Michigan designer sews 3K custom masks during coronavirus outbreak

When the pandemic struck in March, business owner Amy Wisniewski had to close up shop and open her mind to something new.

Amy Wisniewski, Vintage 11 Owner

“I went from being in-house custom painting to literally teaching myself how to sew with a YouTube video,” she said. “I began making masks to help support the medical professionals within the community.”

This new venture took off and within five months she’d delivered about 3,000 unique masks with filter pockets. She quickly discovered how important selling online was.

“I was sewing around the clock to ship orders all over the USA,” said the Michigan native. “This experience has grown my business overnight.”

Wisniewski, 48, receives all types of requests. A repeat customer recently ordered 20 satin masks for her daughter’s wedding party to coordinate with the bridesmaids’ gowns.

“What I enjoy most are the people and the relationships that are established when working with clients,” she said.

Vintage 11 also offers collegiate masks and smaller sizes for children. Custom design work, a specialty of the business, is particularly attractive to new clients.

Vintage 11 offers antique styled furniture

Vintage 11 emerged as a result of Wisniewski’s 25 years of experience in the interior design industry, coupled with her desire to craft older furnishings.

“I paired this with my lucky number, 11,” she said. “It’s a number that just seems to bless me always. It had a catchy ring to it and I wanted something unique.”

Wisniewski rented a space to showcase her collection in 2008.

“I jumped on board, along with many other local businesses, to be part of the renovation inside the former Saginaw News building in downtown Saginaw,” she said.

Customers are able to purchase custom painted furnishings, accessories and signs at Vintage 11.

Over the years, Wisniewski’s love of refinishing vintage pieces has blossomed.

“Vintage 11 really pushed my creativity into revamping old vintage furniture from dressers to bathroom vanities,” she said. “Old kitchen chairs became benches. It also allowed for me to work right in my shop on orders so new customers could see just how things are done.”

Wisniewski also works with faux finishing and wall murals. Other services include shopping and staging for clients along with home consultations.

“I get to share my love and passion as an artist in transforming their home or furnishings,” she said.  “Each job is unique and I love the challenges of creating something extraordinary from something ordinary.”

Vintage 11 also offers Paint Party events, and each participant leaves with a painted sign or custom piece of their own.

“I’m really passionate about what I do and feel blessed to share my gift that I call therapy with so many others,” Wisniewski said. “I love how it’s ever changing and this pushes me to always try new ideas for myself and my clients.”

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