Why it took me so long to get on board with face masks and why I'm making them
Updated: May 25, 2020
As you all know, the year 2020 has shaped out to be something out of our wildest dreams, or nightmares really. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe, and our lives have shifted for a lot longer than we thought.
It was Friday March 13th that my boss (at my full time gig) sat down with everyone in the office and explained to us that the virus cases are increasing in our area and he understood that if we as employees wanted to work from home we could. I left that Friday afternoon meeting saying I would be back in the office on the following Monday. Well that was not at all what happened. That would be the last time I was in the office until the foreseeable future.
The transition to staying at home and losing my normal routine of going to the gym, to the office, to the coffee shop all became unavailable, just like that. Honestly, it was really hard for me. The first month and a half felt like a whole year. Everyday became the same, I felt so useless in every aspect. Collaborating with my amazing co-workers changed, my daily work routine changed, my mindset changed, my mood changed and my motivation slipped so low.
I know I wasn't alone in that state, with many of us across the globe feeling the same way, or worse. I empathize with all these incredible health care workers and essential employees going to work terrified and exhausted everyday. I understand I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to keep my full time job and not worry financially, but I never thought being forced to stay at home and not socialize would affect me so much.
I first started seeing several small designers and businesses I admire offer personal face masks very early on. At first I didn't want to come to terms with the fact that these masks were going to be a necessity, the thought that everyone would have to wear one freaked me out. I didn't want to live in that world. I tried to avoid the topic, mostly because in my head I didn't think I was worth enough to sew and sell or donate the masks I could make.
So what changed my mind? I think a lot of things did, mostly my outlook changed. This was an opportunity for me to share my skills with those that need it. As a small business getting my hands on all the supplies has been tough but I've chosen to use fabric scraps that would normally end up in the garbage. This allows me to offer limited one of-a-kind run of ice dyed masks to those that need them. I've used pillow cases, cotton scraps from my fabric bin and cotton print scraps my mom found in her craft pile. All these fabrics have been given a new life.
So in the end, I'm making masks for you and for me. I'm able to provide a product that is individually dyed (making it one of a kind) that can provide a form of security to anyone feeling anxious about having to get groceries. It's also a product a lot of people are now needing due to businesses requiring customers to wear a face mask upon entering their store, which is amazing to see as by wearing a facemask it shows that we care and support our healthcare professionals and front line workers that are looking after us. And I'm making these masks to sell for myself. I have found something to focus on and use upcycled fabric to lessen the carbon footprint. All around seems like a win win!