GOOD NEWS

Moree small businesses boosted by surge in mask demand

Meg & Jig owner Sally Gall has made hundreds of masks over the last week and is completely sold out. She's about to send her last lot off to people in Melbourne in Sydney.
Meg & Jig owner Sally Gall has made hundreds of masks over the last week and is completely sold out. She's about to send her last lot off to people in Melbourne in Sydney.

In her 44 years of business, Sylvia's Fabrics and Accessories owner Sylvia Broderick has never been as busy as she has over the past few weeks as the demand for face masks continues to grow.

On Monday, the Moree fabric store served its most customers ever, with more than 50 people walking through the door in search of material and elastic to make masks, while Sylvia also took more than 110 mask orders for her friend and employee Nola Kite, who has been flat-out making masks.

"I had to get help yesterday [Monday]," Sylvia said.

"I had six people waiting at the door for me to open yesterday.

"Last week, due to the theft of my mobile phone, a dear friend walked in to see how I was and ended up helping me serve for the next six hours. We didn't lift our heads for six hours."

READ ALSO:

Ever since the Moree Champion ran a story about Nola making masks, Sylvia has been inundated with orders from people looking to buy them.

Sylvia estimates Nola has already made about 500 masks, with more orders continuing to flow in. On Tuesday morning, Sylvia had already taken another 60 orders, on top of the 110 from Monday.

A bundle of completed masks, made by Nola Kite, ready to be collected from Sylvia's Fabrics and Accessories.

A bundle of completed masks, made by Nola Kite, ready to be collected from Sylvia's Fabrics and Accessories.

Sylvia's Fabrics is also sold out of elastic and is currently awaiting an e-Bay order for more as Sylvia can't get it from any of her suppliers in Australia.

She's also running low on interfacing which she has been selling to put in between the front and back pieces of material, as recommended by NSW Health.

Just a few doors up in Heber Street, Meg and Jig owner Sally Gall has also been busy making her own masks to sell in store and online, with all the fabric and materials sourced from Sylvia's Fabrics.

She doesn't know exactly how many masks she's made since last weekend, but Sally estimates it's "in the hundreds".

"I've used 1.5 kilometres of thread," she said.

Although she's made hundreds of masks, they're already sold out, with many going to people in Victoria and Sydney.

"I did an Instagram post, which Buy from the Bush shared on their story. I posted it on Sunday and sold so many on Sunday afternoon - probably 50/50 to locals and people from out of Moree.

"But after Buy from the Bush shared it, it's mostly been online orders."

Another small local business, Botanica Home and Tea Room, has also been selling masks online and in store.

Lucinda Chick from Botanica Home and Tea Room is busy sending masks to people in Sydney and Melbourne.

Lucinda Chick from Botanica Home and Tea Room is busy sending masks to people in Sydney and Melbourne.

Owner Lucinda Chick has already received two orders of face masks which are all sold out, and she's currently awaiting another four orders which are expected to arrive in the next two weeks.

She said the first lot she just posted to Instagram, and these sold online, with most going to Sydney and Melbourne, however she has received a lot of messages from locals about her second order of masks.

"I think now that the NSW government has recommended that we wear them, more people are buying them," she said.

Moree TAFE students are also now making masks, with a unique Aboriginal screen printed design. These can be purchased from the front office at the TAFE NSW Moree campus.