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Going Out of Business Sale

 

After exactly 24 months of designing, making, and shipping our acclaimed face masks all over the U.S. we're closing down our PPE product line.

 

Spoiler alert: we're taking orders until February 28 for the last set we'll ever make. Click here to buy.

 

How did we get here?

We're proud of the 143,000+ face masks we made here in North Carolina (and another 87,000+ face shields). We were one of the first companies anywhere to pivot to making face shields and face masks, and the masks in particular caught the attention of experts and first responders.

Like our clothes, we designed the masks to be durable, fit great, be comfortable for 8-12 hours of wearing at a time, and high performance.

Performance? FDA rules prevented us from telling the world that independent labs twice verified the Kitsbow mask was nearly N95 efficient (it was "only" 93% efficient, not 95% efficient).

And professionals loved the comfort (the N95 respirator was designed for a single interaction with a patient, not hours of wear, as many clinicians learned the hard way).

Our work on the masks attracted the medical professionals at Wake Forest Baptist University Health, and together we co-designed a mask that met their specific needs. After launching this to the public, about half of all masks sold were the Wake ProTech(tm) variety. Many users preferred the adjustable cords with toggles.

 

Saving Lives. Helping the Helpers.

In the first months, we required proof that you were a first responder or a medical professional. Hard to remember now, but especially smaller medical clinics and fire departments were caught under-prepared for COVID. China wasn't shipping any N95 masks (as they are again, now).

Little Kitsbow was barely 5 months into its new home in Old Fort, NC and so it was a heavy lift to pivot to masks and shields. And we needed more help immediately, we went from 27 people to 60 in the last 10 days of March, 2020.

As medical professionals began to get the masks they needed, we broadened our scope to the public -- focusing especially on front line workers that needed all day comfort, and we provided these at a discount (and in a partnership with a major foundation, for free to under-represented communities).

We also created a line for kids. As in our kids, shown in these photos:


Children of Kitsbow and the Old Fort community, protected with some of the best masks in the world.

The Pandemic changed our business forever, it forced us to confront scale (40 shipments a day ballooned into 400 shipments a day). Buy more sewing machines. Train more staff to sew. Restock the material we blew through in the first two months.

National media attention and testimony in the U.S. Congress attracted even more attention, which stressed our customer service staff to the breaking point. We trained more and more sewers, and we kept on shipping.

 

 

We won recognition from experts and product reviewers for quality and effectiveness, and we knew we were making a difference in a very dark time.

Sales continued to grow. More than 30 positive reviews, many in high-profile media publications such as the New York Times attempting to educate the public on the differences, large and small, with quality face masks.

The demand was so great that we never discounted or put our masks on sale.

But all good things come to an end, and with wide availability of masks from literally hundreds of different manufacturers, we've made the decision to return to our core business: incredible premium apparel.

If you want a few more Kitsbow masks before they're gone forever, now is the time. More specifically, the next 10 days are your last chance, forever.

AND if you liked our masks, you'll want to see what we can do with amazing apparel -- with similar legendary fit and incredible durability.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for choosing face masks sewn right here in the U.S.A.

It's been the honor of a lifetime.

-- Everyone at Kitsbow

This is the first Kitsbow face mask posted on Facebook on March 21, 2020, which launched orders for more than 20,000 in the first 48 hours. Ultimately we would ship 143,000+ masks.




Join Our Cause
Get connected to our journey: Sign up for email here. Buy a product or two here


Visit us in North Carolina at the Old Fort Ride House for a factory tour and to see the magic for yourself. Ride our trails, hike the ridges, and fish in the streams of the Other Pisgah. Meet our community

Use the power of your purchasing not only to enjoy premium quality products that last for years and sustain the earth, but also employ awesome people in a beautiful community. 


And we’re always looking for more talent and artisans. Send your friends, family, and best candidates to join our team here.

Help us change an industry, build a community, and save the world.

__________________________________________________________

*Apply code at checkout. Code expires at midnight 02/28. Limitations apply. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or offers.

Comments (1)

  • Garrett on February 22, 2022

    As a first responder I have worn the kitsbow merino mask religiously.

    Thank you for YEARS of comfort and safety.

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