U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, has named Bear Knuckles in Blackfoot, Idaho as the Small Business of the Month for September 2018. Bear Knuckles will be recognized in the Congressional Record of the U.S. Senate.

“Inspired by his family’s rodeo career and the many successes of his parents’ leather business, Shawn Schild, owner of Bear Knuckles, created a unique patent glove to benefit bull-riders and others in the rodeo industry,” said Senator Risch. “He has continued to innovate his product to better serve working men and women in Idaho and across the country, with their comfort and safety at the heart of his design. The entire Bear Knuckles and Schild family shows how dedication to hard work and perseverance can lead to small business success. Congratulations to all of the employees on this recognition.”

The idea for Shawn’s glove design stemmed from his father, Bob Schild, who had a long career in the rodeo. Bob carried a sewing machine and other tailoring supplies in his camper to craft his own equipment. He often sold rodeo chaps and other items that he crafted to make extra income while on the road. Bob and his wife Gay eventually started a leather company, B Bar B, where Shawn learned the leather trade. He began designing his own line of gloves over 20 years ago, while continuing the family tradition of competing in rodeo. Shawn later opened his own company Bear Knuckles, which manufactures uniquely designed gloves to allow for a stronger grip without sacrificing hand protection. Shawn’s innovative glove has curved fingers to better conform to the natural shape of the hand. This allows for a strong grip, while also reducing grip fatigue. Shawn’s patented Double Wedge ergonomic design worked so well that it is still used by professional bull-riders to this day.

The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to entrepreneurship and provides oversight of the Small Business Administration. The committee also researches, investigates and reports all problems relating to America’s small businesses to the full Senate. As Chairman, Risch will honor America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Senate each month.