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Otentik Sunshade One Pole Setup

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We are often asked whether an extra pole is helpful with the sunshade. The standard setup is with just two, and for most circumstances this is all you’ll need. The only time an extra pole is required is when there is no wind whatsoever, which is pretty rare at the beach. If there is even a slight breeze, the sunshade will lift up, providing extra room underneath.

The best setup will have the pole (or poles) places in the direction the wind comes from. The wind doesn’t have to hit that ‘front edge’ head on; it’s OK if at least one of the poles is angled to face the oncoming wind. And upon setting it up, you’ll see if you’ve got it right by what the sunshade does.

First, when you place the pole, is the fabric flapping around wildly? If so, you probably need to stretch the bags out further away from the sunshade (in all 4 directions).

Second, did you place the pole in an optimal location? It should be near a corner (within a foot or so). The closer it is to the edge where the wind is coming from, the better. This will allow it to lift up instead of getting pushed down. Continue reading

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Unhappy customer = learning opportunity

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Being the “people pleaser” that I am, it’s hard for me when a customer is unhappy with our product or service. Fortunately it is quite rare, but each time it happens we use it as a learning experience. This duo of husband and wife teams began this venture less than two years ago. For me, the connection was clear. I’m good friends with (and a former co-worker of) Ilan Elimaleh…the brains behind Otentik. He developed this awesome, novel product and we received one as a gift before they were even available for sale (7-ish years ago). After moving back to the US, we discussed importing and selling Ilan’s wonderful creation with our friends (and now business partners), who were equally in love with the product. And so our woman-owned-hubby-supported business was born!

The past year has been a wonderfully exciting, busy and challenging time for us. It’s a lot of fun sharing our collective experience with others. We have racked up a pretty awesome customer base and some really rave reviews. Our Amazon product rating is 4.5 stars and 5 stars in seller reviews. The drive for our business comes from wanting to share a simplistic, useful and versatile product that we truly think people will love. Not everyone does, though.

While unhappy customers are rare, they do happen – with all products. One thing that is certain, however, is that we do right by our customers and make ourselves available as much as possible, particularly for setup help. Usually, a few quick tips is all that’s needed to get people sorted out. Continue reading

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Otentik sunshade setup: On Grass

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Otentik Sunshade set up in gardenSo…you’re thinking of using stakes with our stakeless sunshade?  Don’t worry, we won’t call you blasphemers or take any offense.  The great thing is that you can setup our sunshades pretty much anywhere.  On a sunny Florida day that is nearing 4,000° F, we set up our Otentik in the backyard and let the kids loose with hoses.  If you’re wondering what the melting point for a sunshade is, I can assure you that 4,000° F might be pushin’ it.

We’ve also seen sunshades attached to trees, the side of a house and even an APC. Not every setup will require the sand bags (or canvas bags, for rocky areas).  And sometimes stakes are just quicker and you want to start relaxing and having fun already.

It’s really not rocket science here, but that didn’t stop me from nearly getting impaled once by my garden stake, as it flew past my head at mach 3. OK…I may be exaggerating a bit here. Continue reading

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Set up tip: Stretch!

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Stretching isn’t just good for the muscles…it’s also 100% necessary for your Otentik sunshade! =) This past weekend, our friends from The Yoga-Shed in DeLand held a yoga day at the beach. And it was FABULOUS!

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We had three separate yoga classes throughout the day, a few people went for runs, we all swam and enjoyed some snacks in the shade.

That’s Emma!

Our yogi leader, Emma, had just gotten her Otentik sunshade and it was her first time setting up. To my surprise, she actually filled the sandbags really full! (nobody ever does that – including ME in the beginning…whoops!). Once the wind picks up, your set up skills are going to be put to the test. Have no fear…the super duper stretchy Eurojersey fabric is here! Coming up from my downward facing dog at the end of the last class, I caught a glance of her sunshade really slacking on the job. The wind had picked up a bit, and it fell down (womp womp). Luckily, it’d happened to me in the beginning, and I know the solution. So…Ella to the rescue!

I pulled the poles out from underneath the sunshade and proceeded to pull the bags further out. It’s easy to tell if you haven’t pulled them out far enough. If there is ANY slack in the fabric, stretch it MORE! Don’t worry, this stuff is strong and really stretchy. It’ll hold up. 😉

When you’re pulling the bags out, be nice to them and either grab the entire opening with both hands to slowly drag it, or put your arms around the bottom and slide it further away from the tent. I learned this the hard way too…wasn’t thinking one day, and needed to move the bags out a scooch…but grabbed it in one small part of the fabric. Of course it ripped! The bag was filled with at least 20 lbs of sand!

So…after about 20 seconds adjusting the sand bags, and placing the poles back up, Emma’s sunshade was good to go! And whaddayaknow? It was getting windier and windier…and it held up just fine. =)

P.S – if you just purchased your sunshade and need any assistance getting it to work for you, give us a shout! You can reach us via email: sales@otentik.us or 1 (844) OTENTIK

We are here to help and want you to love your sunshade as much as we do.

Ella (aka Big Kahuna)

Otentik USA

www.originalsunshade.com

So that’s our set up tip of the week…see you next week!

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Once you go ‘Night black’…

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Seriously, whoever* came up with the idea to use black fabric for a sunshade is either a complete nitwit or a genius. Turns out…it was most definitely the latter.

For many reasons, when we started importing and distributing Otentik sunshades here in the US, we gravitated towards the more vibrant colors. Indeed, the turquoise (what we have now renamed “Island blue”) is still one of my personal favorites. And the bright colors certainly go well with our wardrobe.

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Ella and Renee (Big Kahuna & Boss Lady of Otentik USA) circa 1982. But not really…

But the darker colors, and the black and grey in particular, have fast become all of our** favorites.

Here are some reasons why:

  • We all love to read…and the darker colors are much better for beach-going avid readers.
  • I’m obsessed with taking photos of my 2 yr old monster munchkin frolicking in the waves. And it’s a little easier checking the photos while under a darker sunshade.
  • My eyes are sensitive to light and I’m prone to losing my sunglasses. Under a darker sunshade my eyes can relax a bit more…
  • It may sound crazy, but it isn’t any hotter under the darker ones! The fact that air flows freely under the sunshade means you don’t have any trapped, hot air regardless of the color…but for some reason, I feel like it’s a bit cooler under the darker ones. Am I crazy? Is it just me??
New Otentik sunshade colors

All our new colors

It really doesn’t matter what color you get. This is such a fun and useful tool for the beach***. You really can’t go wrong with any of our amazing, new colors.

*It was our good friend (and the brains behind Otentik) Ilan. At least…we’ll blame it on thank him for now!
**Our four person crew consists of two husband and wife teams, 4 kiddos, 2 furry kiddos and 3 cluck clucks
***Or river, or wilderness hike, or boat, or backyard, or inside building a fort!

Till next time!

~Ella
Otentik USA “Big Kahuna”
Ella@Otentik.us

1 (844) OTENTIK

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Why we chose Eurojersey fabric.

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Otentik is proud to use the best and most environmentally conscious fabric from the leading Italian producer Eurojersey. The high quality Sensitive® fabric is a microfibre and lycra blend, and is used in swimwear, sportswear and clothing sectors and sold internationally. It is known for being cool, breathable, providing sun protection and excellent resistance to chlorine, salt water and UV rays. This makes it the perfect fabric for the beach and for our sunshade.

We love the Eurojersey fabric for all these great qualities…but what really sold us on this company was their dedication to the environment and sustainable business practices.

They’ve obtained the most prestigious certificates for demonstrating their complete commitment to environmental sustainability.

In addition to their internal efforts to reduce their environmental impact and continually improve their processes, they participate DIRECTLY in projects to protect the environment. Since 2010, Eurojersey has donated funds to purchase and protect one meter of rainforest in Argentina for every meter of Sensitive fabric sold. Eurojersey, together with the World Land Trust, has saved 36,791,539 square meters of rainforest. We think that’s pretty amazing.

Read more about this awesome company and their fabrics here.

and here.

and if you’re really bored or interested, here.

We would love to hear what you think of your Otentik sunshade, and the Sensitive fabric we use! Get in touch with us: Sales@otentik.us or call 1 (844) OTENTIK

Ella in water

It’s never that easy…

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I admit, I’m a bit of a DIY junkie…every time I see a beautiful table from pallet wood, or some other sweet contraption on Pinterest I think to myself “I could totally make that!”. And it’s never as easy as it looks. This is how I felt whenever I saw amazing photos of the Otentik sunshade in the water, like this one. Which is perhaps why it took me so long to actually try it myself…I’m such a huge fan of this product, hence us opening up a business to import them to the US, and yet I’d never actually used it IN the water. So…challenge accepted!

DCIM101GOPROThis past weekend we were testing out our new toys, the waterproof Polar Bear Cooler and our new inflatable paddle board from Isle Surf and SUP. We’d been paddling for more than 2 hours on the Intracoastal waterways looking for a nice disappearing island and desperately in need of a reprieve from the sun and to cool off for a while.

My husband and I started filling the four sandbags with sand, which was actually more like a muddy sludge. After a couple of minutes, my hubby came to check the progress I’d made. In my defense, his hands are much larger and can shovel sand more quickly! =) (I’m tempted to add a photo of his ginormous man hands for proof…but let’s stay focused here). So we established that my bags needed much more sand…a couple more minutes of scooping and we put the poles up.

Using our Otentik sunshade in the Intracoastal Waterways

Using the pole sleeves to keep the poles in place is brilliant

It was rather windy, and it took a bit of figuring out which angle to place the poles at. Little tip: USE THE POLE SLEEVES! This brilliant little trick really keeps them in place. I’ve seen people wrapping them around the top of the poles, but never actually did it myself. I thought it was maybe just a good way to not misplace them. Anyways, even though it was a really windy day, the sunshade was totally solid and provided lots of shade for us while we chilled in the water.

I will definitely be bringing it on many more paddle adventures! As you can see…I kind of enjoyed myself! 😉

Oh – and whether you have giant man hands or not, on windy days just keep filling those bags till they’re full, full, FULL! If you’re doing it right, it should look something like this.

Enjoy!