We started a mask company during a pandemic. A 2020 review and look ahead.
We launched Cheekies just five and a half months ago, amidst a global pandemic, and have been heads down ever since—so we wanted to take this opportunity to pause, and share with you who we are, our why, how we're doing it, and what we've accomplished so far.
But first, a sneak peak into what's to come from Cheekies in early-2021:
- Improved sizing and fit, including kids sizes (by popular request).
- Disposable filter inserts to offer even more safety and protection.
- An all-new mask design, with new features and colors we think you'll love.
We can't wait to share these updates with you. Look out for an announcement from us in the coming weeks. If you have any ideas or feedback, we'd love to hear from you—email us at email@example.com.
Who we are
We’re Dave and Tricia, a husband and wife team. We grew up in Ann Arbor, MI, and currently live in San Francisco, CA with our 3-year old border collie (Chance) and first born due in March.
Dave’s background is in tech and entrepreneurship, with a resumé that reads like an episode from HBO’s Silicon Valley: enterprise software, cryptocurrency, quantum computing, and founding a startup in 2015 backed by Y Combinator.
Tricia’s a pediatric nurse practitioner, currently on maternity leave, with experience working at top children’s hospitals including UCSF, Stanford, and University of Michigan.
Cheekies began as an email list with a small group of friends and family, and since then we've grown our community all over the world. We’ve gotten to know many of you over email and social media, and amongst you are:
- Teachers. Nurses. Doctors. Social workers. First responders. Researchers.
- Small business owners. Public officials. Venture capitalists. CEOs and executives of Fortune 500 companies.
- Stylists. Fitness trainers. Athletes. Florists. Chefs. Hoteliers.
- Artists. Authors. Journalists. Podcasters. Actors. Filmmakers. Builders.
- Working parents juggling the added responsibilities of childcare.
- Professionals adjusting to a new remote work life.
We’re humbled to have the support of such an amazing community; we don't take your trust and support for granted.
Why we’re doing this
Cheekies was born out of the pandemic, to help save lives through masking. Our mission is to make a mask that people love, to help them live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.
We were also born during a pivotal time in our fight against climate change. We believe masks are more important than ever to help protect us from the adverse health effects caused by this crisis, such as an increased frequency of infectious disease, wildfires, and polluted air.
And last but not least, we were born during a time of social unrest. We're passionate about these issues and believe that companies and leaders have a responsibility to become a platform for change.
The pandemic. Climate change. Social justice. These are our why.
How we’re doing it
We started Cheekies by listening to what you want in a mask, and we continue to read every piece of feedback. We obsess over the details. Every millimeter and thread is digitally knit to spec for a consistent, precise, and technical design. We're constantly experimenting and challenging ourselves to keep improving our product and how we operate.
Every Cheekies mask is made using premium recycled fiber and zero-waste 3d-knitting manufacturing. We neutralize carbon emissions for every order we ship, and use eco-friendly packaging solutions whenever possible. A portion of our proceeds from every mask sold is donated to the ACLU Foundation to help support their efforts for social justice. And while we're still in the early stages, we're in the process of working to become a certified B Corp to hold ourselves accountable and transparent as we continue to grow.
What we’ve accomplished in 2020
We launched Cheekies on July 15, 2020. Since then, we've shipped thousands of masks across six different countries.
Small businesses and Fortune 500 companies have trusted Cheekies to provide their teams with custom-branded masks to keep them safe and productive.
Select retailers have began selling Cheekies in their stores (often by appointment), to their local communities.
And collectively, as a community, we've made some early contributions through our sustainability and social justice commitments, including:
- Protected an estimated 1,915.9 m² area of a vulnerable section of the Amazon Rainforest through carbon-neutral shipping.
- Donated a portion of our proceeds from every mask sold to ACLU Foundation, supporting their efforts for social justice.
- Reduced the excess waste and carbon emissions generated by traditional clothing and apparel brands who use cut-and-sew manufacturing, with products bulk imported from overseas.
- Avoided the pollution caused by disposable masks that are increasingly washing up on our shorelines and littering our parks.
But most importantly, by the simple act of wearing a mask, you could be saving the life of someone in your neighborhood, a colleague, a friend, or a family member. You're helping a small business owner reopen sooner, and bringing furloughed or laid off workers back to work safely.
While the vaccine gives us all hope and encouragement, now is not the time to start letting up. We're close. We got this.
Thanks for masking.
Dave & Tricia
Special thanks to many people, including:
- Our friends and family who supported us early on (you know who you are)
- Niki for your amazing eye for design and photography
- Brian for your coaching and support
- Maleah for being awesome (keep coding)
- Access Uniforms for your help with our corporate clients
- Deb, Jessica, and Ride Oakland for being the first to help kick start our fitness studio partnerships
- Our manufacturing partners for taking measures to stay open and help us make sustainable masks in the USA
- Steve and Emily, whose partnerships and contributions helped bring Cheekies to life.