Cost of COVID: A hobby of sewing turns into a side hustle as Central Georgia looks for face masks

It’s the hottest accessory that the fashion world never saw coming…

As we continue our series looking into the various ‘Costs of COVID,’ Amyre Makupson with Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism shows us the positive side of the pandemic, introducing us to two women who have turned a hobby into a business by sewing face masks.

“If you have told me, even in early March this year, that I’d be doing this… I would’ve said, ‘Masks?! No!’”

Laura Sikora, the owner of MyMaskeraide, has been sewing for most of her life.

“I’ve been sewing for 51 years, my mom taught me how,” she said.

Five decades later, her hobby has turned into a side hustle. She’s hand making masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was home from work and so I had more free time and time in the evenings, time on the weekends,” said Sikora.

As the saying goes… time is money.

“I’ve probably made a couple thousand. It’s amazing,” she said.

Mask-making is also a big business for Lynne Shelley. Her masks started out-selling her other homemade items at local farmers markets.

“I had no idea it was going to go the way it did. It’s a booming business and now everywhere you look has got masks,” said Shelley.

Even with the financial gain, both women say money was never the main motivation.

“It has created an outlet for me to express my creativity,” said Shelley.

“It doesn’t feel like work to me when I’m sewing. It is such a creative release,” said Sikora.

So, they’re using their talents to help others. They say they saw a need and felt like it was the right thing to do.

Now whether your mask is colorful, holiday-themed, covered in cartoons or superheroes; the Georgia Department of Health just recommends non-surgical face masks have two cotton layers covering your mouth and nose.

If you’re interested in purchasing masks from Sikora or Shelley, you can do so here.

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