With COVID still affecting everyday life, masks are now required in most school districts around the country. Yet masks marketed for kids—even if labeled “Child”—don’t address the vast difference in size between a Kindergartener and a pre-teen. There’s an urgent need for a wide range of small sizes, which would help parents and schools select the right mask for each child based on proper face mask sizing for kids. Marrs Makers is determined to address this gap with a solution called Masks Fit for Kids.
Data analytics, based on an in-depth measurement program, can help determine guidelines that ensure a proper and safe mask fit. Thanks to a grant from the New York Manufacturing Extension Program (NYMEP), Marrs Makers, in partnership with Tratado LLC, has developed a fit methodology that can inform mask sizing and materials. After finalizing our research, we want to share this critical information with mask makers—including people sewing at home, local manufacturers and overseas producers—so that age/size appropriate face mask sizing for kids becomes the norm.
Our primary goal now is to get you involved to make sure that the unique needs of children (whether they’re in a school, at home, playing organized sports, or in a hospital) are addressed.
• Endorse the idea of a mask measurement program for the school district.
• Sponsor mask measurement sessions in your elementary or middle school(s).
• Encourage your elementary or middle school principal/superintendent to sponsor a mask measurement program.
• Partner with Marrs Makers on a mask measurement program for school children.
• Help develop guidelines to inform children’s mask manufacturing and procurement.
• Sponsor one or more mask measurement sessions at schools.
• Provide funding for mask manufacturing (products possibly featuring a company logo).
If you’ve noticed a fit issue with a child in your home or school, we’d like to hear from you about face mask sizing.
Our fit methodology was derived from a pilot program at a Jackson Heights school conducted in Spring 2021. Over three days, and in close coordination with the principal and school staff, we measured more than 100 students, from Pre-K through 8th grade, recording their face shape and length. All of the personal data is anonymized to protect the privacy of the students.
We used tightly-woven cotton shirting fabric that’s soft, machine washable, durable and above all, comfortable enough to wear all day. Continuing with our hyper-local focus, the multi-layered masks were sewn by a team of professional seamstresses who were laid off during the pandemic.
The result: kudos from kids, parents, teachers and school officials, as well as a growing interest in expanding the pilot to other NYC schools.
Marrs Makers is a fashion and leather goods brand based in Long Island City, led by Founder Amy Sheets. The focus is on quality construction and finishing, with close attention to fit and performance. Our partner in the children’s mask initiative is Queens-based Tratado LLC, a hardware and software technology company serving the apparel industry, led by Pedro Chavez.
Marrs Makers has been manufacturing face masks since March 2020, when we were called upon to help the LIC Golden Fleece Manufacturing/Brooks Brothers factory produce non-woven face masks for the US military and first responders.
A talented fashion designer turned entrepreneur, Amy Sheets is founder and creative director of Marrs Makers, successfully combining her background in art and design with all matters of garment fit, manufacturing and styling. She specializes in anthropometric technology solutions for the apparel industry. Amy began her 23-year fashion career in Europe as a press attaché for several leading European fashion designers, including Hugo Boss. After returning to the US, she worked in New York City as a product manager at children’s wear manufacturer Kahn Lucas, and technical designer at Ann Taylor and J. Crew. She has also helped organize and manage a distributive production network of local seamstresses producing for Brooks Brothers. Amy has degrees from Parsons School of Design and Boston University with continued studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is fluent in written and oral English and proficient in French.
After a successful career as an advertising account executive, Pedro Chavez now heads Tratado LLC, a New York-based company that provides technology strategy, tools and training for the apparel industry. In that role, he has developed a number of innovative, patent-pending tech solutions to aid manufacturing. Previously, Pedro was the executive director of APPRODIS International, a global NGO promoting social welfare initiatives. Pedro is an entrepreneur with experience in urban planning and economic development in addition to international business and commerce, working in both the US and Peru. He worked closely with Amy Sheets in the development, organization and management of a distributive production network of local seamstresses producing for Brooks Brothers. He is fluent in written and oral Spanish and English.