Kim Capone has a knack for business.

She owns five Lu Bella Boutiques in three boroughs.

So, when the coronavirus pandemic forced the entrepreneur to close all of her stores, she came up with an entirely new operation.

Now, Capone is making fashionable masks.

“I get a text message from one of my vendors that I buy most of my clothes from, she sent me a picture of four or five masks and I said, oh they are gorgeous, I said send me 10 of each,” Capone said.

Capone has dozens of styles for sale but also donates masks to first responders free of charge.

Recently, she made a move to expand her operation to making masks for other businesses.

“When we go back to work, everyone is going to have to wear a mask and you might as well wear a mask with your logo on it, and even hand them out to your customers,” said Capone.

Kristine Frailing, the owner of the New York Sewing Center said despite her decades of experience with sewing she’d personally never made a mask until the pandemic.

“My parents and my brother all have essential jobs, so I told my husband I thought I should make them masks and also teach people how to do it,” said Frailing.

So, she made a very basic video and was shocked at the response.

“It was very informal, my husband was coughing in the background. I posted it because you really learn how to make the mask, it got over 100,000 views in the first couple days,” said Frailing.

The mask making lessons are online and free but she also teaches sewing classes via video conference.

She is also selling pre-made masks on her website for $15. She’s donated many of the masks she’s made to healthcare workers on the front line. Both women say that shifting their business to making, selling or even teaching others how to sew masks was born out of necessity.

They hope that what they’re doing might help save lives in the best way they know how.

Source: Spectrum News NY1 | Manhattan