When life served up lemons, business owner Alyce Kielman decided to make lemonade.
Kielman, founder and CEO of KAT Marketing Group, a promotional products marketing and branding company based in South Florida, has adapted to the challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic. Today, her business is staying busy providing hospitals, restaurants, hotels and other employers with potentially life-saving masks, anti-microbial gel, gloves and acrylic shield for store check-out counters, and other protective equipment.
Kielman launched KAT Marketing Group in 1994 after working as a hotel marketing executive and teaching marketing at Florida International University. Over the years, she forged strong relationships with suppliers of thousands of products ranging from golf balls to Waterford Crystal, all of which can be customized with her customers’ corporate logos.
When her suppliers let her know they had adjusted their business models and were now focused on providing personal protective equipment (PPE), Kielman realized she was in a unique position to help.
“When the pandemic started, people didn’t know where to get protective equipment. And what became quickly available wasn’t always from reputable companies,” says Kielman. “I did a lot of research and realized that I could help fill a need. Helping people is the name of the game.”
Kielman quickly became an expert on the various levels of quality in the PPE industry. Since March, KAT Marketing Group has been providing PPE to hospitals, doctors, dentists, hotels, restaurants and a number of other industries. She has shipped as far away as Colorado and Mexico.
“The N95 particulate respirator made by 3M is the gold standard for protection from airborne threats,” explains Kielman. “It’s a surgical-grade mask that captures even the tiniest droplets and has been certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Most of these are used by Health professionals rather than the general public. In comparison, the KN95 mask, which is considered medical-grade, is recommended for the general public.”
Presently, a single N95 might fetch as much as $10-15 apiece, whereas a KN95 goes for about $3-4 each. The accordion paper types of masks cost as little as $1, when bought in bulk.
“What’s important is that all of the above are better than cloth masks or bandannas, which must be washed and don’t filter nearly as effectively,” says Kielman. “Personally, I never step out of my house without an KN95 mask on my face. Wearing a bandanna or neck gaiter might be fashionable, but they don’t guarantee safety.”
While PPE represents the lion’s share of KAT Marketing Group’s business, the company is still one of Florida’s leading provider of promotional items. One of the most interesting is a water bottle that has a battery-powered ultraviolet light on the inside, which purifies the water in less than five minutes. It can be charged by USB cable attached to a computer and can include a company’s name and logo on the side, of course.
For more information about ordering PPE or promotional products, please contact KAT Marketing Group at: