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February, 2020. Covid-19 was being unleashed upon the world. America was beginning to shut down. The CDC started recommending wearing facial coverings.
Judy Lane bought a sewing machine and a few yards of fabric, enthusiastic about taking up sewing again in her her spare time and newly-proclaimed “retirement.”
A close family friend mentioned that she was going to have to lay off all of her salon-techs, and they faced insurmountable hurdles to getting any financial assistance or aid.
“Do they sew?” Judy asked. And, as is typical of Judy’s serial entrepreneurship, one idea leapfrogged into an action, one thought led to an even bigger vision, and a new venture was born!
Materials were sourced from a network of “made-in-the-USA” goods. Hundreds of bolts of fabric were purchased. And dozens of seamstresses created more than 10,000 masks with weeks.
Packaging and print was purchased from a local printer. Screen-printing and custom embroidery from a local company. And the former nail-salon became a packaging and inventory wearhouse.
The word got out quickly through Facebook and other social media. Local businesses started promoting the superior quality through their customer loyalty communications, and physician offices offered them to their patients as they came for their health visits.
All told, in just 6 months, Mask-Mart created 25 jobs, supported several small businesses, and has donated more than 2500 masks coast-to-coast to front-line workers, health-care heroes, assisted-living homes, pre-schools and grade-schools.