Credit: Mike Campbell
When Charleston began post-Corona reopening in late April 2020, the team at Captain's Comics and Toys decided they wanted a way to help the community. Owner Mike Campbell began talking with local crafters to make cloth face masks from super hero fabric designs. If masks were going to be a part of this new world, then he thought his customers may enjoy a bit of fun for their new accessory.
Toots Smith, a family friend, and customers Leah and Zoey Rhyne offered to sew some masks for free, and once they began to talk, Campbell decided that this could be a way to help his community recover.
"Retail has definitely taken a hit in 2020, but our friends in the local food and bev industry were being crushed," Campbell said. "So much of Charleston's local flavor is because of the amazing restaurants. We couldn't stand by and do nothing while they were hurting."
What started as a few masks soon became a wave of support for the community. The initial batch of 50 masks was gone in 2 days and Smith began to make 50 masks a day to try to keep up with demand. Styles expanded from just super hero characters to add Disney, sports teams, and simple patterns. Over 1,000 masks later, Captain's continues to carry an ever-changing selection for adults and kids.
To date, Captain's Comics has raised over $8,000 for the fundraiser. The money is spent at local restaurants with large tips to servers.
"It's nice to be able to give a $50 tip on a lunch pickup," Captain's employee Casey Jackson said. "It feels good to help."
Captain's Comics and Toys has cloth Hero Masks for $10 for adults and $5 for kids. Find out more at Facebook.com/captainscomicsandtoys.