At the beginning of March, as the world was slowly coming to a standstill, I was in the midst of launching my first official jewelry collection, Wave Collection. Unsure of what to do and how to proceed in these uncertain times, I decided to move forward with completing and launching the collection, so I can focus on what would come next.
As the pandemic was grasping the United States and my friends in the healthcare industry were posting about the overwhelm and shortage of appropriate personal protection equipment needed to be able to protect themselves, I felt the need to figure out what I could do to help.
In looking for such ways and seeing a cloth face mask maker movement emerge, I decided to dust off the good ol' sewing machine and join the efforts.
See, besides jewelry, my other love as always been everything fabric. I love the colors, the textures and the endless possibilities of transformation.
While I considered myself a complete newbie at this craft, I had always dreamed of sewing on a more regular basis, but never actually took the time to pursue it properly. I had done small projects here and there years ago so I had some fabric on hand. Because I love the sustainability and natural fibers of cotton, a decent amount of the little fabric I had on hand was made out of cotton.
So, I started looking into patterns needed by the hospitals and got to work, sewing for both the hospitals where my friends worked in, as well as personally giving some masks to my friends so they could have them in a timely fashion.
Hands at work, sewing a face mask
As might be aware, what I call the third pillar of RuxiTirisi Designs is giving back to the community, which for us is the homeless community. This year, we were going to start donating a % of our profits every quarter. In light of the current environment and in looking to do more, I reached out to Eva’s Village in Paterson, New Jersey, asking them if they needed masks as well for their clients. Turns out, they did…. So I got to work. Over the past two weeks, I have made and sent them 675 masks for their in house residents, as well as the 400 homeless and working poor clients, whom they serve breakfast and lunch everyday, even during this pandemic.
As the last of the masks earmarked for Eva’s Village make their way to them, I am reaching out to other homeless shelters to see if there is a need in their community as well.
175 of the completed face masks
One of the batches sent to Eva’s Village containing 200 face masks
The fabric was purchased on Etsy, from other small businesses: BuyAThreadFabrics, FabricFetish, KCMakerStudio as a way to support them as well.
Fabric from BuyAThreadFabrics
If you would like to help support me in this endeavor, I will also be offering masks for sale on my website here. Also, with every jewelry purchase, you will receive a free face mask.
The fabric is based on availability at this point, as a lot of what I already purchased is sold out. However, I am still actively purchasing fabric in what I believe to be cool, trendy designs for both the donated and the made for sale masks.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! Stay safe, be kind and look out for one another.
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