Draw heat out, don’t force cold in
Physicool’s founder Kay Russell, did not start out aiming to revolutionise the world of injury and post-operative care. The beginning of this ground-breaking business was actually on a small family farm in Dorset in the 1960s, as she collected eggs and tended the animals. Kay’s entrepreneurial spirit was instilled from an early age, as she helped her father on the family farm and connected businesses which included egg deliveries, horse breeding and a village butcher’s shop. She was training horses by the time she was a teenager, and ran her own riding stables straight out of school.
By 2007, having spent many years breeding competition horses alongside running her riding stables, Kay was familiar with the challenges that come with treating horse leg injuries. A chance viewing of Tomorrow’s World introduced her to the concept of rapid evaporation as a means of cooling to reduce pain and swelling, and she saw an opportunity to create a revolutionary way of treating her animals. Instead of forcing cold in as you do with ice, rapid evaporation draws the heat out. After formulating her own coolant, she launched the Equi-n-Ice brand which she has since developed to include prepared bandages, ice socks and cooling blankets.
Into the Dragon’s Den
While working at horse events Kay started noticing riders and jockeys using her bandages for their own injuries, as the cooling technology had shown itself to be so effective for their horses. Physicool was born in 2007, launching with a medical range designed this time for people rather than horses - more specifically sports injury and post operation recovery. Such was its success that it wasn’t long before Kay found herself being offered £100,000 investment from Deborah Meaden on BBC Dragon’s Den. The venture capitalist panel were impressed with the incredibly effective treatment, that was like no other on the market.
From Racehorses to Hot Flushes
It was while on holiday in Spain that the Physicool brand story took a new turn – this time helping women suffering hot flushes and night sweats during menopause. Their Rapid Cooling Mist was developed after a suggestion from a friend who was suffering herself, and launched with some tweaks to the formula including the addition of aloe vera and peppermint oil. It is the product which Kay is most proud of, as she has seen the way it can genuinely change lives. Today Kay is a fierce ambassador for menopausal women, as she feels the challenges presented by this time of life receives far less attention than it deserves.