From Swimsuits to Masks
Read how Scott and Monique Griffie took their swimsuit development business and created a mask business in this time of need. True inspiration. These are beautiful and so comfortable. I love the design of this mask. Check out their masks at https://www.maskingyouup.com/.
We are a Swimwear Development company and normally we help designers bring their ideas from their heads and a sketch board to reality. My wife has been a swimwear pattern maker for 30 years working for some of the largest swimwear companies in Southern California. In 2010, she was working for Quiksilver, and was told that the company was outsourcing all of their development to China. When she heard that, we were both in shock, but once we regrouped, we started Swimwear Experts (our original name before rebranding to Swimwear Development Studio). We’ve moved from Monique at our dinner table and her sewer at her home in her garage, to a 2,500 sq ft office with 7 full time sewers. We move from just development (patterns, samples and grading) to small production runs as well.
Now fast forward March 2020 and our governor shut down all non-essential businesses. We still had swimwear contracts to fill and employees who wanted to work. Thank goodness they saw the benefit of having a job when everything returned to normal. So over a very long weekend, we moved industrial sewing machines all over Southern California so that our sewers could work from their homes during the shutdown. At that time, we knew that swimwear would slow down and once we delivered all the goods we had queued up, what would we do? So my wife started working on a personal mask prototype. We had been approached by somebody in New York that was heading up a mask making venture for the state and country. There was a lot of back and forth, but that eventually never came to fruition, so we ventured out on our own, found the medical grade material used in our internal lining, and started sewing masks. Then the Governor and Mayor of Los Angeles said that everybody needed to wear a mask when interacting with people at any essential business. This caused the masks to really start to gain traction. They quickly became loved and through word of mouth has just snowballed. We are queuing up almost 150 masks a day now. It’s turned into quite the adventure and our website, www.maskingyouup.com, just launched on Memorial Day and it’s already going crazy.
The original thought was just to use this to get through the hard times until the swimwear industry recovers, but now we are very likely going to need to hire additional staff just to manage the mask making separately from the swimwear.
We put lots of care into each mask because we know how important your loved ones are. From our family to yours, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your #SmallBusinessSupport.