She’s Sew Fine: Heartland’s Tracy Ainslie Answers Her Community’s Call

Tracy Ainslie, who operates Heartland with her husband Daniel and General Manager Gary Aitken, models one of her homemade masks.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

There’s no masking Heartland Home Store’s concern for its customers and community.

After learning that residents were unable to locate protective face masks, the one-year-old BrandSource business in Sturgis, S.D., jumped into action. Co-owner Tracy Ainslie, who also operates a candy and gift basket stand within the appliance and mattress store, grabbed her sewing machine and some fabric and began crafting masks by hand.

The face masks are available in three sizes and a variety of patterns, with the proceeds supporting a church-led community project.

Ainslie makes her double-sided cotton masks in three sizes (small, medium and large) and in a variety of patterns including florals, hearts, animals, paisleys and messages of love, hope and faith. The masks are available for sale within the showroom for $10 each, with the proceeds supporting a church-led community project.

As Heartland General Manager Gary Aitken recounted, “We saw a need and had to do something productive. We announced the masks on Facebook and the post just blew up.”

While Sturgis has not been directly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the town has mandated social distancing, which Heartland is observing in its showroom and home delivery practices. Aitken said the whimsical masks “Help keep people’s spirits up” while supporting the church’s plan for a playground, activity area, youth center and retail space within a vacant Shopko building it acquired. “All of which are hoped to promote economic and community growth,” he said.

BrandSource is a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc.