THREE teenaged siblings have created a "fully certified and functional face mask."
Nineteen-year-old Joshua, Elijah, 18, and Cianna Riley, 15, have developed the Tiger Mask line, "the first fully-certified and functional face masks on the Caribbean market," a media release said.
"Their form-fitting Tiger Mask is fully audible, breathable, adjustable, washable, and durable and has a Cariri (The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute) safety certification. Tiger Mask also come with a six-month guarantee," the release said.
Joshua, the project’s leader, said the initial medical advice to wear a mask as a protective measure during the ongoing covid19 pandemic, sparked an interest in him to develop a quality product for his family and friends.
The Queen’s Royal College (QRC) graduate said as that advice became legislation, he felt the need to make the product accessible to the public after seeing the misinformation about the type of masks needed for proper protection, and general poor mask etiquette practices.
“Tiger Masks answers every challenge people are currently having with regular cloth masks. We knew the importance of a mask to its wearer when it comes to the virus. We saw people pulling their masks off their nose and mouths to speak and breathe. I mean, in many instances, we’re talking the personal health of yourself and your loved ones and, in a few cases, life and death," Joshua said in the release.
“So we looked at the issues people were having with masks: awkward fit, uncomfortable to wear, difficulty in breathing and so on. Then we worked at fixing each of those issues and delivering a product that was not only safe but also comfortable and reusable,” Joshua said.
It took many sleepless nights, but the Rileys made a breakthrough in June and created a prototype that addressed every concern of mask wearers, the release said. Inspired by the courage, determination and fierce independence of the tiger, they decided to name the mask after the elegant cat after a conversation with their father: businessman Ian Riley. They have developed four versions of the mask: ear loop, single strap, double strap and four-string tie.
“We went to our father with the idea and he said the mask needed a name. Growing up we’ve always admired the tiger, as an independent powerful being. The rest is as they say, history,” Joshua said.
The Rileys have sold thousands of their masks across the USA, the Caribbean and in TT. President Paula-Mae Weekes was also seen wearing one of their Tiger Masks when swearing in the Prime Minister for a second term in office.
“We sent some samples of the product to the President and she graciously responded by letter to let us know she was impressed with our innovations. But, seeing her actually wear the mask was the ultimate endorsement to let us know we had a great product on our hands,” Joshua said.
Tiger Mask is available online at www.tigermask.co and at Dee Rite Foods, Government Plaza, Port of Spain; Totally Gents, Trincity Mall; Chelsea’s Fashion, Chaguanas; Don Miguel Hardware, San Juan; Bookberries, Point Fortin; Griff’s Bundle Wash Laundrymart, San Fernando; Tulip’s Health and Beauty Supply Pharmacy; Mason Hall; and the St Augustine Hardware & Tyre Centre.