When Bevin Carter and Mary-Cathryn Kolb met a few years ago as part of a cohort class for Launchpad2X, the pair of mid-career serial entrepreneurs had a lot to talk about.
Carter shared her vision for pivoting the business model of a company she acquired, MacBick, which had been a pure play laboratory distributor for over 90 years.
Carter was transforming MacBick into a laboratory design/build firm that could enhance wellness and productivity by making labs more comfortable, functional, and agile so scientists could do their best work.
Kolb’s business was also going through a transition. As the Founder and CEO of Atlanta-based cooling fabric startup brrr°, Kolb realized that brrr° had gotten distracted by fashion trends and had strayed from its mission of cooling technology. She was rebuilding her senior leadership team, and doubling down on research and development for next-generation cooling technology.
Although their businesses were quite different, Carter and Kolb often confronted similar leadership and operational business issues. They also bonded over having young children, and shared a love of traveling.
“Atlanta has such a strong community ethos of nurturing and connecting women entrepreneurs, and those relationships are vital as your business grows and evolves,” said Kolb.
One day, Carter had the idea of incorporating performance fabric into workplace seating staples such as task seating and stools. Research labs are often in older buildings that don’t have great air conditioning, and a common complaint is that labs are too hot, which makes it hard to concentrate.
Carter reached out to brrr° and the companies began working on laboratory chairs and stools made with cooling fabric. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Carter asked if brrr° could help make cooling face masks for MacBick’s customers and employees. As a mother of three boys, Carter was also interested in designing a smaller mask that would fit children and adolescents. After an initial run of a couple hundred masks, MacBick requested another several hundred more to be put into production.
“It’s very rewarding to bring together two women-owned businesses that are so different yet have deep roots in science and technology, and collaborate on an innovative cooling face mask that can help reduce the spread of this dangerous virus,” Carter said.
MacBick is offering the cooling masks to consumers, and they can be purchased here.
Launchpad2X is a founder-to-CEO training organization for women entrepreneurs. We develop women founders through education, introduction to resources and mentorship. Our programs include monthly Masters Workshops, our annual 7-week Core Flight Program and quarterly entrepreneur showcases. We are experts in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that help connect women to the resources they need to be successful business owners. Launchpad2X is a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation.