When Li Hayes started experiencing hot flashes, she wasn’t about to let them hold her back. Instead, she decided to find a solution to help with hot flashes and a company to provide that product to other women. Thus Hugg Company was born. Her ‘Cool Me Scarf’ is a beautiful, simple and discreet fashionable scarf that instantly cools the sensation of hot flashes. While Covid-19 hit her business hard, she is starting to see an uptick in sales again – selling her scarves retail and wholesale to boutiques.
Hayes’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
As a woman of a certain age, I was suddenly rocked by hot flashes. I am a business woman in my prime! I wasn’t about to let hot flashes weigh me down. I invented a fashionable cooling scarf, based in simple science, that active, business and professional women can wear in public, with any outfit and secretly hide hot flashes. Women in their prime should be hot, not feel hot!
In all I do, I feel successful when I help others to achieve success or happiness – it’s like finding that perfect gift for someone. When they unwrap the gift I gave them and their face lights up, I feel good. It’s like that.
[Related: She Saw Opportunity in a Single Handmade Textile]
Being a featured sponsor at a 2020 Oscar’s party. Out of the blue, my product was selected to be in Oscar’s gift bags. It was a whirlwind fairytale going to the Oscars and sharing my gift with celebrities and being interviewed on the red carpet. I wore Cool Me Scarf with my gown on the red carpet. What a rush!
It can be really challenging when business is suddenly overwhelming – because small business grows in fits and starts – my family members and friends have jumped in to help me. Having a loving family and great friends behind you makes all things possible!
Another challenge for me has been Covid-19 – as it has been for everyone. I finally started ramping up my business and then COVID hit. My product was officially “de-prioritized” by the world’s largest on-line retailer, boutiques closed and even the keyword “scarf” came to mean something else on-line. My business was crushed…but now I am starting fresh. Hot flashes will never go “out of fashion.” I can start helping women all over again!
[Related: How a Cross-Country Move and Two Chickens Changed Her Life]
My role model is my brother. He is a successful author, entrepreneur and speaker. When I just don’t know what to do next, he is right there with sound, actionable business advice. He is amazing. He puts 100% into business and in the next breath puts 100% into family. He is a role model for many in the business community, but I get dibbs!
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