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

Victoria gets new collegiate baseball team, training facility

Golden Tide coach wants to see as many local kids play for the HarbourCats as possible

Sooke councillor pitches another way to improve transit

Coun. Jeff Bateman wants free passes for youth on local routes

Greater Victoria thrift shop quietly closes two locations indefinitely

Society of St. Vincent de Paul shut down Sooke and Central Saanich storefronts

Break and enters have doubled this year in Victoria

VicPD is warning residents to take precautions after huge increase from 2019

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read