Lacrossewear, a uniform and apparel supplier based in Florida, has shifted its business operations from lacrosse to making protective masks.
Wells Dusenbury form the South Florida Sentinel shares the full story:
On first glance, it seems like a typical Monday morning at Lacrossewear’s Coconut Creek facility.
Inside its 12,000-square foot headquarters, the sports apparel company’s team of seamstresses and designers are hard at work creating a new line of inventory. Usually, that would entail fashioning custom-made jerseys or performance wear for various teams. But with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to impact the country, Lacrossewear called an audible with its production lines.
With the CDC now recommending the use of cloth face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Lacrossewear is using its available resources to focus on creating protective masks. Utilizing microsuade fabric, which is used in performance material for shorts, the company began creating masks last week.
Lacrosswear owner Bo Lamon said they’ve already received orders for more than 2,000 masks as of Monday afternoon. For every mask sold, the company plans to donate one for those who interact with the general public on a daily basis, including first responders, hospitals and supermarket employees.
“We have the sewing machines and people approached us saying, ‘Can you make these masks?’ ” Lamon said.
“We thought about all the people that needed them out there, and that’s how we decided to do the buy one, donate one side of things. So we could be helping, and obviously remaining in business, which is good for us and keeping our employees going.”
Like many businesses across the country, Lacrossewear has not been immune to the economic effects of COVID-19. Founded by Lamon in 2001, the company initially centered around lacrosse-related apparel, creating bulk orders for youth, high school and college teams. As the business grew, it expanded to other sports, as well as local municipalities like the parks and recreation departments for Fort Lauderdale and Deerfield Beach.
But with coronavirus concerns causing the cancellation of sports leagues across the country, orders ground to halt over the past few weeks.
“Our business was pretty much stagnant because there’s no sports, and everything we do caters to large events,” said Lamon of the company, which employs 35-40 people.
“We were at a point where we had to start laying people off, and we were really concerned about the future of the company, as is everyone that’s going through this.”
But after re-configuring the production line and seeing an immediate demand, Lamon said he’s been able to bring back many of the workers he was forced to let go. He also said he’s looking to hire additional seamstresses to help fill orders.