Thursday, April 18, 2024

Coronado Couple Combine Engineering and Business to Revolutionize the Activewear Industry

Updated Feb. 29, 2024

Coronado couple Arni and Shireen Thor have combined their engineering and business prowess to create new companies.

With over 500 patents to his credit, engineer Arni Thor is a man with a mission to help reduce pain and increase mobility and is ranked as the world’s top inventor in orthopedic bracing and support devices. He and his wife Shireen Thor have been Coronado residents since 2019, when they moved here for the quality education for their children.

Originally from Iceland, Arni and American-born Shireen, who is also an engineer and coincidentally has Icelandic heritage, met while working for Ossur, a global leader in non-invasive orthopedics. He was instrumental in developing core orthopedic bracing products, including the groundbreaking Unloader product line and top-performing Rebound and Miami products for spine and lower extremity. Shireen also has an award winning career as a medical device design engineer, product marketer and a business consultant.  Since leaving the company in 2016, they have been involved in multiple successful ventures, with medical devices and consumer products.

Shireen and Arni are passionate about creating braces and supports to reduce pain and increase mobility for people with osteoarthritis, athletic injuries, and other mobility limiting conditions. After being dependent on creating devices that fit into healthcare reimbursement codes for many years, they now long to create products that are designed solely to be best for patients’ outcomes

The duo was sidelined when Arni designed a stylish functional accessory to replace the hairband Shireen always kept on her wrist. She calls it “the best Christmas present ever,” and found that people loved the hair tie bracelet wherever she went, calling it “absolutely genius.” They ended up filing a patent and their business Maria Shireen® was launched.

Their big break came when The Huffington Post wrote an article about the hair tie bracelet, making the product an overnight sensation. They have learned a lot along the way about ecommerce, marketing, and much more, as the product has sold more than $15 million to date in 40 countries. Its popularity has inspired nearly 1500 copycats, which has reinforced and furthered their expertise of intellectual properties strategies, and they have even dealt with the head of the legal department at Amazon that led to changes in Amazon’s process on intellectual property infringement.

Viola Davis, pictured with her daughter, is just one of the celebrities who is a fan of Maria Shireen hair tie bracelets.

Next, they founded Elevate Movement with their intellectual property that focuses on solutions for drop foot conditions, with innovative customized bracing and support for patients after suffering stroke, from muscle and nerve injuries, and cerebral palsy.

With a common goal to create orthopedic products that were available directly to consumers, they dreamed of building a company together that would provide options to keep people moving. This eight year journey will come to fruition by early summer in the form of their latest venture called CORONADO™. They chose the name for multiple reasons, but partly because the word means “crowned” in Spanish, noting that exuding confidence is what they want their customers to feel as they wear their functionally designed apparel for optimal performance.

Now part of the new CORONADO™ performance wear line, Dr. Matthew Provencher and Tyler Zajac were part of the New England Patriot’s team.

They have put together a team that includes Dr. Matthew Provencher and Tyler Zajac. Dr. Provencher coincidentally has roots in Coronado and still has homes here. He is a renowned orthopedic surgeon and innovator, specializing in complex shoulder, knee, and sports injuries. His resume includes Head Orthopedic and Sports Surgeon for the Navy Special Forces (SEAL Teams), as well as working as a Head Injury and Performance Analyst at FOX Sports, and Director of Sports Medicine and Surgery at Naval Medical Center San Diego, Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Head Team Physician for the New England Patriots. Zajac, an accomplished athletic trainer and entrepreneur, with a background in collegiate and professional football, including with the University of Alabama, University of Louisville, and the New England Patriots.

CORONADO™ isn’t just activewear; it’s a revolution in orthopedic performance apparel that is Crowned in Confidence and backed by movement science, challenging conventions, and celebrating movement in all its forms. Their team of top industry experts brings more than 80 years of orthopedic excellence, data-driven athletic acumen, and over 500 patents, creating innovative designs which are a testament to the brand ethos: “delivering functional performance apparel that’s as dynamic as our wearers.” The collection goes far beyond basic support, energizing the entire body in motion, by combining technology with functional statement styles.

The new CORONADO™ performance wear lines (revive, reinforce, recover) feature pants, tights, shirts, upper extremity supportive garments, socks, and more that emphasize pain relief management, muscle activation, and strengthening for endurance and recovery during training or rehabilitation. This muscle activation clothing line includes adjustable tension bands laminated onto the garments — think resistance bands in clothes which adapt to engage inactive muscles and strengthen various joints to keep wearers on the go.

The team emphasizes that the word “ON” is at the heart of its name, and they want the products to help people turn it “ON,” creating motivation to push forward and achieve their maximum potential. Arni, Shireen and the team are passionate about helping people feel confident and focus on a philosophy built on proven expertise, with a commitment to excellence, extensive research, careful development, and thoughtful designs.

Whether you want to keep moving in your everyday life, are a weekend warrior, recovering from an injury, or a top athlete these innovative performance apparel options are designed to help you function at your best. Watch for their upcoming launch of CORONADO™ in summer 2024 and follow their story @CoronadoCrown on Instagram.

Updated Feb. 29, 2024.

Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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