By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman is putting the sudden downturn in retail to good use.

The extra time forced Sarah Murphy to re-visit her passion and protect others in the process.

“It takes me about 30 minutes to make each mask,” Murphy said.

READ MORE: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Face Masks, Including How Best To Clean Them

With a college degree in apparel design, Sarah Murphy worked her way up to a retail manager at a big name store. It took an unexpected three-month break to sit the 28-year-old from Plymouth back in front of her sewing machine.

“I was furloughed during the pandemic. I was at home and, you know, I had all this fabric hoarded, and so I decided to make some face masks,” Murphy said.

It’s how Masks by Sarah was born. Murphy came up with her own pattern, complete with nose wire, silk lining and filter pocket — all with a flair for fashion.

“We’re also making reversible ones, so we have this one that is a crocheted on the outside, but then on the inside it’s a … snow leopard print,” Murphy said.

READ MORE: How Parents Can Help Kids Adjust To Wearing Face Masks In School

Upcycling material from old dresses and pajamas, Murphy takes all requests. She’s sold hundreds to people across the country for $20 apiece, and for every mask she makes, she donates another to different charities.

Murphy will keep moving her new business forward, even as she’s back at work. Staying safe, in style.

“I think the hardest part is getting started,” Murphy said.

Liz Collin