- Tell us something about your background:
With over 20 years of experience in apparel, branding, licensing and the retail of both women’s and men’s apparel, I remain a big believer in helping others and doing good. All of my entrepreneurial endeavors have prominently featured a core element of giving back and helping others. From starting Legends and Heroes T-shirts from my car so many years ago to being the Founder and Creator of SKINEEZ® Skincarewear® today, the promotion of social causes through apparel/fashion has always been very important to me. I am especially proud of the fact that I continue to donate part of my proceeds to children in the inner cities, to St. Jude’s Hospital and to other charitable causes through the running a Women-Owned Business.
I grew up in Maine. My mother was a Mary Kay executive, so I learned first hand what entrepreneurial spirit truly was from watching and listening from a young age. I attended UMass Amherst and then The Connecticut School of Broadcasting with the dream of becoming a broadcaster and an entrepreneur. Clearly the latter dream resonated. I am a single parent with one son and reside in Sudbury, MA.
- How/Why did you start inventing?
I founded SKINEEZ® with the express purpose of creating wellness products that can help people feel healthier and protect their skin every day. My company and its array of products were essentially created out of my desire to help people who experience pain. My vision arrived from the experience I had while wearing post-surgery compression garments recommended by my doctor. Realizing how uncomfortable and painful the garments made me feel as I was recovering, I realized that a lot of people would benefit from inventing a unique product that would provide pain relief.
In 2008, I recognized the enormous potential for improving comfort in compression, and thus developed SKINEEZ® Skincarewear® line of wearable skin compression. By combining smart technology fabrics with skin reparative and nourishing botanicals, vitamins and moisturizing ingredients I created an entirely new category & type of garment. In wanting to invent the newest fabric that was comfortable and proven to hydrate the skin at the same time, I created a brand new product and category of skincarewear garments. SKINEEZ uses a patented microcapsule technology to deliver natural cosmetic ingredients to renew, hydrate and tone the skin. These skin nourishing and reparative ingredients include apricot kernel oil, rose hip oil, shea butter, Vitamins E & A, retinol and more. It is the only FDA-approved product of its type on the market. A skinprotectant compression fabric that is clinically proven to hydrate and improve the skin while increasing circulation.
From post-surgery undergarments that promote wellness, to everyday compression while delivering moisture to the skin, my products bring soothing relief to the pain of surgery, circulatory ailments, leg swelling, leg & foot fatigue to other patients, consumers, first responders and military personnel. The need obviously remains great, as SKINEEZ socks now sit on the shelves in over 16,000 Walmart, Walgreens Cardinal health and other retail stores and pharmacies nationwide.
- Can you list products you have invented with a brief explanation of each:
SKINEEZ® Skincarewear® is the leader in wearable skincare. We basically created this new apparel category and produce the only comfortable fabric that delivers healthy hydrating skincare to the body that heals and renews the skin. In clinic studies, 80% of people saw softer, firmer skin in less than an hour while wearing the garments. All SKINEEZ Skin-Reparative products are infused with natural hydrating botanicals including shea butter, apricot kernel oil, retinol, Vitamin E and Rose hip oil, that help repair and restore the skin’s natural moisture. SKINEEZ is clinically proven and #1 doctor recommended, the only textile company endorsed by top Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists and Orthopedic Surgeons. A Certified Women Owned Business, this company manufactures compression sock, diabetic socks, mask products and more at FDA-certified facilities in the USA.
My product inventions include:
- Hydrating Compression Socks: The only FDA-approved hydrating compression socks on the market that help improve circulation, massage and revitalize legs and reduce swelling in legs and feet, whilst moisturizing skin. Available in light, 10-15 mmHg, 10-20 mmHg and 15-20 mmHg medical grade, true gradient compression. Super comfortable and so easy to put on, these patented socks not only provide a healthy, medical-grade compression, they also soothe, repair and renew the skin. SKINEEZ compression socks caress while they compress, and are great for travel, work, lifestyle activities as well as for soothing relief from a variety of leg ailments. The company’s patented fabric is infused with natural hydrating botanicals including shea butter, apricot kernel oil, retinol, Vitamin E and Rose hip oil, that help repair and restore the skin’s natural moisture.
- Hydrating Diabetic Socks: The only FDA-approves seamless diabetic sock that soothes and repairs skin and promotes circulatory health whilst keeps the foot and lower leg warm.
- Hydrating Compression Arthritis gloves: The only FDA and FAS-approved hydrating compression fingerless gloves that can help relieve dry cracked hands due to the over use of sanitizers and excessive hand washing, as well as prevent blistering. The true medical grade compression also helps increase circulation and can help to prevent blood clots.
- Hydrating Capri Leggings: Amazingly soft, comfortable Miracle Toning capri leggings not only tone but also soothe and repair skin whilst wearing them.
- Antibacterial Cloth Masks: This summer Skineez Skincarewear introduced the ONLY FDA-approved, cooling, skin protecting and hydrating cloth mask with zinc to ward off deadly germs. SKINEEZ FDA-approved, re-usable, Skin-Reparative®AntiBacterial Face Mask provides superior soothing, cooling protection. Designed to uniquely soften, cool and protect one’s face by combining STA-COOL® moisture management yarn and ZincX™ technologies along with its signature five key moisturizing nutrients for triple the amount of protection. Zinc promotes skin health, wound healing and immune function properties. Healthy skin protectants help soothe and heal facial skin while a medical grade, antibacterial fiber barrier helps protect both the user and others from harmful germs. With more first responders and families experiencing poor ventilation and skin irritation from wearing traditional masks, SKINEEZ incredibly soft, lightweight, reusable masks protect, refresh and repair: combining the newest in fabric technologies with its trademark array of heavenly botanicals clinically proven to firm, revitalize and hydrate the skin. The masks are available in adult and child sizes. These new, ultra-soft cloth masks provide the perfect combination of soothing and cooling face protection, along with UV protection and breathability, to help everybody stay protected and cool this season. The point of wearing a protective mask is to keep harmful droplets from shedding through the fabric and going in or out into the air. Our innovative, smart fabric blend is designed as an exceptional protective barrier, along with a soothing skin protectant layer plus zinc for triple protection. Regular, non-medical grade cloth masks simply cannot provide any of these benefits. These antibacterial masks are produced on SKINEEZ medical grade compression machines, in ISO FDA-approved factories in the U.S.A.
To meet the varied needs during this pandemic, SKINEEZ has been continuing to get its FDA-approved skin protective gear and compression products onto the faces, hands and feet of medical professionals, first responders and essential personnel across the country during this COVID-19 crisis. Last Spring SKINEEZ also came out with a brand new line of Disposable Medical Grade Surgical Masks: FDA-approved medical surgical ear loop masks that offer fluid resistance (ASTM Level 1), 95% bacterial filtration efficiency yet are soft and comfortable enough for frequent wear.
- How did you get from idea to finished product?
The saying “Invention is the mother of necessity” is not merely a cliche, it is absolutely true. For example, early on in this emerging pandemic, I realized immediately that I had to do something and create something to help others. This time it came in the form of personal protection equipment (PPE). In consultation with my team, I realized that we could pivot: by utilizing our existing, patented compression stocking fabrics and patterns, FDA-approved factory machines and the newest cooling and antibacterial technology available, we could develop an antibacterial cloth mask. Our super soft, reusable cloth mask remains a true triple threat: it not only keeps adults and children safer from virus spread, it also keeps one’s face more comfortable, cooler as well as skin soothed longer. We combined what we knew and what we had with newly available technical elements to create something entirely new: our super soft, FDA-approved infused compression, combined with ZincX™ and STA-COOL® technologies in a comfortable cloth mask. The results have been most gratifying: these masks, available in an array of colours, immediately took off and remain among our best selling products. We get to help keep families and first responders protected and their skin moisturized, plus make wearing a mask over long stretches more bearable. Plus the masks are super soft and smell good, as they are infused with our signature blended botanicals and ingredients, including retinol.
We saw a need, had an idea, immediately responded and created a new product that was not even remotely on our radar in early March. Being flexible, resourceful, creative and entrepreneurial has allowed us to turn on a dime and develop new products and categories quickly. And I am happy to add that we have more innovative new products in our pipeline for 2021.
- Let us know of useful resources that helped you
- An incredible, supportive, inspiring network of people who have helped me tremendously and have truly believed in me, my product and vision over the years. In particular, Dr. David Jocofsky, the chairman of the Core Institute, a famous Orthopedic Surgery group, who believed in this amazing technology.
- Reading inspirational books — like “Just Do It” and more books about and by Nike founder Phil Knight — have proven to be a continued source of inspiration. Keeping up with trends both online and in the news daily is critical.
- The experience of trying and doing and not giving up, trusting your gut and making big bets along the way. Tenacity goes a long way.
- Along the way I learned a number of critical lessons/caveats
- Remember that Passion Drives All.
- Always Do Well by Doing Good.
- To Always Remain Optimistic.
- Never Quit.
- Be Careful Who You Share Your IP With.
–End of interview–
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