In 2014, actress Sas Simon and visual artist Lena Inamura teamed up to form NAME GLO: a company producing custom-made neon pieces. It didn’t take long for NAME GLO to evolve from passion project to profitable venture. Sas and Lena were feeling great about the business as 2020 dawned. Yet, right when things seemed to be going smoothly, along came COVID-19 with a host of unforeseen challenges.
The pair suddenly found themselves forced to close doors, stop production, and toss all the best-laid plans out the window. This could have spelled the end for NAME GLO. It didn’t. Instead, Sas and Lena turned to the digital tools that helped them build their business in the first place. This not only allowed them to effectively weather the storm; it also helped them take advantage of opportunities to do good—for instance, producing thousands of face shields for donation to health-care workers.
Things are starting to look up again for Sas, Lena, and their digitally driven business. The pair are busy working on new projects and finding new ways to make social impacts in their communities. This includes everything from working with partners across the country to launch an interactive map that highlights Black womxn-owned businesses to producing posters and neon lights that help remind everyone to wear masks, wash hands, and keep the rest of the community safe.