Face masks lead revival

Maureen Bourke and Emma Fry. Photo: Joe Mastroianni 211697_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

An Altona business that was crippled by the COVID crisis is now working overtime to fulfil mask orders.

Elle and Stuart owner Maureen Bourke said she had received hundreds of orders as masks became mandatory in public last Thursday.

“By the start of the first lockdown, we were in awful trouble because a lot of the business is bridal alterations and clothing alterations,“ she said.

“But because the weddings had all been postponed and then people were also not going to office jobs so they weren’t altering their clothes and kids weren’t going to school to wear uniforms, that all just went down. So, we were down 83 per cent.“

Masks changed everything.

“I’ve been able to employ somebody and my husband’s also here doing all the admin … we’re really, really under the pump to get everything out. But we’re doing our best to hold it all together and do as much as we can as quickly as we can,“ Ms Bourke said.

“They’re selling out very, very quickly. I think we’ve had about 600 orders … but people may be ordering 10 pieces.

“We’ve done 14 days straight, 10 hours-plus a day.

“You’ve just got to keep moving and it’s not just a matter of pivoting – it’s like a triple somersault with a backflip and a pirouette at the end.

“We’re about six weeks away from turning 10 so there’s no way we won’t be there for it.

“We will be there at the end of this whole horrible situation.“