When the COVID-19 epidemic hit the U.S., Alexa Adams ’98 knew she was in a unique position to help those on the front lines. As a 20-year fashion industry veteran, she has extensive supply-chain experience and a global network of manufacturers, shippers, and more—know-how and connections she believed she could leverage to help hospitals and governments secure desperately needed personal protective equipment (PPE).
When two of Adams’ partner factories in China shared that they were ramping up production of FDA- and CE-certified PPE earlier this spring, she leapt into action, setting up a supply chain to help organizations get goods at factory-direct pricing and spreading the word about her services.
“My goal is simply to connect hospitals and governments to my resources,” she says. “The reality is there is much more quality PPE in China, but with so much price gouging and so many middle men, hospitals are being taken advantage of.”
Adams is already assisting around five organizations, with orders representing millions of PPE items, including gowns and masks. One of her clients, a hospital rep, was previously ripped off by a manufacturer who sold him faulty PPE. “In whatever small way I can, I want to prevent things like this from happening,” Adams says.
Currently creative director for the brand Alala, Adams notes that “on the surface, this work is quite different from what I do normally, as I'm usually working with a team to design clothing and make creative visuals. However, having had my own brand some years back, I am very experienced in managing a supply chain. Starting my own company got me to understand production, shipping, and other non-creative parts of the business that are actually essential for success, so it was a lucky coincidence that I could help in this time.”
Adams feels lucky to be able to lend a hand. “Seeing essential workers keeping our city and country together, it feels gratifying to find some way, even if small, to add to the positive results,” she says.
She notes that find a way or make one, Holton’s motto, has resonated with her for years—and especially now. “It’s all about using imagination and creativity to find a solution, even if it’s not what you might have thought you'd be doing at first. Also, it captures the idea of just going out there and ‘doing,’ which I think is a great antidote for feeling lost or passive.”
Members of the Holton family: Do you have a #findawayormakeone story to share?
How are you supporting the efforts to fight COVID-19 and assisting those on the front lines—or are you on the front lines? How are you creatively responding to current needs and adapting to this ever-changing situation? We want to hear your stories! Submit your name, your affiliation with the School and class year if applicable, contact info, and a few details via email, or tag us on Instagram!