A popular golf accessory company out of Oregon, Seamus Golf, has paused its normal production to make medical masks for those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
As of March 25, the coronavirus has claimed more than 21,000 lives worldwide and more than 900 in the U.S. alone. Seamus Golf is setting out to be part of the solution to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Seamus CEO Akbar Chisti joined Golf Central on Wednesday night via video call. Speaking with Ryan Burr, Chisti said his company has shifted its focus to making masks for people in the medical industry and customers who need them amid a national shortage.
In an unfortunate time for the world, Chisti saw an opportunity and a space where he could add value while the golf world is on hold.
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30% OFF SITE WIDE // Sometime today, our Co-Founder Megan will be provided with more information on the actual design tech pack and materials to be used. We are proud of our team. They took the time to design a mask and figured out how many we can make. 5,000 in three days with our 10 sewers sewing if it were the design above. Our team is well accustomed to working on projects we’ve never worked on before. Some of our team learned to sew at SEAMUS, thus it is possible that we could to increase our workforce if that need presented itself. In the meantime, we will continue to offer a 30% site wide to all customers until we are making masks. Having taken serious steps to ensure Social Distancing, we now truly believe we are in a position to help. #farandsure
A post shared by SEAMUS GOLF (@seamusgolf) on Mar 20, 2020 at 9:10am PDT
“This is a time where we would be putting production into larger events that are either deferred or are not happening,” he said. “So, it actually turns out that we are in a position to bust out quite a few of them and send them out, you know, pretty expediently.”
Good thing for Chisti — some supplies were already in house.
“It so happens that the elastic used in masks is something we can pull from our headcovers,” Chisti said. “We sent out an email to our customers and came back with 330 replies as of today. So, we are targeting to have to produce about 5,000 (masks) in short order.”
But production is underway, and Chisti and his team are en route to produce about 200 no-cost care packages with 10 masks each in the next week.
“We thought there would be a lot of people needing them, but once we got the responses and the thoughts put into the emails, we basically had an emotional night where we didn’t sleep, and then we woke up and all of a sudden we went from making headcovers to doing something that really prevents the spread of this terrible thing.”
Chisti and other co-founder, Megan Chisti, have closed their website and display a message to customers on the front page that reads in part, “We are temporarily closing the store to allow the full team to focus and assess the situation with masks. Our second production run begins tonight.”
“I knew nothing about masks before this,” Chisti said. “I mean, I had no real experience in the medical industry, which is why I took it pretty carefully and took the time to understand and talk to actual people who would be out there … It’s not FDA approved or anything, but if a doctor tells you to go make a mask, you go make a mask.”
Golf Digest. . Seamus Golf pauses accessory production to make medical masks during COVID-19. Available at: https://www.golfchannel.com/news/seamus-golf-pauses-accessory-production-make-medical-masks-during-covid-19/