Hi everyone this is Sean SPM as I’m known in a few circles and welcome to the INNERView…and a brand new segment we are calling LET’S FACE IT
This is a podcast where we have typically spoken with musicians and a lot of people in the entertainment industry and so forth. And in general, it’s been a series of interviews conducted with a variety of interesting people talking about interesting stuff
I have spent the bulk of my life in the entertainment industry it has been a pleasure to get to do work with and around talented people.
Just take our last video which was way back in 2017 as an example… where we were back-stage at the Commodore for a very special tribute to our friend John Mann singer of Spirit of the West and interviewed every single Canadian musician we could find and you might recognize a couple!
Anyway, that was then ladies and gentlemen and this is now …and wow have things changed for me over this past year.
Let me explain..!
I went from marketing websites for music festivals and concerts for the past decade has worked with literally hundreds of rock bands and music acts as well as companies that sell things like expensive Italian shoes. The things guys gotta do to make a buck.
And while I am still working with all of the above, I have seriously shifted my focus to marketing PPE.
Say whaa..?!! crickets.
And if right now…you’re asking how the heck will he be able to bring some perspective to surgical masks any way right..!?
I am a mere musician marketing guy…as you can see around me, but I’m actually the Marketing director of the mask start-up called Crown Mutual Group. And I’m the creator of everything digital and tangible in printed form for the company.
In fact, yours truly created the official company website starting with the logo up, all of the branding that leads into designing packaging for all of the different levels of masks we manufacture. Even designed the cases that need to compliant with shipping regulation.
It’s been a lot of work.
But in a nutshell, I bring my experience in digital marketing and graphic design, web and media relations to the table, not to mention I’m also a filmmaker and can edit a mile a minute, I like to make podcasts and typically make myself very useful.
I can’t tell you how much joy I got out designing and producing this kind of stuff… it just never gets old for me.
So there it is. Yes, PPP is now king! Long Live the king.
I’m talking about this stuff.. ( show masks)
I’m talking about these things..
If you are asking yourself how the hell does he plan to make the stuff they wear at hospitals interesting?? Well sir I say to you…behold!!
Turns out there is much knowledge to be conveyed on surgical masks and other things that safe people from deadly viruses known as Personal Protective Equipment.
And since it’s the one thing we all have in common these days I thought I would shed a little light on a few things I picked up in my personal pivot into this PPE world and essentially, I want to talk about what I’ve learnt this past year.
Like ..What IS exactly involved in making effective and certified face mask protection?
Right down to the raw materials and the equipment used to manufacture the stuff. How do actually know what good raw materials are.. and why you need to care.??
I can tell you that …! First hand and introduce to others that can explain.
And the fact of the matter is I have been immersed in this amazing new company and it’s been a thrill ride working my team. This past year we have all been working our butts off to bring our vision to life and we picked up a few things along the way we can certainly pass along in hindsight and the experience we have now..
And of course, knowledge is power and with that power great responsibility. Which I really have no idea connects to this…it just sounded good.
The point is I’ve been fortunate enough to have be a part of a dynamic team of fellows that ..to make a long story short… took a dive nose first into the world of making PPE.
In particular surgical masks. And certified ASTM level masks meant for hospital professionals. We take incredible measures to lift the quality of what we are doing to the highest standards which have involved committing thousands of dollars in testing and certification of our products.. if this sounds like a hard thing to do.. well let me tell you.. yeah it was.
One of the first people I look forward to speaking with is my colleagues in this Ray Serion, and Alex Liu who are the founders and owners of the company
With Ray our sales guru…and Alex Liu our chief manufacturing engineer and product design specialist among other things.
Ray has really been connecting the dots for us as we build out a serious network of distributors and establish ourselves with industries across the private sector as an authority for the highest quality PPE available in Canada.
He founded Crown Mutual Group, and over this past year, we have worked super hard to adapt to a might steep learning curve involving compliance with medical licenses, understanding the supply chains and arranging to import medical goods and services including manufacturing equipment from China.
Alex Lui on the other hand is a brilliant entrepreneur who has steered headed the manufacturing aspect of the business. His connections in China have led Crown to the best equipment and materials out there. And we have been able to import over a dozen of these machines not just for ourselves but for our clients.
Alex and his skilled team are now experts in making these machines purr like the Ferraris they were meant to be. Alex can get the machines to exceed 200 masks per minute.
Wait a minute that’s a lot of masks! Ahh yeah.
Not to mention he was able to improve on the design of the mask and we have a superior folding loop design everyone loves!
We all started this company from the ground up …and so everything involved from the branding all the way to the specific types of masks we have rolling of our machines, to who we are selling them to it’s been a great big learning process.
All of us around here are quite proud of the knowledge we’ve picked up along the way.
Ask me 10 months ago what a BFE test is.. ?? Or how to differentiate between an ASTM Level 1 – 3 mask..???
I’d of a looked at you sideways… And I still might. Who’s asking?!!
So we kind of feel like scientists a bit.. Not really…but we do have lab coats.
Anyway…my point being we have touched all aspects of this business and it’s been an amazing learning experience if anything. We’ve met some interesting characters and professionals in this space, others who also answered the call of the government at its most heightened hour of desperation.
Real people… who stepped up to not only do the right thing but also attempt to pivot a business model in attempts to not go under financially and try to sustain a lively hood through the pandemic shutdown of everything else basically.
As you’ll find out as we unravel some of this it hasn’t necessarily worked out for everybody.
What was originally a dog’s breakfast of companies who applied for the temporary licence required to handle medical products, has now seen a huge drop-off as a lot of companies have not been able to hold out for government contracts and competing with big box takes bigger pockets than most.
So, we’re going to get a perspective on what that looks like for those who may have come and gone, and others who are trying to hold on…interesting to hear what strategy and path they have had to take to stay afloat in the PPE space in Canada.
And we’ll look into how the government of Canada has handled the brand-new PPE industry now at its doorstep. Complete with an abundance of millions and millions of Canadian-made certified masks gowns and other forms of PPE on the ground and ready to be shipped to… well…Canadians!!
And not a PO in site to back them up. Why is this? Why are government agencies seemingly still buying from foreign markets and under-cutting a market they asked us to prop up for them tut suite..!!
We’re going to talk to some supply chain brokers in Saskatchewan and Ontario and others manufacturing masks and other items on how they have been directly affected by this and exactly what they are doing about it.
We’ve already read mainstream media reporting on the mishandling of public funds in the millions being spent on PPE that was recalled and money and resources wasted.
In fact, we’re hearing there is an abundance of unworthy products from all over the country.
And people have had to tolerate this level of insufficiency over the past year. And as this thing drags on.. a lot of people are becoming more aware. As they should.
Because Let’s face it ..we’ve all had to get a little educated on face masks.
There’s been plenty of government PSA’s on how a mask should be 3-ply. Also, what makes up an N95 respirator and the flood of fakes in circulation. People are more aware that there is a difference in quality, and they want better protection now that they know.
I can also help you with this..!!
We’ll talk to some professionals we have met along the way and get another first-hand account of the landscape that is testing and certification of the raw materials and the other factors that go into getting a mask to an ASTM standard.
We’ll also go deep into some of the controversy around the government and Health Canada working trying to establish its own international standards. And how that may or may not compete or clash with existing organizations like NIOSH or the ( National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health ) which is a United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. And the one and only authorized facility to allow N95 and other regulated medical devices to enter the market.
So what the problem there you ask.. ?
Well since they are American, and we are in a pandemic… there are two problems actually.
There is a long queue for what is a comprehensive and involved process and secondly, they seem to not be in a hurry to give any sort of priority over an American counterpart needing the valuable certification completed so they can bring their product to market, and this has created a huge amount of backlog for companies.
That said, well get a POV of how this all works from our new colleague Elon at Kinectric Labs in Ontario.
Crown Mutual Group has committed all of our testings to the great talent over at the Kenectrics laboratories and it would seem the federal government does as well because Kenectrics are the contracted facility that carrying out the new guidelines set by Health Canada.
It’s really fascinating stuff because it’s happening in real-time and there are things and people and tech being brought together at breakneck speed in order to meet the crisis.
I mean just to stand back a moment and realize… from the standpoint of the world mobilizing to a new level of problem-solving dealing with a global issue where the stakes are so high, it’s the stuff invention is born out of and if you look back historically it was typically after any kind of downturn in society it tends to swing back around into a need to create new ways of doing things.
And not to mention a time where a lot of creativity is born and inspired art is abundant.
Just tell me what you think most of this planet has been doing stuck inside for the past year.. Making stuff.!!
Music Literature, …cooking blogs.. online dancing…painting landscapes.. whatever… you just know we have a lot of closets “Robert Normans Rosses” out there and now they’ve had plenty of time to practice. Apps, Games and other tech to have time to incubate while we do nothing.. with the latest thing being NFTs
On this front, we’re going to get an American take on the pandemic from our colleague and confidant Mr. Richard Kern. Richard Kern is a director of a US public company called One World Ventures Inc.. or OWVI by which they are listed on the OTC. OWVI is a holding company with an invested interest in multiple sectors including Health and Wellness and other emerging industries involving Green Energy and BlockChain Technologies.
So Richard Kern is always good for the most in-depth understanding and analysis of the world we know, Richard has also been working directly with Crown Mutual Group on getting masks into the United States and that has been a process. We’re going to ask him where he thinks we may be headed with all this stuff. And of course, broadcasting from his Hq in Nevada we can’t get enough of the stores that come out of Vegas!!
He doesn’t really have any of those.
Ok so that’s what we are working on coming up for you on the INNER view and our new Segment was going to call Let’s Face It. I can’t wait to get started…I hope you’ll click in and check it out!
Thanks and see you soon SPM out!