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Kiwi Umbrella Company Conquers Global Market

Media release: October 8, 2012

Kiwi Umbrella Company Conquers Global Market

New Zealand's most wind-resistant outdoor umbrella range has taken the global market by storm with exports to 35 countries.

The newest product, which was designed locally and tested by scientists at the University of Auckland in the country's strongest wind tunnel was able to withstand wind speeds of up to 40km/ph.

The managing director of Shade7 Michael Pearce, says he is thrilled with the wind test results of the 3.5m wide cantilevered umbrella - which he believes will help to grow exports in other markets.

"It's taken us nearly three years to complete the design and testing of the Riviera, which we believe to be the strongest cantilever umbrella in the southern hemisphere right now.

"We took this umbrella for a test drive at The University of Auckland wind tunnel - which is the largest wind tunnel in the country, and the umbrella handled the maximum wind speed without any problems," says Pearce.

"The Riviera umbrella is also much larger than most umbrellas ranging from 3x3m square right up to 4.0m wide octagonal. It's made from marine grade aluminium, stainless steel and plastic resin parts making it ideal for coastal environments common in NZ.

"We designed it with NZ conditions in mind and as we all know, there are some places in the country that can get pretty wild and windy, so we know if it can withstand our weather patterns then it's going to do well overseas," he says.

Shade7's last bestseller, the Solar cantilever umbrella, was released to the market over 12 years ago.

Shade7 is a Kiwi export success story and is run by businessmen and philanthropists David Jesze and Michael Pearce. The company regularly supplies umbrellas to retail stores and commercial projects around NZ, Australia, Fiji, Tahiti and throughout multiple resots in the Pacific Islands.

Jesze and his wife currently live in Cambodia, where they are using a portion of the profits from Shade7 to work on several charitable projects in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The Jesze's also privately fund a childcare centre providing free food and childcare in a destitute area.

"At the kindergarten we provide safety, education and fun for 30 kids who would otherwise be scavenging for food and scrap metal at the local rubbish dumps. There's absolutely no government support available for these slum children and the financial support we provide allows them to be fed, cleaned and educated in the hope that they can have a better future," says Jesze.

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