I started my Etsy shop back in 2015 after my daughter was born and I was going broke on bows. Every time I received a handmade order, I thought to myself, “I could make this.” So I did. And kept doing it as a side hustle for a few years.
Thanks to colic and extreme sleep deprivation, productivity was brought to a screeching halt with the birth of my son a couple years later. Since then, my little shop has sat like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory — awaiting to be reawakened by a special event.
Who would have thought the occasion to get the sewing machine cranked up again would be a worldwide pandemic? Not me.
I had a few inquiries asking if I would be making masks. I kept putting it off, sporadically watching tutorials on YouTube to see if my limited sewing capabilities could swing it. I tend to be nervous trying anything new that will result in a finished product, especially one that I will be selling to the public. After watching a stranger complete her mask 1,231 times on video, I decided to give it a go. And guess what? I did it!
Since acquiring a new skill to put on my future resume (“expert mask maker”), I’ve sold and given away hundreds of these things. Feeling like a sitting duck in the middle of a war zone, this shifted my focus to helping — even if it’s in the smallest of ways. Sure, my kids have been ignored for hours at a time, but at least they know what I’m doing is philanthropic, right?
After the COVID-19 dust settles, my house may not be as organized as I wanted it to be and my to-do list may have few unchecked boxes, but I’ll know that I helped protect a small slice of the population, and in my book, that’s worth something.