by Katherine Griffin
Kelsey Minarik turned a scary blood clot into a business opportunity.
Eight years ago, Minarik was flying cross-country to celebrate her 21st birthday in New York when one of her legs swelled up. It was a deep vein thrombosis, a type of blood clot that can be fatal if it travels to the lungs.
Fortunately, that didn’t happen to Minarik. But to guard against another clot forming, her doctors advised her to wear compression stockings, which help prevent clots by applying pressure to the legs.
Minarik, 28, soon discovered that most compression stockings are not fashionable—they look like ACE bandages, she says. After trying several types over the course of a year, she decided to make some stockings of her own.
So in 2011, she launched RejuvaHealth, an online business that designs, manufactures, and distributes compression stockings, socks, leggings, and other products in a wide range of colors and styles.
Minarik studied business management at the University of California, Irvine. But, she says, “I never thought I’d grow up to sell socks! The blood clot definitely took me toward a different industry.”
She’s discovered that she loves the autonomy of being an entrepreneur. “It’s really rewarding to see your ideas come to life,” she says.
Today, Minarik only needs to wear compression stockings when she is on a plane for more than three hours. But now that she’s got lots of stylish versions to choose from, she often wears them at other times, too. She says, “I love wearing them anytime I’m on my feet for long periods, like at trade shows and events.”