A Tioga County sewing enthusiast from Willseyville, N.Y., located just a few miles north of Candor, has taken her passion of sewing to a new level, and with the community at heart.
Maria Haner has been sewing for more than 25 years, and with a memory of it since about age six. Haner’s creative hand-made items first started with home décor. In more recent years she introduced a line of children’s clothing and accessories, which includes infant items, and all inspired by her six-year-old twins, Jack and Bella.
Earlier this year, a neighbor and member of the Candor EMS approached Haner and asked, “Can you make masks?”
Haner has been a contributor of masks in the community ever since.
Now, several hundred masks later (Haner said she has lost count), she donated many of the masks she made early on to the Candor EMS and other organizations. Today, she sells facemasks via her on-line shop, Cinnamon’s, for both adults and children.
And not just Haner, but friends and acquaintances of Haner’s that participate weekly at the Candor Farmer’s Market are also talented crafters who make masks.
She explained that her on-line mask sales are not set up to make a profit, but rather to cover the cost of materials and a little bit of her time. She charges a flat rate of $5 per mask.
Haner said if she cannot help a customer, she is happy to suggest another mask maker.
“I am happy to recommend others within the sewing community,” Haner said.
Haner explained that the sewing group has been challenged to find certain materials, and especially elastic, and has searched far and wide for supplies. More recently, and due to elastic shortages, Haner has modified how she makes masks. For example, a knit material allows the flexibility of tying behind the head or for ear loops, and Haner added that many clients have given feedback that this design is more comfortable to wear.
While parents and children await announcements and plans for a return-to-school, Haner’s full-time job at Ithaca College will first begin virtually after Labor Day, with a goal of resuming in-person in early October.
At the same time, Haner will continue her sewing business. She offers fun prints for children’s masks that are both appealing and encourage the wearing of masks. Haner’s children often model the masks, and she chuckled while remarking that her twins are good “clients” who give constructive feedback about mask choices.
The Candor Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday through Sept. 3 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Candor Town Hall.