Meet the Bay Area’s Best Mask Maker, Who Does Business via Instagram
MasksByMisty offers a huge selection of masks from a variety of prints
This article is part of The Bold Italic’s 2020 Awards, which celebrate the Bay Area’s small businesses and local residents who have hustled and shown creativity throughout 2020. See all of the award winners here.
Back in the spring, huge fashion brands weren’t the only ones pivoting to mask production. Many local Bay Areans also got in the game. We at the Bold Italic even launched the series Mask Envy to highlight all the creative masks we’ve seen made locally.
As for our 2020 awards, the winner of the Best Local Mask Maker is Misty Newland of MasksByMisty. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she’s found herself operating a one-woman fundraising and mask-making operation mainly through Instagram DMs.
Her tri-panel masks feature cute prints with a fun, stickered scrapbook vibe, and she’s expanded her offerings to include baby bibs and dog collar accessories to ensure that no fabric scrap goes to waste.
Perhaps best of all, MasksByMisty donates half of its total sales. Recent donations have gone to Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff as well as Swing Left and Feeding America. Newland organizes her mask-making fully through an Instagram page and a Google Form, proving that you don’t need a slick website or marketing campaign to make a difference and give back to your community.
Check out our interview with MasksByMisty and see below for the other top mask makers in the Bay Area.
TBI: How did you start MasksByMisty?
Misty Newland: I started by making masks for myself. After realizing I had far too much fabric to ever use in a lifetime for myself, I started giving them away for free. In the absence of government action, I felt it was important that everyone should have access to reusable masks. After I began seeing the impact of the pandemic on the economy and that the extended shutdowns were causing increasing food insecurity and other problems, my project grew into a fundraising effort.