As Gov. Whitmer calls for Michigan to mask up in public, here are some fashion-forward options to integrate face masks into your daily fit.
MICHIGAN — There’s been no better time to score a snazzy collection of face masks, ’Ganders: Gov. Whitmer has signed an executive order requiring people to mask up in all indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces.
But if you’re worried about sabotaging your outfit with PPE that’ll control coronavirus spread, never fear. Local makers say you don’t have to sacrifice your style while keeping yourself, your family, and your community safe.
“Maybe don’t just think of it as a safety precaution but also a new stylish accessory,” said Ann Arbor resident Anke Eichstaedt-Trampler, the creative force behind Elophina Bags. She’s been hand-making face masks since the very beginning of the pandemic in Michigan, first donating them to local hospitals and then selling them to customers online.
“I did the buy-one-donate-one for the hospitals … but at one point the hospitals didn’t need as many masks anymore,” she said. “So I decided instead of donating to the hospital we’ll sell them and make a 25% donation to Food Gatherers.”
Now, she’s selling her masks at Ann Arbor’s Gutman Gallery in addition to her online shop.
“I have two designs,” she said, “One is pleated, like in the hospitals, and then the other one is more fitted to the face.”
Eichstaedt-Trampler has also got beautiful leather pouches for sale to stash your mask in, reminiscent of the super sharp, high-quality bags, purses, and satchels customers have snapped up at craft fairs for years.
Her face masks kick off our list of some of the most stylish you can pick up from Michigan makers as Gov. Whitmer calls on every one of us to mask up.
Check out these fashion-forward masks for all tastes from seamsters from around the state:
Elophina | Ann Arbor
Anke Eichstaedt-Trampler started her career as a designer training as a seamstress in a dressmaker’s studio in Germany. She’s brought the eye for quality and detail she developed there to her business making beautiful, buttery leather bags — and, more recently, fun, vibrant face masks.
WoollyMammothDesign | Kalamazoo
Amber Adams-Fall, aka “Mrs. Mammoth”, stocks her shop with all kinds of whimsical textile art and sculpture. When you’re browsing her adorable face mask selection, make sure to also check out reproduction vintage Michigan State Bird patches, rainbow monster coin purses, and plush produce, just to name a few.
Queerest Gear | Ann Arbor
Designer and seamster extraordinaire Jasper owns Queerest Gear, whose snapback selection, T-shirts, beanies, pins, stickers, and more are curated with care so “everyone can get their queer on.” And you know they have face masks to help you display your pride while doing your part to stay safe and protect others, in addition to a slew of pop culture patterns that’ll draw winks and nods from all the other fun nerds keeping safe at Meijer.
FieldsFarmsCrafts | Plainwell
FieldsFarmsCrafts calls itself a “sweet little country shop of handmade with love items” on Etsy, and whoever is running this sweet little country shop must have some fast fingers and quite a fabric collection. Their selection of patterns is wildly extensive: You want soccer balls? Hummingbirds? Looney Toons? Sports teams? Sunflowers? Paisley? Fred Flintstone?! They’ve got it.
Suits by Sal | Saginaw
Let this shop’s overall rating speak for itself: With nearly 21,000 sales and five stars, buyers are raving about Suits by Sal’s adorable (?!) face masks. The Saginaw tailor shop behind the masks, Saginaw Suits and Alterations, has been keeping up-to-date on the latest fashion trends since 1989.
But there are lots more Michigan makers out there producing face masks in patterns suited to every taste. Here’s a tip if you’re inclined to browse on your own: Head over to Etsy and enter “face masks” in the search bar, then you can filter the results by location using the menu bar on the left. Under “Shop location,” click “Custom” and enter “Michigan” (or “Lansing,” or “Grand Rapids,” or “Kalamazoo,” or what have you), and you’re just a few clicks away from supporting your local seamsters!