Amy Kuschel is a fashion designer and entrepreneur in San Francisco, but her roots are in Dunkirk, which inspired her to donate her designer mask to the region and throughout the country.
Graduating from Dunkirk High School in 1986, Kuschel took up fashion design at the New York Fashion Technology Institute, where he also graduated. Over the years, Kuschel was designed for several companies in New York and California, before starting its own fashion line.
With a pandemic affecting everyone in the country and the world, Keschel felt inspired to start making masks to sell on its website and contribute. For donation purposes, Kuschel began the GoFundMe journey with the aim of raising enough money to produce 2,500 masks. Fundraising has grown, so Kuschel is able to donate more masks than previously planned. Some people even send personal checks directly to Kuschel to donate to funds.
“With our inventory of materials, attitudes to do, and so much support from the community, we have made and donated more than 4,000 masks to outstanding people throughout the country,” said Kuschel. “We have 1,000 other masks plus work now, thank you for the additional donations that have entered.”
Cloth masks that fit the N95 masks that have been worn by health professionals, extend their effective life during periods of greatest need and scarce supply. Masks can also be used alone to prevent the spread of the virus when it comes out in public places.
“We donate to firefighters, paramedics, police officers, doctors, nurses of course, people who work in senior centers, and anyone who feels that mask donations will be appropriate,” said Kuschel.
Donations were also made to western New York facilities, including nurses at Brooks Memorial Hospital, caregivers at the Chautauqua Nursing & Rehab Center, and Chautauqua Center clinics.
Kuschel also makes “Let’s face it” masks, which are being sold on their website to the general public. “They really helped support our small business. This is a great way for us to stay afloat during this period of time.” she says. “It’s also a great way for us to stay safe and protect each other by wearing it when we go to the grocery store, or to our doctor’s appointment.”
Kuschel and his team worked hard to get the design, fit, and material perfect for masks. The mask can be reused, with the outer layer of hemp and organic cotton, and the double inner layer of natural organic cotton poplin finely woven. They even have metal coatings on the top and bottom of the mask to achieve perfection around the nose, cheeks, and chin.
In a raving review about the mask, one person, Hollie writes online: “My husband likes this mask. He was an important worker and hated the cheap masks the company gave him. We found your website and fell in love with style and material. That’s so valuable! They are comfortable and fit the face; there is no gap so it doesn’t cover the glasses. We even made a second order before it was sold out. “
Kuschel is happy to be reconnected with West New York, “Reconnecting with old friends, family, and clients – as well as meeting strangers who are willing to help – have been in the sun during this uncertain time.”