You oughta know: Jordan Schindler
Jordan Schindler is a 28-year-old CEO whose Conover-based Nufabrx is making reusable copper medical masks for first responders. It’s a pivot for the company which has proprietary technology that embeds active ingredients including vitamins, supplements and medications into fabrics. The business recently delivered more than 250,000 TheraMasks to the Washington, D.C., National Guard, which was authorized by the capital city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, to distribute the products in response to the coronavirus. The masks are durable enough for 30 washes, Schindler says.
Business North Carolina asked Schindler about his career and plans for Nufabrx.
Why did Washington, D.C., become such a big client?
For us, it’s all about under-promise and over-deliver. Sourcing of PPE is the wild West, with numerous overseas customers not delivering or unable to produce the products they’ve sold. It started with delivering on smaller local N.C. orders (we supplied Catawba County EMS, police and fire with TheraMasks) and it kept getting passed up the chain from there. Having a quality product and living up to promises means even more in the midst of this terrible pandemic. Our appearance on Fox News certainly helped as well.
What is your connection to North Carolina?
None! I moved to North Carolina solely for the textile industry and the manufacturing connections that this area offered. I searched numerous other states, but this was absolutely the best fit of existing resources and partnerships. I grew up in Arizona, went to college at University of Washington in Seattle, where I started the company from my dorm room, and then quickly moved to Charlotte right after graduation.
Do you come from an entrepreneurial family?
Not in the traditional sense, but my family is definitely all outside-the-box thinkers. My mom is a doctor. and my dad runs a nonprofit. Not sure where the rest of the entrepreneurial passion came from. I remember from an early age always trying to sell all my parents’ worldly possessions at garage sales in order to make extra money. An early trip as a 10-year-old to an electronic market overseas in Hong Kong furthered the pursuit. I was able to purchase MP3 players at wholesale costs and resell them online for a significant profit.
What has your experience been like in North Carolina?
Phenomenal: Great weather, food, a resurging textile infrastructure and booming entrepreneurial scene. No better place to be.
What work is done in Conover and Asheboro?
We are based in Conover, where our Manufacturing Solutions Center functions as our R&D/prototyping facility, and also third-party testing lab for validation. Asheboro is where we do our ISO 13485 manufacturing in partnership with Bossong Medical and other local knitters and sewers.
How many do you employ?
We literally grew 50% in the last week, and are now up to 15. It’s time to find an HR person.
Who owns the business?
All employees have ownership in the company, as well as some private local investors, including the Charlotte Angel Fund.
What is the price point of these masks?
It’s $29.99 to consumers (buy one, give one to first responders), and we also offer discounts for bulk government and first-responder orders. Priced at $1 per day, it’s much cheaper overall than the disposable masks that need to be thrown away after every daily use. It’s also much better for the environment.