2020: Reflections on the Year of the Sneeze Guard

Elements by Invictus

Like most of you, we at Invictus Steelworks had amazing plans for 2020. Most exciting was supposed to be a late summer launch of Elements by Invictus, a groundbreaking and long awaited collection of luxury statement tables. This collection includes four new sculptural table bases: Earth, Fire, Water and Wind. These designs were going to push Robert's work to a new level. If someone had told us this time last year that the worst pandemic in modern history had been unleashed on the world, that most of the country was about to be shut down, and as a result, Invictus would be launching a line of custom sneeze guards instead the Elements collection, we never would have believed you.

As it turns out, 2020 was the year of the sneeze guard, and Elements by Invictus wasn't launched as planned, simply because there was no time to build the tables. If 2020 taught us anything, it was the importance of being able to adapt to unforeseen circumstances both personally and professionally, and having the fortitude and strength to focus on what could be done instead of what couldn't.

We now on plan launching the new collection in late Summer / early fall of 2021. Stay tuned for more on that.

But about those sneeze guards...

In March of 2020, a long time client asked us if we could make plexiglass sneeze guards for his restaurant. He was completely ahead of the plexiglass curve. Acrylic barriers aren't exactly statement furniture, but we had been working with this client on various projects of his for over five years, so Robert agreed to design and build his sneeze shields.

We built them and shipped them off to New Jersey. We didn't think about sneeze guards or plexiglass for the next two weeks. Without a doubt, they were the best and least stressful two weeks of 2020.

Sea of Plexiglass

Almost overnight, it seemed as though we found ourselves staring at people through a sea of plexiglass, almost all of which were unattractive, cheaply made, unstable, flimsy and worst of all, gray and cloudy from not being properly cleaned. You've probably seen them so often that you don't even notice them anymore. (Yes, there is a secret to keeping your plexiglass clear, more on that below.)