Saturday, December 8, 2007

Discovery in Turkey Leads to Help for Night Sweats

What do night sweats and a summer in Turkey have in common? Most people would say, not much, but 49-year-old mompreneur Anita Mahaffey disagrees. Who would think that an innocent exchange student experience could lead to a career designing and manufacturing sleepwear?

“As I boarded my flight in 1976, to spend the summer as a Turkish exchange student, I would have laughed my way off the plane if someone told me that in 30 years, I would be back in Turkey manufacturing hot flash sleepwear. I had no idea that my past would come back to tap me on the shoulder in such a big way.”

Fast forward to the birth of Ms. Mahaffey’s second child in 1987. To spend more time with her growing family she decided to leave corporate marketing to pursue her own business. She recognized that a small business would allow her to spend more time with the children, while accomplishing the dream of entrepreneurship.

“It was natural for me to think of establishing some kind of import/export business with Turkey,” Ms. Mahaffey explains. “I understood the culture and loved the people. While researching different business ideas, I discovered that Turkey had grown into one of the biggest textile producers in the world. It was an easy decision to choose textiles as my importing focus.”

Ms. Mahaffey took a trip to Turkey to try to establish relationships with some of her old exchange student friends. She discovered that some of her Turkish friends were now successful business owners who had the same vision of exporting textile products. By collaborating with a friend’s factory, she soon began developing sleepwear programs for many of the nation’s largest retailers and catalogs.

In 2005, while making a routine design visit to her factory, she discovered a new micro-fiber fabric. Ms. Mahaffey, an avid hiker and runner was accustomed to wearing micro-fiber apparel while exercising because it wicked away perspiration and dried quickly.

Ms. Mahaffey explains, “As soon as I felt this new fabric, I knew I had a winner. The hand feel was incredible…very silky, soft and lightweight …nothing like the rough textured micro-fiber sports apparel I had at home. It seemed like a promising fabric for hot flash sleepwear. I must admit, part of my motivation was to develop a pajama to provide relief for my own menopausal related night sweats. I also knew that there were probably millions of other people with the same problem. If this fabric tested well, it would be the answer to my prayers.”

Mahaffey quickly became fixated with the idea of creating a line of pajamas that would help to remedy night sweats. The fabric was tested by an independent laboratory confirming its wicking and quick drying properties. The test results stated that the fabric dried 100% faster than cotton or poly/cotton blend fabrics. The micro fiber rapidly absorbed moisture, pushed it through the fabric so the moisture evaporated quickly. Needless to say, this was the start of Cool-jams.

“Customers can find other sleepwear lines for night sweats, but many of the products that we found were expensive,” explains Ms. Mahaffey. “We decided to create a collection of high quality products priced 25-40% lower than competitor’s products. We hope to make a difference in people’s lives by making night sweat pajamas more affordable.”

There are many reasons for night sweats to include menopause, chemotherapy, certain medications, thyroid dysfunction or sometimes people’s internal thermostat just runs warm. This problem can affect men and women alike. With this in mind Cool-jams offers a line of women’s sleepwear in sizes ranging from small to 3X. Mahaffey also plans to add a Cool-jams men’s sleepwear line for spring 2008.

Cool-jams, Inc. was founded by Anita Mahaffey in January of 2007. At this time, Cool-jams sleepwear can be found online at . The website offers a variety of micro fiber sleepwear as well as free tips to help combat night sweats.

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