Beeze Tees pivots to make masks and help small businesses

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Beeze Tees has pivoted to the mask business to retain employees and supply masks, which are in demand. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NHBeeze Tees screen printing has been in business for almost 10 years and when things started to take a turn for the worst due to the novel coronavirus, owner Tim Pipp and his staff came up with some ways to help local businesses and keep some his staff employed.

Beeze Tees is a custom apparel and printing business that opened its second retail store and showroom on Hanover Street in Manchester in February. Weeks after opening, Beeze Tees had to temporarily close both of its retail locations in Keene and Manchester due to the closing of retail stores and non-essential businesses. With the closure of both stores they temporarily laid off 12 of their 17 employees.

The company came up with two strategies to keep its production facility and a handful of employees up and running. The first is manufacturing face masks for $4 a mask. If you don’t need masks, you can opt donate a quantity of masks to someone else.

“We have all of this equipment and I knew face masks are hard to come by and people were sewing them on sewing machines at home. Embroidery is basically like a big industrial sewing machine and after doing a lot of research, T-shirts are a good material to make face masks with and we have plenty of those,” Pipp said.

T-shirt material works well for protective masks. Courtesy Photo

They came up with a design and over a couple of weeks, made some prototypes for making masks on the equipment and then launched a website. The website was an overnight success selling over 1,000 masks within the first few days. Beeze Tees is only charging the cost of the mask and their goal is to keep employees working and to get as many masks to people who need them as possible. To date, Beeze Tees has made around 1,600 masks and plans to donate over 500 within the next few weeks to front line workers.

“I have also shared our design file and taught over 30 other embroidery companies all over the world how to make masks on their equipment.” They can make about 200 masks a day.

While busy making masks on their embroidery equipment Beeze Tees found a way to keep their printing equipment busy and help organizations and small businesses raise money.

They can make money by selling shirts with their logo on them with virtually no work or money upfront to the business owner or organization.

“Basically you send us your logo, we put it up on the site, then you share the link to your customers, employees, friends, family or whoever else would buy the shirt,” said Pipp. Beeze Tees will handle the rest from processing cards, handling orders and of course printing then they are shipping them for free. Once it is all said and done, the business or organization gets $10 from each shirt sale. The other $10 goes to the cost of making the shirt.

“It’s a pretty simple way to make money, we have had some businesses make $300-$500 so far,” Pipp said.

To be added to the site you can email Pipp at tpipp@beezetees.com. To see the growing list of businesses and to support them you can go to nh.deco-apparel.com.

You can order masks or donate to help get masks to people who need them at thetshirtmask.deco-apparel.com. (Note that masks come in a variety of colors, but your color is chosen randomly).