Our main business is Ace Lineup Athletics, and we are a Manufacturer & Designer for Apparel & Promotional Products. During the COVID pandemic, we are considered a non-essential business and currently are closed due to state regulations.
We have worked overseas importing various promotional products for nearly a decade. We are so fortunate to consider the factory owners we work with as not only colleagues and business associates, but friends.
A couple months ago, we were contacted by our factories overseas asking us if we wanted to source PPE. Originally, we said "no" we did not know what we would do with it. Then, we read an article in the Columbian that stated, '8 City Mayors collectively wrote a letter to Governor Inslee saying they were in dire need of PPE here in Clark County.' The article continued to say it had been 2 weeks and the Governor still had not responded to the Mayor's requests. At this moment, we realized we could help Clark County by importing the very PPE they needed, and we would make sure our community received it.
Since mid-March, we have been helping local clinics, first responders and even helping our state fill the stockpile by providing medical grade PPE. We have received thank you notes from smaller clinics that could not get what they needed if we hadn't helped out. It has been fulfilling to help our front line workers during this crisis.
With our communities gradually thinking about reopening, it is apparent that masks for the general public are a big issue. Many grocery stores, airlines and other services are requiring customers to wear masks. We decided it would be great if we could offer a mask to the general public that is not ideal for hospitals or medical workers yet, provide a higher rate of filtration unlike handmade cloth masks.
The KN95 is the perfect mask for the general public because it has the ability to filter up to 95% of particles that are 0.3 microns in size. This mask is also more comfortable than cloth because of the filtration. You do not get as sweaty and hot. It also provides a better seal over the upper portion of your face utilizing a metal nose piece.
It is a very difficult time to try and import right now - especially PPE or masks. The struggles are real and states, clinics and hospitals are having a tough time trying to supply protective equipment that is at its highest global demand ever. We have realized our business relationships overseas have proven to be more valuable then we ever could have imagined. At the end of the day, it is something we can do to help our communities which is what ACE is all about.