Colorado Cool Stuff: Hotty Hoody
Aundrea Rosdal's inspiration for the Hotty Hoody came from a scary accident in 1997. "My son had an accident when he was 4 - he's now 16 - when he grabbed the barrel of my curling iron and got really serious burns on his hands." Fast-forward a decade and Rosdal left her sales career behind to develop and market the Hotty Hoody, a silicone-based cover for curling irons and other hot tools like crimpers.
"This product is designed for travel as well as home safety," she says. "You don't have to wait for your tool to cool. As soon as you're done, you can put the sleeve on immediately." Rosdal says sales are growing "slowly but surely" as she just got an order for 30 Bed, Bath & Beyond stores. "The market has received it great - for those who get to see it." About $15 retail.
Made by Hood Charms LLC, Aurora, (720) 299-2424, www.hottyhoody.com. Also available at numerous salons and Wal-Mart stores in Colorado.
CHEAP CABERNET: A FRIENDSHIP
Journalist, writing teacher, and frequent ColoradoBiz contributor Cathie Beck mined her own experience writing a memoir about her friendship with the late Denise Katz.
"It's about two women in their forties being bad girls," Beck says. "Cheap cabernet is a metaphor for a friendship that turns out to be not cheap at all."
After finishing the book, Beck found an agent, but not a publisher. So Beck charted a new course, self-publishing "Cheap Cabernet" and throwing "an online party" Oct. 6 to attract readers as well as publishers and movie producers.
The strategy paid off: "Cheap Cabernet" shot into the top 15 best-selling memoirs on Amazon.com the day of its release. $18.95 retail. Written by Cathie Beck, published by Café du Monde LLC, Denver, www.cathiebeck.com. Available at Amazon.com.
Dan Weaver loves board games - Blokus and Settlers of Catan are his two indispensable titles. He had devised about 20 of his own games before epiphany struck, as it so often does, in the shower.
"I realized that the backs of playing cards are never used," Weaver says. He devised a couple of games based on the concept, Patchwork and PatchWord, and tested them in 2008.
"You're not allowed to look at the back of your own hand," Weaver says. "They have very simple mechanics." He ponied up to self-publish both titles this January and has since landed the games in 60 retailers in 25 states.
Patchwork has gone into a second print run; four more games are in the works. "I wasn't expecting it to take off like it did," says Weaver, whose day job is director of scientific computing at Boulder's Array BioPharma. "This is what I do between the hours of 5 and 7:30 a.m. and 8 and 10 p.m."
$20 retail. Made by Knightweaver Games LLC, Boulder, (720) 841-9652, www.knightweavergames.com. Also available at numerous retailers in Colorado, including PlayFair Toys (Boulder) and Crawdaddy's Toys (Lafayette).
RUM CAKES BY KELLI
Denver events maven Kelli Kindel started baking with her neighbor and friend Joan Wittenwyler in 1983. Every December for more than 20 years, they concocted all sorts of goodies to give away to friends and family; buttery, ultra-moist rum cakes were their specialty.
It was Joan's recipe," Kindel says. "People accuse me of putting drugs in them because they're so addictive."
Wittenwyler died in 2007, and Kindel decided to share the tasty cake with the world. "I did it in honor of our friendship," she says.
Now Kindel splits her time between her event business and acting as "Chief Sugar Mama" for Rum Cakes by Kelli. The delectable cakes are available in two flavors - original and chocolate - and four sizes. The response has been "awesome," Kindel says. "We're really looking forward to the holiday season. It's a great gift. It won't cost you a fortune, but it tastes like a million bucks."
$21.95 to $39.95 retail.
Rum Cakes by Kelli, Denver, (888) 339-CAKE , www.rumcakesbykelli.com. Also available at several Denver-area restaurants and Lola's Sugar Rush in Littleton.