By Hayley Crandall
How Wisconsin residents have been spending their time under the “Safer-At-Home” order varies from household to household.
Some may be logging into Zoom classes for their virtual school day while others may be out of work right now while others may be watching TV from their couch.
But for one Milwaukee local, her day starts at 4 a.m. and ends around 6 p.m. The time of which is spent almost entirely at her sewing machine.
Regenia Henderson started sewing fabric protective masks a few weeks ago as the pandemic was beginning to escalate across the nation.
“I happened to just be at home and I was watching on TV about sewers making masks,” said Henderson. “And I was talking to my Godmom and I was like you know what, I should see if I can do that.”
Henderson has been sewing since 2015. Self-taught, she started off in the fashion realm sewing clothes in her free time and has always dreamt of starting a business for her handmade creations.
“I used to do like fashion shows and make clothes all the time,” said Henderson. “And then I got into really working a lot, so I let it collect dust.”
Henderson’s dreams became a reality without her ever planning it.
With all the time to spare in her house, she bought some fabric, watched some videos and was off to making the face masks.
“I’m a visual learner so I just got on YouTube, watched a few videos, and was like, well I’m gonna [sic] try it out,” said Henderson. “On my birthday I couldn’t go anywhere, so I decided to see if I could do it.”
After making her first mask, she posted a photo of it to Facebook. From there, messages asking to buy masks began coming in from people not only in Milwaukee but out of state as well.
She offers delivery and pick-up, but a lot of her business utilizes shipping. Her masks have been shipped out west to states such as California and Arizona and down south to places such as Texas.
Through mainly word-of-mouth, orders come in her Facebook messages daily.
“I have like four notebook pages of names. And they’re coming in every day,” Henderson said. “It’s like the more someone gets something from me, the more inboxes that come.”
Henderson credits her background in store management with helping her kick it into gear and get a set system down quickly and efficiently to fulfill requests.
“I was a store manager for 11 years so, learning to manage a business is like second nature. I had to take what I learned and apply it at home,” said Henderson. “I gave myself a schedule and a system so I could help as many people since the demand is so high.”
She has even turned this into a little family business. Her son assists in the completion of masks and helps out with deliveries in the area.
Ultimately, the entire thing has become a dream come true for her. The entire business just sort of happened, according to Henderson, and she believes God gifted all of it to her.
“I feel like God has given this to me. It has always been my dream to do this and now it’s happening,” said Henderson.
Orders can be placed through Henderson’s Facebook messages. She can make adult, children and even baby masks. The masks for pick-up are $7 while shipped or delivered are $10. Custom masks can be requested but supplies are limited right now, according to Henderson.