SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Natasha Scott has owned her business, SCOTT Suits, for the past four years in Sacramento, designing 100% custom-made suits for men and women.
All of Scott’s products come from a factory in China, and while she does plan every year for workers there to take two weeks off for Chinese New Year, she never expected a break like the one she’s experiencing due to the coronavirus outbreak.
"[The factory] pushed back the start date," explained Scott about her delays. "So, it was the 31st, then the 2nd, then, I think, the 10th, and finally, they just went back to work this Saturday. So, it has pushed my production about a month."
Health officials on Monday said there are more than 71,400 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus — about 98% of which are in China, the epicenter of the outbreak. So far, at least 1,775 people have died from the virus.
In the U.S., on 15 people have been confirmed to have the virus, and there have been no deaths.
Still, Americans have been affected. Two planes carrying Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship which was docked and under quarantine in Japan landed in the U.S. overnight, one of which went to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield.
Four people on those flights are being treated for the coronavirus at local hospitals, and three others are being checked after showing symptoms during the flight.
Normally at this time of year, Scott said she would be swamped with fittings and alterations. But, one month has passed without any of her orders arriving from China.
"I did have to reach out to a lot of my clients and explain to them," Scott said of the delays. "Luckily, I have amazing clientele, and they were all pretty much OK with the fact that their products would be delayed."
Since Scott requests deposits from customers on all orders — only getting the rest of the money when the orders come in — the delays are starting to hurt her income.
Scott said she secured a back-up factory in Mexico City, but at a higher price.
Fortunately, the factory in China reopened on Saturday, and Scott is expecting a shipment later this week.
"Definitely having a pause in production for a month was very stressful and I know I'm going to be overwhelmed when I do get that first shipment in with all of the orders that I've been sitting on," Scott said.
Follow the conversation on Facebook with Lena Howland.
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