By Kendall Fisher, executive producer
As more companies seek outlets to give back, especially now, we’re seeing more innovation. Take Bedford Industries, for example. The Minnesota-based manufacturer was founded 55 years ago with the goal of becoming the world leader in twist ties(opens in new tab) — the plastic ties we use around our bread or coffee bags to keep food fresh.
The company has gone on to become a leading manufacturer of other bendable components, from labeling and marketing tags(opens in new tab) to nose wires(opens in new tab) for medical masks. The latter sparked President Jay Milbrandt’s idea to build a product that could keep people safe amid COVID-19.
“We’ve always had a desire to make a facemask-type product. It seemed like a natural evolution of the things we did,” said Milbrandt. “We actually ended up getting pulled into making a face shield.”
In less than a week, Bedford turned this idea into a reality, creating the “Elastishield(opens in new tab),” a full, plastic face shield to protect against splatters and coughs. Its use is intended to conserve N95 respirators and other types of face masks(opens in new tab).
Upon introducing the shield to its social media followers, Bedford received an overwhelming amount of interest — so much that the company decided to launch its first e-commerce platform to sell the shields and its nose wires directly to consumers.
While Bedford remains a leader in twist ties and bendable components, the company’s top goal today is to keep as many people safe as possible, especially essential workers and employees of smaller medical facilities who don’t have easy access to personal protective equipment. In just one week, the company has sold 12,500 face shields with no plans to slow down.
Watch our conversation with Bedford Industries’ Milbrandt in the video above.