We are so happy you’ve joined us today to speak about your company and your passion to be filling a need for personal protective equipment during this pandemic. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us and share your story.
Q- Can you please introduce yourself and your company?
A- Thank you for having me! My name is Akina Donawa owner and operator ofONE OF A KINA, a small business dedicated to providing quality items!
Q- Can you tell us what inspired or motivated you to start ONE OF A KINA?
A- Well after I had my first child, I developed a medical condition which deemed me too high risk to maintain a full-time job. Even through the difficulty of trying to cope with my condition (which admittedly has gotten easier with learning my triggers) I have always been the kind of person that has to feel like I’m giving back to the world. I once heard Myles Munroe say, “that one of the richest places in the world is the graveyard because it is filled with unfinish books, songs and untapped potential.” From that day my greatest desire has always been that I leave everything I was put on this earth for, here on earth. I started of just making things for family and friends and every time I would get the response “this should be in stores” but I always brushed it aside. But after I developed my condition, I had no choice but to start using my gifts for something.
Q- You really are gifted, Akina, your masks are great! The quality is top notch and I have washed them several times and they still look brand new! It is very impressive that you are doing all of this by hand. How has the experience been of hearing what your customers think of your products after purchasing?
A- It’s been so very heartwarming and motivating to keep producing more.
Q- Can you share with us some of the helpful or positive feedback you’ve received from your consumers?
A- I had someone tell me that her mom was a seamstress and the way my mask was sewn brought back memories! I had another tell me that my mask is the only mask she wears. She said she tried others on days when she was washing her one of a kina mask but couldn’t do it. On days when she’s washing them now, she chooses not to go anywhere. I absolutely love hearing “I feel safe in my mask.” But definitely above all else the feedback that I love getting the most is the thank you I’ve received from the veterans, homeless, and single parent families I’ve been able to donate masks too, thanks to the purchases of others that have led to several donations.
Q- Tell us about some of your high-quality masks and the benefits they provide?
A- When Covid-19 made it to our shores I knew that I was high risk and my daughter who was 3 months premature and born with weak lungs was also high risk. I did a lot of research about the virus and realized that the only way to combat the virus was to put layers between my body and the virus. So, I envisioned the process as a water filtration system. The more layers the water passes through, the cleaner it is, so it must be the same with air. I also wanted it to be secured around the face because if it’s not secured it defeats the purpose of wearing a mask. So, after trying different designs I believe that my latest design is best. It 100% cotton has 4 layers and nose pinches/presses and still breathable!
Q- I like the way you describe it as putting layers between you and the virus. How can our readers purchase a mask from you?
A- For anyone in search of a purchasing one of my masks are able to do so on my etsy page at the following website. https://www.etsy.com/shop/OneofakinaDesigns For custom designs they are welcomed to reach out to me on my Facebook page @oneofakina1 or on Instagram @oneofakina
Akina, thank you for taking the time to share a little bit about your story. We appreciate all that you are doing and wish you much success!