Makers to the Rescue

With a health crisis at our front door step we have witnessed the rise in demand for face masks. Even first responders and health care workers were left with little to no protection putting safety on hold while resources scrambled to distribute. It was evident there were not enough masks to stretch through the consumer market and medical fields. As resources are still lacking, the idea of waiting for extra reinforcements still feels like a world away.

As the virus spreads many turned to social media to seek relief and share resources. It wasn't long before people with knowledge for the needle literally took matters into their own hands. Many found themselves in front of their sewing machines pulling fabric together to produce protection and fulfill orders in need.

Within days I saw a range of homemakers, small businesses, to traditional grandmothers with a sewing machine pull out the thread and pour safety into the community.

These are a few of the stories behind the pandemic…..

Meet Prolene Quirit, a local business owner and family oriented mother. If she is on your radar then you are sure to receive powerful techniques and tips on the daily. With word spreading about airborne risk, Prolene turned to her natural born leader...her mother. With a sewing machine that had been passed down from her great grandmother, passed down to her mom, essentially used for childhood dance outfits and beaming bridesmaid dresses she would yet find herself needing another extraordinary request. After 100 years this heirloom would once again come to the rescue and her mom would step up for another monumental mission.

Soon what started out as a Facebook selfie debuting her moms custom made mask turned into a flood of inquires and a flux of over 120 orders being shipped out across our great city, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, California, and Hawaii.

Her instinctive ways led her to feel the need of friends and family through the power of social media while maintaining a positive and influential role online and in-home.

Her advice to the small business scene is to look outside the direct product, market, or service and seek to serve your community however you can. Entrepreneurs are professional problem solvers, which shows why small businesses can thrive during these crazy times.

CONTINUE TO GRIND, create value for those around you, and honor crazy ideas with action. Thank you Prolene and her mother Pamela Seki.

Speaking of grinding, have you met Roxanne Rivas of Madebrite Creations? Mother, caregiver, and wife by nature, she picked up a sewing machine with variations from her own mothers expertise. Within a short time span she was at a all time productivity rate and her business was not only was in motion but it had a mission. Her purpose was shed light on autism awareness and what started off as autism identifiers and au-some creations, turned into high quality custom pieces made with valuable time and self taught knowledge.

So once Covid-19 became a virus to the small business world, Roxanne switched gears and joined the mask movement on top of staying home with her 2 small children, including her daughter Bella living with Autism. She closed shop and gained momentum as she produced a few prototypes. She used her husbands home office and with limited supplies, went to work and began to produce masks by demand.

As she had also taken a hit to her standard day to day business she has found a way to connect her trade to the surge in mask production.

Her masks are made with filter options and meet the requirements to be worn within the hospital by medical workers. I was pleased to help a friend in need who was without a mask working in ICU at Ben Taub Hospital. Madebrite creations came to the rescue! Fulfilling exactly what a nurse in need was seeking and offering a piece of mind.

With everyone in a state of disbelief or day to day lessons, she believes now is the time to do research with what's new to what you do. Now is the time for creating and testing new products. Thank you Madebrite Creations.

Search: www.madebritecreations.com @madebrite

Which leads me to our next creator Ana Vidaurri crushing the N95 version. By coincidence her partner had recently pushed her to test her craft in sewing masks after wearing one with questionable quality from an allergy episode. Covid-19 was fairly new but with a fashion degree, sewing background, and constant push by her partner Hassan, she found herself joining a movement. A profound movement that put others at ease while being mindful to the shortage that was impacting so many professionals on the front line.

Ana knew the importance of quality and her partner was experienced in fabrication, so with all the right tools and mutual support they began a full time production. With every mask made from scratch, she faced extensive hours, a flood of inquiries, even a waiting list at this point. Her masks hit the social feed and one by one she fought to fill orders...putting her life on hold for others. It's actions like this that make a difference, that play a part in the ripple effect of staying engaged with the community.

Overwhelmed by the support, Ana made it her mission to ship out orders as fast as possible while keeping a strict eye on quality.

During these hard times many small businesses are finding it hard to do our part as our rapid worlds slow down.

Ana suggests to stay strong and use many avenues as possible to create revenue. As most of you can relate we are seeking outside our comfort zone in order to adapt. Even with no time stamp attached we must be ready to survive for however long it takes.

Search for them: @amatoryaffairs @obikhankenobi

After speaking with these skilled and talented creators I found myself yet again appreciative of the small business district. Everyone plays a part and keeps each other running through the community to serve the very supporters that fuel our ambition and strengthen our vision.

No thanks to the shortage and media coverage made to put everyone in a panic...we can rely on leaders to show us how to mend the pieces...in this case those pieces are fabric patterns, elastic, filters, and hope. Hope that by one person feeling safe, living safe, we will gear towards a safer tomorrow.

"Being Positive in a negative situation is not naïve, it is leadership." - Prolene Q.

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