Customers of Alie Jane's travel accessories and design business pestered her for weeks to start making face masks as the coronavirus began to spread in Australia.
The seamstress didn't really want to make the products but when the outbreak crippled the amount of foot traffic past her Hunter Street Mall store, she was essentially left with the choice of making masks or closing.
Ms Jane has sold more than 300 masks, made from colourful and patterned material usually used for clothes, bags and other accessories, over the past week.
"They're 100 per cent of my sales at the moment, nothing is selling except the masks," Ms Jane said.
"It was peer pressure from the customers to start making them.
"I didn't think it would take off."
Ms Jane, who stressed the masks were not medical grade and should be considered a fashion item, has been charging $45 per mask.
While that might seem expensive to a sewing novice, she said the masks were "fiddly" to make and sales were keeping her business afloat.
"I've got none of my regular browsers, there's no tourists around and there's no conferences on where people may want a gift to take home," she said.
"Those markets have gone. The street is a ghost-town."
The 37-year-old said people were inquiring to buy one mask for themselves but ended up with "a whole stack" for family or friends.
She has also sold dozens of masks online to customers from all over the country.
"Customers bugged me for three weeks," she said.
"I made one and put it on Facebook and it went crazy.
"At the very least, they will stop you from touching your face."