Gear for a Cooler Style
Eric Hawes ’11 and Jessica (Mosey) Hawes ’11 had a taste of what it was like to work with one another long before going into business together. Their story started during their sophomore years at Canisius, when Eric and Jessica’s class schedules “fatefully” kept aligning, which is how their relationship began.
Their paths continued to align after graduation when both were hired by New Era. Shortly after, Eric was offered a position at Under Armour’s headquarters and Jessica was recruited to McCormick and Company, both located in Baltimore. It was while in Maryland that the owners of Arctic Cool noticed Eric’s expertise in marketing and global supply chain management. They asked if he would be interested in building out a business around Arctic Cool, the HydroFreeze X fabric they created.
Eric saw the potential in this opportunity, and quickly went to work. He brought Jessica on board to manage the marketing and inventory aspects of the operation.
The couple now runs Arctic Cool LLC, an e-commerce market leader in instant cooling apparel and accessories. The dual-operating team works around the clock, balancing both the entrepreneurial side of their careers while spending time with their one-year-old son. The couple manages all facets of Arctic Cool - from the products to the fabric to the fit - remotely from their North Buffalo home.
Arctic Cool, powered by “HydroFreeze X,” allows the apparel to feel the cooling effect instantly. The technological fabric serves to extract moisture while lowering body temperatures in warm degree weather.
The company has grown exponentially since the couple took over in 2017.
Eric and Jessica are continuously looking for new ways to meet the needs of consumers. Whether it’s golfers, construction workers or landscapers, their products focus on solving a need. In addition, the technology has shown to be particularly beneficial for people with Multiple Sclerosis, whose symptoms present themselves in debilitating ways when their body temperatures increase by even one degree.
Their business strategy follows a system of dress. That is, selling cooling apparel in all aspects of a respective work, sport or leisure wardrobe - workwear for both men and women, athletic leggings for women and gear for golfers – to name just a few items.
They attribute their uniqueness to their consumers and the community that was built around the company. Arctic Cool is distinctive in that the couple consistently listens to their consumers for new product ideas and opinions. “AC Insiders” - an opt-in group - is an interactive social media community base, which suggests and votes on new apparel. Through AC Insiders, the couple connects different people from different walks of work life that may otherwise never have connected.
The Hawes also accredit their success to their Canisius educations. Their business backgrounds have allowed them to take a technological product and turn it into something that is both practical and distinguished. Eric and Jessica look to continue to grow the company. Although unsure whether or not Arctic Cool will remain an e-commerce retailer or if they will expand into brick-and-mortar stores, they say that nothing is off the table. “If we have the opportunity to outfit a lifestyle, we won’t turn it away.”