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Dallas fashion company aims to make 10,000 masks to donate to healthcare workers

The team at Ese' Azenabor Atelier in Dallas' Design District are working to make 8,000 to 10,000 masks for healthcare workers treating COVID-19 patients.

DALLAS — A Dallas-based fashion designer is leading a team that’s making thousands of masks for health care workers and patients at hospitals and clinics across the country.

The team at Ese’ Azenabor Atelier says things are slow right now in their showroom in Dallas’ Design District.

”Brides are not coming into our store,” said Ese’ Azenabor. ”The traffic has definitely died down. We are having consultations with clients online.”

With many weddings and special events on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, the designer and her crew are focusing their attention in a different direction.

"They’re calling and saying, Ese’, look, this is what’s going on. Like, the doctors are not having extra protection anymore. Nurses are having to literally tie a bandana on their nose or use old masks and that is very risky,” said Azenabor.

Instead of custom gowns, the showroom is producing hundreds of personal protective devices that are being boxed for distribution to local hospitals.

"We got bored, and we figured we know how to sew, and there’s a need for this everywhere," Azenabor said.

So far, the staff has made more than 1,000 masks. Their devices are re-usable, washable, and equipped with wiring to form to the face. Each mask is made with a triple-layer of cotton, and is designed with a pocket to insert a hospital grade mask.

Azenabor says since word about the project began spreading across social media, the shop has been receiving messages from across the country.

”We have hospitals from New York, D.C., and from New Orleans calling us and saying we need masks,” Azenabor explained.

The team at Ese’ Azenabor Atelier say their goal is to make and donate between 8,000 to 10,000 masks for health care workers on the front line of the coronavirus.

Azenabor added,”We need them to stay healthy, so that we can find a cure and so that we can all get our life back to normal.”

Ese’ Azenabor Atelier set up a crowd-sourcing page to help with supplies and staffing to produce the masks.

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