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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Dry cleaner pivots to face mask-making to support business

With few people going to work recently, few needed dry-cleaning.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A local dry cleaning company didn't have a lot to do when the stay-at-home order went into place in March.

With few people going to work, few needed dry-cleaning. The owner of Indy's ZIPS Dry Cleaners pivoted to stay in business.

"When everything went down, like March 13th I want to say was a big date, we just saw sales plummet, which obviously was devastating. Many late nights we were staying up thinking 'how can we keep our team together,'" Emma Frutkin told 13News.

That's when the idea of making masks arose, and they said 'why not?'

"Obviously, we did not know anything about face masks before, so we bought a ton of fabric, we made a template, we learned how to cut it and we actually had to hire more tailors," she said.

She said it's her goal to the masks trendy and cute.

"I mean, they are selling like hotcakes. Costumers coming in, they like the patterns that we have and we even have people bringing in their own fabric and we're making them that way," said Frutkin.

She's also had a lot of businesses buy bulk orders, like salons and schools.

"Ben Davis High School, they have probably been the most successful with this, but we have been selling them huge bulk orders of their school colors and they're doing a fundraiser and it is just wildly successful for them," she said.

They use the dry-cleaning equipment to steam-sanitize every mask, but she says other than that, it was a complete pivot for ZIPS.

"If you had asked me what I would be doing in 2020, I had no idea that this would be part of our business, but we're just going with it," said Frutkin.