OCanadaMasks Story - How it started
You may be thinking who is OCanadaMasks and how this mask making idea started? Well, here is the OCanadaMasks.ca story. We have an apparel manufacturing business TAMA Designs Inc. that has been operating in Toronto Canada for over 26 years. We specialized in the manufacture of high-end ladies sportswear. The only way to survive in the fashion manufacturing business against low cost imports is to stay in the high-end of the market where turnaround time, quality and Made in Canada still has value. Nevertheless, it is still a very competitive and difficult business to survive as a manufacturer in Canada. Our company founder studied fashion design in Toronto and has always worked in the fashion field since graduation. She is very passionate about her work and that is why she has managed to survive manufacturing apparel in Canada all this time.
When Coronavirus hit, retail was shut down so the sewing operation also stopped. In Toronto and other parts of Canada, there was a shortage of PPE in the early days of the pandemic. Hospitals reached out through the media for cloth face mask donations. This was intended for patient use in order to conserve precise medical grade masks for the professional frontline hospital workers. When we heard this we mobilizing some of our idle workers to started making reusable cloth face masks for donation to local hospitals. Our total donations todate totals several thousand face masks so far with more donations to come. The hospital staff used the fabric masks mainly to give to returning patients undergoing regular treatments like chemo, dialysis, other treatments but the staff also use them personally. This helped to conserve the precise medical grade PPE for doctors and nurses during PPE shortage period while still offering protection for all in the facility. Toronto area hospitals that have received our mask donations include Princess Margaret, Humber River, Toronto General, Sunnybrook, Sick Kids, Mount Sinai and Ajax Pickering Hospitals.
What started out as supporting hospital’s request for mask donations has now become a small business. Hospital staff, friends, co-workers, family asked how they can purchase OCanadaMasks face masks. So we made a website to sell online and it has taken off… You can see the OCanadaMasks fabric mask collection online at: https://ocanadamasks.ca/. This pivot to face mask production during the pandemic has helped to keep some of our workers employed while the economy slowly return more towards normality.
OCanadaMasks.ca now has over 50 Face Covers designs available, all designed and Made in Canada. Many of our customers seem to like the OCanadaMasks face covers as many have made multiple repeat purchases. Some have said they like that the masks are designed and Made in Canada. Others have commented they like the donation aspect of OCanadaMasks. We intend to continue to donating masks to worthy causes. Some recent donations include Midland area Veterans Group for heir Military Family Appreciation Event. This donation was done in collaboration with Raytheon Elcan one of our corporate customer. Other recent donations include Chatham-Kent Community Living Center, a suggestion from a repeat customer and to our local city Counsellor Nunziata’s office who will re-distribute OCanadaMasks face masks to local community centers youths. We like to shout a Thank You! to our loyal customers who have made this possible.
Our signature mask and the first mask we made is the Canada Flag Mask. We have some prominent users of our face covers including several Canadian Government Senators, the Mayor, Canadian Embassy Offices and of course many hospital workers. We chose the Canada Flag print when making our first mask to symbolize that we must stick together to overcome this pandemic, as we are All in This Together. Happens to be our best seller mask.
We plan to continue to make face cover donations to worthy causes. If you have any suggestions of where our face masks can be put to good use, we would love to hear your suggestions. Please reach out to us by email, contact below. Thank you for your interest in OCanadaMasks.ca and for supporting Made In Canada!
Tama Designs Inc.
23 Jenet Avenue
Canada M6H 1R5