In the fields of architecture, interior design, and furniture design many of us are familiar with the concept, “Form follows function.” Aesthetics should lend to the higher importance of effectively using a product or space. In today’s COVID world, the use and wearing of masks as a fashion accessory to show our individuality has brought a fun and colorful form to the necessary function of wearing a mask.
When the request to wear masks was first brought to the general population there were many mixed thoughts and feelings. Skepticism, general discomfort, and concerns of not seeing facial expressions meant that mask wearing was not immediately accepted. Of course, these concerns were addressed by way of function. Science has proven over and over that wearing masks makes a difference in the spread of germs. Varying styles, sizes, and adjustability provide a more comfortable experience. And if the eyes are windows to the soul, we’re learning to communicate better than ever before.
Once the function of a pandemic necessity was accounted for, taking masks to another level seemed to come naturally. Designer brands sell masks to match your clothing or purse, sometimes costing hundreds of dollars. For the more economically minded, you can purchase hand-made masks on Etsy in every color, pattern, and animal face you can imagine for under $20. For the craftier folks among us, you can download the pattern of your choice and make your own.
In a short time, wearing a mask has become so expected that we cringe when we see someone wearing one that constantly slips down their nose, or we inch away from those who aren’t willing to follow the now accepted (and required!) societal norms. At OstermanCron we work in an environment that revolves around design and sales, so we understand the importance of first impressions, looking our best, and showing off our individuality.
Many of our employees wear colorful masks that match their daily attire. Our design manager, Amanda, has masks of tigers and dragons in addition to the many colorful masks she made in her wedding colors last summer. “I figure if I’m going to wear a mask, I may as well make it fun,” she explains. Our Sales and Marketing director, Susan, says that her color-coordinated masks are providing the added benefit of keeping her face warm on her brisk daily walks over lunch. Our accountant, Brandon, shows off his pride in our Cincinnati teams with his Bengals mask. Many of our reps have provided us with masks that show off their logo; we appreciate the gift, and don’t mind giving away a little extra advertising when we wear them. Last, but certainly not least, several of our employees have commented that they haven’t gotten sick as often over the past year, and we can’t help but wonder how much mask wearing has helped with that.
We don’t know if this trend is here to stay, but in the meantime, we require that all of our guests wear a mask when visiting our showroom. You may not be able to see the smile greeting you beneath our fashionable facial accessory, but we bet you can see the joy in our eyes to welcome you into our space with the safety of our guests and employees in mind.