Inkwell Designers has gotten innovative, making a brandable product that pulls medical masks tighter.
As the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus intensified, Desiree Colonna wanted to do something to contribute to the fight against the pandemic and keep some business moving at her Woodstock, GA-based Inkwell Designers (asi/553001).
Her solution? Leverage her promotional products company’s in-house design and production capabilities to start creating medical mask hooks that can be sold branded or unbranded.
Inkwell Designer’s flexible, soft acrylic mask hook in action.
Made of flexible soft acrylic, the hooks situate at the back of a wearers’ head, where the mask side loops fit into them. This helps eliminate slack in the mask, holding them tighter against the face, Colonna says. Additionally, the mask loops no longer have to go around the wearer’s ears. That, says Colonna, helps prevent the abrasion and soreness members of the medical community have reported from wearing the masks.
“I am selling about 200 units per day, donating 2,000 per week and taking in donations to help pay for the materials to make more for our local and in-state medical community and beyond,” Colonna told Counselor. She continued: “We have donated hooks to Georgia medical workers and workers around the country. We’ve sent them as far as California.”
Colonna noted that people have been purchasing the hooks for family members working in essential jobs – like grocery store worker. Meanwhile, Inkwell Designers’ donations have included giving 1,000 hooks each to Northside Hospital, one of Georgia’s largest healthcare providers, and to the commander general of Georgia’s National Guard.
“The coolest story involved getting the call from the commander general’s wife and working with her to get these in the hands of nurses and doctors in Albany, GA, our state hot spot,” Colonna told Counselor.
Customers have also included the general public and some other promotional products distributors.
Colonna notes that she got the idea for the hooks from online engraving forums. Still, she says Inkwell Designers’ touch of ingenuity involved using the soft, flexible acrylic, which lends a pliability to the product that will keep it from cracking/snapping apart under pressure.
The hooks are pliable.
“We want to help during this unprecedented period in our history,” Colonna told Counselor. “We found this was the best way – to create a product people could really use, especially our first responders.”
Inkwell Designers is part of a much broader phenomenon in the promotional products industry in which companies are pivoting to sell and/or manufacture personal protective equipment to meet unprecedented demand amid the coronavirus pandemic. More on that can be found here and here.