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Larchmont Entrepreneur Uses NASA Technology For New Sportswear Line

Larchmont resident Hema Nambiar is the founder of 13-One. Photo Credit: Submitted
A half-zip jacket from Larchmont-based 13-ONE. Photo Credit: Submitted

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- It was the sea of silver  -- as in the silver heatsheets that folks are wrapped in post running -- that got Hema Nambiar thinking.

It was April 2009 and the Larchmont resident had just run her first half marathon after years recuperating from surgeries following a ruptured diaphragm and a collapsed lung.

A self-described "builder," she started thinking that the technology used to help folks retain their body heat could morph into something else.

It wasn't until 2015, when participating in Goldman Sachs/ Tory Burch 10,000 Small Businesses Programs, that she put her heatsheet idea into action and came up with creating a sportswear line that embraced the NASA space technology with the spirit of the great outdoors. A Kickstarter campaign in December of that year helped raise $15,000 and launched her to where she needed to be.

13-ONE, her Westchester-based company, is now actively marketing raincoats in three styles: the unisex half-zip and full-zip and the women's trench. The mission, she said, is to keep customers outdoors longer and happier.

As someone who's always cold, she said her jackets retain 90 percent of one's body heat. What makes them attractive and different from others on the market is that the fabric is very thin, water repellent and weighs less than a pound -- a plus for active travelers.

Since officially launching in June, customers have taken her words to heart, taking their jackets across the world -- and praising their warmth and portability. (The 13-One website page invites folks to send in photos of their adventures; go here to see.)

At the moment the coats are sold online and at Parker's in Rye though Nambiar is hoping for more local and national distribution.

The mom of three, who has a banking background, said she's always learning and recently learned how to perfect her elevator pitch on MSNBC's "Your Business With J.J. Ramberg."

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