How It All Began
About Our Company – Easy Masks
A Health Coaching Company and Hosiery Mill Partnership
During a time of uncertainty and change two companies created a partnership to produce masks.
William (B.J.) Lawson, MD, co-founder of EHOP Health, was convinced that fabric masks are a useful tool in reducing exposure to — and thus dose of — viral particles.
So on March 21, 2020, he emailed Tyler Covington, leader of Harriss & Covington Hosiery Mills, a fifth-generation family business that has been knitting socks in High Point, North Carolina for over 100 years.
“Tyler, could your hosiery mills make a comfortable, reusable face mask?”
Research & Development
Tyler replied immediately with a picture of a prototype he was envisioning. During the North Carolina economic shutdown over the next three weeks, the Harriss & Covington R&D team invested countless hours on the essential task of creating a durable, comfortable, easy-to-use protective mask that could help our state, and our country, safely get back to work.
Thanks to iterative feedback from associates of Weaver Street Market, another EHOP Health Client, the team quickly found out which features are required for a mask comfortable enough for all-day wear.
Here is a video of version 1, the “Slip On”. While sleek and functional, it proved too tight across the nose for all-day use. It was time to iterate for another design.
To provide more breathing room, version 2 was born — the “Feed Bag”. In addition to a minimalist design, the ample pouch offered storage for 4 ounces of your favorite beef jerky or dried fruit for a quick hands-free snack.
We did call it the Feed Bag, though.
While many preferred it to Version 1, its filtration effectiveness was limited since it offered only a single layer of fabric for protection.
Version 3: Introducing the Apex
Two Layers, Enhanced Filtration, and Ear Loops
In the quest for a mask that anyone would find comfortable, we focused on two tough customers — Justin Thomas and JoLynn Lawson.
Justin’s magnificent beard proved intractable for versions 1 and 2, and masks in general. When we introduced Version 3, however, he was hooked. Wear a mask comfortably for hours at a time with a full beard? No problem!
The second challenge was B.J.’s wife, JoLynn. We don’t have any pictures of her wearing any other mask, because she just couldn’t do it. Fabric masks, version 1, version 2, you name it — she just didn’t feel comfortable with anything covering her nose and mouth.
We knew we had the right mix of fit and comfort when JoLynn started smiling while wearing version 3.
Finally, we had a mask deserving the name Easy Mask.
Editor's Note: We are not claiming that Easy Masks will relieve symptoms of claustrophobia, nor that people with severe claustrophobia will enjoy wearing Easy Masks. We are simply noting that one person who was unable to tolerate other masks can now spend 30 minutes in the grocery store wearing an Easy Mask. She still feels better without a mask on, though!
We also wanted a mask that works. It's not enough just to look good, we want our masks to help keep us safe by reducing the dose of viral particles. Version 3, called the Apex, offered a two-layer design for improved filtration, as well as the ability to add additional filtration inserts between the mask's two layers.
These inserts can be homemade using our free template and low-cost materials like shop towels, or more sophisticated options like our nonwoven inserts with an applied electrostatic charge that upgrades filtration significantly compared to a cloth mask or surgical mask.
Finally, we added a moldable aluminum nose bridge for a tight seal across the nose and cheekbones -- helping you breathe through the mask instead of around it, and reducing fogging if you wear glasses.
An Ongoing Process
While the Apex's recycled polyester & nylon construction is effective and comfortable in cooler and air-conditioned environments, it was not a great match for summertime heat.
So we continued to innovate with the Eden and High Point Designer models as spring moved into summer and the weather warmed up. With a mask body of cooler-to-the-touch recycled nylon, the Eden and High Point are designed to be as comfortable as possible despite the heat.
The process of discovering the best solutions for Easy Masks has been an exciting journey. We are committed to always improving and "moving up and to the right" as we serve you, our client, with our best face mask products.
Help Us Help You Get Back to Work!
The team at Harriss & Covington is producing and shipping plenty of Easy Masks — enough to keep your family, customers, and company safe. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Are you a company or retailer that wants to give Easy Masks to your employees, or offer to your customers? Click here for wholesale inquiries.