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Janome community sews solutions amid face-mask shortage

Article by Amberly Dressler
In light of the current COVID crisis, Google searches for “face masks” have surged many times over. With face-mask supplies limited, how some communities and brand advocates are responding to unprecedented demand is nothing short of inspiring.

Janome, a globally recognized sewing machine manufacturer which runs its website on Episerver, boasts a dynamic community of dealers, educators and creators. During “normal” times, these brand advocates interact digitally and in-person to share ideas, talk about the machines and help people with product questions. During the global COVID-19 pandemic, Janome creators, dealers and educators have increased collaboration through online social events and even mobilized to make face masks and face-mask templates for those who need them.

Recently, for example, Janome educators Alba Fekete and Sam Fung crafted N95 mask covers for police officers in the field after discovering a local station’s need in New Jersey. The covers (according to this article) allow the Mahwah, New Jersey officers to wash the fabric masks to extend the life of the N95 masks in very short supply.

“It’s incredible to see how our dealers and educators are answering the call for more face masks for first responders and their communities,” said Claudia Cherrington, Marketing Coordinator at Janome America, Inc. “Helping the Mahwah Police Department is an incredible example of what our community can accomplish together, as is the work Janome dealer Gigi’s Fabric Shop has done in Florida.”

A fabric store and Janome Dealer has been able to create thousands of masks and face shields for hospitals in Tampa, Florida.

While many individuals are using Janome sewing machines to create face masks, Janome warns that they are not meant to replace a surgical face mask but are contingency plans for those who have no avail to surgical masks on the market. Janome provides several templates (one, two, three) for face-mask creation and the CDC provides recommendations as well.

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For questions about mask making, many local Janome dealers are helping with machine delivery, accessory delivery or even over-the-phone troubleshooting for this time of mask sewing and creating at home. This ingenuity is needed as local brick-and-mortar shops are impacted by declining or zero foot traffic depending on the location.

While mass retailers selling Janome products haven’t been hit as hard due to ecommerce options, local dealers with temporary store closures are looking to grassroots omnichannel options to generate business. Cherrington says dealers are promoting curbside pickup and home delivery to get sewing machines to wanting customers.

With millions of people homebound due to social-distancing requirements, people are turning to crafting to find ways to pass the time. For new sewers, Cherrington recommends joining a Janome Facebook group or tuning in to a Janome Facebook Live as people will see how willing this community is to help – if the stories outlined here weren’t proof enough.

“We understand how difficult these times are for everyone, Janome can’t thank our health professionals enough and the Janome community that is coming together to support them,” said Cherrington. “We hope our products help people stay happy and stay creative during this time. We are always here for our customers whether it’s to find new projects, get help with their machines or find fun things to do with their families.”

Visit Janome.com for more information.


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