IRVING PARK — An Irving Park woman has raised $3,200 for Lurie Children’s Hospital selling tie-dyed face masks.
Bailey Catanese began tie-dying cotton face masks as a fun project to do with her two small children in April during the stay at home order. The masks were very comfortable to wear, she said, but were a boring, plain white.
After dying masks with her children for her family, Catanese posted photos of them online and friends asked where she bought them. That’s when she realized she could sell the masks and help raise money for Lurie, where her sister-in-law works.
“I know how hard all those people over there are working, and I know how important what they’re doing is,” Catanese said. “Anything I can do to help slow the spread of virus and donate to the Lurie is a no-brainer.”
After spitballing the idea with her husband, Catanese announced via a post on her Instagram she was going to sell two masks minimum for $16 with each additional mask costing $6 and $4 flat shipping. She sold 300 masks within 48 hours.
“From there the demand has just kept growing,” she said.
Initial customers put in followup orders for their family and friends. And customers aren’t limited to the Chicago area, Catanese said. Orders have come in from places like Utah, Washington, Iowa and Florida.
“My masks have reached both coasts, which is great and quite exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I keep joking masks are this summer’s main accessory.”
Catanese has sold more than 1,000 masks as of Monday and plans to keep making them during the pandemic to raise funds for Lurie.
“It’s funny. I didn’t start out with the intention of selling this many masks. It was just a family project to make this plain white mask not look so ugly,” Catanese said.
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