“I started this thing just to make my kids laugh,” said Ash Bhoopathy.
But it turns out, more than just Bhoopathy’s family wanted in on the joke.
“I think one weekend 48 people asked me where I got this mask,” Bhoopathy explained.
That’s when he realized this was more than just about giggles. As folks mask up in their fight against COVID-19, it’s also taking away a big part of human connection. So, Bhoopathy put together the team behind “Friendly Face.”
“We created this company because we miss seeing people’s faces, right?” said Blair Argust. “This brings a little bit of levity to a very serious situation and it builds empathy because you can see people again.”
Right now, they’re working out of Bhoopathy’s West Seattle home where they do it all - from designing to printing. And they say it’s more than just a selfie on a mask. Each of the reusable masks and gaiters are custom made with special technology that makes it really look like your face.
“We actually measure the mouth and scale it exactly. Every person has a mask that fits them,” Argust added.
Ultimately, the idea is to encourage mask use and help people smile at the same time.
“2020 has been a really rough year but we’re trying to bring that happiness and joy back,” said Bhoopathy.
The masks cost $29 and the gaiters are $49. The company donates one dollar from every purchase to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
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