Reinventing business in the age of COVID-19, owner pivots to make protective shields

A Brevard County Company is noticing the big demand right now for sneeze guards. Those are the plastic barriers that are popping up everywhere to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Even though that’s not what they usually make, like many other businesses, 321 Plastics, (Marketing Holders) is adapting, getting creative.

Brochures, fliers, and, business cards are often found in clear acrylic boxes. That’s the same durable material used to make COVID shields, so Artie Crowley said, ‘I can do that.’

"Anytime a teacher would see my post or someone else’s post on Facebook, they would ask me to make them one for certain tables, so we have different ones for different tables," Crowley said during a demonstration to FOX 35 News.

Crowley showed us his all-new line of products- he only started making these 30 days ago. 

They’re lightweight, but sturdy plastic walls. 

"We have schools, convenience stores, hair salons, nail salons, you name it, car dealerships," Crowley said of his new clients.

But making safety products in a pandemic is very unusual for 321 Plastics.  In normal times, they make displays for stores and offices, the holsters for whatever literature goes with the client. 

The way they switched gears- started with a favor. 

Crowley made a COVID shield for a friend who is an insurance agent, the agent raved about the barrier, then by word of mouth, folks started finding out about the walls. 

Crowley has thousands of orders, only about 30 employees, so how is he coping?

"I get a heart attack here and there, it's very stressful, we just kind of have to take one at a time, just take care of people as best we can," Crowley said.

The company isn’t making them for free, but Crowley does work with folks on discount pricing and that can vary depending on how many shields a customer wants.


Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.