BROCKVILLE - JC Sewing Studio owner Jo Caton likes to be busy.

So when the COVID-19 outbreak brought her business to a standstill in March, the seamstress and her employee Gail Stopfel decided to use their sewing talents to make a few dozen cloth face masks.

"This was a way to keep busy while giving back to our community," says Jo, not realizing how many orders were about to, and continue to, come pouring in.

Just three hours after posting a cloth sample on Facebook , they had orders for 368 masks. Today, six weeks later, they have orders totaling 1,100 with demand continuing to grow.

"I had no idea it would be this big," says Jo. "We're making as many as we can so we will have overstock moving forward. I don't see the need declining."

People have told Jo they've sent her masks as far away as Nova Scotia, Alberta and to places across Ontario. Area veterinarian offices, chiropractic clinic staff, Personal Support Workers, front line retail and truckers among some of the people using them. JC Sewing Studio sews both adult and children's sizes.

"Some customers have also "paid it forward" by paying even more so if we get a customer who can't pay, it is already covered," says Jo. They sell the masks at cost for $5. Jo and Gail are volunteering their time to sew them. Some people have donated fabric and elastic to the cause.

"Although we didn't know it would be this successful, it is a way for us to stay current and supportive. We're so happy when more supplies arrive so we can keep making them. I'm hoping our name is now out there and when this is over, people will know who we are," says Jo.

JC Sewing Studio cloth face masks are not medical grade but they can be altered to add coffee filters. They are washable and reusable.

Jo started her Brockville business in 2016. She has been sewing 34 years. She got her start in Ottawa and later had businesses in Brockville and Gananoque before returning to her current Brockville location.

JC Sewing Studio services include custom sewing, alterations, zipper, clothing and upholstery repair, hemming and specialty embroidery, including personalized embroidered stuffed animals.

Learn more on the JC Sewing Studio website and their Instagram account . JC Sewing Studio is located at 393 Stewart Boulevard in Brockville. Call Jo at 613-664-1140.