Women at the Helm 2015

Meet 16 dynamos who are true models of success

SANDY COHEN
Chief Operating Officer and Creator, Groove Back Rollers

The saying “necessity is the mother of invention” certainly proved true for Sandy Cohen. As a child and teen, she was a prodigy, selling her artwork and taking an adult program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But at 19, she was prescribed a round of antibiotics, which caused terrible side effects: immune dysfunction, digestive problems, liver disease, spine and nerve damage. She learned foam rollers might be beneficial for her back; however, the standard ones, she discovered, could hurt the spine. So she and her sister, Fame, began making a better roller. The result was the Groove Back Rollers company, which catapulted Cohen into life as a businesswoman. “There are so many people with unique talents and big ideas,” she says, “but since they don’t believe in their own potential, it never comes to fruition. In the beginning stages of my company, I, too, was my own worst enemy. I waited over a year to see a patent lawyer about my idea because I had yet to convince myself that I could actually pull it off. However, once I committed to my business, the universe began to conspire for me. Certain things began to present themselves along the way, letting me know that I was really onto something.”