If you asked me 8 weeks ago if I would be sewing masks I would have told you no...I have so much on my plate - I was preparing for an upcoming expo, trying to plan my next release and take care of the kids. Small shop life felt overwhelming (I feature my hand-sewn products at my expos).
If you asked me 6 weeks ago if I would sew masks...I would have told you yes but only for first responders and other healthcare professionals...and you should stay home (unless you are an essential worker). After encouragement from Jackie (Keiki Elements) and Nicole (Cay and Col), I decided I would do my part and sew as many masks as I could do donate. I was still planning on my upcoming Palaka Print collection but was like, I can donate some masks - my husband is a First Responder and I would hope people in the community would do their part to help him do his job.
If you asked me 4 weeks ago if I would sell masks...my answer suddenly changed as I saw a new need with where we were at with the COVID-19 fight to flatten the curve. It was a turning point for me as a business owner. In order for me to continue giving to those on the frontlines...I decided to sell masks so I could continue to donate more where it is needed.
I now make masks for keiki to adults. At first I really hesitated to make keiki masks. First off being that many keiki may not wear masks or wear them properly. The CDC advices keiki under age 2 should NOT wear masks. My middle daughter, Kili is 2.5 and she refuses to wear a mask. My son is 5 years old and he will put it on for a picture but he doesn't want to wear one either. And I am totally fine with that. They do not leave the house anyway - other than the occasional car ride when we pick up dinner (we still are trying to support local eateries when we can).
The last few weeks, or months actually, have been a blur as we come to grips with our new reality. These masks won’t stop you from getting coronavirus but it will help slow the spread. Best practices continue to be staying at home & social distancing...only go out for essentials.
You may have seen the video I created with the help of some of my new friends from our IG hui - the Hawaiʻi Mask Makers. During this time of uncertainty and crisis, we have shared tips and stories, gave each other a virtual shoulder to lean on, and just someone to talk to about the roller coaster of emotions we feel as the overwhelming demand for masks came in.
As of today, we have collectively donated 8,350 masks and counting and 2,500 mask hooks! I am so proud of what we have done as a small community of makers who all had to pivot our businesses and lives.
We hope you enjoy this fun little video that some of decided to try - it was the first time we got to see some of each other’s faces!
If you are able to, please consider supporting one of our shops. We are not normally mask makers and actually make other products!
Please understand that our face masks are not a replacement for medical grade Personal Protective Equipment, and in circumstances where medical grade Personal Protective Equipment is recommended, you should consult a health care professional. The decision to use this mask is solely your own.
A homemade mask is not considered true PPE, and will not be quite as effective as using a medical grade, disposable mask. The CDC recommends all masks should cover the entire front (including below the chin) and sides of the face.
The CDC has considered homemade face masks to be used as a last resort in hospitals and medical facilities. Masks made from cotton and elastic certainly won't harm civilians at home or when going out, as long as you're also following other protocols to stay safe.
Please remember that use of face masks is not intended to replace other recommended measures to stop the community spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, washing your hands and refraining from touching your face. Follow the latest advice of the CDC and your own health care professionals as to how best to keep yourself safe.