CARLSBAD — In keeping with his active lifestyle, Joe Murphy embraces all of Southern California’s activities.
His athletic endeavors, however, led to a skin cancer scare several years ago, which spawned an idea. He was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, however it was benign.
Murphy developed the Chrome Dome Cap, which covers the head, ears and down the back of the neck, to prevent sunburns and UV rays, which can lead to skin cancer.
“I was in the surf and I couldn’t find anything to keep the sun off my head,” Murphy said. “Over the years, research and stuff … we came up with a unique design cap.”
On the eve of Small Business Saturday, the national movement to purchase local goods, Murphy is aiming to create a larger customer base.
His product is manufactured in San Diego and made from fabric from Italy.
Through research, the caps are certified 50+ for both A and B type UV rays.
This year, the budding business secured a host of sponsorships including the Carlsbad City Triathlon, Tour of Utah cycling race and the USA Underwater Hockey national tournament in Los Angeles.
“I made it for me,” Murphy explained. “Once we made it and started selling it over the last year-and-a-half or so, we’ve had people come with all different ideas to use it for.”
While the caps were conceived for athletic purposes, Murphy has found through the past several years the range is much bigger.
He said police officers, construction workers and military members, to name a few, also use the caps, which keep the head cool and pull sweat away from the eyes.
Murphy also donates the caps to people undergoing chemotherapy to combat chilly conditions while sleeping.
“I use it for everything,” he said. “I went the dermatologist a couple of days ago and I had no issues on the top of my head. If this were a year ago, they would have used liquid nitrogen to burn off pre-cancers.”
Although the company rarely sells its products at their Carlsbad headquarters, Murphy said he does conduct point of sales at various outlets and online through their website (chromedomecaps.com).
In fact, next week the caps will be on sale at La Jolla Swim and Sport.
“We can do custom brands and logos, that sort of thing,” Murphy said. “There are just a lot of different uses.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.