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Fashion designer making hundreds of face masks for medical personnel

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Posted at 12:36 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 19:15:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Lexington woman is using her time and skills to make hundreds of face masks for medical professionals, both local and from across the country.

Brenda Tollett is a fashion designer who creates dance and performance costumes. She’s offered up her sewing skills to create masks instead during the coronavirus pandemic.

”I just can’t see myself sitting here making dance costumes when people need stuff,” Tollett said.

Last week, people she knows in the medical field said since supplies are low, they’d like handmade masks to wear at home or over their N95 masks.

”I worked with a nurse in Chicago who helped me figure out the specifications for the masks that I’m making and I started making them three or two days ago,” Tollett said.

Tollett now has hundreds of orders from out of state and even in other countries, like Puerto Rico.

”Nurses mostly, maybe two doctors,” she said of her customers. “A lot of pharmacists who are working 70 hours a week who want to wear masks when they’re in contact with the public all day long. Then some friends and family who have family that have medical issues.”

She’s not completely on her own, though. She gets her son Tyler to help sew and model the masks.

She uses high thread count cotton bed sheets and adds a pocket for a filter. Tollett said it takes at least 45 minutes to finish one mask, but it’s worth the effort.

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”Two or three weeks ago, I didn’t know anyone that had (the coronavirus). Now, I have known people that had it and people that are in the hospital,” Tollett said. “If everybody pitches in, think of what we could all do.”

If you’re interested is obtaining a mask or donating supplies, you can contact Tollett at 859-605-9725 or through her website, https://beat-designs.com/.