The sale of new Maryland-themed masks saved a Towson company from making the same hard decisions other businesses have had to deal with during the coronavirus pandemic.
A few weeks ago, Ali von Paris said she was getting ready to tell all of her employees at Route One Apparel that their hours would need to be cut due to COVID-19’s economic impact.
But things changed in a big way after the Towson, Maryland-based business started offering Maryland-themed masks.
“I never imagined selling Maryland masks would be this popular,” said von Paris.
The company, which has been selling Maryland-themed clothing for 10 years, would typically have 50 orders a day at most.
“Now we’re fulfilling hundreds of orders a day,” von Paris said. “Because of the volume and the limited staff that I have, we physically can’t fulfill every order.”
The masks feature symbols such as the Maryland state flag, Old Bay and, of course, a crab.
For every mask that is sold, the company donates one to Maryland health care providers and first responders.
Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan walked up to the podium during his press conference wearing one of the masks and praised the business for everything that it has done.
“They pivoted their entire operation to making face masks,” Hogan said, adding “It shows how anyone, any institution or any small business, or any individual Marylander can be a part of our efforts to save lives and to defeat this hidden enemy.”
Von Paris said the governor’s “shout-out” boosted her mask sales even further, at point causing her website to temporarily crash.
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