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What started as a colourful activity during COVID-19 has turned into a summer business for two Toronto friend.

Mya Epstein and Trudy Allen say they have been making and selling tie-dye masks as part of their businesses. 

“We thought it would be fun because we can’t go to our sleep-away camps,” 12-year-old Allen “We needed something to keep us busy during the pandemic.” 

“Masks were sort of a thing we needed all of a sudden to be more safe,” adds 13-year-old Epstein. “We got a bunch online, but they were sort of plain. So we decided to make it more fun by tie-dying them!” 

The girls’ company is called Tie DIY masks. Together, they sell the masks online and at a pop-up tent in Toronto. They also offer kits, complete with masks, fabric dye, gloves, elastic bands and instructions so kids can “DIY” their own at home. 

“We wanted people to have fun because everyone is stuck at home this summer,” Allen said. “It’s fun to see how they turn out, because they’re all unique.” 

“Really there are no mistakes! It just might turn out different than you expected,” Epstein said. 

In addition to running their summer business, Allen and Epstein have also been finding ways to give back. For every kit sold, they donate one mask to an organization that will provide them to other kids. 

“So far, we’ve donated masks to a women’s shelter for children who are going back to school,” Epstein told CTV News Toronto. “We’re [also] donating our kits with single masks to SickKids.” 

The next donation Allen and Epstein are making is 50 tie-dye kits to Marnie’s Lounge at SickKids. They are also making a monetary donation to Owen Weinstein’s Fund at SickKids. 

For the young entrepreneurs, finding a way to keep people safe while having fun has been a highlight of their summer. 

“A lot of people really enjoy our masks,” Allen said. “They think it’s a really cool idea.”

They also believe that they’ll keep selling the masks even when it’s time to go back to school. 

“We thought we were going to wrap it up, but I think we’ll still continue because it has been going really well!” Esptein said. 

The masks are 100 per cent cotton, three-ply and machine washable. The masks cost 10 dollars each, and the kits cost 30 dollars each.