x
Breaking News
More () »

Central Georgia's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports, and more | Macon, Georgia | 13WMAZ.com

$10 million St. Louis shade maker turns on a dime to make virus face shields

"I saw this as an enemy ambush, and like any good Marine, I turned into the ambush. Didn't run from it."
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Chris Lozano, president of University City-based Halcyon Shades and a retired Marine, saw the coronavirus as an ambush on the U.S. economy and on his business.

"I see everything as a battle," said Lozano, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. "I saw this as an enemy ambush, and like any good Marine, I turned into the ambush. Didn't run from it."

With Halcyon's bread-and-butter customers closed — hotels, restaurants and small businesses — window shade sales were in the tank.

"I brought my staff together and said, 'We have a talented workforce and a 30,000-square-foot facility. What can we do?'" Lozano said. "My IT guy said, 'We could make face shields.'"

That was March 19. They had a mock-up two days later and began sales two days after that.

Lozano has turned his manufacturing plant from making shades to making protective face shields, which can be used in combination with N95 protective face masks. The shields are disposable, made of clear, light polyester and not designed to be cleaned. A shield and an N95 mask would cost a total of $7 to $8, Lozano said.

"We're already sold 3,000 to the city of St. Louis and the Catholic archdioceses, and we're fielding lots of inquiries," he said. Other prospective buyers are hospitals and other health care providers.

"Fortune favors the bold," Lozano said. He has kept all 11 of his employees working and is preparing to hire four more.

Click here for the full story.

More from the Business Journal