Bolder Athletic Wear makes masks for healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 07, 2020

PLANT CITY, Fla. -- A local company delivered more than 10,000 masks to healthcare workers in the Tampa Bay area.

Bolder Athletic Wear, located in Plant City, retrained its employees to make masks.

The company usually makes workout clothes.

"Naturally, people don't want athletic wear right now because their gyms are closed or all the races and marathons have been canceled," said Leah Powell, CEO of Bolder Athletic Wear.

Powell said sales have declined since COVID-19 cases have increased across the state.

"Normally, this time of year we travel to different fitness expos where marathons and half marathons take place," said Powell.

Powell said she did not want to lay off employees so the company taught them to make medical masks.

Nearly 10,000 masks have been delivered to BayCare nurses and doctors.

"It's brilliant because it's so needed right now. People are calling us all the time can we get masks even friends of mine who work in hospitals," said Powell.

William Gonzalez cuts the fabric for each mask. He retired from the Army after nearly 20 years. He said this is his opportunity to give back.

"I was always on the other side where I was supported whether it was by care packages, letters and things like that. It's nice to be able to payback the community and do something for them," said Gonzalez.

The company continues to make masks. Bolder Athletic Wear is focused on making another 2,500 masks for first responders like firefighters.

"Everything we do here is by hand and 10,000 might be something that is used up in no time, but every little bit counts," said Gonzalez.

"It's a privilege," he added.

For more information on Bolder Athletic Wear visit: