When local entrepreneurs Becky Young and Camille Lewis started their modern baby accessory business, Modern Piggy, four years ago, they never thought they would be switching gears and cranking out “tons of” surgical masks instead of hair bows. Young and Lewis, who have BYU degrees in finance and accounting, respectively, know that sometimes you have to be flexible when running a small business and be willing to shift business models–especially during a crisis.
“This has been a really scary time to be a small business owner. On top of worrying about our families, we have also been concerned about our employees and the future of our business. Like many other small businesses, we have seen a huge decrease in sales this past couple of weeks and we’ve prayed to know how to continue in the best way.⠀We were so grateful when we were approached by a large nursing facility to use our network of seamstresses to sew masks for their nurses. Our seamstresses who otherwise would have been left with very little work right now. We’ve all been busting our butts to get a prototype and pattern made and this large order out the door. What a huge blessing this has been to our business and employees during this time. This gives us hope that everything will be okay! Modern Piggy isn’t going anywhere. We are just shifting for a minute to make it all work,” states a recent post on the company’s Facebook page.
“We were asked to make 1,000 masks-all out of the same fabric and color–and we finished them up this week,” said Young. Since then, we have had a lot of requests from other facilities in need of masks and from consumers who want to buy them. We are diving into our leftover fabric bins and will start production on more masks which will be made out of assorted fabrics we have used for our bows and ties. We are also just finishing up on the design for a kids-sized mask and will have those available as well on our website www.modernpiggy.com.
“The masks are made with a pouch so that an additional filter can be added,” said Young. “We are selling them at prices to basically cover our costs of production and goods. Once we come out of the pandemic, we will be at it in full production with bows. We’ve got lots of big plans for Modern Piggy in 2020. But, until then, we are grateful for a way to still keep our small business afloat,” she said. For more information email Modern Piggy at firstname.lastname@example.org.