Our meeting in the O2 Arena in Prague before Sweden – Switzerland gave us a few minutes to spare before face off and while I was getting nervous that I would possibly miss the first couple of minutes of the semi-final I still managed to sit there and take in every last bit of what Blindsave is and will be. He mentioned some ides of his which I asked if I could write about, despite them still being ideas and not products and he said “yeah, sure”. So I will, in this third and final part of my interview with Andis Blinds!
– What are the future plans for Blindsave?
Andis Blinds – Well we don’t change our collection every year just because it’s a new season, we focus on improving our current products. For instance we used to have two different types of padding, one softer and thicker and one harder and thinner but goalkeepers are picky people. So it was only a matter of time until someone would ask for something in between and of course we made that, so now we have three different types of paddings so even if you’re a picky goalie you’ll still find something in your taste.
– I’ve always wanted to know more about the mask you have at Blindsave, could you tell me the story behind it?
– It’s a very complicated process. I was a goalkeeper in ice hockey a long time ago and I’ve always admired that look so I wanted to make a similar mask for floorball. The cage has to be certified by the IFF and it has certain requirements in terms of measurements so it took a lot of time and effort. We’re thinking about a new mask in a couple of years but as of now, we have the best helmet there is!
– But then again it’s not just about the mask, it’s the entire suit; everyone needs safety and comfort and with that comes confidence. You have to be mentally strong to be a goalkeeper but you can’t be that without these three aspects so that’s what we wanted to put in the Blindsave products. It should be safe, it should be comfortable and it should make you feel confident when you wear it.
– What’s that process like?
– I’ve been working with some scientists and people from the fashion industry to help me make templates and come up with branding etc. for compression wear, to turn it all into reality. So we have a team of people working on all of these aspects in order to turn it into products but of course we talk to goalkeepers all the time for suggestions, like with the mixed padding for instance.
– Is that compression wear just for floorball?
– Well we created this padding that adjusts to your body shape which we realised could be useful in other sports too so we’re actually offering it to basketball and handball players and that’s a completely new direction for us. It comes from this elbow protection that we have and then we have a pair of protective shorts that it’s only a question of time until we’ll see amongst professional players in handball and basketball.
– The next question is that everyone needs a goalie bag because there are a lot of goalie bags out there but not everybody is happy with it. So we’re thinking about that as well but it’s not like “REAL” goalie stuff, it’s more accessories.
– Is that a direction you see Blindsave taking, more products outside of “REAL” goalie stuff?
– A little bit of course, we’ll eventually have some type of assortment as the brand grows bigger. It has to be really good though, I don’t just want to make products just to have them because if we can’t make it properly, like if it can’t bring you any added value then there’s no point. We’ve had a lot of products that only made it to the prototype stage due to this.
– Speaking of prototypes, we have this new innovation for kids for next year that we’re hoping to launch; goalie pants with knee pads included. These are really really good for the kids sake, because young players switch goalie stuff every other practice and I often see that they don’t want to be a goalkeeper unless they have to. I think a lot of that can be changed through properly innovative equipment. I actually had this one made into an adult prototype to make sure that it worked!
– You have a lot of clever stuff like that, don’t you?
– Yes another thing is this customised goalie suit that we have on our webpage, we are the only brand offering this and it’s simply because goalies love to have their own design. We have all of our production in Latvia so we have the power to produce certain things in special colours.
Some of our readers wanted to know a few things, some more questionable than other so I’ll just read it out and leave it to you.
– What’s the biggest difference between you and your brother?
– A stick and about 5 minutes. I’m 5 minutes younger!
– What does it take to get sponsored by Blindsave?
– You have to play for a national team. We are not a big company as well, we have limited chances and resources to sponsor people but we have that requirement, to be a national goalie and then we’ll consider to work with people as ambassadors.