Today was a day - Production and Global Supply Chain Insights

April 03, 2020

Today was a day - Production and Global Supply Chain Insights

Wow.  I'm tired.  I am also lost in wonder right now.  So many things to ponder and consider.  For those of you at home, take this time to do some thinking about the world and your place in it.  We probably don't do that enough.  It is hard when we are reacting all day.  I kinda wish I was at home with no job or with a job that enabled me to work remotely.  But, I do not.

First partial day of production.  We got 60 orders today for 73 4-packs and 14 people opted to "Give".  But that is only the start because lots of things happening behind the scenes.  And there are many people contributing to this project in many different ways.

Her is a screen shot of what my facebook post last night did, and the subsequent shares by my friends and family created.

My phone was ringing off the hook today.  Sorry if I couldn't get back to you.

This was playing in my head all day...

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
Catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match

I kept hearing this in my head all day as I chuckled at the reality of how I pivoted from "the tshirt guy" to the "mask maker".

Maskmaker, Maskmaker,
Make me a Mask,
Find me a find,
Catch me a breath
Maskmaker, Maskmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a better than nothing mask.


I got calls from across the spectrum.  Old friends, new friends, clients, partners from all over.  I am working on getting over 100,000 surgical masks for one of our bigger Brand Marinade partners as their staff are on the lines of the pandemic.  Then I got a text from an rugby friend who has a bunch of food service businesses and needs to equip his team asap.

The last couple weeks has really put me to the challenge on so many fronts.  First off, I am lucky and grateful to have a supportive and loving family/partner.  Always makes things so much easier and don't ever take it for granted when you have it, and don't think you can't get it if you don't currently have it.  Also, having the "Collective" of people that I am a part of is amazing.

Lesson, do your best to keep strong, healthy, loving, and real relationships in your life.  They are the most valuable thing we have.

With that said, I was able to focus on keeping the Brand Marinade team out the of depths of economic crisis and also focus my efforts on figuring out how our team, tools, and resources can help others through these days ahead.

Interesting supply chain things I'm noticing...

  • China...
    • Our President egged on a trade war, and it's not smart to start a war if you can't support the challenges that may follow.  We are getting a sense of how critical a healthy global community is.
    • I am working with one of our trusted factories in China and they are helping me solve a problem.  I am getting surgical masks brought in to help get them into people's hands.  If all goes well, I will be giving away 15,000 disposable surgical masks in Oakland next week.  No promises until they show up.
    • Shipments are having a hard time getting out of China.
    • Factories have shipping quotas/maximums each day.
    • Rules are changing daily.
  • Air Freight
    • This is the only viable option
    • DHL is screwed.  They rely on commercial flights, and those are being cancelled left and right.  Heard they are stuck.
    • UPS and FedEx have their own planes and are sending more to China to meet the demand.
    • Medical equipment is given priority.
  • Domestic Production
    • Homemade masks are all the rage.  It's a big deal.
    • FDA just announced new guidelines re: homemade face masks.  They are needed that much.
    • LA issued a statement suggesting everyone needs a mask, non-surgical is ok - aka homemade/fabric.
    • Dov Charney of American Los Angeles Apparel is always ahead of the game.  When he jumped into the mask making arena two weeks ago, it was a sign of what was to come.
    • With that said, supplies like elastic bands are hard to find.
    • Big brands are starting to jump in the mix.
    • We will be stocking up on some pieces from other brands soon too.  We need options.

Ok, bedtime.  Gotta get some rest.  Can't let this virus get me.

Speaking of which, we marked off our 6ft lines on the floor, issued masks, have a daily deep clean from a cleaning crew, and are shop will be evolving.  Need that SBA Loan to kick in so I can build things out and make more shirt happen.

Ready.... BREAK!