LOS ANGELES — Because of the pandemic, it's been a long time since costume designer Steve Mazurek has been able to make costumes for a show. 

"I'm super stoked to get back to real-life work. This is our first show back," Mazurek said.

What You Need To Know

  • The 4-in-1 mask can be worn on your body as a bracelet, neckband or headband

  • The convenience allows people to turn it into a mask in situations where one is needed

  • The number of people battling COVID-19 in Los Angeles County hospitals has nearly doubled in the last two weeks, with 745 people hospitalized as of Monday, officials said

  • On Saturday, LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned that the delta variant was "one of the most aggressive and infectious respiratory diseases known and currently makes up more than 80% of sequenced cases in LA County."

But despite the long pause in this line of work, Mazurek and his business-minded cousin Tyler Varian became busy after Varian tapped him to create a mask with more than one function so it wouldn't get dirty on surfaces when taken off outside of home. 

"He said he wanted a mask that could also be a bracelet, and I was like, 'Whoa! That's so clever. I have no idea how to do that, but let's figure it out,'" Mazurek said. 

So with Mazurek's creative abilities and Varian's work in business, the cousins formed their mask company Wiseguise

It's a 4-in-1 mask that sits on the back of the neck with the ability to be carried around as a neckband, headband or bracelet. 

"Additionally, when you're not wearing the mask, the part that touches your face, the inner fold is completely protected from the elements and folds in on itself," Varian said.

Sales have increased because of the rising delta variant threat.  

UCLA Pulmonary and Critical Care Doctor Russell Buhr said that since January 2020, he hadn't taken care of a patient with influenza, which is unusual. 

"Masks do reduce the transmission of, in particular, respiratory viruses and lung disease kind of pathogens like COVID, like the flu, like the common cold," Buhr said.

Los Angeles County Public Health recently aligned its recommendation on indoor masking with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of the delta variant and surging cases.

It's a move to control the spread that Buhr agrees with, in addition to getting vaccinated, so we don't face a more lethal variant that vaccines can't protect.

"Those are things that will reduce the spread of the variants that are in circulation and prevent new ones from coming up as well," Buhr said. 

So while the rules continue to change, the convenience of Wiseguise makes sense: Cover your face when you need to, carry it on your body when you don't.

And their operations in downtown LA not only supply local jobs but also allow them to be reactive to demand.

So with production up, they're checking out their fall line. 

"It's not too pumpkin. It's not too Halloween-y and really could last throughout the year," Mazurek said.

"It has the fall-ish vibe that goes with our sequoia green color as well," Varian said. 

And mask mandate or not, Wiseguise is proving there will always be a reason for their creation.