DENVER -- When the owners of Winter Session started their business, they wanted to make high-quality canvas bags and leather goods, but they never would've imagined they would be making face masks.
"We were sitting there thinking well we have the material there in our shop," said Tanya Fleisher, Winter Session co-owner and designer.
Fleisher and her husband, Roy Katz, began reaching out to their business network and friends on social media. They were able to recruit more than 100 volunteer sewers in just a few days.
They also started a nonprofit called Cover Up Colorado, which will be used to take in donations and purchase supplies for additional masks.
"We've already exhausted all of the material that we had on hand in our shop," said Katz. "Right now, we have materials on the way for another 16,000 masks."
Katz said they've already heard from several hospitals in the area. Winter Session is also selling their masks online, and for every mask sold, they will donate one to a healthcare worker.
"I am so impressed with the Colorado maker community small and large. People are just jumping in, and I really feel like we all want to be a helper in times of crisis, and sometimes we don't know how to do that," said Delanie Holton-Fessler, founder of the Colorado Mask Project.
Holton-Fessler owns a local craft studio called The Craftsman & Apprentice. She is coordinating mask-making efforts across Colorado.
"Our goal is just to make it like fun and accessible and a community-based project where people can share resources and help each other make these DIY masks and just sort of normalizing the everyday wear of them," said Holton-Fessler.
Information about resources and how to get involved is available here.