MaskZ Success story – overcoming the mask shortage of 2020
After a year of seeing shops and streets flood with masks, we can all be sure that wherever you go today you will find a mask lying around. As we all know that wasn’t the case before the pandemic, when it hit with full force in the spring of 2020, access to masks became very limited and the demand skyrocketed within just a few months. What followed was a long mask shortage, this is the story of how new start-ups like MaskZ of Sweden managed to overcome it.
Masks before the pandemic
For a long time face masks have been reserved for very specific industries such as construction, sanitation, healthcare, lab research, microchip manufacturing and others. The majority of mask factories had hospitals and clinics as their biggest clients with long-term contracts at fixed rates.
With the arrival of the coronavirus all of that changed, masks suddenly became a mandatory accessory for almost every individual on the planet. As expected the mask factories couldn’t keep up with the demand and bumped up prices almost 4X which severely limited access to masks for the majority of companies and organizations in need.
Start-ups to the rescue
By June 2020 the increasing demand for face masks became a serious problem for traditional purchasers in governments and in companies who had to work with limited budgets. All of the well-known factories were already booked months ahead and the situation was getting dire. Within a few months of the shortage hundreds of start-ups popped up to help these purchasers in securing access to production lines and negotiating purchasing contracts with reasonable prices. These start-ups were split into two main categories:
Fashion and high-tech mask brands were extremely rare in Europe before the pandemic, you may have heard of brands like Airinum or Cambridge, up to 2020 these brands mainly operated in the Asian market where masks are used on a daily basis.
Like these brands, a large portion of start-ups went for developing their own branded mask design at the start of the pandemic. They invested into creating reusable fashion masks to combat the single use mask industry which generates millions of tons of plastic waste every year. Amongst these brands MaskZ of Sweden quickly became the highest ranking mask fashion brand in Sweden.
Traditional trading companies
Some start-ups decided to go into traditional trading and use their previous experience to take advantage of the mask shortage. These start-ups worked with personal protection and medical products such as medical gowns, gloves, FFP2, IIR masks, basically anything in demand. They mostly focused on opening up access to new factories and source products. MaskZ of Sweden also helped companies on that front and sold over 2,5 million products within a year.
Beating the odds
One of the reasons that MaskZ of Sweden became one of the world’s most successful mask fashion brands was the hard-work and passion of our founder Teenie Fung. When the pandemic started she chose to use her expertise in digital technologies to create a platform where people could access hundreds of products with just a few clicks. Within 3 months she reached a revenue of over 3 million Swedish kronor by opening access to new factories and handling large orders from companies like Telia, Ericsson, Industriflyg and NAKD.
The key to success
The key to Teenie's success was focusing on creating a unique brand with her own mask design that combined anti-viral technology with fashion and eliminated problems like ear pain, skin irritation, mascne and other personal health issues caused by single use masks. Now people all over the world are purchasing MaskZ of Sweden products. Thanks to her efforts buying quality masks has never been so easy, safe and quick.