While many businesses are closing dining and retail options, or having to shut down altogether, one Keller business is staying open to help those in need.
Made By Sue, located at 1103 Keller Parkway, Ste. 101, Keller, aims to make 10,000 cotton face masks during the coronavirus outbreak in order to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The shop has received a number of donations to provide face masks for fire departments, large offices and even family members at Dyess Air Force Base, owner Sue Pruente said.
“I cannot sit here and do nothing and treat this like a vacation,” Pruente said. “If I’ve got the fabric and the knowledge to make them quickly, how can I?”
Although the cotton masks do not meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards for health care workers, they do provide a barrier of protection from sneezes, coughs and other particles, Pruente said. Among CDC standards for surgical masks are the ability to block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays or splatter from the wearer’s nose or mouth, which a cotton face mask may have the ability to do.
“We are trying our hardest to put something out that is going to protect people,” Pruente said. “We have placed another piece of fabric [inside the mask] to create an additional barrier to help people.”
Because Made By Sue regularly makes medical devices—backpacks retrofitted with feeding tubes for premature infants and young children—employees are also educated about self-isolation practices to help reduce their risk to exposure or contamination of products.
The shop is constructing adult and child-sized face masks in a variety of colors, and face masks are being sold only to offset the cost of producing them, Pruente said. Face masks are available at $15 for the first mask and $10 for each additional mask.
Discounts are available on large orders, and for every face mask sold the shop will donate an additional mask to an organization in need, she said. Face masks are also machine washable and reusable, and the canvas and bedding used is sourced from the U.S.
“We prefer to ship to maintain limited contact, and the first $15 covers sales tax and shipping costs," Pruente said. "There has been quite a big outpouring, and I have had quite a few people reach out to me."