Industry Updates: COVID-19

Leather Shop Jumps into Face Shield Production

Clayton & Crume commits to make 500,000+ face shields to protect healthcare workers


Clayton & Crume, known for handcrafted leather belts, bags, wallets and coasters, has joined the fight against COVID-19. “Our workspace sat silent, an engine of potential waiting to be put to use again,” said co-owner Tyler Jury. “We wanted to figure out a way to make a difference, even if a small one, while our workshop and retail store were shut down.”

After hearing about the critical shortage of PPE devices, Jury, who is also a Louisville dentist, remembered the safety mask he used during dental school. Jury and co-owner Clay Simpson sourced fabrics, padding, plastics, foam and other materials from around the city and created a prototype for a face shield that features a plastic cover, a thick foam forehead strip and an elastic strap. The piece is meant to protect doctors and nurses from infection by shielding their faces from sneezes and coughs from sick patients.

Their initial goal was to make 1,000 face shields by the end of the week, but within 24 hours they received a call from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office with an order for a half-million of the plastic face shields. Production begins this week at a special 20,000-square-foot production facility in Louisville.

“We’re eager to put our skills to use in the fight against COVID-19 and to help play a small role in keeping the state we love safe,” Simpson said. “Clayton & Crume began with a mission to make leather goods that last. While we anxiously wait for life to return to ‘normal,’ we are responding to the challenge that lies ahead with that same spirit and intention – to create by hand what is tested and lasting.”