Local masks prove popular

Pic of Tancy McAleer co-owner of HomeGrown Gifts. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 211633_01

Jessica Micallef

Sunbury residents are masking up to help slow the spread of coronavirus, and business owner Sharyn Snook is encouraging residents to shop local.

The HomeGrown Gifts owner has been selling handmade masks for about a month but said she noticed a greater demand for locals wanting to purchase handmade masks locally after it was announced facemasks were to become compulsory.

“At least a handmade mask is more fun,” Ms Snook said.

“You can really get it to fit in with your personality and it is not using up disposable ones that are really more for doctors, nurses and people in the health profession that actually need to protect themselves on a deeper level.”

Ms Snook has sold about 400 handmade masks, with many still on order to be made.

“People are really conscious about what they are buying because they are trying to stay close to home … ,” she said.

“I definitely think this [stage three restrictions] has caused people to stay more local, partly because of their own safety, but I also think people have been reminded of the importance of small businesses.”

While Ms Snook was grateful residents were opting to shop closer to home, she said she hoped supporting local businesses continued into the future.

“Eventually, when this is all over, hopefully we can learn from it … and people find that they love their local butcher and go to their local restaurants a lot more,” she said.

“We live in one of the best countries in the world and after the bushfires and now coronavirus, we need to support holiday locations and Australia a lot more.

“Hopefully it continues and it is not just a fad.”