Two things: gray, rainy days are yucky, and a good, sturdy, cheerful umbrella is hard to find. (Sturdy and cheerful are not often found in the same sentence.)
A little while ago I was alerted to the Cheeky Umbrella company (photo above), based in – you guessed it – rainy Vancouver, but held off posting about it until the summer ended. Might as well have done it though, because Ontario’s summer was particularly gross this year. Could have used those umbrellas.
Lucky for us however, this Fall is giving us lots of opportunities to pull out a sturdy, cheerful umbrella, because it’s turning out to be even grosser (we Ontarians love to complain about the weather) than the summer.
So here is my cheerful umbrella moment…
These pick-me-up umbrellas by Cheeky Umbrella are extra cute, home-grown and profess to be very well forged. With a bright underlay, they shine rays of colour upon you while repelling the dreary rain with utility and floral designs – just like the Care Bear stare! Founder Jen Z. conceived of the company as a result of her move to the vitamin-D-deficient Vancouver, aiming to infuse the umbrella with a little life and personality. And I like that. (See here for where to buy.)
Cheeky Umbrella also has a blog, and on this blog I found a most amusing prototype called the Friendly Umbrella. The New-York-based artist/designer of this novelty is a design blog favourite by the name of Joo Youn Paek, and this, the Friendly Umbrella, is my absolute favourite of hers (aside from the pillow helmet.)
It’s genius, but alas, only a prototype, so for entertainment’s sake, here you go: pull the handle tether to contract the umbrella spokes, so as to courteously pass another fellow umbrella holder — take it deep into city crowds! I would honestly love to have one. Yes, really.