The Villager Story

The Name  

Toronto, New York, Portland, San Diego… You could be in any city in the world – but riding around town to commute, to run errands, or just to cruise entrenches you in your community. You’re out of your bubble as you take in the surroundings – the air, the shops, the people. You come and go as you please, and somehow your vast city becomes a village. That is a Villager.

The Villager Story

The Villager story begins in the spring of 2008. I bought a bike, and the feelings roused by the freedom of two wheels on the pavement instantly transported me back to my childhood. My love of cycling quickly grew from this sense of nostalgia into a full-fledged passion, fueling my desire to become a competitive cyclist.  Cycling became an integral part of my everyday life as I tirelessly trained for race after race over the course of the next six years.

Though I was cycling at a competitive level, riding a bike had also become my primary mode of transportation.  It was between commuting to work, meeting friends, and running errands that I began to look for a helmet to suit my personal style and safety needs.  As I searched, it quickly became apparent that something was missing from the bike helmet market.  What I was looking for did not exist, and the idea for the Villager Helmet started to take shape in my mind.

This idea began to materialize while I was at home recovering from a cycling accident.  With one arm in a sling, I fashioned the first prototype of the Villager in the form of a rough paper mâché model.  From there, the Villager design evolved over time as I spent hours deconstructing various helmets, creating handmade parts, drilling, cutting, and sanding, all on the deck of my small studio apartment.

With the final prototype complete, it was time for the next step in the Villager design process.  On a whim and with no real connections, I took a chance and headed overseas in search of answers. I spent time meeting with experienced manufacturers where I learned about the industrial sector at its core.  Over the next three years,  in between working long hours as a waiter and travelling the world to compete as a pro-level triathlete, my Villager dream started to become a reality.  I enlisted the help of a 3D-designer to engineer the final pieces of the magnetic-snap visor system that truly makes the Villager unique.  We created three different visor attachments for the helmet, allowing users to choose whatever feels right on any given day.  The patented “Courier” visor, designed in the style of a cycling cap, is unlike anything seen before on the helmet market.

My  goal in creating the Villager Helmet was to appeal to urban cyclists, like myself, who wanted a product that was hip , yet functional. I also designed it to promote helmet use among cyclists who currently choose to ride without one, and I believe this goal has been achieved with the styling and functionality of the Villager.

The process of bringing the Villager vision to life has been both difficult and rewarding.  Though my name is the one behind Villager, I am grateful to have had contributions from advisors, experts and friends throughout the journey. I can truly say that I have never viewed this project as work or as a job to be completed, but rather as an extension of my passion for cycling and who I am as a person.  I believe it is this passion that has made the Villager a truly exceptional product, and I have no doubt that those who wear it will agree.

Keep Moving. Stay Balanced.

Jeffrey Manson