Cool Waves Offers Encouraging Pop-Up at Mercy


She would find herself by the water and focus on the sound of the waves coming in and out.

Cool Waves was born from the sound of those same waves in Massachusetts. The brand started with one mission, to spread awareness on mental illness and create a welcoming community for students.

Hope Durot, the CEO of Cool Waves, is a junior enrolled in the business honors program at Mercy College. Durot and her friends Emily Mozdziak, and Giana Atai, also students in the same program, worked together in developing Cool Waves.

Through a metaphor, Mozdziak and her teammates express how they deal with anxiety and the sadness it brings them at times. Behind the metaphor she says lies the idea that sometimes you will have a big wave, and sometimes you will have a small wave, just like in our mental health days.

“But no matter what kind of wave that the ocean has, it continues to flow, it continues to ebb and flow no matter what day you’re having,” says Mozdziak.

To bring awareness to the company and its mission Cool Waves will collect donations at pop-up events and donate them to the suicide prevention hotline. Mozdziak says they will look into other resources to contribute to.

“We’ve come to the point in society where we will acknowledge that there is mental illness, and that’s great, but now we have to go forward and talk about it,” says Mozdziak.

The three friends started to promote Cool Waves by reaching out to Student Life; they were encouraged by several professors to promote their business by creating pop-up events at Mercy.  They are now looking to expand their pop-up events in Dobbs Ferry.

“We are so accepting of everyone’s story, and we will ask if they want to share. We are just trying to create a big family and tell everyone it’s okay,” said Mozdziak.

She shared her sympathies with those who struggle with mental illness, and she expressed how important it is that we ask people how they are.

Cool Waves’ most recent pop-up happened on Halloween Sunday at Mercy. She says these Pop-up events allow them to interact with other students, bring awareness to the mission, and help them connect through mutual friends. In addition to events on campus, they also held a pop-up at Washington Square Park, New York.

Cool Waves is growing on social media; they make TikToks and follow the latest trends to connect with the younger generation. The online store lists everything from crewneck sweatshirts to hoodies, sweatpants, beanies, to bucket hats. The inventory will continue to grow as they are in the process of launching new clothing pieces.

According to Mozdziak, “Georgie,” the embroider machine, was the most challenging part of figuring out the business. She says none of her teammates had any sowing experience before Cool Waves.

“We embroider everything ourselves. A sweatshirt can probably take an hour, and a beanie can take 15 minutes, very time consuming,” she emphasized,  “but made with love.”

“We are learning as we go,” she says.

The brand launched only a year ago, and she says that figuring out how to start a business during the pandemic was a one-of-a-kind experience. She also says they are fortunate to have such incredible professors who guided them during this process.

She says the reason Cool Waves can connect with students so easily; is because she and her teammates are different and react differently to these situations. They can read students as they approach their pop-ups, and based on their personalities, they can connect with them each in their own way.

Mozdziak also shares that the class environment can trigger anxiety for some, and returning from a pandemic shutdown, someone might not even realize that they have had social anxiety before; now, in-person interaction has enhanced that anxiety.

“You are definitely not alone in your feeling,” she says, as someone is always willing to listen. “Sometimes the hardest part is stepping out of your comfort zone and finding that person.”

She extends a helping hand and hopes that Cool Waves will be a guide to positivity. “If you can join our community, we will help you find that person.”