(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Matt and Jacqueline Marciante never thought their high-end leather company would be producing masks. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Dallas residents have pivoted their business goals as a way to stay afloat and help people at the same time.
Matt Marciante is the CEO of Marciante and Company, which normally makes luxurious men’s and women’s leather footwear, bags and apparel. Founded in 2017, the company was built on his love of shoes, which goes back to when he was a child.
It was Jacqueline Marciante's idea to start making masks to help the community in early April. Noting that the company had all the equipment and materials, she said it was a perfect fit.
“We already had the machinery, equipment and material suppliers to put ourselves in a position to make the masks so I thought, why not?” Jacqueline Marciante said on the company's site.
She said the project's effort to give back to communities on the frontlines while also given people jobs and making money has been a gift.
"To be a positive part of this crazy season and to help others in our community and all over the country has been such a gift," she said.
In a time when small businesses are suffering amid nationwide closures, some independent businesses and individuals alike are turning to mask-making production to still make a profit, donate to frontline workers or do both, like Marciante.
The company said it can make 20 masks in an hour. Matt Marciante wants to hire at least one additional employee to sew masks while he and his wife cut out raw materials. He hopes to produce at least 100 masks per hour down the line.
Each mask is $10 and can be purchased online.