Costumer and mother-of-two Naomi van Vliet normally makes armour for movies, but when Covid-19 re-emerged in New Zealand last week, she took to her trusty sewing machine and churned out a different kind of protection - face masks - for her family, friends and, very soon, the internet.
With marketing help from fellow Playcentre mum Frankie Rossking, they set up the Facebook page Naomi May, offering adult and children's masks in prints from floral and polka dot, to multi-coloured superheroes.
"We're just two mums passionate about a project, it's a creative outlet and a nice way to help people during the pandemic," they told the Herald.
A similar thirst for creativity drove photographer Mala Patel's pivot to sewing.
Her photography business was hit hard during the first lockdown in March, prompting her to start a fashion upcycling Facebook shop called the Lockdown Look, where she is now selling masks made off her dining-turned-sewing table, featuring bold colours and funky patterns like skulls and studs.
"They're fab and fun, it's what we need at the moment with all the uncertainty and anxiety around," she said.
Mala averages 15 to 20 masks a day in between housework and keeping her 11-year-old son occupied.
"I can't get out and take photos but I need to keep bring creative. Sewing allows me to do that," she said.
Mala, Naomi and Frankie are among a growing number of women around the country who are responding to a spike in demand for face masks as New Zealand grapples with a second wave of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called on Aucklanders to wear masks when out and about, while people in the rest of New Zealand are encouraged to mask up in confined or crowded spaces.
For the mum duo behind Auckland-based ethical beauty brand Aotearoad, their motivation for making reusable masks was a fear of plastic.
Co-founder Monica Budd said she had a "meltdown moment" when she was gifted hundreds of disposable surgical masks by a well-meaning supplier earlier this year.
"That hit home to us that oh no, we've just got rid of plastic bags. Now the whole world is going to be covered in plastic masks," she said.
So Monica and her all-woman team designed cotton masks that come with removable wool filters - for extra protection, she said.
The masks have sold out twice on their website and the team is rushing to fulfill current orders.
According to the Health Ministry website, wearing a face mask can reduce the risk of people who have Covid-19 spreading the virus to others, by stopping infectious droplets spreading when they speak, laugh, cough or sneeze.
"Nobody wants to think about it but you really do sometimes spit a lot when you speak, so it's to protect you... and others from you, isn't it?" Naomi said with a laugh.
From Vietnam to Venezuela, a growing list of countries has made wearing face masks mandatory in public spaces.
Not in New Zealand, however, where masks are mandatory only for people who are travelling on airplanes.
With tourism at a standstill, Rotorua-based souvenir maker Rozcraft has had no orders for its core products of toy sheep, kiwi and kapa haka gear for three months.
But since last week phone and email orders have come in fast and furious for its currently sold-out face masks.
Mask manufacturing is giving the small business a lifeline, and maintaining - if not creating - jobs.
'I'm flat out teaching our new people how to sew masks at the moment," said owner Roz Hunt, "We've even got one family who stopped milking cows to make masks for us!"
The Rotorua grandmother has a team of 20 young mothers, retirees, and people with disabilities cutting fabric and sewing masks, most of them from home.
"I think that's always been my passion, to create products and give someone a job," she said.
"Just never worked out to get rich but, very well!"