In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Diana Coffield Baisa, founder of My Shield Masks, an Indiana-based face mask company with a fundraising program helping other small businesses. Listen in as Baisa discusses her career experience in apparel retail and entrepreneurship (0:48), how she pivoted to launch MyShield Masks when the coronavirus pandemic hit (3:02), and what makes her face masks unique.

In addition, Baisa shares how she managed to quickly grow the company to producing over 8,000 face masks a day, what aspects of her other businesses she was able to pull in as resources to help kick-start MyShield Masks (5:45), and how the company attained partnerships to supply face masks to large companies like Purell (9:39). She discusses the importance of U.S.-based manufacturing, high-quality materials and paying living wages (12:04), as well as the brand’s fundraising program helping other small businesses and organizations raise money with purchases of MyShield Masks products (15:47). Lastly, Baisa shares tips for other working mothers to stay sane and balanced during this challenging time, drawing from her experiences raising and homeschooling nine children while building her career (19:15); why her favorite employees have been successful mothers (21:01); and her goals for 2021 at MyShield Masks (23:57).

Diana Coffield Baisa has designed and produced show choir apparel for groups across the United States for more than 30 years. When the coronavirus started consuming headlines, she read the writing on the wall and knew she needed to pivot — and quickly — to make sure she could keep her business afloat. And so Baisa, who was accustomed to multitasking already, having raised nine children while running her successful business, founded MyShield Masks. Because she was already set up for customer design apparel in large quantities and had years of experience and an established chain of supply resources, the transition came swiftly. Originally set to produce 3,000 masks per day, with increasing demand and a diligent team, MyShield Masks has been able to produce more than 8,000 masks per day, shipping them out worldwide.

Date: February 9, 2021

Credits: Diana Coffield Baisa

Duration: 27:43