This Kitchen Company Is Turning From Manufacturing Spatulas to Making Protective Masks for First Responders
GIR is living by their name — to Get It Right.
On March 31, the silicone kitchen tool company announced the launch of a new product, reusable face masks. Founder and CEO Samantha Rose saw this as a necessary pivot as the nation faces a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), most notably N95 masks.
"Our little company had a choice to make when COVID-19 reached pandemic status: to be paralyzed, or to leap into action. So we leapt," Rose told Allrecipes. "This pivot is the outcome of hard, relentless effort over the past couple weeks. Every single person on the GIR team hustled, and we pulled off a brand-new product in time to make a difference. We are staying alive as a company. We are trying to save lives. And we have a purpose in all this darkness."
When Rose founded the company back in 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign, her goal was to create products that were practical yet innovative, and above all helpful. When her team learned of the lack of necessary equipment for frontline providers, they sprang into action.
"Get It Right isn't just a name; it's our mission," Rose said. "So we're racing against the clock to increase the supply of PPE for everyone from healthcare workers to grocery clerks."
The week of March 16th, the team sourced N95 masks for donation from three of their factories, ultimately providing 2,000 masks to local hospitals. On Saturday, March 21, the GIR team began working with their primary factory to develop a silicone face mask tool online, as well as sourcing protective filters from certified factories. By March 26, the first batches of face mask samples were developed, and four days later on March 30, GIR teammates in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles had the new product in-hand with the capability to sell and market online.
In the span of two weeks, the company had shifted from spatulas to face masks, but through it all, they remained focused on being helpful.
"We're all in this together, and our reusable silicone masks and filter kits are the very best thing GIR can do to honor the Get It Right mission, right now," Rose shared. "We're donating as many as we can, with our own funds and on the shoulders of others' generosity, and we're also selling kits to individuals near cost so that every essential worker, their families, and beyond has a chance at slowing the spread of COVID-19."
Each mask, available in seven different colors, is made with medical-grade silicone, comes with five filters, and can be sterilized using an autoclave, dishwasher, or oven. Filter refills, 10 to a pack, are available for $1 each. Additionally, the company is adding a philanthropic component to sales.
"We're asking customers to Buy a Kit Donate a Kit to put masks directly into the hands of essential workers," Rose said. "We also know that for those who can afford to purchase, but can't afford to donate, even just wearing a mask can contribute to social well-being right now. We're reinvesting proceeds from every sale to fund the production of additional masks. So far, we've received over 5,000 donation pledges, and we're going to keep going until everyone is safe and the crisis is over."
Buy a mask: $15; gir.co
Masks aside, the company has also extended a 50 percent discount across their site, encouraging families to get creative in the kitchen and #cookhappy, the brand's happy-go-lucky social hashtag.
"We're donating a portion of each sale in March and April to food banks in Seattle, New York, and Los Angeles to help support people that can't access adequate meals in this volatile climate," Rose shared. "I have to add, it is deeply humbling to be a part of a team that is so invested in doing the right thing, and that has been willing to work around the clock, surrounded by their kids and families no less, to pull this off."
It's safe to say the GIR team has truly gotten it right this time.