Fatima Lichty started making face masks for family, but her venture grew as the requests rolled in. Now she is seeking a business license for Mama’s Masks. (Instagram/Mamas.Masks)

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

A Victoria woman’s mask-making hobby might become a small business thanks to a visit from a bylaw officer.

Fatima Lichty started making masks and scrub caps for family, but when the colourful patterns and high-quality material started drawing inquiries, she decided to sell them from her daughter’s driveway at the corner of Moss Street and Fairfield Road.

Lichty set up a small stand on Aug. 8, selling her handmade creations while the Moss Street Market went on nearby. Sold as “Mama’s Masks,” the items were popular and almost sold out, but the burgeoning business came to an abrupt halt when a City of Victoria bylaw officer came by, warning Lichty that she needed a licence to sell her goods.

READ ALSO: West Shore sewing community makes scrub caps for health care workers

“I have the gift of sewing, and thought, ‘Why not share it with people,’ ” Lichty said. “We didn’t know much about the laws around it. It was just a miscommunication, but I learned so much about the bylaws … the city has been excellent with us …and very helpful about giving us ideas.”

One of those ideas included mobile bicycle vending. Lichty’s daughter has helped her to apply for a licence that may allow her to sell the masks and caps by bike, stopping in different areas for up to one hour at a time.

“It is the best one we found without all the red tape. I can hardly wait, it’s been so many years since I’ve ridden a bicycle,” she said with a laugh. “Victoria, look out!”

Bill Eisenhauer, spokesperson for the City of Victoria said, “The City of Victoria encourages small scale entrepreneurship. There are several licensing options for people who are looking to sell homemade products from their home or throughout the city, including applying for a home-based or market retail licence or the city’s new mobile vending licence.”

Applications can be found online, Eisenhauer said, and the city’s business hub is available to assist applicants.

For Lichty, the experience has been an exciting adventure. She works four days a week as a nanny and only started making masks to help keep her family safe. For now, the avid sewer will put on a final sale on her daughter’s driveway next Saturday before making Mama’s Masks a licensed business.

“We never thought of [getting] a licence, I just thought it was a hobby,” she said. “Never, never in my life I thought it would be my job. I just love sewing for fun.”

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria Indigenous artist takes unique approach to COVID-19 masks


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusVictoria

Just Posted

Unfiled cases could backlog B.C. provincial court system

Provincial court registry and proceedings in Victoria have reopened

Advocates for the homeless prepare for winter in a pandemic

Winter presents unique challenges to people experiencing homelessness this year in Campbell River

Stress weighs heavy on those working in veterinary health

Vancouver Island vet techs urge public to be patient, kind

GERDING: Forest industry facing tough times

Upcoming protests seeks change in how B.C.’s forests are harvested

Decision on judicial review of Cowichan Motorsport decision could take months

VIMC said it was assured by North Cowichan that expansion would be allowed

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

Port McNeill business owners making space for outdoor socializing

Community focused on creating more places for people to gather

Work set to start this month on two new Langford schools

Farmer Construction Ltd. will utilize SD62 students to work on the $55.2 million project

Industry running in new direction, says Vancouver Island run director

Popular Sidney by the Sea Run/Walk goes virtual

Nanaimo’s Cinefest film festival to be held online this year due to COVID-19

CineCentral Filmmakers Society’s annual festival to feature films made in 48 hours

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Another Sayward councillor resigns ahead of November byelection

Council will be able to maintain quorum until byelection is held, says Municipal Affairs

Most Read