As more people in Chicago are wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many are asking who made Mayor Lori Lightfoot's custom protective mask featuring the colors of the Chicago flag and the hashtag #StayHome.
Pride Masks, a Chicago-based printing and design company, has been creating and donating masks to first responders during the coronavirus outbreak, along with selling custom options to the public.
Alan Spaeth, co-founder of Pride Masks, said getting people to feel comfortable with wearing masks in public was a challenge.
"We felt like if we took that same notion of bringing a symbol people care about to the mask, we might get a larger population of people to embrace the idea," Spaeth said.
He said they saw this as an opportunity for Chicago to come together and show pride in their city despite the circumstances.
Pride Masks was originally Pride Flags, started in 2013. The company would ordinarily be designing and creating band uniforms and costumes and printing flags for official city use and pride celebrations.
Steve Ryan, co-founder of Pride Masks, said there's a certain amount of emotion that comes with creating these masks.
"Seeing photos of masks on first responders and on the mayor, it’s pretty amazing. It’s very overwhelming," Ryan said.
During this time, Pride Masks has kept all of its staff employed and are looking to expand their creations to corporate branded masks.
All of their products can be found at www.pridemasks.com
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