Markea Dickinson-Frasier, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Thermaband, is building a cooling and warming wearable to empower menopausal women with personal comfort on demand.
Markea recalls an account of her mother’s lived experience with menopause and how frustrated she was with the lack of cooling relief for hot flashes. Thus, Markea co-created Thermaband with the goal to empower women to control their thermal comfort through Thermaband’s flagship product—the Zone device. Thermaband’s app offers dynamic health insights based on an individual’s temperature changes, providing personalized data about wellness and health right at their fingertips.
We asked Markea about the story behind the founding of Thermaband, the most impactful lessons she’s learned on her journey, and what achievements she’s most proud of since starting her company.
Q: Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on Thermaband?
A: Thermaband was founded on the belief that women shouldn't feel limited by their bodies and natural seasons of life and forced to suffer in silence. My mother and I founded Thermaband after being frustrated by the current cooling relief solutions available for debilitating hot flashes and recognizing the impact those hot flashes can have on quality of life. The gaps in effective solutions to navigate menopause affects half the population for one-third of their lives, and that statistic is even bigger for women of color.
Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
A: Yes! I knew I didn't want to work for someone else forever, so my mindset was focused on adding tools to my toolbox. I was intentional about reframing my time in corporate America as a training ground, and did a rotational program to diversify my skill set and networks for the future.
Q: What are the most difficult and most impactful lessons you’ve learned since starting and running a company?
A: The most difficult and impactful lesson I’ve learned was to reframe failure as an opportunity for learning and growth. It was hard not to take failure personally at first, and to instead view it as growth. The importance of failing early and often is cliche, but true.
Q: Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?
A: Absolutely! Imposter syndrome is real—especially as a minority navigating white-male dominated spaces. I’ve navigated this roadblock through positive self-talk and affirmations.
Q: We dare you to brag. What achievements are you most proud of?
A: I’m most proud of being featured in Cosmopolitan as one of the 12 founders redefining the new C-suite. In 2021, Cosmopolitan and Digital Undivided launched an inaugural initiative to highlight women of color who were changing corporate culture. It was such a surreal moment since, for so long, while working in corporate America, I strived to get a seat at the proverbial “table”—even if that table required changing who I was, and made me feel as though I couldn’t be my authentic self. But receiving this honor enabled me to realize that I had everything within me to create my own table, authentic to who I am.
Q: What’s next for you and Thermaband?
A: We’re launching our product this Spring for Mother’s Day! We’re excited to provide personal comfort on demand, with data-driven and science-backed insights empowering women to self-manage this season of life.
Markea is a member of Dreamers & Doers, an award-winning community that amplifies extraordinary women entrepreneurs and leaders by securing PR, forging authentic connections, and curating high-impact resources. Learn more about Dreamers & Doers and get involved here.