BUCKHANNON – Several local businesses and residents have started making and selling masks and cloth face coverings for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an extra push to support local businesses and local people. Being 100 percent locally owned ourselves, My Buckhannon put out some feelers to find out where you can buy a mask in Upshur County.
We found out multiple businesses around the Buckhannon area are selling masks that are meant for the public and not for medical purposes (i.e. not N-95 masks). Three local businesses that have had a supply of masks include the ice cream and dessert specialty shop, Sweet-A-Licious, the antique store Vintage Rustic and More and Ashland Sales & Services.
Plant manager at Ashland Sales and Services Sandy Campbell said they were initially asked to make the masks.
“We were contacted by a couple local businesspeople when the coronavirus started, and they had been in contact with someone from the Charleston Medical Center,” Campbell said. “They asked if we would be interested in making some masks, so I had to go through the owners of the business and my bosses to make sure it was OK to use their equipment. They had no issue with it, so that’s how we go started doing the first 500 for Charleston.”
She said they have now sewn about 9,500 masks, with the first 3,500 being given away and then they started selling them for $5.
“They are 100 percent cotton on the outside and flannel on the inside,” Campbell said. “The flannel on the inside absorbs the moisture, and it’s softer on the face. If you use the cotton on the inside, then the moisture doesn’t absorb, it just stays there and it’s wet. They are 100 percent washable and can be reused for years.”
They have plenty of designs to choose from for men, women and children.
“We have various designs for men and women – flowers, plaids, plain – and we even have some for little kids,” Campbell said. “We do mainly one size, but they are basically adjustable by shrinking them, in the dryer or adjusting the elastic.”
The ice cream shop on Main Street, Sweet-A-Licious is also selling cloth masks for $5 cash.
“People kept asking where they could get masks, and then I saw my cousin talking about it on Facebook, and I thought it could be a service could provide for people here in Buckhannon,” Owner of Sweet-A-Licious Michelle Jack said.
She said her cousin owns a small business in Weston called M and P Designs and they are the ones making the masks, but she wanted to make them available to people in Buckhannon. These masks come with a pocket to add a filter and in a couple different colors.
Diana Thompson, owner of Vintage Rustic and More, said her shop is making and selling cotton masks.
“Everything is cotton, but we have some that are, I would say kind of more of a plain-type fabric. We’ve got denim, which is also cotton, but we’ve got some that are on a theme, like we have Winnie the Pooh, we have Superwoman and we have Route 66,” Thompson said.
She said they include a filter with their masks. Thompson said their masks are $5 for the non-themed masks and the themed ones are $8; they also come with a little piece of paper with information about the virus and the mask.