Brooklyn Small Business Reinvents to Become a Manufacturing Plant for COVID-19 PPE

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When the design couple, George Coffin & Jillian Wiedenmayer, moved into their Brooklyn apartment three years ago, he was creating furniture and objects for young companies and she was designing residential and hospitality spaces throughout the East Coast. But in the recent months, things have changed rather drastically for the design couple, who have now transformed their design business, Studio Den Den, into a small scale manufacturing plant for COVID-19 Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

So far, they’ve created more than 1000 face shields and will be doubling their output speed with the addition of 4 new 3D printers by the end of this month.

We quickly saw how dire the situation was becoming and it was glaringly obvious that we had the skills and the passion to satiate this need for producing safety equipment. We are both very hands-on but our core values really align when it comes to community. It just was the next obvious step says Coffin.

Studio Den Den is run out of their shared home studio on the second floor of a Neo-Grec style row house in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Covering the work tables and surfaces are prototypes and 3d printed models of everything from soap dishes to miniature high-rise buildings. Working in physical model is very important to us both, it’s how we think, says Coffin.

The couple was working on a new line of lighting products to be launched at this year’s New York Design Week, when COVID-19 destabilized all future plans. We quickly saw how dire the situation was becoming and it was glaringly obvious that we had the skills and the passion to satiate this need for producing safety equipment. We are both very hands-on but our core values really align when it comes to community. It just was the next obvious step says Wiedenmayer.

Once news spread about the couple’s new initiative, We started getting emails from hospitals, nursing homes, first-responders and family members of overworked hospital staff all around the US, she said.

We are prioritizing providing PPE to underprivileged hospitals in the New York City area. But we’ve also connected with a number of other designers and volunteers with 3D printers, who we are working with to get up and running. Hopefully within a few weeks there will be a dozen more home design studios building PPE just like us,” says Wiedenmayer.


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