A Richmond wedding dress designer makes sheer Covid masks to help others like her with partial hearing loss.
Angelina Colarusso, 61, had the idea to create her new company, VYZA, during the first confinement and now produces the masks, which aim to fit like a pair of glasses.
She is partially deaf and struggled to hear her customers as they discussed dress designs with her in the boutique named after her in Hill Rise.
She said: “Even with my hearing aid at full volume, I couldn’t hear anyone. I also found it very depressing not to be able to see people’s faces.
“I’m a designer, I thought I had to fix this, so I did.”
His son Luca graduated in Sociology with Anthropology from the University of Southampton during the lockdown, and when he got home they worked on the design together.
Angelina said: “The first thing I did was wrap my son’s head in plaster of paris to make a head cast on which to cast the shape of what would become the prototype of our new VYZA. .
“It was the first step in a very long and difficult process, but we finally managed to create a prototype that we were both happy enough to take to the model maker.
“They were quite impressed with our efforts.
“Masks are going to be a part of our lives for quite a while yet, so I think it would be really good if they could become something that people are happier wearing both in terms of comfort and appearance. accessibility.
“The masks are one size, but fit everyone – they look just as good on an 11 year old as they do on an adult male.
“You just put it on like you would a pair of glasses.”
The masks cost £ 15 and are made from clear, recyclable polycarbonate, and have been treated to keep them from fogging up.
They are suitable for adults and children from 11 years old, with a head circumference of 54 cm and more.
Angelina said: “We are about to release a new version which will provide additional protection for those who want it.”
She and her son launched the business on February 27 to coincide with Luca’s 24th birthday.
They had worked so hard that they wanted to have a first sale on his birthday.
Angelina said: “The response has been absolutely amazing. Everyone just loved it. My favorite comment is “these masks are on another level”.
Angelina is also looking forward to reopening her store, Angelina Colarusso, in April.
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