RALEIGH – CopperSAFE’s protective wear is in such hot demand in the age of coronavirus that the fledgling startup is having to scale, fast.
Less than a week after Raleigh teenage brothers Dylan and Connor Clark officially launched their neckware-mask company, the duo reports that they have already completely sold out from its first production run and is now in the middle of its second round of manufacturing.
“We processed several hundred orders from both individuals and organizations within the first 72 hours of our launch and volume is scaling every day,” Connor, 16, told WRAL TechWire in an email.
“We are now delivering custom bulk orders to companies, schools and other organizations. We are working with two ACC universities, one NC school district, two Fortune 500 companies and a variety of local businesses to supply masks to their athletes, employees and students.”
Pioneer Landscaping owner, Kevin Carswell said, “When I saw that it was created by two young local guys I thought that was even better. I love to see young men and women get out there and start up their business.”
Connor, a ninth grader at Cardinal Gibbons High School, and Dylan, 14, a student at North Raleigh Christian Academy, launched the startup while home from school during the COVID-19 crisis.
They said they saw a need in the market for facial coverings that were comfortable and reusable.
“It’s been really fun for me and my brother to just stay up late at night to do something to help the community,” said Dylan.
CopperSAFE masks are infused with copper, a naturally occurring antimicrobial, self sanitizing element, which one study suggests is better than common materials at preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
At $15 a pop, they are also completely washable, available in youth sizes and can be customized.
The young entrepreneurs have been funding this company on their own — their goal is to see every American with a copper-safe mask, starting right here in Raleigh.
“We predicted this response from the market,” Connor said, adding the company has the capacity to scale production quickly to match growing demand.
The masks are currently being manufactured at a cut and sew facility near Asheville, but the brothers said they are exploring partnerships in Garner and Greensboro.
The startup is already hiring new employees in marketing and setting up an office in North Raleigh.
“We expect to have it ready by week’s end,” said Connor.
As for their parents’ involvement, the duo said it’s minimal.
“Both our parents are very supportive and knowledgeable, and while they are available for questions and consultation,” Connor said.
The Clark brothers hope to donate a portion of the money to healthcare workers.