Local Kayak Company Starts Producing Face Shields
Accent Paddle and Lightning Kayaks, located just outside Golden Valley, switched from making paddles and kayaks to making face shields. They are providing the shields to hospitals at cost.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, president of Lightning Kayaks Stewart Lee saw a need.
Springtime at his facility is usually a very busy time. But he transitioned production into making plastic face shields to use in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Normally this time of year our shop would be a flurry of activity making paddles and making kayaks and shipping them all over the world,” explained Lee. “But with the introduction of this virus things have really changed.”
Lee got a call from a friend in Australia who had switched his operation from manufacturing kayak parts to manufacturing face shields.
“He was receiving a tremendous amount of requests from the United States. And he reached out to me and said this is something that you should do because it’s helping people,” said Lee.
Lee called suppliers and pivoted his production.
“We’re taking requests from anyone who wants a face shield that we’re sending out free. We’re also trying to get hospitals to reach out to us if they want to order large bulk. Basically charging our costs to keep our doors open,” said Lee.
They’ve made more than three thousand so far, and expect to increase production soon.
They’ve made thousands and are gearing up to increase production. They’ve shipped to ten states so far.
“The requests just keep coming in from all over the country,” said Lee.
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“Or if they want to buy a face shield or have it sent to someone they know or have it sent to a hospital they know. If you are going to send to a hospital, please make sure they know they’re coming,” said Lee.
Lee said he expects to continue production of the face shields until the crisis is over. That said, he and his crew can’t wait to resume the usual heavy spring push for kayaks and paddles he normally would see this time of year.
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