BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) From Beckley to Broadway to the runway, she’s the hometown girl who made a name for herself in fashion.
Ripley Rader’s designs can be seen on major celebrities, on the red carpet, and gracing the pages of Vogue. But when work on her 2021 collection came to a halt due to the Coronavirus several weeks ago, she came up with a different design.
“We’re a small business and we needed to find a way to keep our sewing team afloat until we can get back to designing and making clothes again,” explained Rader.
She pulled out her sewing machine and went to work, making a hundred protective masks. When she saw how quick the first hundred went, she knew she needed more. That’s when she brought her team in for the ‘Look Good, Do Good Masks’ campaign.
“I was blown away by the responses in my community and the excitement to contribute to a cause bigger than them. I was also blown away by the number of hospitals and nurses that contacted me needing masks.”
For every mask purchased on her website, https://ripleyrader.com/, her business donates two to medical first responders and at-risk groups.
To date, Ripley Rader has donated more than 4,000 masks; all while being able to keep and pay her employees.
“We launched Chambray and sequins on our website. But we don’t donate the sequin ones. We donate ones that can be worn over and over and washed. They can be worn over medical masks to extend their life.”
A West Virginian born and bred, Rader would never let a bump in the road phase her.
She just took a different path and found another way.
“I come from a service-driven family. I think it’s important for us all to recognize that we have to do good with what we have. If everyone does something, we can accomplish great things.”