A face mask brand with a difference is coming to Preston Market.Advertisement
Millie’s Masks was founded by 11-year-old Millie Millburn in Birmingham – with a bit of help from mum Jo – at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since launching, Millie’s Masks has donated 1,600 ‘pay it forward’ gifted masks and has raised £10,000 for charities and good causes in the Midlands.
Now that the masks will be sold at Preston Market, local charities in the city are set to benefit from the Millie’s Masks ethos of giving away 20 per cent of profits.
Jo said: “Millie’s Masks came about when we made a reusable face mask as a home project whilst Millie’s school was closed due to the pandemic. We put a photo of the mask on Facebook and people started asking if they could buy one, so Millie’s Masks was born.
“Millie wanted to make masks that not only keep people safe, but also allow them to express their individual style, all whilst donating to good causes.”
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After the washable cotton masks were featured in the national press, demand for the face coverings took off, leading to Millie’s Masks employing friends who had been affected by Covid-19.
Jo said: “Above everything in this great adventure, we have been able to take on friends who are out of work because of the virus, giving them the opportunity to earn some money to pay bills.
“Others have come onboard because it was good for their mental health as well as earning some money. Some have volunteered their time for free, and their equivalent earnings have been dedicated to a charity of their choice.”
Jo and Millie have decided to open in Preston to help charities in the city where Jo’s wedding business, The Couture Company, first started over 25 years ago.
Opening in the city centre also means they can help another friend who has been impacted by Covid-19.
Jo said: “Millie’s northern division will be run by my best friend Karl, who I met whilst studying in Preston.
“Karl runs a wedding DJ business, which has been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Weddings have been restricted since March and wedding receptions are still under strict guidance that does not allow DJs to play.
“The success of Millie’s Masks got me thinking that I could help my friend out by setting up a stall on Preston Market. Not only will this help Karl with work, but it will also raise funds for Preston charities.
“It also means the good people of Preston get to wear some funky masks, so it really is a win-win story.”
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Millie’s Masks designs range from plain colours to unicorns, skulls, animals, sweets, and more. The masks come in two layer or three layer options, and mask holders and wallets are also available.
The Millie’s Masks ‘pay it forward’ initiative gives the option to buy and gift plain cotton face masks that are hand made in bulk and sent to places that need them most, such as care homes, NHS workers, and other people in need.
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Karl will be running the Millie’s Masks stall on Preston Outdoor Market from Saturday 8 August.
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What do you think of the Millie’s Masks story? Will you be visiting the Preston stall? Let us know in the comments.