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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

New nurse practitioner-led medical clinic welcomes Victoria patients

Health Care on Yates expects to serve 6,800 new patients over the next three years

Central Saanich needs at least more than 500 additional daycare spaces

Report before Central Saanich says region faces a ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

Sooke jumps on board to ban use of rat poison

City staff will educate residents on harmful effects of rodenticides

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read