Student and mother start homemade mask business for Bellaire community

The coronavirus has led to the closure of thousands of small businesses who are struggling to survive and one student has created a business selling mask with her mother to support their local tailor shop. 

Harris County has recently announced a local order requiring anyone over the age of 10 to wear a mask when out in public. Senior Michelle Nguyen and her mother have stepped up to provide masks to the Bellaire community. They created this mask-making business at first to help her mother’s small business handle the financial hardship which the lockdown has brought.

“My mom owns a tailoring shop where people come to get clothes tailored,” Nguyen said. “The shop is not considered an essential business but my mom still needed a way to pay her rent so she decided to make reusable face masks and I would promote the mask.” 

Michelle has promoted the mask on her Instagram account @lingishungry and customers can direct message the account to place orders.

“A mask costs $5 and people can pick up their orders the next day or the day of,” Ngyuen said. “On my Instagram account customers can tell a specific color or mask style to cater to the customer’s needs.” 

Businesses, churches, and families have already ordered masks to help protect themselves from COVID-19 and prevent the spread of the virus. St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and ConocoPhillips are a few customers that have already placed large orders to protect their employees and congregants. Students such as senior Reagan Kimzey have favorable things to say about the mask itself. 

“I really like the mask. They are breathable, comfortable, and they are adjustable so you can easily adjust the mask to fit on anyone,” Kimzey said. “It also feels good to support a local business and a fellow classmate.” 

The masks are not only helping to keep community members safe but also helping our frontline medical workers and first responders. The CDC recommends people leave medical masks to health care workers and first responders who are most at risk, recommending homemade masks as an alternative for the general public.

“We are giving people an affordable way to protect a person’s health and to save the medical mask for health care workers,” Nguyen said. “Our masks are reusable and easy to wash and it helps support local businesses.”