Kind-hearted daughter, 10, inspires Northampton dry cleaners' bespoke face mask venture

"It's about giving back to the community, it's not all about money"

By Jack Duggan
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:38 pm

A Northampton dry cleaners has started making and selling bespoke face masks after the owner's 10-year-old daughter decided to help those in need.

Eshani Patel told her father, Kunal, who runs Alpha Laundry and Dry Cleaners, that she wanted to provide face coverings when they were made compulsory on public transport and in hospitals.

After spending £2,500 on material and sharing the venture on Facebook, the Far Cotton business has been inundated with requests from members of the public.

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Eshani Patel with a selection of the materials on offer to make the masks with. Photo: Kunal Patel

The team will also be making masks for kids to be donated to the children's ward at Northampton General Hospital so every patient has one.

Kunal said: "It was a pretty proud moment as we haven't asked her to do anything during the lockdown while she's been at home and we're busy with the business.

"But she's quite intelligent and into current affairs and she came to us on her own free will - it put a lump in my throat."

Kunal said Eshani was compelled to do something as she was worried not everyone would have a face covering when they became mandatory in certain places from Monday (June 15), especially hospitalised children.

Eshani Patel came up with the idea to make and sell face masks from her father dry cleaners, Alpha, in Northampton. Photo: Kunal Patel

She came up with the business plan and mask design, which includes a filter, as well as which materials to buy to make them reusable.

Sourcing the material was difficult as prices have increased during the coronavirus lockdown but they have lots of different colours and patterns available.

Customers can either choose a design from Alpha's materials or bring in their own and the tailor will make it, with prices varying but Kunal said there is no plan to make money from the scheme.

"It's about giving back to the community, it's not all about money," he said.

Eshani Patel making face masks. Photo: Kunal Patel

"When kids come in and pull that face when they don't want to wear a mask but why come here and see all these amazing designs, it makes it worth it.

"I envisage every kid in Northampton wearing one of our masks!"

Anyone who would like a mask from Alpha should call them on 01604 763330 or contact them on Facebook.