Although there's been much to be grateful for in the past year, it's been an undeniably tough year for businesses, individuals, and families, so it wouldn't feel quite right to talk about ourselves and our successes without acknowledging this and taking a moment to sincerely wish everyone a better year in 2021.
2020 was not without it challenges either for KYMIRA, and our successes as a relatively small business in this strange year are due to the incredible efforts and strength of the individuals that make up team KYMIRA, as well as the unwavering support from our partners, customers.
We had a great year for award wins, and our ongoing technology research has been going from strength to strength. This year we won our third Innovate grant in a row, and are excited to be in the final development phases for some of our e-textile innovations.
Other notable occasions include the signing of our first elite NFL team (who now train and recover in KYMIRA Sport kit), growing the KYMIRA team by over 25% in a tough year for the job market, and forming many great partnerships with elite clinical and performance partners.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Even though most of the world ground to a halt this year, our Research and Development team here at KYMIRA continued with their projects to develop life-saving medical technologies, and to work towards a better future.
We're currently working on some exciting projects with Imperial University and Newcastle University that we unfortunately cannot talk about, so stay tuned on our socials and company website (kymira.co.uk) for future updates. Here's some of the 2020 projects we can talk about, and love to:
‘PV' project – we have started to investigate the integration of energy harvesting photovoltaic cells into garments
Bumpe – Bumpe is our foetal monitoring device for which funding was secured in 2020 from Innovate UK. In partnership with Radical Fibres Limited, KYMIRA is committed to lowering the rate of stillbirths with the development of Bumpe. Clinical testing for the device is planned to start in 2021
Feelers – we are furthering the development of our novel e-strip technology
TARDIS A – we have been making internal developments to our own e-textile sensing capabilities. Substantial progress has been made in ECG monitoring and motion monitoring (via IMUs) with both technologies now being at a demonstrable stage by e-textile. Further progress has been made in other areas of sensing and monitoring including blood oxygenation, temperature, and breathing rate.
99.6% Viral Filtration – we developed and launched our K-Masks and K-Filters, a solution which incorporated technologies already developed by KYMIRA and their partners as part of other projects for the purpose of viral filtration. For more on this project, click here: https://kymira.co.uk/kmasks/
Our efforts haven't gone unrecognised this year, and we're proud to announce the following awards wins that Tim and the team have picked up this year:
Director of the Year for Innovation in the IoD Director of the Year awards (Timothy Brownstone, Founder & CEO of KYMIRA)
The Thames Valley Tech Awards saw KYMIRA nominated in 5 categories and winning in 2! We are the 2020 Tech SME of the Year and the winner of the Science & Technology Award
Team KYMIRA won the Barclays Eagle Labs award for Innovation
For more on our nominations, wins and updates on the company, visit: https://kymira.co.uk/news/
PARTNERSHIPS & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
We also joined forces with several clinics and performance partners this year to bring to the benefits of infrared technology to those needing it for injury, recovery, and management of long-term conditions:
Perfect Balance Clinic
Abbey View Physiotherapy
Core Health and Wellness
KYMIRA Sport welcomed 4 new Brand Athletes to the team to represent us:
Will Usher & Raya Hubbel, a Triathlon power duo who coach and compete as part of Precision Coaching
Darren Stevens, one of county Cricket's best evergreen performers, a batting specialist, and one of the most talented bowlers in County Cricket – still hitting career bests at 45.
Chris Opie, a two-time world record setting international cyclist, Chris is a pro cyclist and a member of the Saint Piran Elite Cycling Team.
Brinn Bevan, a team GB Olympic Gymnast
Paul Parker, a strength & conditioning specialist, sport scientist and performance nutritionist
If you want to know more about these guys and our other athletes head to https://www.kymirasport.com/pages/team-kymira-brand-ambassadors-professional-athletes to read more about their careers and what drew them to KYMIRA.
In marketing, we ran several highly successful campaigns this year , and despite the odds we had our best year yet in eCommerce sales. Some of our notable marketing initiatives included:
KYMIRA celebrated our 7th Birthday as a company in April by running site-wide promotions on kymirasport.com and kymiramedical.com, and releasing a series of articles about our technology and company story including:
7 Things You Didn't Know About KYMIRA
7 Athletes KYMIRA Helped Recover from Injury
7 Types of Medical Conditions that KYMIRA can Help Treat, Relieve & Manage
We also ran our annual Black Friday and Christmas promotions. Following months of economic uncertainty globally we went into the gifting season optimistically but conscious of the impact the pandemic may have had on our customers. Our hard work paid off, and it was in fact our biggest year yet for sales in this gifting season.
We introduced the KYMIRA KYnergy Ecosystem. The concept of a KYMIRA Ecosystem was something we wanted to focus on communicating to our customers and clients this year, as one of the best qualities of our infrared technology is that it can benefit athletes at every stage of training and isn't just limited to providing recovery or performance boosting. Prepare, Perform, Recovery and Rehabilitate are the 4 categories across which KYMIRA aids athletes can benefit from using out products. For more on the KYnergy Ecosystem go to: https://www.kymirasport.com/pages/kymira-sport-kynergy-infrared-ecosystem
We launched the KYMIRA Outlet for the first ever time on both our web stores. The KYMIRA Outlet allows customers to shop from our Core 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 ranges (our product line between 2013-2018 before we switched to our current branding) and they can even access products we no longer sell or products that were part of very limited releases. The idea was to give people the chance to try KYMIRA products at a discounted rate and in different styles than we carry in our current 3.0 range, and it proved to be hugely popular with new and existing customers alike.
Just like the previous year, 2020 was full of exciting new product launches, including all-new colour options coming to the KYMIRA range! This year's launches included:
Our ‘KYMIRA in Colour' range, which included 4 new colour options (pink, grey, mid blue and light blue) across 3 new top styles (¼ zip, mandarin neck, and mock polo).
Our KYMIRA Golf range, which has been hugely popular both in the UK and in the US with golfers of all ability levels!
High Waisted Leggings have been in high demand with our female athletes and clients for a while now and they sold out quickly in the initial launch this Autumn.
Our popular 3.0 Running Leggings have also been upgraded this year, and are now sold in a version with a zip pocket for running essentials – a feature that was highly requested by our customers
Our line of more casual, colourful wear also grew this year with the release of our Infrared Crew T-Shirts which have fast become a favourite staple item with our elite athletes as well as our customers. Our crew tops feature an ordinary t-shirt fit and our extraordinary infrared technology, making them perfect for everything from sleep and relaxation to hard training sessions.
K-Mask and K-Filters also came out this year as our contribution to the Coronavirus Pandemic response. Many companies came out with masks the second they became mandatory in public spaces in the UK, but we held off and took the time to produce a filter that provides some of the best viral filtration in the world (rated 99.6%), inside a mask that utilises our amazing infrared technology for effective temperature and moisture control, alongside antimicrobial properties, and a tailored, comfortable fit.
We also released a black version of our ever-popular infrared fleece gloves, to provide even more choice for consumers
Team KYMIRA has grown a lot this year, and we're thrilled to have welcomed the following new members to the KYMIRA family:
Daisy Hacking (Marketing Assistant)
Sarah Jenner (Marketing Manager)
Kieran Blay (Technical Sales Lead)
Rudolph Cirulis (Electronics Design Engineer)
Bruno D'Agostino (Junior Web Developer)
Nick Wooley (Medical Device Product Owner)
Olla Eltiraifi (Embedded Electronics Engineer)
And the team keeps growing! If you're interested in working at KYMIRA and being part of the team in 2021, we are currently hiring for the following positions:
We'd like to conclude by again wishing you, our customers, network and supporters, a safer and more successful year in 2021.
Hearing how we've been able to improve lives is why we do what we do – below are just a few of the touching messages we've received from the KYMIRA community from this past year:
"I have suffered from fibromyalgia for many years now. Despite the pain, I lead an active lifestyle because it helps me to cope mentally and emotionally. I have tried several different options for reducing pain but the best yet has been the use of Kymira's leggings. When using these compared to when not, I have found a real difference in my ability to lead an active life, with less pain and better / faster recovery when resting, allowing me to keep moving for longer, work harder and take shorter breaks between tasks / workouts. They also keep my muscles from overheating during workouts and cooling down too quickly after exercise. The range of clothing has broadened since I bought these leggings, so I am looking forward to trying out more of the base layers and the gloves for helping combat my Reynaud's!" – Fiona B., who bought our infrared medical leggings.
"Feedback wise, I love it! It's like wearing a second skin, it's providing compression, it's keeping my shoulders from feeling like they're about to pop out, it's supporting my elbows without over splinting, it's keeping me warm without over heating…. I could rave about it for ages, and in fact did to my physio! Sadly I have to give it back to her, but I am going to order my own (and some leggings to go with it) 😊" Karen L., whose physio turned her onto our infrared tops.
"Introduced to Kymira by my physio (who told me, "I don't usually recommend stuff, but their kit works"!). Really accelerated my recovery from hockey induced calf injury at Christmas – then worn them skiing at New Year (bliss!) and now they are the first thing in my match kit bag. Am going to add more from the range." – Roderick C., who's enjoying the benefits of infrared in all areas of his life