HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Vicky Do is an accomplished seamstress who spends hours at her sewing machine making colorful cloth masks.
“Sometimes 10 hours to 14 hours a day,” she said.
During the pandemic, Do has sewn thousands of face coverings. Her husband, Ben, picks the fabrics and packs the orders.
“In the past we have experience with sewing. So even in the past I do create designs,” he said.
When COVID-19 began making masks necessary accessories, the Dos donated their creations to family and friends. The circle kept getting bigger.
“My mind was on making masks just give to people, especially hospitals,” Vicky Do said.
In April, a relative in New York asked them to send their masks there.
They donated 1,000 of their colorful creations. Many went to a hospital, and the rest went to workers in laundromats and grocery stores.
Recipients sent them thank you cards.
“They make me feel happy that I’m able to help them,” Vicky Do said.
The married couple also needed help.
The hit on the economy cost them practically all of their income. Ben is an independent taxi and shuttle driver. Vicky Do works at a nail salon. Two of their three children live with them.
With their real jobs on hold the Dos needed a way to earn some money.
Sanjiv Hulugalle, a personal friend and the general manager at the Mauna Lani on the Big Island, heard about their mask making and their financial struggle.
“I had a need at the Mauna Lani to create something special where we had to protect our community, protest our employees, but also protect our guests,” he said.
He bought 10,000 masks for the resort and their business was born. They call their line Da Mask Hawaii.
The husband and wife continue to donate masks but now they also sell them.
“I’m happy that we’re able to make these masks and make some money with this so we can pay out bills,” Vicky Do said.
What started as a way to help others has helped them survive.
“I believe if you’re giving forward, many good things will happen. So we’ve been blessed.” Ben said.
The Dos’ masks come in youth sizes too. They’re sold at Morning Glory in the Mililani Town Center and soon they’ll be available at Etsy.com.