WACO, TX — Small business owners are reinventing themselves to survive the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
One Central Texas woman is paying her bills, and at the same time fulfilling a vital need.
Belinda Hupp has a knack for arts and craft but like so many entrepreneurs and small business owners she was forced to get creative to survive during this pandemic.
"I was in panic mode, how are we going to pay our cars. My income was stopped because all craft shows were canceled until July."
Hupp sells personalized crafts on Etsy, and she had light-bulb moment when the CDC recommended that everyone should wear masks.
"I posted a picture of a really pretty flamingo mask and my friend in Florida said 'omg are you selling masks?' so I shifted my personalization businesses to home-made masks."
Orders for her creations started flying in about two weeks ago.
So far, she has made over 700 masks.
"I am up until 2:30 in the morning, I got swamped with orders going to California and Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut...they are going everywhere."
She even added an option to add an extra layer of protection to every single mask.
"I left an opening on the top of every mask where you can fold a coffee filter in half and put it in there."
Although she does all the sewing herself, her community of family and friends help by picking up fabric and shipping packages. Her daughter and son's girlfriend both help her make every mask possible.
"I am grateful everyone is remembering small businesses now but when everything is over, remember I am the one selling silly stickers and shirts, remember those little people because those are the ones truly affected."
She says she can't wait to be back outside, and attend craft shows where she can sell a lot more than masks.
If you would like to order your own personalized mask, you can head to her Facebook page, Hupp Creations.
They are only $5.00