Finally with the reopening of businesses and the easing of restrictions, I've caught a breath and have spent some time reflecting on this most unusual year.

In a nutshell, this is how it started for us:

March 13th, 2020 -  The topic of every conversation was coronavirus. Things were shutting down, everyone was on edge and hospitals were filling up. My very wise, well researched friend Robyn, the wellness hacker was my sounding board and we would discuss all the conflicting articles about the efficacy and philosophy of wearing masks. She was ahead of the curve, elbow bumping in February 2020 long before distancing was on anyones radar. 

Because of her foresight, in mid-March, I created a face mask pattern, cut up small fabric scraps and started tweaking to create a comfortable and great fitting face mask with my sample sewer. I posted our first samples on instagram and had no idea about what was about to happen next.  

Within 24 hours a longtime friend, Dr Brad Thomas reached to help consult on the mask and to donate money to get our first round of masks made and ABC 7 filmed a feature in our design studio and put our story on the evening news that night. From that moment on, we swiftly shifted all efforts and resources to face mask production.  

In the past year we produced tens of thousands of Uplifters masks for donations, for families, and for businesses.  Mask mandates have been in full effect and we have all been wearing them everyday for over a year.  Today California is lifting the mandate for all who are vaccinated.  For the unvaccinated and for the optimum protection of all, masks are still necessary.  For those of you who are Vaxxed, this hat is all you need to wear.  

Today is a big day. 

Below is my photo journal of how it started:

Here's a pic I snapped of the Whole Food aisle on March 17th, 2020:

 whole food aisle

Here is Eva,  perfecting the round of samples of face masks.  Cut from leftover fabric yields and leftover fold-over elastic.

sample sewer making face masks

As the stay at home orders were mandated, we kept working.  Here is Telemundo interviewing our workers about how they felt about continuing to work in times like these.

 Telemundo los angeles interview face masks

Thousands of masks were made from excess fabric and leftover yields that would have otherwise been textile waste.  All those years of hoarding was good for something after all!

repurposed fabric face masks

Mother Denim generously dropped by with bolts of excess fabric and we were able to create thousands more masks beyond our own stash of past season fabric. 

mother denim donated fabric

Thanks to every purchase of face masks from all over the country, we were able to donate thousands of face masks to Essential workers. essential work face mask donations

Articles and features like this one from Forbes Magazine helped highlight our cause.

Forbes magazine article face masks house of woo 

Here's how it started: March 2020Staci Woo face mask selfie design studio 

Here's how its going: June 2021

vaxxed hat El Capitan Staci Woo

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