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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Protecting families one mask at a time

As government officials advise the need to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hannah Eisen has taken it into her own hands to make masks and sell them.

Eisen, 24, said in a phone interview that one of the reasons she started making masks was after seeing people not taking precautions when shopping at essential businesses.

“Every time I go to the grocery store I see people without masks and I think it’s important for people to wear a mask to stop the spread of coronavirus,” Eisen said. “Even if it’s not N95, wearing a mask is better than nothing.”

Eisen was also inspired to make and sell her own masks after realizing how scarce they have become.

“At first I made these masks for just family and friends, but I’m happy that other people are wanting them,” Eisen said.

She learned how to make her own masks by watching a video. After posting her homemade creations on Instagram, people commented asking to buy them.

Now she has an Instagram account dedicated to her masks with the username “rrocketphish.”

Eisen’s mother helps make the masks as well, due to the high demand of customers. The masks sell for $10 and as of yet, they have shipped and sold about 80 masks across the United States.

To make the masks, Eisen orders colorful print fabric online and opts for the curbside pickup option before driving to her local JOANN Fabric and Craft store. She said finding elastic has been difficult since other people are also making masks.

According to Eisen, her masks are unique because they are cotton-based and double-lined with a pocket to slip in a filter if the buyer wants extra protection.

Her masks also include a wire noseband to create a custom fit for whoever is wearing her crafted mask.

Juliet Kozlow is one of Eisen’s customers. She had a heart attack late last year when she was 22 years old, so she bought a mask to protect herself since she’s immunocompromised.

“You can’t find them anywhere right now,” Kozlow said in a phone interview. “When Hannah posted about making masks, I was like ‘Heck yeah I’m going to buy them.’”

Kozlow said wearing the mask is a reminder to not touch her face and it makes her feel more secure when going out for essential business.

Madison Avtal, 21, is another customer and said in a phone interview that she hopes wearing her mask in public will influence people to start taking COVID-19 seriously. She also bought the mask because she worries about the health of her parents.

“My parents have low immune systems so I’m doing what I can to keep them safe,” Avtal said.

Eisen hopes to help flatten the curve for COVID-19 and wants to ensure people with immune problems stay safe with her masks.

“Hannah is so talented and creative and I wish my brain worked the way hers does because she can just look at a problem and solve it,” Kozlow said.

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