Coronavirus supply shortage: Oakland clothing designer pivots from selling fashion to face masks

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Lesley Evers' clothing store in Rockridge is closed for the time being due to the novel coronavirus, but is using this time to put her design skills to work.

Evers is known for selling printed dresses, but since COVID-19 brought upon a shortage in masks, she began making cloth face masks.

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"Well, my brother and sister are both nurses, and when the virus started they both said, 'you have to make masks,'" Evers said.

Evers posted a picture of a mask on Facebook earlier this week and within 24 hours, people ordered more than 2,000 of them.

The cloth masks are lined with an anti-microbial banner that could serve as a barrier, blocking germs, Evers explained.

Jimmy Holliman, president of Pinole based company, Eonyx, specializes in working with conductive, polymer chemistries and is working with Evers in providing the inner lining.

"Nobody's ever been interested in our properties and codings until today," Holliman said. "All of a sudden, everybody is looking for something more than the N-95 mask in terms of protection."

"We're not going out, making any claims at this point. But we're going to put the materials through a complete round of testing at all available laboratories," Holliman says.

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Evers says she hopes to make about 800 masks a day and a team of seamstresses are back on the job. They're changing from making fashion statements, to possibly saving lives.

On Lesley Evers' website, she is selling six assorted print masks for $95.

"I am using all profits to make additional masks to donate to care workers. And another BONUS- keep my Oakland CA seamstresses busy! They are so happy to make them. Thank you for shopping," the website writes.

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