If you have ventured outside and had to don a handmade face mask, then you know just how difficult it is to keep it clamped down without a metal nose bridge. And if you wear glasses the lack of a good hold can keep your lenses fogging with every breath you take. Pipe cleaners are okay or aluminum foil, but neither holds well and the pipe cleaners can actually start to rust. With many states beginning to enact executive orders that everyone must wear a mask when out in public establishments, solving this nose bridge issue with handmade masks is crucial.
Flexible Metal Nose Bridge From Rust-Proof Aluminum
Enter Isaiah Industries. On any given pre-COVID-19 day Isaiah Industries would be busy at work manufacturing metal roofing for homes and businesses across the United States and Canada. But today they are hard at work manufacturing flexible metal nose bridges for handmade facemasks. With an inventory of rust-proof aluminum in stock they got to work developing this new, innovative product…for free.
“My business partner, Kelly Joseph, was talking to his 82 year old mother who is sewing masks and she said she was using pipe cleaners to provide some formability over the nose but they were getting difficult to obtain and didn’t work so well. We also heard that folks were experiencing problems with them rusting,” said Todd Miller, President of Isaiah Industries. “We knew we had lots of rust-proof aluminum in stock so we started making a few and gave them to some sewers who said they were “perfect”. We decided that making these was a way in which we could be productive and do something good during the crisis.”
With business running at about 40% its normal volume, Miller and Joseph wanted to keep their team busy, while also being a part of the solution and doing good the only way they knew how–manufacturing metal products. What they did not realize was just how popular their flexible metal nose bridge was going to be.
Metal Nose Bridge Goes “Crazy Viral”
When word spread and visitors started visiting their makeshift order page on their company blog, orders began pouring in–2 to 3 per minute. When the daily order total hit 250,000 they had to hit pause and re-assess their now “crazy viral” product.
“[Pausing] allowed us to develop a strategy to amp up our production,” said Miller. “We also got another local business involved helping us. We have re-launched the website and social media and are watching volume grow.”
With the flexible metal nose bridge being free, Isaiah is covering the cost of shipping themselves. The costs were a bit “overwhelming” according to Miller, but the whole team feels very blessed to be able to do what they are doing.
Metal Roofing Business During COVID-19
The newfound excitement and energy of producing their flexible metal nose bridge has helped temper the 60% drop in sales since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Miller and Joseph have leaned in to the crisis, ramping up their social media presence, engaging stakeholders and those stuck at home, keeping them encouraged during this crisis. And the result of this effort?
“Interestingly, inquiries into our [metal roofing] products are pretty strong,” said Miller. “Once the “stay at home” orders are lifted, we expect a very busy year based upon the level of interest.”
Communicating To Customers During Times of Crisis
As we discussed in our article on Communicating With Our Clients In Times of Crisis, keeping lines of communication open with Clients, customers or even leads is crucial. It keeps them engaged, informed of what you’re doing (which is key), and keeps your business top-of-mind for when this current lockdown and recession begin to turn. Isaiah Industries is employing a similar approach. Via their ramped up social media, they are sharing videos, an update on the team’s activities, and just a smile or two to reassure their connections they are there, they are of service to them, and they a support they and lean on.
For other businesses out there feeling the worst of the COVID-19 crisis, Todd has this to say: “Our theory has been to be encouraging and communicate a great deal. We want to continue to be of service and support to our customers. People need reassurance that we will make it through this.”
By keeping their team busy, supporting the greater good with their flexible metal nose bridge for handmade face masks at no cost, and by increasing their customer communication with words of encouragement, guidance and updates on social media, Isaiah Industries is leading the way in how building products manufacturers are navigating their way through the COVID-19 crisis.
Order your flexible metal nose bridge for handmade face masks at metalnosebridge.com.
(Isaiah Industries is a Client of Response Labs, but we were not involved in this project. We are just so impressed we had to share.)