Ellen Bennett was at her company's factory in Vernon, California, in March 2020 when she found out Los Angeles County was going into lockdown because of Covid-19.
For her company, Hedley & Bennett, which makes kitchen gear like aprons for professional chefs, the future was suddenly in doubt — the lockdown effectively meant customers could no longer dine in restaurants or go to bars. But with the same colorful fabric her company used to make aprons, Bennett was able to pivot.
“We shifted our entire 16,000-square-foot factory into a mask-making machine within 24 hours,” Bennett recalled recently. “I thought, ‘I'm standing here in a building full of materials and equipment. I can help, too.’”
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