Archbishop Spalding High School student Lauren Lombardo has turned her sewing hobby into a way to make money while providing masks to her community.
She began sewing in middle school.
“I got a sewing machine in seventh grade because I took a class in middle school called Project Runway,” Lauren said.
She was inspired to use her skills to make masks after watching her mother try to buy masks online and after she observed that the masks could be made using a sewing machine.
“I started trying to make them then and just sold them to people in my neighborhood, and then it kind of just went on from there,” Lauren noted.
Lauren works out of her home. She mostly works by herself, but her mother helps by cutting the fabric. They get the thread online and fabric from local craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby.
Lauren’s masks even attracted attention outside of Severna Park after a family friend tagged her in a photo on Instagram.
“The farthest away I’ve sold my masks is to a woman in North Carolina who saw one of my family friend’s posts,” Lauren said.
As of early August, Lauren had sold between 50 and 100 masks. She intends to donate 50 more to Spalding staff for service hours.
“It’s nice to be able to make it for people in my community,” Lauren said.
She has faced some difficulties making the masks.
“Sometimes my sewing machine will give me trouble,” Lauren said. “In the beginning, it was also difficult to find enough thread. I just assumed that a lot of people were making masks.”
Despite the challenges, Lauren enjoys using sewing to make a little bit of money.
“It’s kind of been nice to make money and save up because next year will be my senior year and then I’ll need money for college, so it’s nice to be able to start making some money to save up for later,” Lauren said.
She also enjoys the variety of designs she can make.
“We have a lot of floral prints and a bunch of bright colors,” Lauren said. “I like how you can design your mask and pick out what you want, because since we’re going to need to wear masks so often, it’s kind of nice to show your own style with a mask.”
Design pictures are available at Lauren’s Instagram page, @laurenldesign. Masks are reversible and machine washable. Child-sized masks are available for $8 and adult-sized masks are available for $10.