By day Jose Suriel is Pearl Media’s Art Director, superbly handling a varied potpourri of creative tasks. But when he has free time, he grabs a needle and thread and sews. “I’ve been sewing for about eight years now. I taught myself how to sew when I bought my first sewing machine back in 2012,” said Suriel from his new WFH station. “I always had a love for fashion and creating, so I decided to give it a try.”
Fast forward and Jose now creates an assortment of fashion accessories – from scarves to bow ties. Add to that tote bags, clutches and throw pillows. He’s even made his own curtains and costumes for MardiGras and Halloween. “I’ve sold a couple things here and there, especially my scarves and bow ties but it’s mostly a hobby.”
Recently though, Jose has turned his talent toward helping those on the front lines of the war against COVID-19. “My best friend is a Nurse at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and she was telling me how there are no masks and I was obviously hearing that all over the news, too. So, I decided why not?”
He had the fabric but needed the elastic bands to complete the masks but everywhere he looked they were sold out. After an exhaustive search he finally found some on Amazon (where else?) and was able to order them. They arrived earlier this week, allowing him to begin work. He plans on making as many as he can, in order to donate them to the hospital. “It’s going to take me a while since it’s just me, but I wanted to help out as much as I can.”
The Pearl Media family is proud of but not surprised by Jose’s selfless act of kindness during this time of tremendous need. “Jose has always been a supporter of local businesses, restaurants and first responders,” said Daniel Odham, SVP for Production. “His kindness is without measure, whether he’s working for Pearl Media or working for the friends and family in his community.” Added Chief Operating Officer Jen Almeida, “I’ve worked with him for more years than I can count now, so it’s no surprise to me that he’s using his talents for good as those talents are rivaled only by his kindness. Plus, he has quite an eye for fashion. As you can see, his masks are as functional as they are fashionable!”
Here’s hoping the first responders who receive them wear them in good health.