Hi All! Well, since we had an awesome story by Ron Cunningham in the Gainesville Sun just over two weeks ago, we honestly cannot keep up with the demand! Also, not enough sleep going on over here, so this is a lot of random thoughts... reader warning!
We've had over 180 new orders, and have sold out of some of our most popular masks, most notably "Tom Petty and Sister Hazel at Hyde and Zeke," as well as the "Hot Pinks," the "Bob Graham Center," and "Bat House," as well as certain sizes in the masks with ties. Some of these have more coming... Tom Petty/Sister Hazel, Bat House are coming back, and Bob Graham is already back in stock. Timeless, just like their name sakes. The Kika Silva Pla Planetarium and Campus Teaching Observatory fabric was the end of a bolt, we've looked and cannot find more. It happens, move on...
We have about 6 orders left to fill, and expect to be fully caught up by tomorrow. PLEASE check your email and texts, as a few of your orders have issues and we are having challenges reaching some of you.
Note that we think it's handy to have our little grey wash or sheer black storage bags. We love the gift bags we put our masks in for those who request free pickup. And we enjoy our love letter to Gainesville and Alachua County with tags for each name, and explaining how to use the mask. But a lot of you are repeat customers, and you may not need all that. If you want JUST the mask and filter, wrapped carefully in tissue paper, no label, no bag, no nothing, then please use the code JUSTTHEMASKS at checkout and we will happily give you a 5% discount and stuff you don't want to have to reuse or recycle.
Hey, by the way, if you are a sewist and are interested in helping meet community mask demands, please check out GNVCovidMasks.org. This is the volunteer effort to make FREE masks for those in need. We have some on hand, but are gearing up to make several hundred masks and also band equipment covers to help control aerosols. Yes, that's a thing. We will be reaching out to our volunteer network shortly and need cutters, errand runners, fabric purchasers (Joann's has a great "buy online and pick up in store" option... don't shop there without a coupon, they have TONS of them). If you buy some cute, kid-appropriate 100% cotton, tight weave fabric, here's what to do: Take it home, wash and dry it with a low-fragrance detergent, then send me a message and I'll tell you where to drop it. PegeenHanrahan@me.com.
Where are we on meeting local mask needs? Altogether, the Hippodrome stitchers have already made nearly 2,000 masks. Alachua Days for Girls, our most dedicated volunteer partner organization, has made over 8,000. And GNVCovidMasks.org has cut, organized and/or gotten sewn over 10,000 more. So, we're looking at over 20,000 masks made by hand here in Alachua County JUST in this one network, and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of others making masks.
It's important to know: Not all cloth masks are created equal, and cloth masks are not your best option in medical or other high risk environments, please opt for medically approved personal protective equipment in those situations. For daily wear in lower risk situations, though, a cloth mask with a high quality filter is better than not wearing a mask during a global pandemic, we believe.
Our masks each include a Halyard H600 filter. This material is normally used as "surgical wrap" to sterilize equipment in a hospital setting. You can bake it at low temperature, leave it in the sun, steam it, put hydrogen peroxide on it. We don't suggest the washer. It is designed to stop viruses and bacteria, and it can be reused many, many times. It has an electrostatic charge. You can also try blue shop towels (Tool Box brand tested well), real surgical masks or N95's, baby wipes, or recycled shopping bag materials as filters in your cloth masks. We really recommend SOME kind of filter.
In response to a customer request, we've created a gift certificate option. Check it out!
A last note: Our lead Hippodrome stitcher, Stephanie Parks, is headed to grad school this fall, and leaving the Hipp fondly behind. We will miss her dedication, passion and leadership. This whole project would never have come to life without Stephanie, and we wish her tons of happiness and success as she moves into the next phase. The good news is that the Hipp is able to replace Stephanie with a new Costume Designer in part BECAUSE OF YOU, our beloved customers at Hipp Masks. We hope they will continue virtual shows, and will be back to live shows soon. Thank you, Stephanie, and BEST WISHES! -- Pegeen