By Lisa Gresci

BOSTON (CBS) – Many small businesses are hanging on by a thread right now because of the coronavirus pandemic.

One tailor in Boston faced the same fate until they realized they could switch gears and make something to help protect people.

At 9Tailors on Lincoln Street they whip up everything from custom suits and blazers to custom shirts, that is, until COVID-19 silenced sewing machines in such a way it had owner Samantha Shih thinking it was time to call it quits.

“Trying to figure out ways to meet with our clients has been challenging,” Shih told WBZ-TV.

Shih knew she had to switch it up and start making the thread count.

Having styled the McCourty twins off the football field, she is now styling us to make us safe.

“I just thought this is the moment we need to pivot our business to provide work for them and also provide an essential PPE to the public but also to health care workers.

Shih’s tailors sew together three types of masks – the basic cotton, one made from a thicker scuba-like material and another with three layers and a filter.

All of them are made with a one thing in mind.

“The more breathable the better,” she said.

The masks can be washed and re-used. And if you aren’t buying them for you or your family, you can help supply them to area nursing homes and clinics.

“I know a lot of people don’t know how to sew, so this is a really great way for people to contribute without having to sew their own masks,” Shih said.

If you’re interested in donating or ordering the masks, visit their website.

Lisa Gresci

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