A mask factory on Warren for local delivery people

Alyssa Sarfity is pretty crafty, so when her business as a food stylist (Panera, Essex Market, Applebee’s) dried up in mid-March, she pulled out her sewing machine and made some masks for her local delivery guys in the neighborhood. She posted a few on Instagram, offering them up to anyone else who needed them, and an acquaintance asked if she would make them specifically for her hospital’s ER team.

That request came with a pattern — they would be used to extend the life of the N95 masks and had to fit over them. And then another request came in, this time from the birthing center. She adjusted her technique a bit and was able to crank a mask out in 12 minutes. (“The first ones were really cute and would take me an hour or two. Then I got serious.”) Her upstairs neighborhood bleached his sheets and donated them to her operation.

When she ran out of elastic part way through, she posted on FaceBook and a fashion designer in Hell’s Kitchen offered some up. But he couldn’t get downtown, so another follower did the delivery. The elastic was on her doorstep in two hours. The docs sent a TaskRabbit to pick them up from her lobby and the whole circle was complete.

Her hospital work has slowed down, but she is still offering masks for any local delivery people who need them. (DM her on Instagram.)

In the meantime, she has outfitted her loft with a home studio to try to resurrect her business (watch her reel — it’s great). She’s added a new tripod, lights, new surfaces — an overall boost to try to mimic the pro photography stages she usually rents. “I’m used to working with a hundred people in the room,” she said. “So now I am trying to adjust to going solo.”