To help us stay positive during these challenging times of mostly bad news, we’re sharing uplifting stories happening right here in Orange County. Be sure to check out the May issue of Orange Coast for many such profiles; in the meantime, we offer a few tidbits to make you happy now. Check our homepage each day for O.C. Steps Up—anecdotes about your neighbors doing whatever they can to lift the community.
Lucy’s Tailoring is donating thousands of non-medical face masks to Huntington Beach residents, first responders, and their families. After shuttering his shops across O.C. as a non-essential business, owner Harry Guldjian wanted to keep his staff on payroll. So, he dropped off sewing machines, materials, and equipment to his tailors and seamstresses who wanted to help produce masks from home. In two weeks, his staff made 7,000 100-percent cotton, double-layered, washable masks. The family-owned business has been part of the community for almost 30 years.
Your staff made the switch from tailoring to producing masks. How were you able to produce so many in two weeks?
We have over 25 tailors between all three of our locations. Everyone worked hard as time is of the essence in getting these masks to our community. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any supplies ready on hand. All materials and supplies were purchased from local supply houses at a premium due to demand.
Why was it important for you to keep your staff on payroll?
Our staff is like family. Most have been with us since the beginning and they support their entire family working for us. I couldn’t imagine if I had to explain to my own children the instability of what’s next.
What do you love most about being based in Huntington Beach, and what are some of the things you miss most about it during this time of social distancing?
We are a tight community. I can’t wait to see all our staff and clients. Being a local business for over 30 years, we have seen our clients get married, have children, and then tailored (their children’s) prom outfits. It’s hard to explain, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s something that can’t be (experienced through) Zoom.
What is your hope for your business after this is all over?
I know we will do just fine, even if it’s not back to the same volume. We will all work hard and count our blessings.
For more uplifting stories, head to orangecoast.com/ocstepsup.