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Kids can design their own face masks with kit created by Long Island natives

Woodmere native Lyss Stern got the idea for her new business when her 6-year-old daughter started using glitter and paint to decorate a blue paper disposable face mask.

“It just ignited this spark: Let them express creativity through masks,” says Stern, 46. And so Kadoodle Kids was born.

Stern, who currently lives in Manhattan and runs a marketing events company, enlisted two other mom friends as business partners – Pamela Mandell, 54, a speech language pathologist who lives in Manhattan and Wainscott, and Jodi Okun, 56, a Roslyn event planner.

“Right away I said, ‘I’m in, 100%,’ ” Okun says. Mandell was on board as well. “I work with young kids, seeing them through tele-therapy. I’ve incorporated crafts into my speech therapy sessions. The kids were happiest when they were doing craft activities.”

The three mompreneurs tested the idea with their children’s friends. “They were so proud of the masks they made,” Stern says. “If they make their own, it’s taking ownership.”

Unicorns, Dinosaurs and Hearts

The D.I.Y. kits give kids more incentive to wear masks and may cut down on any complaining, Stern says. Kids aren’t just picking a pattern for a mask, they are creating their one-of-a-kind item, she says.

Each Kadoodle Kids kit ($29.99) comes with one cotton mask, stamps, fabric markers, glitter glue and surprise stickers. Masks are sized for toddler, child or teen and kits come with their own theme. Current themes include unicorn or dinosaur. The kit also comes with a mask for a doll. Masks can be hand washed.

The women are also offering two Valentine’s Day themed kits for $21.95 or $34.95, with the latter kit including a do-it-yourself apron as well as mask and more.

“I thought it was such a cute idea,” says Lisa Orgel, 38, of Woodbury, an occupational therapist who purchased a unicorn mask kit for her 7-year-old daughter Addison. Even though the family has “so many” masks at home, Orgel thought it would be an activity for Addison to do on the weekend.

“My daughter was so into planning what she was going to do. It definitely kept her really engaged. She wore it to the store this weekend and made one for her American Girl Doll as well,” Orgel says.

Says Addison: “I like all the things that it came with, the stamps, the glitter glue, the markers the stickers.”

More Themes to Come

Sam Dyer, 39, who grew up in Hewlett, tested the kit with her daughter, Natalie, 4. “She loves all things arts and crafts, and since we are always ‘masked up,’ this was the perfect project,” Dyer, who now lives in Brooklyn, says. “The unicorn stamps were her favorite and the only mask she wants to wear, so we need to order more.”

Stern says that Kadoodle kids is planning a long future. “We’re going to be selling for quite some time because this virus isn’t going away,” Stern says. And they’ll be adding mask kits, including a Glitz and Glam option.

– Beth Whitehouse
View the Newsday Article