Northeast Iowa businesses turn attention toward making masks

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DYERSVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - The spread of the novel coronavirus has businesses large and small adapting their practices, and some local firms have started to devote their time and materials to help protect people from the virus.

(Fernando Garcia-Franceschini/KCRG)

K&K Logo Designs in Dyersville usually works on screenprinting and promotional products. That has changed since the owners saw a Facebook post from a nursery in Cascade asking for people who could sew masks for medical personnel.

Karen White, co-owner of K&K Logo Designs, said she was immediately interested in helping.

"My daughter happened to be home and I said: 'What do you think? Do you think we would be able to do it?'" White said.

After giving it a try, the answer was a clear yes.

Now they have around 20 people making as many cotton masks as possible. Since they started sewing masks, they have posted photos and tutorials on Facebook that have reached over 20,000 people.

K&K Logo Designs wasn't the only business to heed the call to help.

Douglas Dolter, the owner of Dubuque Mattress Factory, said he was concerned when he heard how medical personnel were being asked to wear bandanas instead of masks.

"I knew that I could make something better than a bandana," Dolter said.

Dolter started with 10 prototypes and then went with the one that would work the best and he could repeat the fastest. He initially made 10 masks per day thinking that would at least meet the demand. Now he and his employees make around 300 masks a day.

The demand is so high that Dolter has received requests for them from as far away as Wyoming. For that reason, both he and

"If you have a sewing machine I can send you instructions on how to make these," Dolter said. "If there is a better version that you can make send it along to us or make it or help out."

Kim Tauke, K&K Logo Designs co-owner, encouraged other fellow sewers to step up to the challenge.

"If there's other people out there that can do this, there is so many people out there that are going to need masks in the future that we wish everybody will step up like we are," Tauke said.