As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, CSI and Macaulay Honors College alumnus David Kleyman ’16 has transformed his company, Wooter Apparel, into a distributor of facemasks and medical supplies, under the name CovCare.
Explaining the history of Wooter, Kleyman said, “I started Wooter halfway into college with my two partners Alex Kagan and Alex Aleksandrovski in 2014. We built that up into a $5million/year business, selling fully custom sports apparel. We sold custom basketball/football/baseball uniforms to schools, colleges, rec. leagues, etc., and even had some of the most iconic athletes wearing our stuff like Kawhi Leonard, Floyd Mayweather, and Master P.”
However, when the pandemic hit and shut down the sports scene, Kleyman found that no one was buying uniforms. Then, he had an idea. “My wife is a nurse, so I got a pretty good look at what was going on early on. We both got Corona in late March. During this time, my team leveraged all of the connections that we’ve built up in China over the years to create a supply chain to import masks. This is what started CovCare.”
With his new company, Kleyman opted to partner with SI-based nonprofit organization Project Protect, which, he explained, “was started by a childhood friend of mine, Benjamin Bokser. He had some family friends who were nurses in Staten Island hospitals. Hearing some horror stories from them, he naturally wanted to help. We started a GoFundMe that raised over $30,000 and donated over 15,000 masks to Staten Island University Hospital.”
Kleyman noted that “This has been a life-changing and humbling experience. I can’t even begin to describe how it feels to be able to help with such an important problem on a global scale.”
Regarding his future plans for this effort, Kleyman said, “Our goal is to supply America with one billion facemasks this year. This is audacious, but I am confident that we can do it.”
By Terry Mares