When the Vikings and Packers line up Sunday night at Lambeau Field, and temperatures are plunging toward 40 degrees Fahrenheit, both teams will likely have a made-in-Minneapolis product in their locker rooms to help them stay warm.
counts both teams as customers of its Warm Skin product, a cream that moisturizes and insulates skin, helping the body retain its own heat.
The small company came up with the product 25 years ago. At the time it was making a popular udder cream used by farmers on their cows. With a few alterations, founders Kathryn Frommer and David Schanfield were able to turn it into a product for people.
Since then, the product has been used by everyone from arctic explorers to offensive linemen. Ann Bancroft used the cream to help stay warm on trips to both the North and South poles. Mountaineer Neal Mueller used it on a climb of Mt. Everest.
"We have a lot of bragging rights," says Frommer.
The product is used in less extreme settings, too. Frommer says customers include outdoor photographers, high school ski teams, and other outdoorspeople.
Aurora Naturally employs five people in the Southeast Como neighborhood of Minneapolis. It just added a second distributor, natural product wholesaler Lotus Light, and was considering whether to add a national sales manager to its team.
The recession has had an impact on sales, says Frommer. Much of the companies revenue comes from packaging private label, natural personal care products. Warm Skin's success has largely been on word of mouth, which is why 25 years later they're still educating people about the product and finding new customers.
Source: Kathryn Frommer, Aurora Naturally
Writer: Dan Haugen