Katie Niemeyer: She’s Breaking a Sweat

August 30 - On The Dot

One of my favorite Instagrammers is actress Busy Philipps. Y’all, if you haven’t started following her yet, do it now. Every day, she posts tons of great Instagram Stories, and usually posts a video of herself sweating her butt off while working out, explaining that exercise improves her self-confidence and gives her more patience as a mom. But instead of taking photos of her six-pack or her perfect gym outfit like some self-obsessed celebs, Busy shows the real, gritty, sweaty truth behind what it takes to get—and stay—in shape. And it’s definitely inspiring. The next time you feel out of place or anxious in a workout class, channel the totally kick-butt Busy and sweat it all out.


Ladies, let’s get real. Thanks to a long history of societal pressures to always be pretty, dainty and smelling good, women often worry about being judged during those countless times when we’re none of those things, like when we’re totally ruling a spin class or training for a marathon. But take some solace in the fact that the stinky dude next to you is likely exuding way more funky perspiration than you. In fact, though it comes as no surprise to many of us, according to one nonprofit that studies excessive sweating, men produce about four times more sweat every day than women. That tells me we ladyfolk need to chill out when it comes to perspiration. It’s simply the body’s way of cooling down. So, go ahead, work up a sweat!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Katie Niemeyer, Founder and CEO of Handana

While it’s perfectly normal to glow a little, it’s also a normal response to wipe the moisture away. But you can end up slinging sweat everywhere and getting that terrible sting in your eyes. Thankfully, Katie Niemeyer has the perfect solution. She’s the brains behind Handana, a totally smart product that makes you think, “Dang, I should’ve thought of that!” Part bandana, part wristband, Handana is a sweatband that wraps around your hand, kind of like a neon-colored fingerless glove, allowing you to wipe and wick away sweat as you workout.

While Handana is a totally practical sweat solution, the story behind how Katie came up with the product is powerful and deeply personal. When she was a teenager, Katie was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that caused her to have a severe adverse reaction to medication and, for Katie, even led to second- and third-degree burns and nearly caused her death. But thanks to superb medical care and Katie’s resilience, she eventually recovered.

As a result of her ordeal, Katie’s eyes became incredibly sensitive, making it difficult for her to focus on training for her first marathon when sweat kept burning them. But undaunted, this fighter came up with her own solution: Handana. This American-made sweat-wicking wristband allows the absorbent Lycra material to soak up moisture on both sides.

Whether you’re running a 10K or sweating through a summer music festival, Handana is a must. The product is such a hit that Katie recently landed a $10,000 grant from athletic-apparel company Under Armour, and promptly donated the proceeds to the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard University, where researchers are developing new treatments for those suffering with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.

These days, Katie is also a nurse anesthetist and the founder of the newly launched nonprofit SJ Syndrome of Texas.

Thanks, Katie, for having the guts to power through and giving others the tools to help them live their healthiest—and sweat-free—lives.


Katie Niemeyer’s favorite quote comes from poet Maya Angelou, who said:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Get On The Dot in your inbox each day.
Copyright 2018 © On The Dot Woman - All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy