Owen Medical Products LLC, a new manufacturer and supplier of disposable, non-woven face masks, is scheduled to open this month in the Town Square (former Melody Square) complex in downtown North Wilkesboro.

The company will produce and sell ASTM Level 1 face masks, plus sell other disposable medical products, stated a press release from the Wilkes Economic Development Corp. (ASTM International tests material used in medical face masks and assigns a rating of 1, 2 or 3 for barrier performance, with 1 being the most protective.)

Wilkes County native Jill Parsons Owen, owner and chief executive officer of Owen Medical Products, said the company was created to address U.S. dependence on China and other foreign suppliers for critical medical products.

Brian Owen, her husband, is the company’s chief operating officer.

The release said they plan to employ five people initially and anticipate employing about 10 as more automated mask lines are added by the end of the second year in business.

Phase two, anticipated in the third year, will include manufacturing additional disposable personal protective equipment such as isolation gowns, the release stated. The company plans to sell direct to hospitals and other healthcare care providers, long-term care facilities and other entities needing them to protect employees and people they serve.

Jill Owen has degrees in in economics and history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a nursing degree in 2013 and has 16 years of experience in the healthcare market, including marketing, administrative and clinical.

Brian Owen, a graduate of Elon University’s Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, has more than 30 years of experience in sales, manufacturing, marketing and supply chain in the medical device market. He has over 15 years of experience in clean room manufacturing.

“Owen Medical Products puts a 21st century spin on North Wilkesboro’s long tradition of manufacturing, using high technology in a lab-like environment to make products that are essential in today’s environment,” said North Wilkesboro Town Manager Wilson Hooper. “They’ll be occupying a landmark property downtown, helping bring commerce and activity to Main Street.”

The Wilkes EDC helped Jill and Brian Owen find a facility for the new operation, said Wilkes EDC President LeeAnn Nixon. The two discussed their plans at the Wilkes EDC board meeting Friday morning.

Go to visitwww.OwenMedicalProducts.com or call 336-818-2160 for more information.

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