GREENVILLE — A Vietnamese family living in Greenville has joined the ranks of mask makers.
“We decided to make the masks because we had heard that healthcare facilities were running out of PPEs and we wanted to give back to our community,” said Kathy Dang, interpreting for her mother, Thuy Nguyen, owner of TK Nails in Greenville. “We have done much research to find the right way we can make these masks. We decided to make them because we were giving back and I think that giving back to others and especially our community is very important especially during this difficult time…to help protect them and support the community.”
According to Dang, helping make the masks in addition to herself and her mother, are the matriarch of the family, Lam Van, Thuy’s mother; Thuy’s sister, Van Nguyen; and some of the grandchildren, Jennifer, Steven and Kevin Nguyen.
“My mother, Lam, and sister, Van, have been sewing the masks together with sewing machines, and me have been cutting the shapes of the masks,” Thuy said. “Our children have been helping with the mask as well. We all are family and live in the same house.”
The family business, TK Nail Salon, is located at 1305 Wagner Ave., in Greenville, and was among those small businesses closed down for the pandemic.
“We have been closed down for about a month and a half due to state orders,” Thuy responded. “We are hoping to open soon after everything is cleared and hope to come back strong and follow safety precautions to keep everyone safe.”
The family is making handmade masks.
“This is where we do everything from scratch,” Thuy reported. “We measure out the masks, cut them out, and sew them together. We have made over 2,000 masks and have donated them to Wayne HealthCare, nursing homes and, anyone who is in need of one in and throughout Greenville. We are hoping to make more for other cities as well. We have also donated our boxes of surgical masks from the salon.”
TK Nails has been in Greenville since 2011; thus, has been open nine years.
The family get its fabric for making the masks at Joann Fabrics. “We did have trouble finding the elastics to hold up the masks to the ears,” Thuy said. “We went to the Dollar Tree to get hair ties to make them work, but they were just too tough on the ears, so we then found much thinner elastics on Amazon that were much more comfortable.”