BANGOR, Maine — At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) was only for hospital personnel. But as the pandemic rolled along, soon everyone was putting on face masks.
Face masks take up a lot of space on your face, so Janice Rand of Bangor decided she was going to make unique masks to reflect people's different personalities.
She makes a different one for each customer after people tell her what patterns, colors, or hobbies they are into.
Rand starts every day as a teacher and ends at the sewing machine.
"People would be walking around saying what a lovely mask, what a lovely mask, oh look at your mask! but we do...the kids get so excited about it when I'm at school..Ms. Rand you have a Jelly Bean mask on today! or Ms. Rand you wore your monster mask today! and it helps them know that I am doing the right thing, they are doing the right thing, and it's just what we need to do for now," said Rand.
"I mean we are at a point where we need to do this, where we need to wear our masks...so why not have a little fun with it, let's do it in style," said Rand.
Rand makes masks with lobsters, flowers, monsters, doughnuts, blueberries, cats, skulls...you name it, she makes it all!
Rand started making the masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and she decided to add a little personality to each one of them.
"I take a little time, to find out what people are into, what makes them- them, what makes a person unique," said Rand.
"I have been collecting beach glass since I can remember, and I have tons of it at my house, and when I saw that I had to have it," said customer Kathy Griffith.
"Isn't it cool? I'm a hockey fan! I don't know if we will get it this year! But this means a lot," said customer Maureen Ireland.
Since it's so hard to read facial expressions these days, Rand believes her masks help people show a bit of their identity, but it's not only about fashion.
"Everything is taking a pause, and she is starting a new business, while it's very needed," said customer Diane Bean.
Dr. John Garrett is an elite provider for Convenient MD. Dr. Garrett said the need for masks is still there and will be for a while.
"It would be a lot better to use something and reduce your exposure to someone else, whether it will be a cloth mask..as opposed to nothing at all," said Dr. Garrett.
"I am personally a big believer in everyone doing their part and wearing masks," said Rand.
You can find these unique #MaskMEinstyle masks on her Facebook Page here.
You can also send Janice Rand an email to firstname.lastname@example.org