Noting a problem and providing a solution is the cornerstone of any business and not a concept lost on Justine and Bailee Sneiderman. The two Midtown girls, in grades 9 and 7, started their own mask business this summer after noticing that some people weren’t wearing masks and other masks didn’t fit properly.
“We realized that people were struggling to find masks that fit properly, look good, and feel good,” says Justine. “We came to the conclusion that we needed to provide a solution to this problem. Just providing a well-fitting mask wasn’t enough; we wanted it to have meaning, so we came up with a phrase on our masks. The phrase we chose was ‘I care about u.'”
It’s not hard to spot one of Justine’s and Bailee’s creations. The “I Care About U” lettering stands out and can be seen from a distance, which is not a coincidence. The two girls created and designed the masks to pop — from the colours to the smallest lettering details.
“Our target was to have our logo visible to people, even if they were at a distance of six feet. We also wanted it to look appealing to our audience,” says Justine.
But designing a mask from scratch is anything but easy, and the process of creating that perfect piece can be challenging.
“Finding the perfect shade of blue font, and letter spacing and sizing was difficult, considering we wanted this to look perfect,” says Justine. “We went through many test phases by printing logos on pieces of paper and taping them to masks to see how they looked. In the end, it took a couple of weeks to finalize our logo.”
Looking for ways to sell more masks, the girls spread the word through friends and family and then social media to help boost orders. A shoutout from local councillor Josh Matlow also helped.
“Josh Matlow, our city councillor posted on Twitter and added our business to his monthly newsletter. From there it continued to blossom, a radio show heard about this and aired our story, and many companies have reached out to us and are interested in purchasing masks to hand out to staff and people involved with them,” says Justine.
The driven duo plan to continue making masks throughout the school year.
“We plan on keeping the business until the orders for our masks slow down. We don’t want to just end it, because it is a movement,” says Bailee.
Profits from mask sales will be donated to Food Banks Canada COVID-19 Response Fund.
The I Care About U masks sell for $10 and can be found at icareaboutu.ca. They’ve sold 500 masks and counting.