Mckinney said she and her husband started making the masks after getting the idea from a colleague in Rochester. They started by donating masks they had made, including to a nurse in New York who distributed about 400.
“We started sewing them with fabric that was donated by community members,” Mckinney said. “I probably had at least $3,000 worth of fabric that people dropped off.”
They are now selling masks to the public for $5. They even print company logos on masks. The new works allowed them to bring back their employees. They also started making masks for the hearing impaired and these became very popular. They started making them after a woman in the capital region reported that her sister had difficulty understanding her colleagues.
“I said let’s try,” Mckinney said. “So we took our masks, and we cut a hole and put a transparent panel in it and it worked. You can see the lips because she reads lips, she said that was a game-changer for her .”
The special transparent film can be removed for cleaning and the mask can be put in the laundry. Mckinney said he received requests from people in Ohio, Indiana and Canada. They sell them for $12.
“Just because the materials cost more and take a lot longer doesn’t mean we can’t get them done so quickly,” Mckinney said.
Mckinney said she hopes to be able to keep the business going until events resume. They ask for donations of any solid color fabric, especially dark colors.
“These are better for hearing impaired masks, that’s what we’re seeing more and more in demand at the moment,” Mckinney said.
If you want to order a mask, you can check out their Facebook page or email them at [email protected]
Sawyer’s Screen Printing & Embroidery at #Delmar switched to making masks when the pandemic hit. And they’ve gotten a lot of orders for these masks that help the hard of hearing lip-read because there’s a clear screen! Safer @WNYT at noon. pic.twitter.com/r0kD7u7Gle
— Emily DeVito (@emilydevito) May 7, 2020