Susie Hadas, Personally Cool, Health and Wellness, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Susie Hadas

Business Name: Personally Cool Inc. – Makers of coldfront®, an on-the-go personal cooling kit

Type of Business: Health and Wellness

Business Location: Oceanside, New York, United States

Reason for starting
It started out with denial – Hot flashing? Me? I was way too young. Or so I thought. While at work one day, a young male colleague mistook one of my hot flashes for flirtation. A little flattered, but mostly deflated, I realized I had do something about these embarrassing and disconcerting episodes. I began searching for a solution that would provide safe, effective and discreet relief. What I found instead were choices ranging from risky drugs, herbals that didn’t work for me, and topical mists, sprays, lotions and potions. I was frustrated and confused. I just wanted to be… personally cool! That was the moment I knew I had to create something different – something that women would want to use. While keeping my day job, I spent a year of nights and weekends employing everything I learned from making and keeping 5,000+ lunches cool for my 3 sons. Once the prototype was completed, we were on our way.

How do you define success?
Success takes on many forms, doesn’t it? I overheard our VP of Cool during a phone interview. I was bursting with pride when he said, “People tell us that coldfront has changed their lives. You just can’t say that about a stick of chewing gum.” That really struck me. We are changing people’s lives by providing a simple yet effective and elegant way of relieving heat, along with small aches and pains, without being tethered to a freezer. We created a new category of cold therapy! I’d say that this, in and of itself, makes for success. The fact that we love what we’re doing, and look forward to being good enough at it to evolve into a global business, so that the hundreds of millions who could benefit from our products will, would epitomize success.

Biggest Success
When I first decided to go down this path, I wanted to make sure that: a) it hadn’t been done before; and b) that whatever I was doing was patentable. I was put in touch with a patent attorney whose first response to me was: “You got nothing, kid!” I kept at it, and over the course of the year, through different iterations, I would check in with him from time to time. I’d hear the same thing. “You got nothing, kid!” Once I had the working prototype after creating and testing dozens of prototypes, I contacted him yet again! I said, “Look, give me 15 minutes of your time. If you still think we have nothing, I go away. No harm. No foul.” He agreed. It didn’t take 15 minutes. Within 5 minutes he began nodding his head and said, “You got something, kid!” We filed a provisional patent. In November of 2012, we were granted a utility patent on coldfront. How cool is that?!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Because coldfront is a new category of cold therapy, there is a learning curve involved. Most people are familiar with gel, ice, or cold packs. Once they’re removed from the freezer and used, they’re returned to the freezer until cold again. Or, in the case of instant ice packs, they’re thrown away. For the most part, ice packs are used to relieve pain. This is what people know. coldfront is a personal cooling kit – designed for relieving heat, as well as small aches and pains. What distinguishes it first, is that one is able to toss coldfront directly from the freezer, into a bag, backpack, briefcase, or gym bag, without being a dripping mess for use all day or night. To put the icing on the cake – so to speak – is the fact that the gel packs recool themselves within 20 minutes of each use. We have the task of changing perceptions. We work at it every day. Our fans help!

Who is your most important role model?
My Mom. At 81 years old, she remains the most engaging person I’ve ever met. Brilliant, beautiful, and… incidentally my #1 cheerleader, my mother inspires me by moving forward with grace, elegance, and humor, no matter what the challenge. Yup. I want to be like that always.