custom fabric face mask from FLS BannersNormally, FLS Banners is known for making premium custom printed promotional products such as: trade show banners, feather flags, table covers, and tents; however, as the coronavirus situation has become increasingly dire, the company has shifted its focus to producing PPE and protective cloth face masks. FLS Banners wants to break down the stigma around fabric face masks by making a custom printed protective covering intended to help prevent the spread of germs and adds fun and style. With over 70 designs and counting, we’ve made recent headlines with these efforts.


Why FLS Banners has Answered the Call

Why would a fabric printing company be so well-positioned to produce materials to aid with the current pandemic? FLS Banners uses high-grade textiles in all of our products. This material is designed to withstand years of use, can be washed over and over again, and still maintain its integrity and color. The prints are produced using OEKO TEX approved dyes that can be commonly found in the apparel industry.

To top it all off, FLS Banners works with one of the most efficient supply chains in their sector, which means that the company can continue to manufacture the necessary products as they are needed, and get them to the people who need them quickly.

FLS Banners understands that we must all do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We found a way to help and it is our pleasure to help our national community. We are in this together!


What the Press is Saying

 

WisBusiness

The NFIB Research Center’s latest survey on the current impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on small business shows continued deterioration of the small business sector. The severity of the outbreak and regulatory measures that cities and states are taking to control it are having a devastating impact on small businesses.

Currently, 92% of small employers are negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a continued escalation from 76% of small employers reporting negative impacts 10 days earlier. About 3% are positively impacted. These firms are likely experiencing stronger sales due to a sharp rise in demand for certain products, goods, and services. This will likely ease in the coming weeks as consumers feel more secure about their personal supply levels.

“As the COVID-19 related funding flows out of Washington DC to the states, it is vitally important Wisconsin’s small business owners act promptly to secure financial assistance,” said Bill G. Smith, NFIB State Director in Wisconsin. “NFIB is encouraging members to apply as soon as possible since there is a funding cap on the Paycheck Protection Program, which small business owners can start applying for tomorrow.”

In Sturgeon Bay, Cain Goettelman of FLS Banners wants to do the right thing. His business can produce isolation gowns, medical popup tents, hospital directional flags, and he has the supply network to order in millions of high quality and regular masks. His problem? City and state governments are having a hard time finding out how to order the supplies from his small business. Goettelman could get governments and hospitals 500,000 masks in a week plus thousands of isolation gowns. He says he’s made hundreds of calls but still can’t connect with the right people. He knows hospitals and governments are in need and he wants to help.

On Monday, Goettelman decided to pivot and start producing much needed supplies without an order from a hospital or government. Frustrated by an image he saw on social media of a doctor wearing a garbage bag, his idea to produce level one hospital gowns is now in action. Working with one of his suppliers, Goettelman ordered a [plastic film] that he can cut in one piece, making it efficient to make: up to 1,200 per day with two shifts of 20 workers[.]

“I’m turning over every stone I can to help during this health crisis. I know hospitals and governments are desperate to get supplies I just want to help. So do my employees. They are in 100% even though we are making a product we don’t have a buyer for. The market is broken. I am producing thousands of gowns per day and even though there is a mass shortage out there, I don’t have anyone to buy them. I don’t want to make a bunch of money. We just want to feel like we’re doing good during this time of unprecedented fear surrounding this health crisis.”

Goettelman has also started producing “fashion masks” – named to take away the stigma surrounding surgical masks. Recently the city of LA started recommending its residents wear them and Goettelman thinks other cities will follow suit. He’s designed about 50 different masks.

“I want to take this to a new level. You shouldn’t feel like you’re sick or have a scarlet letter on your chest if you decide to wear a mask. I want people to feel comfortable if they want to wear one.”


Local 5 ABC News - We Are Green Bay

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — When the Safer at Home order went into effect last month, FLS Banners was allowed to remain open as an essential business, but the company felt as if they needed to do more than making signs.


“We didn’t feel like we were having an impact,” President Cain Goettelman explained.

And so the banner printing company adjusted: “We shifted gears and figured out how to make an isolation gown that was in great need and then we saw this coming with the CDC that they were going to put the recommendation out that everybody wear a mask in public,” Goettelman said.

They decided to make masks, but could see the potential hang-ups people might have.

“My staff was like: ‘I’m never going to wear a mask, I’m not gonna wear a mask,'” Goettelman said, “and then we said, ‘Well, what would get you to wear a mask?'”

Goettelman told Local 5 that the company decided to try to make the masks more appealing by making them customizable.

“We’re trying to come up with the designs that people are gonna want to wear,” he said, “make it almost like a fashion accessory, not a scarlet letter on your face.”

FLS Banners now has more than 60 designs available.

Designing PPE wasn’t an easy shift for the shop.

“To re-purpose equipment, re-calibrate it,” Goettelman said, “we had to figure out how to weld plastic, we had never done that before.”


He told Local 5 that the changes were worth it, as soon as the masks were in production.

“We’re a group of people that like to get together and make things every day,” he explained, “and we all get a lot of satisfaction from seeing a finished product. There is an additional level of satisfaction knowing that we are going to help some people that are really in need.”

Even before making the switch to PPE, FLS was already considered essential.

“This was really more a calling than a business decision,” Goettelman said.

He explained that the calling was to help flatten the curve: “We can’t rely on the doctors to help make us better or the hospitals to cure us, we all have to do our part.”


Door County Daily News

A Sturgeon Bay business has gone from outdoor signage and flags to masks and gowns. FLS Banners made the transition earlier this week from trade show supplies to producing medical supplies to help with urgent needs for hospitals while still staying financially sustainable. Due to the cancellation of national trade shows and sporting events, which was FLS’s primary source of income, owner Cain Goettleman decisively acted on three fronts. He says his company’s experience in importing through a robust Asian supply-chain will allow the eventual production of NIOSH-Approved N95 masks very shortly. Secondly, Goettleman says his staff came up with a creative way to make level one medical gowns.


Thirdly, Goettleman adds that FLS Banners has already come up with 40 personalized mask designs to help overcome the perceived stigma of wearing a mask in the U.S while helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The multi-size masks are reversible and designed to contour-fit your face with a wire-bridge.

 

About the Personal Fabric Face Masks

Our protective face masks are made with two-ply 100% polyester that is comfortable, breathable, and machine washable for reuse. The face masks, like all of our fabric products, are made right here in the USA. The soft brushed surface is so comfortable that you might forget you are wearing it. Our 70+ custom print designs use OEKO TEX approved dyes that are widely used for trusted apparel brands.

The face masks are available in 3 sizes and include a wire nose bridge just like professional surgical masks. This means that you will be able to find a mask that properly fits you for optimal comfort and sealing protection. Each mask earloop uses fabric ties to avoid discomfort from pulling around your ears.

In addition, the mask has a pocket for inserting an surgical mask or additional fabric for extra filtering.

Best of all, these masks can be machine washed. We recommend you treat these like your underwear and wash after each use.


SIZING: Small = Children / Medium = Teens and Most Women / Large = Most Males


We encourage everyone to follow the recent CDC guidelines. Please help prevent the spread of germs and viruses and wear a mask even if you are not sick or have any symptoms.

FLS Banners Face Mask Features:

  • Small = Children / Medium = Teens and Most Women / Large = Most Males
  • When in Doubt order up 1 size
  • The ultimate in personal expression
  • 2-Ply Mask with Internal Filter Pocket
  • Wire on Nose Bridge for improved fit and seal
  • 3 Sizes to ensure proper fit
  • Fabric Ties for all-day comfortable / No elastic around ears
  • Wear A Mask and Potentially Save Others
  • Due to the personal nature of this product returns are not accepted

 

What’s Next for FLS Banners?

As an essential business, FLS Banners is taking our responsibility to our community seriously. We will continue to make protective face masks and make them a fashion accessory that will encourage the public to wear for safety. We are also hard at work making NIOSH-approved N95 masks that will provide the maximum protection available for any mask in this category. Stay tuned for more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare professionals, such as masks and gowns.

Besides face masks, FLS Banners has also swiftly produced flags, banners, and tents for healthcare facilities to use in their time of need and take out, curbside delivery banners to restaurants to use in this time of need . These coronavirus signage are printed for drive through COVID-19 testing, reminding customers of maintaining social distancing guidelines by the CDC, and helpful take out and delivery signs for restaurants who are having to adjust with new guidelines.


Questions? Contact Us

We would like to remind you to please wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, stay home when possible, especially if you are sick.

From all of us at FLS Banners, we wish you good health and peace of mind.

Do you have questions about our products or have a specific need we can help fulfill? Contact our team, we are more than happy to help you in the face of these difficult circumstances.