by Elizabeth Dale, NAMM
NAMM Member OMG Music recently completed its program, Masks4Music!, which provided masks for independent music stores and their employees that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
OMG Music manufactures guitar straps for a range of brands throughout the industry, including their brands, Henry Heller Music and Lock-It Straps. Located in Sheridan, Indiana, OMG Music "has been melding music, fashion, fun, and affordability since 1990." After hearing the stories of its clients having to close their physical retail locations in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAMM Member decided to retool their operations to manufacture semi-disposable masks that were distributed to music retailers free of charge. The Masks4Music! website stated, "Our goal is to provide these businesses and their employees, personal mask protection so that they can stay safe and healthy while concentrating on getting back to providing the wonderful gift of music to our local communities and schools."
The masks, which are a design inspired by the Suay Sew Shop in Los Angeles, are constructed from a double layer of blue shop towels with a single layer of tight-knit muslin cotton. Testing of the masks, which was also done by the Suay Sew Shop, found that these masks blocked up to 95% of particles that they could test, while cotton masks blocked between 20% and 60%, respectively. It is important to note that these masks are not suitable replacements to the recommended N95 masks or other medical grade respirators.
Mark Blasko of OMG Music shared that, "While the program has wound down, we were able to donate over 5,000 masks and ship them free of charge in late April/early May to hundreds of dealers nationwide."
For more information about OMG Music, please visit them at omgmusic.com.