Nearly a year ago, masks to protect against coronavirus transmission were in short supply, as health officials urged citizens to save medical-grade masks for our heroic health care workers. While textile manufacturers ramped up production of cloth masks, many of us got creative to ensure we did our part to slow the spread by wearing face coverings.
Georgia Walker stepped up with a crafty solution that inspired all of her coworkers at Wayfair’s Sales & Service center in Brunswick, Maine. Georgia had taken up sewing as a hobby a few years ago, after receiving a sewing machine for Christmas. Prior to the pandemic, she liked to make small quilts, blankets, and coats for her dog. But in the early spring of 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. created a dire need for masks – Georgia soon realized she had the power to help.
In her free time, Georgia put her sewing skills to use and created amazing face masks like these, many of which she donated to local healthcare workers. “I ended up making around 120 masks for friends, family and donations,” said Georgia.
She was able to continue creating masks until around summertime, when they became more universally available. In the beginning, the unexpected challenge of plain fabrics being sold out led to a solution that may have set a trend. “I started using extra fabric I had stashed from other projects, and would also buy what was on sale or what seemed fun,” said Georgia. “I ended up making my mom a few masks from a fabric with cows on it, which she loved. It was my minor contribution to the start of mask fashion.”
Georgia also noted that she wasn’t alone in going above and beyond to help when times got tough. “In my role as an Order Loss Prevention Specialist at Wayfair, you see a lot of people willing to do what they can to help when needed,” she said. “When our departments became backed up, we had analysts working in roles different from their own, or even working with other teams to provide assistance where it was needed.”
“My brother-in-law is a doctor who works between several hospitals in and around the Boston area. As I live in Maine, I wasn't able to do anything that directly impacted him, but I realized I could help in other ways. People needed masks, and I had time and a sewing machine. It was pretty simple.”
Once masks were in greater supply, Georgia was finally able to scale back her heroic effort and use more of her free time to work on other hobbies and spend more time with her dog. With Georgia sewing it’s coats we’re sure she has the most stylish dog in Maine!
We’re incredibly proud of Georgia’s contribution to her community and the role she played in keeping everyone safe.