1,271 masks and counting: UWO senior keeps sewing during pandemic


Kaiitlyn Scoville / The Advance-Titan — UW Oshkosh student Amanda Hollander shows off just some of the masks she and her mother have made.

Kaitlyn Scoville, Copy Desk Chief and Writer

One UW Oshkosh student and her mother have worked since classes went online to make 1,271 masks for their community and other students.

Amanda Hollander, a senior graphic design major from Rosendale, Wisconsin, has worked tirelessly to provide elastic and fleece masks for her community and peers. She had hip surgery on June 22, is out of work and said she has the time to keep making more.

Her Facebook is her preferred contact method, and the original post reaching out to UWO students has 52 shares.

“I want to be able to help people and not have to charge a lot,” Amanda said. “We care about safety more than profit.”

All of the masks are either $1 or $2. Fleece ear pieces are $1 and $2 for elastic.

After a dedicated recovery time of three weeks, she began aiming to sew 50-60 masks every day beginning July 6, and plans to continue until she is fully mobile again.

Every material they use for two of their three-layered masks are either cotton or cotton blend. The filter in the middle is non-woven material.

Amanda and her mom, BeLinda, have relied on buying sheets and curtains to make many of the masks, but they are also accepting donations such as T-shirts and other fabrics. Altogether, they have spent around $200 on materials.

Fleece ear pieces were used in the beginning of the pandemic because there was an elastic shortage, Amanda explained.

Kaitlyn Scoville /The Advance-Titan — Amanda Hollander has made masks in a variety of patterns such as florals, polka dots, footballs, tie dye and camouflage.

Masks can be customized to the availability of patterns, colors and materials Amanda and her mother have, Amanda said. They have several colors and patterns, and the masks are reversible.

Some of the patterns include florals, polka dots, footballs, tie dye and camouflage.

To reduce the risk of shrinking, Amanda suggests washing the masks in cold water and air-drying them.

The project began when the mother-daughter duo decided to make some masks for Amanda’s brother, Josh. Eventually, word got around and soon after, her mom’s coworkers started asking for masks and so did Amanda’s friends.

Amanda has aimed to reach the student population at UWO because she knows how expensive store-bought masks can be, and how little cash students may have.

“Mom and I aren’t trying to get rich, and we’re not saying that other people who are making masks are trying to either,” Amanda said. “We don’t mean it to come off as like we’re undercutting other sellers.”

Amanda is going to be moving to an apartment in Oshkosh in mid-August, so students who are moving in won’t have to pay for shipping.

She also added that the masks aren’t exclusively for UWO students. Anybody who is looking for some can reach out to her.

“People are scared and they still have to work,” Amanda said. “They still have to make money to bring food home and whatnot. We just wanted to make sure that they were capable of getting it.”