Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/8/2018 (736 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When 19-year-old Elliot Kimelman was younger, he taught swimming lessons. He spent hours in and around the pool, but the chlorine dried out and irritated his sensitive skin.
Rather than trying out existing products meant to remove chlorine from skin, hair and swimsuits, he looked at the ingredient lists on those products and started experimenting.
"I basically went to the drug store and started buying different vitamins and minerals that supposedly work to neutralize chlorine," Kimelman said. "I just started testing them out and making different solutions and trying them on my body."
His experiment worked. Now, he sells his former experiment as a full-fledged product, C-Spray, in swimwear stores in Winnipeg, Toronto and online. The product is made from water and a handful of non-toxic minerals, by hand at his parents’ dining room table.
When he first developed his product, he just used it himself. His parents suggested he try to sell it.
When he was in Grade 11, just over two years ago, he took part in an entrepreneurship program with Junior Achievement of Manitoba. Since he already had a working product, he pitched it to his group. Together, the group developed the branding and marketing before selling it at trade shows and a local swimwear store.
"Then Junior Achievement ended after a few months and C-Spray died," Kimelman said.
The product languished, but Kimelman went to business school at Western University in London, Ont. He’s starting his third year in the fall. Earlier this year, he decided to put some of the skills he’s learned in university to use, while gaining experience, by starting his own corporation to sell C-Spray. The product has been on shelves for a few weeks at seven stores — four in Winnipeg, three in Toronto — and Sandman Hotel & Suites in Winnipeg.
The product comes in two sizes: a 240 ml bottle and a 120 ml bottle. The suggested retail prices are $17.99 and $11.99, respectively.
So far, the reaction has only been positive, he said — although it’s too soon to talk about sales numbers and other indicators of success. Back when the product was part of the Junior Achievement program, he and his colleagues sold it at Swimming Matters, a store on Grant Avenue.
Kimelman said the store’s owner was excited about the product during its trial run and customers were disappointed when it stopped being available. The store placed an order right after he advised the owner he was about to begin manufacturing it again.
Kimelman demonstrated the product for the Free Press Wednesday.
He poured chlorinated water into beakers and mixed it with a chlorine-testing chemical that turned the water red — and then added shampoo, lotion and an existing chlorine-removal product to the beakers.
After adding C-Spray to each beaker, all that remained was the dye from each product. The odour was gone.
Updated on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 9:53 AM CDT: Cutline fixed.
12:46 PM: corrects to Swimming Matters
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