Rewind to 2018, the company could hardly keep their popular jeans, chinos, and long-sleeve shirts on the shelves of their stores. Growth was outpacing their capacity to manage production, distribution, and sales. The company was over its head and needed to anticipate to meet customer demand or they would suffer financial consequences.
“Having the products we need at the right time in the right place improves sales, helps us grow, and creates jobs.”- Beatriz Yoc, Human Resources Manager
USAID’s CEO project empowered Distefano to respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic by producing a face mask that helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, addressing a public health requirement in Guatemala, and keeping their staff employed.
“We have the production skills because of the technology that USAID’s Creating Economic Opportunities project funded, so we decided to act during the COVID-19 crisis .” - Kozina, owner and general manager
Currently, their employees are using proper health and safety measures, like physical distancing from one another while working, to produce 3,500 face masks per day, but could increase capacity to 10,000 per day if the need arises. Due to USAID’s support, Distefano is able to quickly and effectively respond to the challenges presented by the pandemic, producing a product that is in demand and making sure their employees continue to be able to provide for their families.