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Local mask makers, retailers keeping up with demand as mandates return

Mask Mandate
Posted at 7:11 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 08:12:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The shop inside Madison Stitch isn’t always quiet, especially when they are sewing masks.

“When the pandemic started we pivoted to making fabric style face masks very early on and it exploded,” said John Pryor, founder of Madison Flitch and Madison Stitch

Madison Stitch converted their entire shop to sewing masks in February 2020, selling and donating close to 35,000 masks.

However, they stopped production in February 2021 as the demand for masks slowed down. Recently, they've seen an increase in mask sales they did not expect.

“In July a lot of our old customers came back to us and said hey can you start selling your face masks again because we are going back to school, things aren’t getting better, people are resistant to the vaccine and mandates are coming from schools governments and other institutions,” Pryor said.

Although the recent resurgence was unexpected, another local Kansas City retailer said they were prepared for fully restocking their shelves with masks after seeing the number COVID-19 cases climb.

“Masks were a huge part of our business and as soon as that mandate went away we definitely saw a dip in that. You know with the summer months people don’t want to be wearing this piece of cotton on their faces, but as soon as it came back, it just shot out of the gates and now people were out here buying them like crazy,” said Ryan Forntey, store manager of Charlie Hustle on the Plaza.

Not knowing if and when society will go back to not wearing masks, both companies said they will do what they can to help the community keep themselves safe.