The "aha" moment: On her wedding day, in the summer of 2002, Kathy Cohen reached into her makeup bag to freshen up and found a red, slimy mess of melted lipstick. Cohen, then a human resources executive at a university, got the idea for a bag designed to chill cosmetics on the go.

R&D: A year later, Cohen, who had left her job after having a baby, sketched a design for a prototype, which her mother-in-law sewed. Cohen tested several frozen gel inserts to find the most durable one and hired a local seamstress to create an initial batch of bags made of insulated nylon and featuring an interior pouch for the insert.

Hitting the market: Cohen sold the first batch of bags at a trade show in 2006 and hired a manufacturer in China. Since then, her Clinton, Connecticut, company, IcyBag, has sold about 10,000 bags for $15 to $20 each at small retailers, on QVC, and at Cohen plans to roll out more styles next summer.

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