Conidaris family making protective wear for their resort’s guests
At the Lani Kai Island Resort, the Conidaris family has recognized the need for health safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kathy Conidaris, wife of Lani Kai manager Ken Conidaris, has stepped up to address a need many guests may have during their stay by making masks.
Conidaris first saw a need for masks amongst her family members and friends after the pandemic began. She saw an opportunity to help them and teach two of her daughters a favorite pastime – sewing. “We wanted something to do when we were back home,” Mrs. Conidaris said. “I wanted to do something productive.”
What started out as making masks for friends and family recently developed into sewing masks for the resort’s incoming guests. “We enjoy giving back to the community,” Mrs. Conidaris said. Conidaris and her 22-year-old daughter Kasey and 28-year-old daughter Kaitlin have finished more than 350 masks so far. Lani Kai guests who arrived over the weekend had masks waiting for them in their rooms as part of care packages.
“Now that (the hotel) is open, we are going to be putting them in each room so they feel better about their stay,” Mrs. Conidaris said.
Mrs. Conidaris, who lives in Estero, said teaching her daughters to sew was “fairly easy.” Conidaris was taught by her own mother, growing up in Rochester, New York. She said that cutting up and measuring the material and elastic and doing the sewing to make the masks takes about 15 minutes for each one. She and her daughters will sometimes spend three to four hours a day on them. “It’s more of a family thing,” she said. “We are very creative and we think outside the box.”
Their masks have 80% filtration and the designs include cats, dogs and butterflies. The hotel masks will say “Lani Kai cares” on one side with designs of turtles or coffee cups on the other side. Other designs include Snoopy and an American flag.
Lani Kai Marketing Director Melissa Schneider said that the masks were so popular over the weekend that they are now out of stock due to the high demand for the masks. The resort will soon be offering a limited number of the masks on its website at LaniKaiislandResort.com/merch-shop. Conidaris expects the charge to be minimal to cover the costs of the materials.
How long will the Conidaris family keep up this mask-making mission? “Until somebody tells me to stop,” Mrs. Conidaris said.