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Local fabric store sees increase in customers purchasing mask supplies

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – With Governor JB Pritzker’s indoor mask tenure returning, some local residents are trying to make the most of the situation by getting creative and making their own masks at home.

Quilter’s Haven in Rockford said it was making face masks at the start of the pandemic, now more than a year later, there is still a demand for the fun and colorful face coverings. Stephanie Gauerke, co-owner of Quilter’s Haven, says she never imagined her company would create something that would save lives.

“We, we’re looking for different ways to keep our business afloat, and then when that has happened we’re very grateful to have our emails, our website and our Facebook,” Gauerke said.

Gauerke says she has seen a decrease in the number of customers buying masks over the summer, but now it’s back to school and things are changing.

“Now, with the new mandate or the renewed mandate, we are seeing more people come in and buy fabric to make more masks,” Gauerke said. “Something fun for their kids to go to school and have a mask they like and which is also more comfortable.”

With some mixed feelings about the inside mask tenure, Gauerke says it’s important to make the most of the situation.

“To make it bearable, I think, because it’s such a scary situation, I think people are now coming to buy fabric to represent their personality,” Gauerke said.

Dating client Vilma Keinitz keeps her 20-year passion for quilting alive by trying new things. She says making face masks is so easy that anyone can do it.

“I guess I didn’t think about it, I thought it would be fun so I did a few. I made Christmas masks, oh I made a dog mask, I made another flowered mask, ”Keinitz said. “I am making Halloween masks.”

Gauerke says your old masks are wearing out, now is a great time to show your true self in mask fashion.

“Much like your wardrobe, you might just want to spruce up your stash of masks and match it with your costume for the day or match your kids’ outfit at school,” Gauerke said.

The store even gives a template on how to make your own mask at home. The model is available in three sizes, small, medium and large to fit everyone from children to adults.

Quilter’s Haven has even donated dozens of homemade masks to community organizations to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic and keep Rockford residents safe.

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