood is all about,” she says.