Following Illinois's mandatory stay-at-home order in March 2020, we temporarily closed our two retail locations—ENJOY Andersonville and ENJOY Lincoln Square.
Like most Americans (and EARTHLINGS), we were scared and uncertain. People were getting sick, we were worried about our families, our jobs, toilet paper, and...
HAND SANITIZERS and MASKS
Suddenly we noticed that all of our novelty (yet still effective at killing 99.99% of germs on contact) hand sanitizers were selling out. The stressed supply chain was such that folks had no qualms about pulling out a "Maybe You Touched Your Genitals" Hand Sanitizer to clean their hands in public.
In late April, when Illinois joined other states in implementing a mask mandate, we thought this might be an area where our existing relationships with vendors would enable us to offer face coverings for the public. Some makers of socks, eye masks and bags were beginning to shift their production to cloth face masks. But it took time. If people were going to be able to go out for essential items, they needed something. And K-95 and surgical masks were in short supply. If our customers needed masks, this was something we were equipped to offer! We just needed some masks to sell. And quick!
NECESSITY and a MOTHER of INVENTORS
In early March 2020, our accountant (and talented sewist), Heather, had been working with her twin daughters to sew cotton masks. Originally made for neighbors, family and friends, the trio decided to create masks and sell them to raise funds to the World Health Organization, Lurie Children’s Hospital and Queen of Angels Parish—all while Heather was working from home and the kids were e-learning.
We had our mask supplier!
The mother/daughters collaboration, called MaggiePops, created a wide assortment of handmade, high-quality masks, including a popular Chicago Flag Mask.
Heather's mother, Ellen, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in early 2020. MaggiePops pledged to donate a portion of its mask sale proceeds to the American Cancer Society in support of their efforts to fight ovarian cancer. Sadly, Ellen passed away in September 2020. To date, MaggiePops has donated $6,145 to the American Cancer Society in her memory—including additional matched donations by ENJOY, AN URBAN GENERAL STORE and Urbangeneralstore.com.
MaggiePops continued to make masks as fast as they could sew while our other larger vendors began offering more styles of masks and gaiters. We were sanitized and masked and ready to re-open our doors to welcome the public back whenever it was safe.
Next: The Year That Was 2020 - Part Three: Are FingerHands Essential?🤚