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How one local business pivoted to help during the pandemic

How one local business pivoted to help during the pandemic
May 2020

Brackish Bow Ties founder returns goodwill

When Brackish co-founder Jeff Plotner learned that many of his employees were working after hours to make surgical masks for frontline medical workers treating patients of COVID-19, he saw an opportunity for his bow tie and accessories business to give back to the community that has embraced him. So in addition to its feather bow ties, earrings, and cuffs, Brackish’s 55 employees working remotely began making medical masks, which have been in high demand and short supply in the past months as the pandemic swept the country.

A portion of all online purchases goes to help fund the cost of labor, materials, and distribution. As of May 1, the business had donated more than 1,750 masks to local and regional hospitals, including MUSC, as well as senior centers. “When we say it comes from Brackish, it really comes from all the team members, not just the top,” Plotner says. “It’s trying to reciprocate all the goodwill we’ve received from the Charleston community.”

Masks By Makers from Brackish on Vimeo.

Plotner says Brackish has received requests for more than 1,000 masks from health facilities in Florida, Texas, Illinois, and Colorado. “We weren’t aware of how much of a need there actually was until we started doing it,” he says. “It has gotten to the point now where it’s more of a responsibility for us to do this.”

Brackish is also sending two free masks for personal protection with each online purchase of its accessories line. To donate, visit