Creativity and Collaboration 6

Brrr! is Fashion Meets Innovation

For more than five years, Mary-Cathryn Kolb kept a journal of good ideas, inspired inventions and business concepts. Two years ago, she called a friend she formerly worked with at Spanx, Tosha Hays, and asked to meet for coffee. They bonded while brainstorming on a design for a bra for breast cancer patients. Then, Kolb shared the pages of that journal, running ideas by Hays who listened with interest, but not feeling the fire until Kolb described a high-tech fashion fabric that was cool to the touch. The Buckhead women and their husbands, met every Sunday for four months, honing the idea and developing a viable business plan while their five (now six) children played together. They unabashedly asked business savvy friends to listen to their pitch and contribute financial, marketing and manufacturing know-how to the plan. In November of 2014, they launched a fashion technology company, Brrr!TM and created a proprietary cool-touch fabric that is moisture wicking, offers SPF protection and is permanently cooling due to a compilation of all-natural ingredients. The fabric has a patent pending and the line got a thumbs-up from the people at QVC here in the USA, and will be on air on QVC Italy in June.

Here in Buckhead in September, their stunning ready-to-wear collection debuted at Neiman Marcus with in-store events, curated shopping experiences, a fashion show and reception attracting fashion conscious shoppers and a tribe of supportive friends. In November, they traveled to Milan, Italy, to participate in Decoded Fashion, a world-wide consortium for technology and fashion accepting the top award for textile innovation.  Brrr! will license its BrrrXTM proprietary technology to some of the world’s most recognized brands, under the “cooled only by BrrrX” trademark.

The Atlanta-based, women-owned global fashion-tech startup now also manufactures men’s ready-to-wear, accessories and home goods.

“We were thrilled to debut our ready-to-wear collection with Neiman Marcus,” saiys Mary-Cathryn who serves as CEO of Brrr!.  “What a tremendous partner to escort Brrr! into the inner circle of fashion and introduce our brand to fashion-conscious women looking for stylish solutions that will fit their everyday life.” You can find Brrrr! clothing and accessories at Dillard’s, smaller boutiques and online at Brrr.com. The beautiful silky, marbled fabric is their signature.

The trip to Milan was fascinating and fast, said chief innovation officer, Tosha Hays. They were among the world’s strongest and smartest high fashion textile thinkers and designers. Next up for the entrepreneurs are Brrr! Baby, Brrr! Bedding, men’s underwear and a new spring line. “We are working on some exciting licensing opportunities and for the next phase of Brrr!‘s innovative textile technology we are partnering with University of Georgia’s Textile School,” she says.

Outside their office on Pharr Road, their lives explode with activity. They each have a set of twins, plus one “singlet” (Tosha’s term – she has all boys, MC has all girls).  These busy moms have honed skills in focus and creativity, whipping up healthy snacks for their brood and helping with homework while strategizing for the future of their innovative and fashion-forward enterprise.