Meet the mask makers of Spenard

Photos by Young Kim.
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Photos by Young Kim.

From business owners to students at West High School, the Spenard community has been keeping themselves busy making masks during the pandemic.

Bret Connor of Hulin Designs has been operating on less time, but still has made and sold over 100 masks to date.

“I came up with this mask finally that worked well,” Connor said.” In my little bits of time everyday, just spent time trying to source materials and that kind of stuff. I really wanted to do something simple that didn’t utilize elastic, while there is a little bit of supply issue with elastic that people are using for the ear loops, I like the idea of making it more classic and not having some bulky elastic. Just something that is a little cooler looking but still functional and simple.”

Connor has mainly sold masks individually, but has also worked with the Beauty Room to make custom masks for their employees. His current project is making masks for youth working at the Anchorage Park Foundation.

Connor’s shop, Hulin Designs, is operating from 4-6 p.m., where he offers curbside pick up and some walk-in traffic. 

Connor isn’t alone. Roughly 30 high schoolers from West High have banded together to make masks. The group is focusing on uniting youth in the state to learn a new skill and donate to areas of the community in need.

Sharon Kim founded Mask Mission AK, and says they have donated nearly 700 masks to a number of organizations, including Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Regional Hospital, Bean’s Cafe, the Anchorage Health Department and more.

“We formed this little community to start on working together to take action against COVID-19,” Kim said. “What we do is we educate the youth on the importance of wearing masks through our newsletter and social media… We also take action by donating the homemade masks that we make.” 

Caitlin Omey, head of public relations for Mask Mission AK, says being out of school has given them extra time to put towards the organization.

“I think we saw that we needed masks ourselves, and they were difficult to come by, so we figured, ‘Hey, we’ve got a sewing machine and fabric here, might as well learn how to make it ourselves,’” Omey said.

Both Kim and Omey are going into their senior year and say they will continue to make masks.

“As long as there is a need, we’ll continue to supply,” Omey said.

The group has started a GoFundMe, where they are accepting donations for supplies.

“We are so happy to be part of something… I believe what we’re doing — and the message that we’re spreading — really gets out and helps our community for a better cause,” Kim said.

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?
What’s a Rich Text element?

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The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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