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Annapolis Friends Start New Business Endeavor

The Cruisey, an online operation, sells cozies that can be worn around the neck.

Kate Myers and Bridget Needham have been best friends for more than 20 years.

The Annapolis natives, both 26, recently took their relationship to the next level when they started a business together called The Cruisey, which is named after their innovative new product.

"We're basically selling cozies that you can wear around your neck," Needham said. "So, you're cruising around hands free."

Inspired by a friend who would tie a shoe string around a cozy so he would have easy access to his beverage while sailing, Myers and Needham realized this was a concept they could capitalize on.

"When you think about it, it's a no-brainer," Myers said. "It seems like something that you'd think would have already existed."

Despite already having successful careers—Myers helps create sitcoms for CBS in New York and Needham is a sales executive in the fashion industry, the pair said they've always had entrepreneurial spirits.

"I have a sales background and Kate is a great writer," Needham said. "Combined it made sense. We're a dream team."

The online operation launched on April 25, and the endeavor is already proving successful.

"We're going to have to order more from our manufacturer, which is a good problem to have," Myers said.

Myers and Needham have found that people in the sailing and other sports communities have found the product to be particularly useful.

"But it's also something that anyone can use," Myers added. "You can use it when you're out partying, out around town."

The two have also presented the cruiseys to local Annapolis businesses for wholesaling opportunities.

"We're really looking at the Annapolis market but we're looking to target other sailing cities like Charleston as well," Needham said.

So far, she added, the response from Annapolis business owners has been favorable.

While the pair already had strong networks in Annapolis, Myers said Twitter has been instrumental in growing the brand outside of the city.

"It's been a great way to discover new markets," she said.

And though the positive response has been great, Myers said her favorite part is working with her best friend.

"There's no one else I'd rather go into business with," she said.

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