Eckerd’s face mask mandate has been in full effect since August, meaning students are required to be wearing a face covering in all indoor spaces and when social distancing is not possible in outdoor spaces. While some people may find masks bothersome in such a hot climate, many Eckerd students have embraced mask culture and used it as a form of self-expression. 

There are students on Eckerd’s campus who create handmade masks, which is one way to support the Eckerd community -- you can contribute to a student’s small business while also purchasing a mask that will help protect our community. 

Sophomore Isabel Moyer started her own business called Isabelsews, where she sells face masks and other apparel through Instagram account @Isabelsews and through her Etsy account, Isabelsewscreations. Moyer first started making masks to donate them to people in need before she turned it into a business. During the mask shortage in April, she donated nearly 50 handmade masks to hospital workers.

Now, Moyer customizes patterns and designs for customers and sells them for $3.50 each or packs of three for $10. These costs are enough to cover the fabric and material expenses. 

“I don’t believe in making a huge profit off of something that people need,” Moyer said.

Moyer personally delivers masks for customers on Eckerd’s campus, or ships masks to off campus customers for an additional $3-5 depending on location.

Alumna Taylor Thomas also sells masks. Thomas’ business, @Deuces.made on Instagram, creates custom hand-dyed masks with unique designs that are specific to Eckerd such as the embroidered phrase “Meet at South Beach.” Each mask costs $20 and $7 of each sale goes to the Eckerd College Walter Walker Annual Scholarship, a scholarship for students of color on campus. 

Thomas started her businesses as an assignment for an entrepreneurship class, but decided to start selling masks when she noticed there was a high demand for them. She gives a percentage of her profits to different fundraisers such as breast cancer awareness and Black Lives Matter campaigns. 

“The Eckerd exclusive masks go toward the Walker Scholarship because now more than ever, I think peers supporting peers is really important,” Thomas said. 

There are also sustainable brands outside of Eckerd that students support through purchasing masks. Sophomore Sara Williams uses the mask mandate as an opportunity to support small businesses, the environment and people in need. 

“I have a mask from the brand Copotaxi, which is an online business that makes masks from repurposed material and they donate one mask to people in need for every mask that is purchased,” Williams said.

The mask mandate doesn’t have to be limiting when there are so many opportunities to make the most of it by supporting other students, small businesses, and sustainable companies.

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