Pivoting During the Pandemic

When Covid 19 first hit we were a circus apparel company that specialized in making athletic apparel and costumes for people doing circus, dance, pole and yoga. But with an industry that no longer had any work teaching, performing or training, we had to think of what to do next. 

When we first saw the call out for non medical masks from the Michael Garron Hospital looking for 1000 masks per week we knew donating was the right thing to do. We had our sewing machines and a wonderful stock of fabrics which ranged from standard colors, to bright and sparkly. Our first donation was approx. 100 masks, and have since then donated  over 1000 masks to hospitals, local shelters and for individuals in need.

At the beginning of the pandemic, wearing a non medical mask was only a recommendation and a brief topic in the community so we were only making them for the hospital and close friends who knew that we were making them. 

Then it happened, Blog TO made their first article about where to buy non medical face masks in Toronto and then everything switched. We went from having 2 weeks of no orders, no emails to one day waking up to 50 emails, from customers wondering how they could place their order. We then realized how we could also help the community and we knew what we needed to make...masks!

Overnight, we set up our adult and youth non medical masks as products on our website, www.fit2fly.ca. We had no idea of the surge of demand that was about to come. Within 5 minutes of launching the new mask products we were completely sold out of all of the stock that we had just made. It was unbelievable to say the least! Then we were featured on Elle Canada, Now Toronto plus a few other sites that helped the community find us. 

We were already set up to ship world wide and could offer safe curb side pick up since our studio has street access. Sticking with our values to the planet we packaged each mask order in recyclable paper with the customer name/order number and tied with one of our little fabric scraps to hold everything together. One thing we knew was that the world did not need more waste or plastic packaging. 

We first had our masks set to a "pay what you can" price because we wanted everyone who wanted one to be able to get one without question. After about 2 months and us needing to pay rent to a landlord who was not into applying for the rental relief program we needed to change our donating pricing to a set price of $15.00 per mask. The non medical masks literally paid the rent for 4 months. 

Since then the mask orders have slowed down and have became one of our regular products along with our athletic and comfort apparel. 

We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from our community and so happy to have met so many wonderful new customers that did not know that we existed in our little Toronto circus studio.