Sharon Albrechtsen has been as busy as she's ever been in the past week, sewing as fast as she can to keep up with demand for the reusable face masks she is making and selling.
"It's certainly been busy. I've probably made just under 100 so far."
When she isn't making masks, the Hāwera resident is kept busy in her day jobs, working as a business adviser as well as working in schools with students experiencing grief or loss. In addition, she also runs a side business, 2DYE4-Taranaki, making tie-dyed items to sell at markets around Taranaki.
"It was from that I started making the masks. I had made a couple in tie-dye and then someone asked me if I could make them plain, not tie-dyed. I tried out a few in a range of different fabrics, and the orders started coming in."
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With suitable fabric and elastic in high demand around the country as home sewers try their hand at mask making, Sharon says she was fortunate to have "a pretty decent fabric stash" already at home.
"I've been making masks in all sorts of patterns now, plain, floral, bright prints, block colours, pretty much anything I can find in my fabric collection."
While the orders are coming in fast, Sharon says she is still taking her time with every mask she makes.
"It's not a two-minute job. I take care with every single mask I make, it's not rip, sh*t and busy here."
The masks are made with two layers of fabric she says, and while she started off making them for adults, she is looking into doing some in children's sizes as well.
"I am selling them through the various buy and sell pages on Facebook, so people can contact me there, otherwise there are some of my masks in stock in Findlays Flower Studio in Stratford."