Our Story - Knightsbridge Sleep Solutions
Dual Band Chin Strap was co-designed by me, Edwin Manzano, and Larry Shaw. But our history didn't start there!
In 2015, we met in Panajachel, Guatemala, while Larry was looking to start manufacturing his Astrojax invention after winning a long patent battle. Initially, I worked with Larry as a translator in 2017, facilitating communication between Spanish and English. I vividly remember the excitement of those early days. The work was engaging, and I was compensated at a rate of $15 per hour. As I continued to work with Larry, our relationship deepened, and I transitioned into a full-time role.
A year later, in 2018, I was honored to accept the position of Director of Operations for Astrojax. It was around this time that my sister Rosy Garcia, with her remarkable skill in crochet, joined the team and began crafting the Astrojax Weave, a pivotal component of Larry's innovative creation.
Sadly, in spite of a small and loyal following, sales never really materialized for Astrojax and that project was eventually abandoned. But that wasnt for a few more years.
In 2019, our collaboration took an unexpected turn that led to the birth of the Dual Band chin strap. While trying to get the Astrojax business off the ground, Larry stayed at my home in Guatemala, where we embarked on the venture of finding a solution for his loud snoring, which often disrupted the sleep for everyone at the home.
Together, in the confines of our shared living space, we brainstormed ideas, mused over potential solutions, and eventually settled on the concept of a specially designed chin strap. Our initial brainstorming sessions yielded various ideas, including the notion of a swim cap equipped with dual straps – one elastic and one non-elastic. Over the course of a few months, we experimented with different prototypes, refining our designs and considering various materials. Ultimately, the groundwork for the Dual Band chin strap began to take shape.
In pursuit of the ideal materials to bring our concept to life, Larry and I embarked on a joint venture – a quest to locate and procure the necessary components for our innovative chin strap. Our search led us to acquire a variety of samples, each holding the promise of contributing to the final product. Armed with these materials, we entrusted the task of crafting prototypes to our skilled sewer, Jose Xon.
As we progressed through the iterative cycle of refining and testing our prototypes, we recognized the need to tailor our design to different head sizes. This realization prompted us to embark on the process of measuring the head circumferences of our team members, a crucial step in determining the optimal range of sizes for the Dual Band chin strap. This meticulous attention to detail and customization allowed us to identify three distinct sizes, ensuring that our product could accommodate a broad spectrum of users with varying head measurements.
The journey from concept to creation was one marked by collaboration, creativity, and perseverance. The evolution of the Dual Band chin strap stands as a testament to our shared dedication and the spirit of innovation that characterized our work together.
I look back on those days with immense pride and gratitude – from my humble beginnings as a translator to the pivotal role I played in the development of the Dual Band chin strap. It was a journey marked by shared vision, mutual support, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.
Following months of thorough testing and refining prototypes, the innovative Dual Band chin strap became a reality, with Larry Shaw and Edwin Manzano standing as co-inventors. The culmination of our collective efforts paved the way for the official launch of the Dual Band chin strap, heralding a breakthrough in anti-snoring solutions.
When we introduced the Dual Band chin strap to the market in the early days of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it quickly gained recognition and acclaim, earning a reputation as the premier anti-snoring chin strap. The culmination of our collaborative endeavors not only brought the successful creation and introduction of a new and innovative product but also reinforced the potential for further innovation and enduring impact.
Introducing the Dual Band Chin Strap
Discover the ultimate solution for snoring with our best snoring Dual Band chin strap. Designed for maximum comfort and effectiveness, say goodbye to sleep disturbances and hello to restful nights.
With an unwavering commitment to quality and efficacy, the Dual Band chin strap emerged as an best in class solution, addressing a common and prevalent concern with an innovative and effective approach. The journey from conception to commercialization was made possible with the power of collaboration, dedication, and unwavering determination to pursue solutions that enhance the lives of individuals.
The widespread adoption and positive reception of the Dual Band chin strap bore testament to the transformative impact of our collective ingenuity and determination. The success of our endeavor underscored the value of persistence, creative exploration, and the boundless potential of cooperative innovation.
The launch of the Dual Band chin strap in July 2020 was undoubtedly a pivotal moment for the company amidst the challenging financial backdrop brought about by the pandemic. To weather the storm and propel the product's launch, I (Edwin) stepped in to provide crucial funding, demonstrating a deep commitment to the company's success and resilience during tumultuous times.
However, I didn't have the capital to do it all on my own. In addition to using my life savings, I took bank loans and credit card advances from Guatemalan banks with the promise from Larry that I was a partner. He even shared with me an (unsigned) copy of his “Last Will and Testament” showing that all intellectual property rights and assets related to our ventures would be mine. I now believe that to be fake and don't believe it was ever signed or executed and that it was to manipulate me into continuing to personally finance the company.
I also stopped taking a wage to help grow the business in 2021.
Deterioration of the Partnership
The harmony within the company quickly deteriorated due to disagreements between me and Larry Shaw. The expectation was that Larry Shaw would share the cost of the venture, only to later renounce this obligation and financial contribution. The power dynamic between Larry in the USA and me in Guatemala was and is very lopsided.
I continued managing production and making sales with distributors around the world. I also developed our website in 2019, worked on Search Engine Optimization, and got our Shoppify store operational.
Larry was responsible for shipping the finished product from his home in California, and he would either bring them with his luggage when visiting Guatemala, or I would ship him boxes of finished goods.
As of the time of writing this, the money owed to me from my contribution amount to more less $85,000 US Dollars.
$26,000 in bank loans from Guatemala banks
$59,000 Contributed to the project since its beginning (everything is tallied up)
I havent gotten a salary since December 16th 2021 - October 4th 2023
The tension between me and Larry Shaw grew as I fell further and further behind with no wage from the business. Larry continued to work, albeit irregularly, with a law firm in California as a Patent Specialist, but this business was and continues to be my only source of income.
Larry’s Departure from the Company
Larry attempted to take the company from me and walk away from his financial commitment to our partnership.
He took money from an order to a distributor , but never shipped the product, leaving me with a very large chargeback to manage. I worked with that distributor and shipped them the product directly trusting they would pay on receipt, and they paid directly which helped me resolve the chargeback, and also allowed me to pay the staff in time for Christmas 2023.
He then set up a separate production facility in Guatemala and emailed our distributors and told them to not order from us, but instead from his new business. In the process, he induced some of our staff to go with him with the promise of higher wages. This not only disrupted the company's operations but also led to the departure of essential personnel, disintegrating the cohesive team that had been essential to the company's success to date. Some of those former employees have since returned looking for work.
Larry Shaw's actions, including attempts to sideline me, the co-inventor, and the subsequent decision to fragment the company by establishing his own production facility, are deeply troubling. His establishment of an illicit operation to produce the Dual Band chin strap, combined with false accusations aimed at tarnishing my (Edwin Manzano) reputation, represents a betrayal of trust and an affront to integrity and ethical business practices. The financial ramifications resulting from these actions have been severe. It hasn't been easy, but I have honored and shipped all orders including those where Larry withdrew the money. The financial losses were severe, but with the help of some loyal customers and distributors, along with the team accepting some delayed pay, we are making it.
In response to these circumstances, it is imperative to pursue a comprehensive and systematic approach aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges the company now faces.
Firstly, a legal course of action is paramount. Engaging legal counsel to meticulously dissect the intricacies of the partnership agreement, contracts, financial transactions, and breaches of fiduciary duty is essential. This will facilitate the formulation of a cogent legal strategy aimed at recovering misappropriated funds, safeguarding intellectual property, and seeking redress for damages suffered due to slanderous and detrimental actions.
Furthermore, a concerted effort to safeguard the company's reputation and market standing is paramount. This involves the issuance of this public statement to refute baseless allegations, assert the company's commitment to ethical business practices, and reassure stakeholders about the company's unwavering dedication to transparency, reliability, and upholding professional standards.
Moving forward, a diligent review of financial protocols and oversight mechanisms is essential to fortify the company's financial integrity and shield it from further malfeasance. Implementing stringent financial controls and quality assurance processes will help preempt and forestall similar incidents from occurring in the future. Moreover, the cultivation of a supportive and cohesive work environment, characterized by open communication, mutual respect, and a shared sense of purpose, will be pivotal in re-igniting team morale and revitalizing the company's collective spirit.
While the events that have transpired have undoubtedly inflicted harm on the company, it is our commitment to hold fast to the values of integrity, persistence, and resilience. By addressing these challenges with a blend of strategic, legal, and ethical measures, the company will continue to chart a course toward recovery and ultimately emerge stronger, more resilient, and unwaveringly committed to its mission and vision.