Kopelyn Delong Promotes Mask Business

Kopelyn+Delong+cuts+fabric+for+her+latest+order+of+masks.+

Kenzie Denney

Kopelyn Delong cuts fabric for her latest order of masks.

Kenzie Denney, Writer

Classic disposable masks have become one of the most recognizable symbols of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Sophomore Kopelyn Delong believed in an idea that included a bit more fashion and personal flare.

Face masks have effortlessly made their way into everyday life which is why Delong was inspired to make a difference. She started making masks in April and then a few months later realized she wanted to encourage people to stay safe by selling them at affordable prices. 

“I started making masks with my grandma during quarantine since there weren’t a ton of things to do. I was still isolated from people and staying safe. Starting a mask business also let me spend time with my grandma and make a change. I wanted to be able to help people be safe out in public, especially during this crazy time,” said Delong.

By selling masks, Delong has discovered that the only benefits aren’t earning money or positively affecting people’s lives, but she’s also been able to make new connections along the way. 

“I have been able to meet more people from my mask business. I made an Instagram account because I was curious as to who would buy my masks, and that’s where I got most of my orders. There were people I didn’t even know, but I saw they followed me and went to Ozark. It’s been a neat experience being able to meet people through a small business,” said Delong. 

Before officially starting her business, Delong desired to ensure that anyone who wanted to wear her masks, could. This led her to offer two kinds of masks: a ruffled and a flat.

“I have a flat mask, which is more fitted to your face. These masks are better for people with glasses. I also have the ruffle mask, which is the rectangle-shaped mask that has a nosepiece sewed into the top part of the mask, which helps the mask stay up and mold onto your nose,” said Delong. 

When running a mask business, there are many problems and struggles people don’t take into consideration. For example, determining the size of a mask for an unfamiliar person or small technical difficulties. 

“I really enjoy making masks. It’s not hard to do once you understand the process, but sometimes it can be a little difficult trying to estimate how long the straps on the mask need to be, especially if you don’t know the person. I have different measurements for kids, teens, and adults, so sometimes I ask them which they’d prefer,” said Delong.

“Also, my sewing machine broke at my house, so currently I’ve only been able to make them on the weekends. I have to drive to Branson to go to my grandma’s house. It’s inconvenient, but not impossible. I also enjoy getting to spend time with my grandma.”

Delong is a firm believer in self-expression and being fashionable, which is why she wanted to create masks and find patterns that were suitable for all ages and genders. She also sells her masks at a very affordable price, making her masks elite. 

“I’ve been able to find super cute materials for every gender and age at Joann’s and other fabric stores. I also ask people what kind of materials they want. I’ll take pictures of them when I’m at the fabric store but won’t buy them. If people say they want a material I’ve posted about, then I will go back and buy it. That way I don’t waste money.”

Delong’s prices are important to her business.  “My masks are also very high quality for a low price. Some people sell them for $10-$15 whereas my regular ones -flat and ruffled- only cost five dollars,” she said.

She also makes customized masks. “Right now my most popular  (mask) has been the Ozark ones with O’s on the side. These customizations have to be done on a flat mask, but I can do any letter. If you add letters the mask costs eight dollars.” 

Starting a small business turned Delong’s quarantine into a memory she will never forget. Visit her Instagram account, kopelynshop_masks, to buy or place an order.