‘Our goal is to give back to the community’

Sophomores create their own mask business

Sophomores+Cameron+Dolan+and+Leila+Dhawan+created+an+Instagram+mask+business%2C+called+Elizabeth+Rose+Masks%2C+in+August.

Cameron Dolan

Sophomores Cameron Dolan and Leila Dhawan created an Instagram mask business, called Elizabeth Rose Masks, in August.

Abby Shapiro, Staff Editor

Pascack Valley and Pascack Hills sophomores Cameron Dolan and Leila Dhawan felt it was “important” to advocate for different charitable organizations when starting their Instagram mask business, Elizabeth Rose Masks.

“Our goal is to give back to our community using [our platform], while also keeping people safe,” Dhawan said.

Dolan and Dhawan began preparing their business to go live in late August.

“We had a lot of ups and downs at the beginning of the testing process,” Dolan said. “The masks were sometimes too small or weren’t very comfortable – we had to figure out what was good for the face. Eventually, we found that the design that we use now is the best for comfort and safety.” 

Dolan said the bulk of preparation was figuring out where to begin and found that after getting started, “it was pretty easy because they had prepared so much that they knew where to go from there.”

According to Dolan, the idea to start a business originally sparked when she had brought it up to Dhawan at the beginning of quarantine. After Dolan showed Dhawan a Tik Tok of some new business owners, she was on board. The only question was what they were going to sell.

Their first thought was to start a sticker business, but Dolan quickly realized that “the industry was too hard to prosper in right now,” so they decided to abandon the idea. 

Dolan said the decision to make and sell masks was ultimately determined by the overwhelming amount of  “mask resources which were available to [them] at the time.”

Since its launch three months ago, Dolan found that Elizabeth Rose Masks has started to pick up, generating over $1000 dollars in revenue. 

Dolan shared that after making their first sale, the two were “overjoyed”, and celebrated by grabbing Dunkin Donuts coffee and binge-watching movies. 

When starting their business, Dolan and Dhawan decided to pick a charity to donate half of their profits to each month. 

“We know this is a time where people are struggling because of COVID-19 and money and all that kind of stuff, so we wanted to give back,” said Dolan. “We don’t want to be selfish and keep all of the profits – we’d rather help people.”

So far, the two have donated their profits to COVID-19 relief, breast cancer awareness, and – most recently – lung cancer awareness organizations.

Abby Shapiro

“Being that we have no use for all that money, we thought [that] we might as well use it for causes that we care about,” Dhawan said.

Dolan and Dhawan plan to sell their masks at Pascack Hills as a fundraiser for the PH “Teens against Cancer” club. The proceeds made from the sale will be donated to a lung cancer organization.

Dolan said that the charities are normally decided by the “connections that [they] have to them or issues [they] commonly see amongst other people.”

October’s profits went to a breast cancer organization, as a homage to Dhawan’s mother who tested positive for the BRCA, or the breast cancer mutation gene. November‘s charity for lung cancer hit close to home for Dhawan as well being that her grandmother dealt with the disease. 

“So far I have been choosing the charities, but next month Cameron is going to pick an organization [that we will donate to],” Dhawan said.

When starting their business, Dolan said that the two didn’t want to be constantly self-promoting; instead, they planned to use their platform to advocate for different organizations and help to bring awareness to important issues in our community.

“There is so much advocating going on in our nation right now, and I feel like it is a great time to try and use your voice for something that is going to create change,” Dolan said.