The sudden shutdown wreaked havoc on our way of life and businesses of all sizes in a matter of a day, the day we all remember, the day the first stay-at-home order was issued. As a company, what do you do to survive? For Toddy Gear, survival meant pivoting. Company founder and CEO Todd Gabel had to act quickly to keep the company's employees working when almost every phone call was a customer needing to cancel an order. It started with pivoting to survive and evolved to long-term planning for resilience and growth.
In 2010 Toddy Gear opened its doors with a focus on manufacturing and decorating microfiber products. To succeed, they become experts in sewing, decorating, and design. They invested in machinery and expert sewing staff. With time Toddy Gear expanded its product lines and shifted its product offering from solely microfiber products to include hard goods that use different decoration methods. With the expanded product offering, Toddy Gear diversified its manufacturing operations to multiple facilities worldwide while focusing its USA facility on decorating hard goods and promotional products that do not require sewing.
Once the shutdown hit, Toddy Gear chose to survive. To do so, they needed to regroup. On a company conference call, they announced that they would furlough all of their employees except for the leadership team and a skeleton crew of two. At the same time, Toddy Gear committed to getting back up and running within four weeks.
Shortly after this meeting Vice President, Jason Emery and the founder Todd Gabel got together with their top sewer on a Thursday afternoon and built a mask out of microfiber material that they used to make many of their other products. The next day, Friday, they met again and finalized the mask. Photos of the mask were taken with an iPhone on a Saturday. On Sunday, the marketing team worked on a campaign. On Monday, Toddy Gear released the mask, and within a week, they had 100% of their employees back.