COLUMBUS, Ga. – The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a number of shortages: Toilet paper, hand sanitizer and, according to some exercise enthusiasts, fitness equipment like kettle bells and dumbbells.
To fill that demand, one Georgia-based company is now mass producing these items.
Goldens’ Foundry and Machine, based out of Columbus, Georgia, has been in business since the 1880s. In the last five years, it’s focused hard on making things like cast iron cookers and a number of other products.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the company's retail line, Goldens' Cast Iron, now includes a different kind of heavy lifting. It has sold kettle bells and dumbbells for the last three weeks, and the orders are pouring in.
“We realized we were not going to be a good candidate for face masks and respirators. But iron? We know how to pour,” said George Boyd, the company’s vice president. “So, when we realized there was a shortage of kettle bells and dumbbells, we went in to help fill that void.”
Boyd said orders have been coming in throughout the U.S., including from North Florida. He said the response has been so overwhelming that the company has added 10 new jobs.
"It's fun to see the things that are starting to get posted on social media from people who are using them," Boyd said. "It's really gratifying to know that it's something that we've been able to meet a need that people have during this time."
Boyd said the line’s success also reinforces the benefits of choosing American-made products.
“Make it in America, you’ll be able to respond in an agile fashion to customers’ needs,” Boyd said. “I think a lot of customers are starting to realize they don’t want to be dependent on Chinese goods.”
Boyd also said with the success of these items, the plan moving forward is to continue making these kettle bells and dumbbells for years to come.