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Frozen Assets

These chilly towels prove their worth in the battle against the heat.

What: A manufacturer of ice-cold towels
Who: Mike Fanning and Bill Sammon of Hima Ice Towel Corp.
Where: Westlake, Ohio
When: April 2002

There's nothing like a hot product--or, in this case, a cold product with hot sales. Just ask Mike Fanning and Bill Sammon, founders of the Hima Ice Towel Corp., which sells prepackaged cotton towels soaked with refreshing mixtures of essential plant oils that promote evaporation and cooling. Sammon got the idea after a trip to Asia, where he noticed mothers wiping down their babies with towels dipped in isopropyl alcohol to cool them off. With the help of another partner, Koy Thummaskra, Fanning and Sammon developed their own version of the towels, which come in different sizes and colors. Says Sammon, "It gives your average person an affordable luxury in hot climates."

Fanning and Sammon, both 37, marketed the towels, which need to be frozen for 12 hours prior to use, to amusement parks and sporting events. The towels sell from $1.29 to $4 each, depending on the venue. The pair also markets to corporate clients. Now that 2003 sales are expected to hit $3.5 million to $5 million, it's clear these entrepreneurs have cornered the market on cold relief.

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This article was originally published in the June 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Frozen Assets.

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