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A Connecticut mask maker adding his own style

“I kind of taught myself to sew and it translates now into these masks.”

CROMWELL, Conn. — John Esmail, is the athletic director at Hartford PAL, the Police Athletic League, but most of his work has been sidelined due to Covid-19, so the 6 foot 7 inch former college football player has taken to his sewing machine to make masks for hospital workers. 

“I kind of taught myself to sew and it translates now into these masks,” he said. Esmail learned how to sew after getting interested in making high fashion bowties, and now he is making as many masks as he can, he’s already delivered them to Saint Francis Hospital and is hoping to give a new batch to the staff at Connecticut Children’s. “I am certainly a style and gear guy so it’s good to able to make masks that aren’t just basic.”

So far Esmail has made mask styles showcasing everything from the Red Sox to the Wu-Tang Clan to the Syracuse Orange. “The best part for me,” Esmail said, “is to be able to take a new passion and hobby and to be able to execute that in a way that helps people.” Right now, Esmail provides masks for free to first responders, anyone else who wants a decorative mask pays and that helps fund the free ones.

To find out more check out Esmail’s Go Fund Me Page