Former Miss FAMU uses entrepreneurial skills to fight Coronavirus

Cromratie makes reusable surgical masks

BY JODI YONDER, Contributor

TAMPA— Because of its deadly consequences, the fight against the Coronavirus has taken on new meaning in the African-American community. African Americans top the list of ethnic groups killed by the virus at alarming rates because they are disproportionately impacted by other killer diseases.

Former Miss Florida A&M University NaKena Cromratie, a business major, has shifted her focus to making and providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Cromratie is the Founder and CEO of SUSTAINABLE SHIFT™, an online resale clothing company.

As with many small businesses, she had to pause community and business development activities due to social distancing guidelines, so Cromratie decided to shift to a more important task.

Now she makes reusable surgical face masks by hand.

They are affordable, stylish, and sustainable. These unique face masks are made from 100 percent cotton and equipped with a 90-day air filter.

“Now more than ever it is important to reinvent and retool to ensure our communities have access to the supplies that will keep them safe and protected from the spread and infection of the virus,” said Cromratie.

Her resourcefulness will not only fulfill a need in the community but keep her small business alive.

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