by Ann De Bellevue

Ann DeBellevue is a Realtor who has been active since 2002.  She’s loved every minute of her years working with buyers and sellers in markets in Florida and California.  

Reading time: 2 minutes and 30 seconds

I’m not much of a writer and less of a creator. Having no talent of my own, I’m always in wonder of those who write, paint, create –anything really — and I want to know their stories. There’s the pizza guy delivering on a rope to those below. The bread guy doing the same. Photographers taking pictures of families as they isolate. People delivering food, flamingos, you name it. All there to make this a little better for others.

So here is Bunny’s story of how she’s been spending her time and what COVID has done for her and what she has done for others:

On March 16th, I woke up to a call from work; they were shutting down the bar for a couple of weeks. Ya know, it kinda felt nice having the time off. Things got done: cooking, organizing, decorating, puzzling, and Netflixing. My house sheltered in place, we only left for supplies, first with just gloves, then gloves and bandanas, then just disposable masks. Disposable masks are wasteful, and ugly. I have the degree, I have the skills, why not start sewing some masks? 

Jump to 7 months later a little shy of 3,000 masks made and The Masked Rabbit was born. I have a BA in Fashion Design. It was natural to pass the time with sewing. I started small with fabric donations from friends. I auctioned them on social media. I felt like Rosie the Riveter. This was my call to arms! It started to emerge as an actual business that might be able to sustain me. It hasn’t yet but it has paid for itself and given me the ability to donate half the masks made. I am currently working on my social media presence to get more masks out into the world.  

I can make a physical product that allows you to see the people you love safely. I can help people come together. I think that has been the main theme in my life, togetherness. I chose to work in the service industry because I like being able to create an atmosphere where people can meet and exchange ideas, make memories, and just be present with one another.  

As of right now, I will continue making masks until the day that they tell us they are no longer needed. Do I pivot into making aprons, bags, swimwear? Future strategies have graced my thoughts, but I also know that the universe provides and I will cross that bridge when I get there. Covid has given me the opportunity to start a business, even if it is just a small one, but I am wiser now because of this duration of time. I want to grow where the burned trees have fallen, but right now it’s masks. Masks everyday. 

You can get a mask from themaskedrabbit.com. It’s such a great name and she’s such a creative wonder that I hope they both go far.

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