Well, you know how I feel about masks. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that since the start of the pandemic in March, face masks have most likely become your most used accessory.

So I started thinking, if you’ve got to do it at least do it right and buy local.

You can always purchase a mask from your local pharmacy, but there are plenty of ​small businesses that have recently started mask production. Many are individually-owned retailers, utilizing extra fabric to make masks both for purchase and donation.​ As it looks like masks will be around for the foreseeable future, and small businesses need support, here are two great mask retailers for Jersey residents to check out.

The first is Adrienn Braun Bridal, located at the Monroe Art Center in Hoboken. According to an article in USA Today, Adrienn Braun, the owner and designer, is now donating her home-sewn masks to local hospitals as well as selling them at pay-what-you-can prices. The idea here is that customers receive a mask in exchange for a donation, which will allow Braun to continue making masks and donating them to those in need. The masks can be purchased both in store and through Instagram direct messaging.

Also, NJ.com featured Creature Comforts Stationery, owned by Lauren Warne in Dumont. Warne sells a plethora of customized products including masks, which have increased her business, and allowed for her to give back to the community. Her most popular mask design features a pattern of license plates which read “JSY GRL.” A purchase from Creature Comforts Stationery not only results in a stylish addition to your mask collection, but gives Warne the funds to ​make more masks and donate them to local hospitals through the ​Bergen Mask Task Force​, a volunteer group run out of Bergen County.

While masks are an easy find, consider purchasing your next one from a local business.
If you’ve got to wear one, at least you can give back to your community and help a struggling local business make it through these difficult times.

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi’s own.

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