January 23, 2017

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Sweaty Bands


From fitness instructor to successful entrepreneur.

Cincinnati fitness instructor Donna Browning had a constant annoyance. During workouts, her elastic headband would slip and slide right out of her hair.

What to do?

She didn’t know how to sew. Nonetheless, the mother of three went home, borrowed a sewing machine, and tried to solve the problem. She sewed simple elements together trying to get the perfect combination of fashion and no-slip function.

Her solution? Velvet lined ribbon and elastic.

It worked great. Looked great. And it stayed put under sunglasses, bike helmets, even the wireless microphone she used while teaching her fitness classes. Soon Browning’s friends and family wanted them too, so she made them as gifts.

In 2008 she named them Sweaty Bands and began selling them to clients and local retailers.

Browning was making them in her basement — and was convinced that women everywhere would love them. She set up a website and soon husband Doug came aboard. He went to expos and fitness events selling the Sweaty Bands to runners and athletes.

Word spread, people blogged, and before you could do a jumping jack, Browning was hiring seamstresses to take over the sewing.

Today, Sweaty Bands are sold in around 1,500 stores. They have an almost cult-like following. And revenue is soon expected to hit $12 million!

Donna Browning exemplifies an axiom featured on our website: Think around your frustration.

Head bands that don’t slip off. Now Why Didn’t I Think of That?

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