Johnson County Company Shifts Production From Mattress Springs To Face Masks
MAY 12, 2020 – 1:08 PM
KEENE (1080 KRLD) – A company in Johnson County that was planning to lay off its staff when COVID-19 hit has found a new purpose.
Texas Pocket Springs Tech has been building parts for mattresses in Keene since 2002. Owner Martin Wolfson says he was on pace for his most profitable year ever, but sales dropped 75 percent when the outbreak shut down stores.
“Therefore, our customers don’t have anybody buying mattresses. Therefore, they’re not buying innerspring units,” he says.
Wolfson says he was worried he would have to lay off his entire staff. He then read the same material used to make springs, polypropylene, is used to make protective masks.
Wolfson says Grandview Bank in Cleburne offered a loan so he could keep paying his staff. He says employees designed a machine to make masks, giving him the opportunity to keep one production line open.
“With everybody supporting us, all we had to do was try to figure out how we keep our business open, and what else can we do to help the community,” Wolfson says. “It’s very, very difficult to get good labor. The core of the people working for us have been working for us for 20 years. I’m sure they could go find a job somewhere else that pays more.”
Before moving to Keene, Texas Pocket Springs had operated in Mansfield for two years. Wolfson says he started making about 200 masks a day but can now produce about a thousand. He delivered the first batch to Keene Fire Rescue, followed by 1,000 masks to police, fire and EMS in Cleburne.
“We’re in a small community, and if we can’t rely on each other, I don’t know who we can rely on,” Wolfson says. “The fire chief from Keene has thanked us. The fire department from Cleburne, when they came to pick up the masks, they were absolutely so overwhelmed and very, very thankful.”
Wolfson says he is donating the masks to departments in Johnson County. With the loan, he says he had to cut overtime, but he is still able to pay his employees.
“To me, that sometimes means more than money,” he says. “You’re helping somebody, and they’re helping somebody else. You’re enabling somebody to do their job.”
Wolfson says he plans to apply for certification from the state as a healthcare product manufacturer.