LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Just over a week ago, a Nulu leather shop came up with a prototype for something that has been desperately needed during the coronavirus pandemic.
The shop was able to create a face shield made up of three simple components – a sheet of transparent plastic, a foam cushion and a strand of elastic.
Clayton & Crume knew they could make thousands. They just needed the materials and a safe space.
The small business found it in a 9000 square foot space on Bardstown Road. After some planning and a lot of hiring, Clayton & Crume really started producing.
“We’re getting rocking and rolling,” Tyler Jury, co-owner of the company, chuckled.
With about 50 people recently reemployed, the operation truly is a well-oiled machine.
“Full force, two shifts, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” Jeff Arsenault, Clayton & Crume marketing director, said while reflecting on the new space. “We needed an open area where people could stay six feet apart.”
With the materials they have, plus what’s on order, Clayton & Crume believes it can make around 650,000 masks.
“Keep things cranking along,” Jury said. “And getting close to that 20,000 unit per day mark.”
On day one, 10,000 were ready for pickup.
The state wanted them so a Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection truck came and loaded up 6 pallets of boxes.
“Each of these is a box of 50 face shields,” Jury pointed out.
Operating for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, Clayton & Crume plans to keep churning them out. The state plans to return every couple of days for another truckload.