For the past eight weeks Brentwood’s Zen Nails has been utilizing a team of volunteers to hand sew and donate fabric masks to front line medical workers in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.
The shop has made a sizable donation of 300 masks to the Navajo Nation, who have been severely impacted by the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic.
Zen Nails co-owner Trang Nguyen, who is also a registered nurse, has along with her husband and co-owner Diep Luc transformed the nail salon, which has been closed throughout the pandemic, into a small-factory to help aid the growing public health crisis.
"I told my husband that when we closed the shop I need to do something because instead of stay home we can help out," Nguyen said in a phone call.
So far the team of nine volunteers has worked to create and distribute around 10,000 masks.
"A lot of people volunteer and help and it just got bigger and bigger," Nguyen said.
Nguyen said that she has used social media to get connected with those in need, and it was through Facebook that she learned about the growing need of PPE in the Navajo Nation which resides on the boarders of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.
It was through Facebook that she was able to connect with someone who helps with aid for the indigenous nation, connecting the supplies with those in need, and doing some research to make sure that the masks will make their way to those most in need.
On May 13, NPR reported that the Navajo Nation has lost 103 residents to the virus, which has ravaged the reservation.
Last week 300 masks were shipped to the tribe and Nguyen said that 400 more masks will be completed and shipped out this weekend.
"Closing the shop is not good because of no income or losing business, but it is what it is," Nguyen said. "It happened and you have to deal with it and adapt to what's going on. We hav ether opportunity to help other people and together we have to make things better."
Nguyen said that things are slowing down as they have made many more masks than she had excepted to in the first days of the pandemic, adding that the business is looking at the possibility of reopening in June.