The budding mask market can’t hide the satisfied smile on Jordan Schindler’s face.
Schindler, the founder and CEO of Nufabrx, has led his health and wellness business down the path of a poignant pivot amid the times of global pandemic.
Since debuting a potent pair of new mask products, Nufabrx has quickly complimented its thriving relief line to address user demand for a face covering which provides a combination of safety and skin care.
And to think, the company concept was borne out of a co-ed’s blemishes.
“It started for me back in college when I suffered from bad skin and my dermatologist told me that my pillowcase was one of the leading causes for my acne,” Schindler recalls. “Ultimately, he recommended that I wash my pillow case two or three times a week and as a college-aged male that was never gonna happen. Even today, that’s still never going to happen. But it got me thinking about how you can get a benefit from a garment or fabric which contacts your skin all day.”
Such thinking led to the founding Nufabrx in 2011. Ease of wellness led to the company’s patented and propriety creation of embedding ingredients into premium yarns, with the fabrics being the precursor for any product design. The technology enables products to deliver a controlled dose of pain relief ingredients through a garment, which Schindler likens to pixels on a screen, a process enabling with pinpoint precision where ingredients go into the textile.
Using all American-made materials and boasting all products made in the U.S.A. — and shipped from its North Carolina factory — Nufabrx’s introduction to the pain relief space was unveiled with its Capsaicin/Compression line, including knee, wrist and ankle sleeves.
“So instead of having to say ‘rub on a topical ointment,’ users get the pain relief benefit from putting on our braces or sleeves,” explains Schindler, emphasizing the washability of his products, which can go through 25 cycles without descent of effectiveness.
Discerning momentum for Nufabrx in the pain relief space need no further proof-of-purchase than the company’s spring debut at Walmart locations. “Which, as our buyer told us, was the worst time in retail history to launch a new retail product,” Schindler laughs. “We started by figuring out how we could help, amid all the uncertainty, and keeping our team focused on doing important and impactful work. It evolved beyond our wildest dreams.”
A national shortage of PPE products found Nufabrx assessing its definition of “healthware,” the company’s core term.
“In early March, we were approached about making a mask with the premise being that there was a global shortage of N-95 masks and doctors had to throw them out after each use, and were going through a dozen a day. The first question was, ‘Can we even make a mask?’ And then it was,’ Can we create and produce one in a way where it will have a broad and meaningful benefit?’ For us, it’s about helping on the health and wellness side; so, it wasn’t just about making a mask, but creating one which could be genuinely beneficial.” — Jordan Schindler
In short time, Nufabrx answered its internal questions with release of the TheraMask. The company created a reusable, anti-microbial CuTec copper-infused mask that individuals wash it at the end of the day. “It’s good for over 60 wash cycles,” Schindler says, adding that Bacterial Filtration Efficient testing (BFE) and Viral Filtration Efficient filtration (VFE) procedures and studies for the product proved on-par with the N-95. “We were able to provide these to regional police, fire, and elderly care facilities and also at a national level. Some surreal moments there – we had the federal government send three Blackhawk helicopters to our facility to pick up a quarter million masks.”
As the days of the novel coronavirus rooted further into lifestyles, Nufabrx recognized that one mask doesn’t fit all, and pivoted deeper into the PPE space. In September, the company unveiled Soliscia by Nufabrx, the market’s first-ever Shea Butter-infused face mask.
Soliscia – a combination of the Italian root word for “smooth,” and Latin word for “glowing” – debuted with a three-city release at dermatology clinics and plastic surgery facilities across the country.
“The product came from a need in the market,” Schindler says. “We felt uniquely positioned to be able to act on that. With our healthware technology, we wanted to take the same protection of our existing TheraMask, and add a moisturizing Shea Butter, creating filtration protection and also provide skin care at the same time.”
In concert with Schindler’s own skin experiences that led to his company’s beginnings, the Nufabrx CEO has, again, aptly-assess a product of need.
“We’ve all had to change our consumer behavior, and the vast majority of people aren’t used to wearing masks. And it’s created a new word, coined by the New York Times, called ‘Maskne,’ where the redness, dryness, irritation and bad skin is caused by having something on your face, like a mask, that you’re not used to wearing.”
Akin to all Nufabrx products, Soliscia is manufactured at an FDA-Accredited facility in North Carolina. Effective for over 30 wash cycles, the moisturizing mask has been fast lauded, eliciting a review from an Allure Magazine article, with the author stating: “I’m not gonna lie – the Soliscia may very well become my go-to face mask.”
Containing the same anti-microbial, copper-infused technology as its TheraMask predecessor, Soliscia proves a seminal combination of safety and comfort.
“It’s designed to be the most comfortable mask you can wear, with the Shea Butter on the entire inside, skin-contacting portion if the mask, from your chin to your cheeks,” Schindler says.
And while Schindler sees Nufabrx’s entry in the PPE space as a compliment to the company’s pain relief products, the mission remains the same for every thread of its journey.
“We’re committed to building upon the category of ‘healthware,’ creating products that can simplify health and wellness for consumers,” he concludes. “And there are certainly products in the PPE that make sense for us to continue to build-out and launch in the marketplace.”
Copyright © 2020 California Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.
This article was edited and published by Rick Weinberg, California Business Journal’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.
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(Photo: Nufabrx CEO Jordan Schindler)