When R.J. started drawing designs for a tool that would protect his dad’s fingers, he never planned on making a business out of it. “My dad is a chef, and he came home with a really bad cut,” R.J. says. “He cut off his whole fingertip—the doctors had to glue it back on!”
R.J. didn’t want this to happen again, so he got to work figuring out a way to protect his dad’s fingers in the kitchen. He sketched his first Tip Tough design in his notebook when he was 13. His invention is worn while chopping up food. It protects a chef’s fingers from cuts while the food is held in place.
Shortly after coming up with his idea, R.J. attended the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. This national program teaches middle and high school students how to start and run a business. R.J. attended the program at the Chamber of Commerce in Salisbury, Maryland. “They helped me start my business from the ground up,” R.J. says.