About seven weeks ago I started a new project. I started making masks for my family. I wanted something to do while folks hoarded toilet paper and I watched statistics and graphs reveal another version of our world.
My sales of succulents on Etsy dropped as weddings and parties were postponed and I got a message on my Etsy feed. It said that they needed handmade masks… that the demand on site was huge.
Now sewing was my first love… my real talent. It was the core of my first business ventures as I made prom dresses for friends in high school and developed fashion shows for teenage designers. It was my job as a single mom doing alterations and mending referred from the neighborhood dry cleaners.
The opportunity presented itself and I grabbed the chance. I opened my collection of bright cottons I had purchased to make aprons and camp shirts when my kids were little and set up my grown daughter’s bedroom with my machines and ironing board. I’ve been putting in eighteen hours a day for weeks now and am just starting to get a little time to update my digital world.
The room is filled with color and lint and ideas and everyday I’m overwhelmed by the statistics and graphs and change in my world. My heart aches for the 80,000 families who are heartbroken and the 80,000 more who will be, wondering if I will be one of those, too.
I’m thankful for every person who has purchased a mask from me. Not only because it means I can pay the mortgage this month but also because it shows there are a whole lot of people who are concerned enough about someone besides themselves that they are willing to spend time and money and thought to protect a stranger from what they may unknowing pass along.
It means that as we confront this new world, many are interested in protecting others rather than focus on their own convenience. Even if they are a minority, there are still selfless and kind humans left and that gives me a little hope.
We are in this together.
Just a mask.