My father, a diabetic lives with my mother, who recently donated her kidney to keep him alive. He was so lucky to find a match in my mother, twice. But now they faced a new threat. A deadly pathogen was not only spreading around the world, it was spreading in their community the fastest. They lived only 20 minutes from the epicenter in New York. Both of them, immune-compromised, were at grave risk of contracting and dying from this deadly pathogen. The town they lived in was too small for grocery delivery services to operate, forcing them to brave the outdoors often for essential services. Moving out to California to shelter-in-place with us was too risky. I couldn’t get even find them masks that fit them. We grew scared and anxious. The whole world, like us, grappled with how to respond to the growing threat to our families and communities. We, like so many others, wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help my parents. I felt helpless. But sometimes, the pieces just come together.
My husband is a successful tech entrepreneur who comes from a family with three generations in the apparel industry. One night, he came rushing into our room to tell me about another one of his “brilliant” ideas. Usually his pitch would be followed by a good dose of me rolling my eyes in skepticism. But this time was different. I listened. And when he finished, we paused, looked at each other for a moment in silence, still as statues. Then like a flash of lightning we both jumped and got to work, without saying a word. Within three hours, Remasque was born and our store was live and taking orders. With his family’s apparel expertise, and my background (Healthcare professional turned Mom of two kids) we were convinced in that moment that we could leverage our family’s resources and our joint experience to build masks that not only we could scale, but high-quality masks people would actually want to wear. It was a bold, but we had more to lose by not doing anything at all. After all, we had an unfair advantage. You see, we literally had one of the world’s experts in the garment industry (my father-in-law) living under the same roof. We had spent the previous weeks watching him in awe as he took action, helping apparel factories make PPE. He was loaning his automated cutting machinery and CAD patterns to his clients, often for free, so they could pivot their factories and stay in business. His work was not only helping facilitate hundreds of thousands of domestically manufactured high-quality mask and medical garment donations, but it was also keeping people employed. So he knew a thing or two about who we should be working with and how the masks could be made in volume. In a matter of days, with his help, we not only had a factory, but we had optimized production yielding thousands of masks per day. It was incredible team work.Looking back, I never imagined my experience as a Mom and a healthcare professional would lead me into building my own business.
But I knew the customer. I was one of them. I knew the concerns families would have precisely because I had them for my own family and my own children. That deep seated empathy guided me and our team to build what I believe is the highest-quality and most comfortable mask you’ll ever wear. By leveraging our strengths, by tapping into our community, and by looking no further their own families, we found a solution. We are one world, one family, fighting this together. And together is precisely how we can make a difference.