BERRYVILLE — Between raising money for John H. Enders Fire Company and partnering with the Powhatan School, the owners of a Berryville fabric shop have made more than 5,000 masks for the community since the pandemic began.
The effort was spearheaded by Norma Johnson, one of the owners of the Brazen Sheep fabric store. Co-owners Micki Smith and Sharon Edmunds also helped.
Johnson made about 3,000 masks for students and staff at the Powhatan School, a private school for preschool through eighth grade students in Boyce. Powhatan students are attending classes in-person five days a week. There is no online option.
It took about three months to make the masks, Johnson said, adding that she had the masks ready for students on Aug. 1, so they could practice wearing masks regularly before they returned to in-person classes on Aug. 28.
Each student received five 100% cotton reusable masks, which were color coordinated depending on the student’s grade level.
The set of five masks cost $15 for Powhatan students, Johnson said. The profit from the mask sales will go toward the shop’s rent for its space on 10 W. Main St., she added.
“We’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Johnson said. “Not only did we feel we helped Powhatan, but it certainly helped our business.”
Johnson got the idea to work with Powhatan because her husband works as a bus driver there. She was making masks for free when the pandemic first hit, but around May she was approached by the school and asked to make masks for all the students and staff.
Powhatan’s Interim Head of School Billy Peebles said it “meant so much” to him that the school could create a partnership with Brazen Sheep and receive the masks made just for students and staff.
Before the partnership with Powhatan, Johnson also sold more than 2,000 masks through her shop with all the proceeds going to the Enders Fire Company. She raised nearly $2,500 for the fire company from sales, Johnson said.