With winter still hanging around like a bad cold that just won’t give up, many people in Quebec dream about the fun in the sun that’s just around the corner (hopefully).

According to a survey by CAA-Québec last year, 51 per cent of Quebecers said that they planned to take at least two weeks of vacation last summer, typically in July or August.

Their most popular destination? The U.S. east coast. Beaches from Maine to Florida have played host for generations of Quebec travellers every summer and this year should be no different.

For those planning on hitting the beach this summer, one entrepreneur has devised a way to help keep the sun off your face and out of your e-books and smartphones.

Patricia-DarqueaPatricia Darquea is the creator of the ShadyFace, a lightweight and portable sunshade device.

Equally at home nestled into the sand on a beach, slipped on top of a deck chair or parked on the deck of a boat, the ShadyFace offers a solution for glare, and also a place for a petit reprieve from the sun’s rays. The device also comes equipped with pockets to store your keys, wallet, sunscreen and electronic devices.

For Darquea, the idea for the ShadyFace came to her while she was on vacation in Maui.

“After struggling aimlessly to view my electronics under towels and hats while trying to protect myself from the sun, I finally got that ‘Aha!’ moment,” she said.

Armed with a killer idea, Darquea went to work to turn her idea into a reality, a process she said was an incredible learning experience.

“There are no guide books or lessons one can take which will prepare you for what one has to endure during the midst of development,” Darquea said. “Finding the right team of professionals with the proper skills is essential and this takes time.”

Since it’s launch, the ShadyFace has been appearing all over the United States and Canada. Earlier this year, Darquea was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer products trade show, to show off ShadyFace to the globe.

Besides the ShadyFace, Darquea has expanded the brand to include other products like a bluetooth speaker, sunscreen, and a version of the ShadyFace for pets.

For a person who grew up in Silicon Valley, Darquea said launching her own brand in the centre of the startup universe has a been a hugely rewarding experience.

“Thinking of a concept and bringing it to market is the most gratifying endeavor
I have yet experienced,” she said “Seeing companies like Apple, Google and GoPro starting their ‘claim to fame’ in California demonstrates to all of us that hard work really creates success.”

As the ShadyFace brand continues to grow, including now being available for sale across North America and in Europe, Darquea said that making great ideas happen for any aspiring entrepreneur comes down to three simple things.

“Stick to your goals, set them high and never give up,” she said.