Bloomberg TV’s 2 Minute Drill, hosted by Sports 1 Marketing co-founder David Metzler, invites four contestants to pitch their company’s product to a panel of three entrepreneurs in just two minutes. The contestant with the best pitch wins cash and prize, including business coaching, valued at $50,000.
Fishers resident Laura Musall, 55, appeared on the debut episode Friday and took first place for the pitch she gave on the line of breathable pajamas she co-created with Mindy Ford, 53, of Lebanon. The two women founded CoolRevolution in 2019 to address their own troublesome night sweats, and the company has since grown to help perimenopausal and menopausal women across all 50 states and Canada stay cool.
The company was born from Musall’s own experiences with menopause a few years ago.
“In the spring of 2018, I was having these horrible night sweats,” Musall told IBJ. “I sent a text message to Mindy and two other friends complaining about them, and I became obsessed with the fact that there should be something for women who have hot flashes.”
About a week later, Musall and Ford gathered around a kitchen table to design a pair of pajamas that would help women stay dry and sleep through the night.
“We had absolutely no skills in the fashion and design industry, whatsoever,” Ford said. “We were totally going into this blind.”
So, they turned to IU School of Nursing Associate Dean of Research Janet Carpenter, whose research focuses on helping women with menopausal hot flashes. After testing a couple of prototypes, Musall and Ford settled on a fabric made from a blend of rayon from bamboo and cotton for its sustainability and breathability.
CoolRevolution’s original lineup offered shorts, T-shirts, tank tops and pants manufactured by a small company in Chicago. The online store’s lineup has since expanded to offer capri-style pants and a night shirt in a variety of colors.
Musall said CoolRevolution had already been a featured guest on Meltzer’s Office Hours podcast prior to the launch of 2 Minute Drill, so she was encouraged to fill out an application to be on the show. Once approved, Musall and Ford practiced their pitch with a stopwatch and delivered it live over Zoom in December.
Jayson Waller, a judge on the program and the CEO of Powerhouse Solar, called Musall passionate, funny and interactive before asking if CoolRevolution makes pajamas for men who sweat when they sleep.
“When I think back, it was a very unique opportunity for a company that sells pajamas to women going through perimenopause to be on a show run by men who grew up in the sports world,” Musall told the IBJ. “That’s not their realm or what they’ve been involved in, and it’s exciting to be able to share that story about a real need women have.”
Musall said men can wear the pajamas as well but her passion lies in helping women and educating others about the ways in which women age. She said, on average, women start going through menopause at age 51. This year, 20 million women will reach that benchmark, and 75% of them will have night sweats.
It’s not a blip on the radar, either. Musall said perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms can last for 10 years.
“I’m not demeaning anyone who is a hot sleeper, but there’s waking up in the middle of the night hot, and then there’s actual night sweats. These night sweats, you are drenched,” Musall said. “We’ve talked to women who are just desperate for something. They’re waking up in the middle of the night having to change pajamas, and that disrupts your sleep.”
Musall and Ford are the company’s only two employees, and they’ve kept their full-time jobs outside of CoolRevolution. Musall works as a real estate agent, and Ford is director of operations for Well Done Marketing in Fountain Square. They plan to use their prize money and the suite of business coaching opportunities that come with their grand prize to further market their product line.
“It’s going to be helpful to learn what other companies recommend we do—how we take this from a small business to a large business,” Musall said. “What that means, we’re not sure. We want to expand our product line and listen to customers to get them what they want and need.”
Musall said CoolRevolution has had thousands of orders, and sales grew 70% over last year. About 25% of customers have placed multiple orders, and she’s looking forward to more growth in the coming year.