While the nation has been focusing on the need for and shortage of protective facial masks for healthcare providers amid the COVID-19 threat, Amanda Goodman recognized an additional need that had been overlooked.
“After hearing how wearing these protective face masks was causing pain for healthcare workers, I knew I needed to help in some way,” Goodman, owner of Espresso Yourself Handmade Boutique & Gifts, of Kerrville, said. “After wearing these masks for so long, the elastic bands begin to irritate the ears, causing them to become sore and raw. They have to wear them for hours, day in and day out. I was looking for a way to provide some relief in that area.”
After doing some research, Goodman discovered an S-hook accessory that redirects the bands away from the ears, while still holding the mask flush on the wearer’s face.
“The idea for acrylic hooks was circulating around a craft group I follow and knew that there was a huge need in my area,” Goodman said. “I started offering the mask hooks for free to healthcare professionals on April 1 and within three days I had already received 13,000 requests.”
Since she was donating the mask hooks to members of the medical field, Goodman posted a fundraiser on Facebook to help with the cost of the materials and was able to raise $1,000, but the requests keep coming … not just locally, but from around the nation.
“I’ve purchased 120 sheets of acrylic so far and will have to order even more,” Goodman said. “I want to continue to make and distribute these hooks as long as there is a need. It’s the least I can do. Donations of any amount are extremely appreciated.”
Donations can be made via PayPal or Venmo, with instructions found by visiting the Espresso Yourself Handmade Boutique & Gifts Facebook page. Orders for the mask hooks can also be made via her Facebook page or by following the link https://bit.ly/3bNUWYP.
Goodman’s initial purchase was in the amount of $1,300, which has kept her in production until the new order arrives.
“Once I started going through sheets of acrylic, I realized I needed a little help paying for material and shipping costs,” Goodman said.
In her home-based business, Goodman creates personalized items of many types, which require specialized equipment, such as a laser cutter, which she uses to produce the acrylic S-hooks.
This is not the first time Goodman has stepped to help a greater cause. In September of 2017, she designed a custom T-shirt that she marketed through her business and donated the entire proceeds to Hurricane Harvey victims.
Goodman is the wife of a local first responder and mother of two elementary-age children, whom she is caring for at home while she keeps production coming for her home business.
“I started Espresso Yourself Handmade Boutique & Gifts in May 2017 as a hobby. It has grown immeasurably and I now ship items internationally,” Goodman said. “I am constantly bringing new and personalized ideas to my business and offer items that cannot be found in stores.”
While she continues to fulfill retail orders, Goodman remains focused on helping provide mask hooks to anyone who needs them.