Edina’s Gemini Athletic shifts from hockey jerseys to medical masks

Edina’s Gemini Athletic Wear makes jerseys for high schools and colleges all over the country.

"The first jersey we ever made was the University of North Dakota," Said president and CEO of Gemini Athletic Wear Chris Bonvino. "So, that’s always had a special place in my heart."

A healthcare company asked if their equipment could make medical masks.

They’d only done jerseys.

"We thought, you know what? We can do this anyway. We messed around, he and I came in, we messed with jersey fabrics. But, then figured, well, why don’t we do it the right way. It’s a lot of unknowns out there, but we’re gonna give it a shot."

They moved quickly, through unexpected challenges.

"I didn’t realize our supply chain is so weak," Chris said. "We literally can’t get the elastic. The fabric we were very fortunate to find this as well. We’re more, I guess you’d say ‘artists’ in terms of the jerseys we make, but, the process is similar."

With help from off-site sewers, they’ve been successful.

"We’re not going to be able to make a huge dent in this, but I think we could easily turn out 20, 30, possibly, 40 thousand masks. And help. You know, they want these masks."

To protect those most in need right now.

"My sister in law is on the front lines as a nurse, she found out we’re doing this," Bonvino said. "She’s appreciative. It’s a nice feeling to see that they’re the ones who are at risk. It’s small, but, it’s like what we can do to help. We’re pretty reasonably safe here. If we can do something to help, that’s great. There’s a good feeling to that."

Good feelings in these tough times.