Mother, daughter create protective mask to prevent spread of coronavirus
| April 15, 2020
By Sergio Smith / Contributor
Andranae Crawford, a 22-year-old fashion designer based in Atlanta, has developed a new protective facemask cover to help protect Americans in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Crawford’s mother, Anyeta, is a veteran healthcare professional and challenged her daughter to develop a mask cover for everyday use that would be durable and protective for people to wear in public.
The mask covers, officially branded FRONTLINE, are made with cotton, include an extra insertable filter, and are double stitched to give the wearer four layers of protection against the virus.
Crawford has developed the mask line under her clothing brand, Raw Honey, a streetwear company based in Atlanta. Each protective mask cover is hand-sewn and stitched by Raw Honey high school and college interns, who Crawford is training to sew.
“I hope to create jobs for people out of work and provide skill development for college and high school kids who are idle during the pandemic,” she explained. “I just want to use my talents to help my community and family protect themselves physically and financially from this growing crisis and I am hoping I inspire others to do what they can to join in the fight against this virus. “
When Anyeta Crawford found herself with strong concerns about her and her colleagues being exposed to the virus on a daily basis without having the proper protection, she sais she immediately thought of creating a longterm solution with her daughter.
The mask covers were initially created for healthcare professionals who had been facing severe shortages of N95 masks but Crawford and her team want to make them accessible to everyone.
The company is even considering a custom line for people who want more creative patterns, Crawford said.
At first, the goal was to provide a solution for the workers in her office, but when word got out about the quality of the mask, the mother-daughter team secured more than 300 orders in two days.
“As coronavirus cases increases, we have to begin to think more about mask being apart of our lifestyle going forward,” Anyetta Crawford said. “We wanted to create something durable and affordable, but also reusable and stylish.”
Because of such rapid high demand, the elder Crawford solicited the help of her longtime friend and investor Kellee Wamble to help Raw Honey with operations and expansion.
Wamble is an investor behind the Atlanta-based technology platform, Rap Plug, which she hopes to leverage to protect the health of celebrities and music industry professionals who come in ongoing contact with lots of people.
“I just like to offer support entrepreneurs and be a part of great ideas and see them grow into the great businesses I feel they can be,” said Wamble, an IT veteran and Atlanta native.”
The FRONTLINE mask covers will be soon available for purchase online starting at $15. Each purchase supports small business and provides jobs for college students and high school teens, Crawford explained.
Right now, there is a five to seven-day turn around time domestically and three to four-day turn around time locally. The team is looking to improve the fulfillment turnaround as the business grows, Crawford said.