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AUBURN – Peter “Mack” Maciulewicz has all the time believed that his enterprise ought to be versatile.
And Mack Studios has change into precisely that since Peter’s late father, Casimir, based the corporate in his storage in 1965. The shows and different merchandise he designs and manufactures will be discovered on flooring of outlets, museums, commerce reveals and extra. Casimir, after which Peter, believed in versatility, as a result of if one in every of these areas of labor slows down, the others can assist the corporate take over.
This may occasionally have been more true than ever for Mack Studios because the COVID-19 pandemic started in the USA in March.
“We began out as a commerce present firm, however we’ve not performed one in 12 months,” Maciulewicz informed The Citizen throughout a go to to the corporate in February.
“However we had our greatest yr final yr.”
Mack Studios had its greatest yr of 2020 as a result of it had the expertise and the expertise – and the flexibility – to adapt to the adjustments introduced by COVID-19, Maciulewicz mentioned.
Specifically, the Auburn firm began manufacturing private protecting gear nearly instantly after the beginning of the pandemic. First, he produced 100 face shields which he donated to the Auburn Hearth Division in early April. Citizen protection of the donation led to an gear order of $ 250,000, Maciulewicz mentioned.
Subsequent, Mack Studios developed a line of protecting shields to be used in bars, convention rooms, lobbies and different shut quarters. And that led to the corporate making about $ 1.5 million in enterprise final yr, with the identical quantity forecast for this yr. A single cellphone firm is spending $ 1 million to outfit its name middle with Mack Shields for its staff, Maciulewicz mentioned.
“It simply reveals our capabilities,” he mentioned. “That we have been capable of maintain working, after which exit to our prospects and simply be related, and get folks to work.”
This yr, Mack Studios will construct on that momentum for a $ 1.38 million enlargement. It is going to add 25,000 sq. toes of storage to a close-by 50,000 sq. foot facility already utilized by Know-how Park Boulevard. The enlargement has obtained website plan approval and will probably be supported by $ 205,899 in exemptions from the Auburn Industrial Growth Authority. Maciulewicz thanked the authority, in addition to the Cayuga Financial Growth Company, for his or her assist. Building of the enlargement is scheduled for spring and summer season.
The enlargement will even create six full-time jobs at Mack Studios over the subsequent three years. Maciulewicz mentioned the corporate has misplaced 10 folks from its standard workforce of 65, however he expects these folks to return now as the corporate “involves life.” This workforce contains designers, engineers, technicians and extra, all of whom share the flexibility to assist Mack Studios understand their purchasers’ visions.
“The folks listed below are very proficient, however they know the bar may be very excessive. In the event that they need to keep right here, they’ve to achieve that bar,” he mentioned. “And generally they go previous it, which is nice.”
This expertise has the most recent expertise at its disposal, equivalent to a CNC fiber optic laser machine able to reducing 1 inch metal with a failure charge of lower than 5%. With these sources, Mack Studios was capable of make their shields extra than simply limitations towards the virus. Along with assembly this fundamental want, they provide each comfort and aesthetics.
The corporate’s helm shields, for instance, have swivel joints in order that they are often deployed or not relying on whether or not the folks on both facet are strangers or acquaintances. Its desktop screens are outfitted with metallic brackets in order that they connect to the highest of the partitions, with out the necessity for screws or adhesives. And its shields will be made with translucent graphics, such because the entrance of a hearth truck on a kids’s desk display that folds up and has a deal with for straightforward transport to and from faculty, or foliage. tropical on the wheeled room dividers that Bijou Salon Skaneateles purchased into.
The dividers are additionally in use on the downtown restaurant Osteria Salina, the place Maciulewicz beta examined the protect line, he mentioned. The restaurant additionally makes use of Mack’s bar shields. Maciulewicz mentioned the corporate is promoting these shields to a distributor in Syracuse, so he isn’t all the time positive the place they are going – like The Krebs in Skaneateles, the place he was pleasantly shocked to see them weeks in the past.
As orders from Mack Shields poured in, the corporate seemed for different methods to make use of its sources to fulfill wants throughout COVID-19. Maciulewicz mentioned he has researched and invested in ultraviolet expertise, which might kill the virus, for potential use in future Mack Studios merchandise. However he finally dropped the thought as a consequence of legal responsibility points and the expertise’s low adoption charge.
The corporate’s distance studying workplace has been extra profitable. By the top of final yr, he designed, manufactured and delivered 100 to a number of faculty districts in Cayuga County, and is prepared for extra, Maciulewicz mentioned.
As for Mack Shields, Maciulewicz sees no have to disappear. Even after most individuals have been vaccinated towards COVID-19, he believes masks, shields and different safety will proceed for use as a result of method efficient they’ve confirmed themselves towards the flu this season. Both method, he believes greater than ever that his enterprise is flexible sufficient to deal with it.
“We went from a designer with a boutique to an establishment,” he mentioned. “And I do not suppose that is the top of what this firm is able to doing.”
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