Our story begins in early 2020 when Vilma, a registered nurse, was working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Like everyone else, she disliked uncomfortable masks but had to wear one every day.
Unlike most people, however, she could do something about it. Vilma is an expert seamstress who learned her craft from her mother. So, she set out to make a comfy mask to wear outside work. She then made masks for her colleagues and eventually her entire extended family. In short order, she had made and given out more than 100 masks.
One of the masks went to Vilma’s sister-in-law, Glenda Soriano-Light, a retail and fashion executive who had recently been “reorganized” out of her job. She had just decided that it was time to finally fulfill her lifelong dream of building her own company that is purposeful. Wearing the mask that Vilma had given her and seeing the immediate need to help people get protected from the pandemic, she decided to start with a line of fashionable, reusable, well-made, and comfortable fitting masks.
To put the plan into motion, Glenda called her fashion designer niece, Kristel, who had also lost her job during the crisis. With her experience in design and production, she immediately created some samples that built on the best that Vilma had also given her.
The two then paid Vilma a surprise visit. They told her that they were recruiting her to complete her team and help make beautiful masks for all. She laughed at first but was definitely sold with one condition: she would not participate in Zoom calls.
Together, we decided to name the company after our family: Soriano Masks. The reason is that among our family members we have no less than 14 registered nurses and 3 doctors. During these times, especially, we are proud of them and thankful for the brave work they do.
To honor them, we created a unique mission for Soriano Masks: to be a purposeful brand based around the idea of people helping people.
To this end, we work with small manufacturers who would have been closed if they did not make masks. We use upcycled and deadstock fabric as much as possible to minimize waste. We manufacture each and every one of our masks in the USA. And we are donating a portion of our profits to local food banks.
We hope you like our new line of fashionable, reusable, well-made, and comfortable fitting masks. Please help us protect our neighbors, while looking good as you do it. And if you can, pass on the good vibes. Everyone could use some today.